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USS Enterprise (CVN 65)

The Shuttle Newsletter Edition

April 20, 2012 Issue

“We are Legend”

Ambassador to Kuwait Visits Big E Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Harry Andrew D. Gordon USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea – U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait Mathew H. Tueller and embassy personnel,including several Kuwaiti nationals, visited aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) as the ship continued its 22nd and final deployment in the Arabian Gulf April 19. The ambassador and embassy staff arrived aboard Enterprise to meet with Enterprise Carrier Strike Group leadership, tour the ship and interact with the crew. “The U.S. and Kuwait have a very special relationship that goes back to 1990-91,” said Tueller. ”Kuwaitis deeply appreciate the presence of the U.S. in their country and in the region.” Upon arrival their arrival, the ambassador and other guests were greeted by Rear Admiral Walter E. Carter, commander, Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, and Capt. William C. Hamilton, Jr., commanding officer of Enterprise. The guests then toured several spaces throughout the ship including the navigation bridge, Primary Flight Control, the Enterprise Room museum, the flight deck, medical and dental, one of the carrier’s Ready Rooms and Starboard Joe’s, the ship’s coffee shop. The group was also able to interact with Enterprise Sailors and Marines along the way before heading to lunch. “Bringing Kuwaitis out and showing them what the U.S. Navy is doing, and is capable of doing, really cements the bond between our two countries,” said Tueller. The visitors ended their stay on Enterprise with a

Rear Adm. Ted Carter shakes hands with Matthew H. Tueller, the U.S. ambassador to Kuwait, aboard aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65). (Photo by MC3 (SW) Britney Epps)

presentation of photos taken during the tour and a farewell by Carter and Hamilton. “Every time I have had the opportunity to visit a U.S. Naval vessel I have been impressed by our Navy’s discipline, organization and sense of teamwork,” said Tueller. Enterprise is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operation efforts and support missions as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

U.S. Promises A Long-Term Commitment To Afghanistan

By Greg Jaffe, THE WASHINGTON POST

BRUSSELS -- Senior Obama administration officials, faced with stepped-up enemy attacks in Kabul and war weariness at home, pledged a long-term commitment to Afghanistan on Wednesday and said their strategy to end the U.S. combat role by the end of 2014 remains on track. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton took part Wednesday in the last highlevel meeting of the NATO allies before a key summit next month in Chicago that administration officials hope will finalize the United States’ and NATO’s relationship with Afghanistan after 2014. A critical part of that partnership is a commitment by Washington and its allies to fund the cash-strapped Afghan government’s security forces. The United States and its allies have generally agreed to spend about $4.1 billion a year on Afghan army and police

forces after combat operations end in late 2014. “History proves that insurgencies are best and ultimately defeated not by foreign troops but by indigenous forces,” Panetta told reporters. “When the Afghans do their job, we are doing our job. When the Afghans win, we win.” The money would pay for a force of about 230,000 Afghan army and police officers, significantly fewer than in a longstanding plan to increase the forces to about 350,000 by this fall. Although U.S. officials said attack levels in Afghanistan are falling, Taliban insurgents still have the ability to carry out large-scale coordinated assaults throughout the country. This week, insurgents made coordinated attacks in Kabul and two provinces. “As difficult a week as this has been in Kabul and other parts AFGHANISTAN continued on page 3


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Friday, April 20, 2012

Big E Happenings Photos by MC3 (SW) Britney Epps

The Shuttle USS Enterprise (CVN 65)

The Shuttle is published and printed daily underway and bi-weekly in port by the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Media Department, FPO AE 09543-2810. This newspaper is an authorized publication for members of the Department of Defense. Please direct all story ideas, questions and comments to MC1 (SW) Steve Smith at smithsw@cvn65. navy.mil. Commanding Officer Executive Officer Capt. William C. Hamilton, Jr. Capt. G. C. Huffman Command Master Chief ABCM (AW/SW) Eric M. Young

Public Affairs Officer Lt. Cmdr. Sarah T. Self-Kyler

Editors MC2 (SW) Kristin L. Grover MCSN Harry Gordon MCSN Brian G. Reynolds


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Friday, April 20, 2012

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In The News House Panel Approves Phased-Retirement Bill

