Page 1


May 14, 2018

By Naval Heritage and History Command

By MC3 Trey Hutcheson





By MCSN Zack Thomas

By MCSA Adam Ferrero





The Washington Surveyor

Commanding Officer CAPT Glenn Jamison

Executive Officer


of the


On the Cover: (May 1942) View on the flight deck of USS Lexington (CV-2), at about 1500 hrs during the Battle Of The Coral Sea. (Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives)

PHOTO of the


CAPT Colin Day

Command Master Chief CMDCM Maurice Coffey

Public Affairs Officer LCDR Gregory L. Flores

Deputy Public Affairs Officer LT Andrew Bertucci

Departmental LCPO MCCS Reginald Buggs

Divisional LCPO MCC Mary Popejoy


MCSN Zack Thomas


(May 3, 2018) AIMD Sailors huddle up after a football game during the 2018 AIMD spring picnic at Huntington Hall. (Photo by MC3 Alan Lewis)

MC3 Kashif Basharat MC3 Carter Denton MC3 Jamin Gordon MC3 Alan Lewis MC3 Shayla Hamilton MC3 Trey Hutcheson MC3 Brian Sipe MC3 Kristen Yarber MCSN Michael Botts MCSA Adam Ferrero MCSA Steven Young MCSA Marlan Sawyer


DC AO2 Celeste Adafin

The Washington Surveyor is an authorized publication for Sailors serving aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73). Contents herein are not the visions of, or endorsed by the U.S. government, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Navy or the Commanding Officer of USS George Washington. All news releases, photos or information for publication in The Washington Surveyor must be submitted to the Public Affairs Officer (7726).

*For comments and concerns regarding The Washington Surveyor, email the editor at*

DEPARTMENT: Training HOMETOWN: Alexander City, Alabama WHY SHE JOINED THE NAVY: “To venture out, get away from home and receive a free education.”



A: Q:




A: Q:





THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY: PRELIMINARY EVENTS By Naval Heritage and History Command


n 7 December 1941, the U.S. Navy counted seven aircraft carriers active in commission, three in the Pacific and four in the Atlantic. The latter deemed the primary theater given the undeclared war with Germany that had essentially been underway since spring 1941. The Japanese navy deployed six carriers to the surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at its Pearl Harbor, T.H., base, and the surrounding naval and military airfields and installations. Marshalls and Gilberts Raids, 1 February 1942 Enterprise and Yorktown (CV5), the Yorktown had recently arrived from the Atlantic, covered a reinforcement convoy of Marines

to Samoa in late January 1942, then steam for the Marshalls and the Gilberts to carry out the first of the carrier raids of early 1942. On 1 February 1942, TF 8 (VADM William F. Halsey Jr.), formed around Enterprise, and TF 17 (RADM Frank Jack Fletcher), formed around Yorktown, raided the Marshalls and Gilberts. A third task force, TF 11 (VADM Wilson Brown, Jr.), formed around carrier Lexington, supported the operations from the vicinity of Christmas Island. Battle off Bougainville, 20 February 1942 On 20 February 1942, TF 11 (VADM Brown), en route to attack Rabaul, New Britain, was spotted

by Japanese reconnaissance flying boats. Although the American attack was aborted, Japanese naval land-based bombers attacked TF 11, centering their efforts upon Lexington. In the ensuing battle off Bougainville, combat air patrol Wildcat fighters and Dauntless scout bombers. The Dauntless utilized in the antitorpedo plane role, together with ships’ antiaircraft fire, annihilated the enemy formations. Lt. Edward H. O’Hare, in a Wildcat, shot down five bombers in six minutes, a phenomenal performance for which he received the Medal of Honor. In one battle, the Japanese land-based bomber strength in the immediate theater was wiped out.

Shell damage to the laundry building (foreground), following the raid carried out by Japanese destroyers Ushio and Sazanami on 7 December 1941. View looks about southwest, along Sand Island’s southern side. This building was hit again, by Japanese air attack on 4 June 1942, during the Battle of Midway. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Wake Island Raid, 24 February 1942 and Marcus Island Raid, 4 March 1942 24 February 1942, TF 16 (VADM Halsey) raided Wake Island to destroy Japanese installations there. Planes from Enterprise and heavy cruisers Northampton and Salt Lake City bombed installations on Wake. Bombardment unit consisting of Northampton, Salt Lake City and destroyers Balch (DD-363) and Maury (DD-401) (RADM Raymond A. Spruance) shelled the atoll . Combined efforts of Enterprise’s planes (bombing and strafing) and ships’ gunfire sunk two guard boats. Fortunately, the bombing and shelling of Wake didn’t harm any of the American marines, Sailors and construction workers too badly to have been evacuated in the initial increment

of POWs, and the civilian workmen (Contractors Pacific Naval Air Bases) retained on the island to continue work on defenses. One Dauntless was lost, and its crew taken prisoner. The two men were later lost on 13 March 1942 when submarine Gar (SS-206) sunk the Japanese victualling stores ship in which they were being transported to Japan. Lae and Salamaua Raid, 10 March 1942 Planes from TF 11 (VADM Brown), which included ships of TF 17 (RADM Fletcher), on the heels of initial nuisance raids by RAAF Hudson bombers, flew through the only pass in the Owen Stanley Mountains. They used this passage to surprise a Japanese invasion fleet (RADM Kajioka Sadamichi) off

Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea. Dauntlesses (VB 2, VS 2, VB 5, VS 5) and Devastators (VT 2, VT 5), supported by Wildcats (VF 3 and VF 42) from carriers Lexington and Yorktown sank armed merchant cruiser Kongo Maru, auxiliary minelayer Ten’yo Maru, and transport Yokohama Maru; and damage light cruiser Yubari; destroyers Yunagi, Asanagi, Oite, Asakaze, and Yakaze; minelayer Tsugaru; seaplane carrier Kiyokawa Maru; transport Kokai Maru; and minesweeper No.2 Tama Maru. One Dauntless, of the 104 planes that carried out the raid, was lost to antiaircraft fire and its crew killed. USAAF B-17s and RAAF