By Eric Yoder, THE WASHINGTON POST

A House committee has approved a bill that would allow federal employees to phase into retirement by working parttime and collecting a partial annuity, while a Senate panel has brought out a budget plan that calls for making federal retirement benefits less generous. The bill approved Wednesday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee with bipartisan support mirrors language passed by the Senate last month as part of a transportation bill that is now stalled. Under current law, the salaries of federal retirees who return to work for the government are reduced by the amount of their annuities, with some exceptions allowing for full payment of both. The phased retirement plan, which the Obama administration has proposed several times, would allow retirees to work one to four days a week, drawing a proportionate salary and a proportionate annuity. The plan expects that phased retirees would spend a fifth of their time mentoring younger employees, and that savings of more than $460 million over 10 years would be achieved by not hiring full-time replacements and by paying only partial annuities. “Employees would like to work part time, and we would like them to be able to,” said committee Chairman Darrell AFGHANISTAN continued of Afghanistan, the big picture is clear,” she said. “The campaign plan is on track. . . . The attacks in Kabul show us that while the threat remains real, the transition can work.” The United States and its Afghan allies have not abandoned the plan to build the larger 350,000-member force, which is needed to cover the withdrawal of American and NATO troops in 2013 and 2014, officials said. But the larger force, which would cost about $6 billion annually, is not seen as affordable over the long term in a country with a weak economy and little governance. The discussions about the size and makeup of the Afghan security forces are a key part of the meetings among senior military and diplomatic officials in Brussels this week. The officials gathered to finalize plans to end NATO’s combat mission in Afghanistan and turn over responsibility to the government in Kabul. No firm decisions have been made on how quickly to shrink the Afghan security forces after combat operations end. U.S. officials said the size of the army and police force will be determined by the strength of the Taliban insurgency, but the consensus surrounding the $4.1 billion figure seems to have been driven as much by

Issa (R-Calif.). He said phased retirement is a common practice in the private sector and noted that under the bill, it would be voluntary for federal retirees and available only at agencies’ discretion. “Currently, many federal employees retire from government service on a Friday and come back on a Monday either as a rehired annuitant or as a contractor,” he said. However, the exceptions allowing both a full salary and full retirement benefits are rare, and “if you tell people that if they keep working they only get half-pay or quarterpay, you’re effectively telling them to retire now.” In the Senate, a plan offered by Budget Committee freeze and reducing the size of the workforce, though it does not provide specifics. The Simpson-Bowles group recommended continuing the freeze three more years and reducing the workforce by 10 percent over 10 years by hiring two employees for every three who leave. The House in March passed a budget calling for extending the salary freeze through 2015, cutting federal employment by 10 percent over four years and requiring payment of equal shares toward retirement benefits. The budget also requires several committees to recommend savings in areas under their control. financial considerations as by conditions on the ground. The current plans call for the United States to spend about $2.2 billion a year on the Afghan forces after 2014, down from the $5.7 billion it will spend for the larger force in 2013. America’s allies are expected to contribute about $1.3 billion a year after 2014. “We will play our part and pay our share in sustaining Afghan security forces at the right level in the years to come so they can keep their country strong and secure,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. “We do not have the power to lock in money,” Panetta said, noting that Congress must approve any disbursement of U.S. funds annually. “We will have the resources necessary to protect the Afghan state and the Afghan people,” Clinton said. “Both Leon and I were encouraged and believe we are making progress.” Other U.S. officials said Karzai had moderated his demands for a written $2 billion pledge from the United States before the Chicago meeting. Obama administration officials have been working for months to ensure that the details of a long-term relationship with the Afghan government can be announced in Chicago.


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Friday, April 20, 2012

Sailors of the Day Seaman Recruit Kristopher Jackson

Aviation Maintenance Administrationman Airman Daniel Kite

SR Kristopher Jackson from Lufkin, Texas joined the Navy eight months ago to serve his country and to see the world. Jackson enjoys working on cars and hanging out with friends. In the future, he hopes to get a degree in engineering.

AZAA Daniel Kite, from Columbia, Mo., joined the Navy nine months ago to earn money for college. In his spare time, Kite enjoys playing sports, video games and watching movies. In the future, he plans on earning a degree and continuing his naval career.

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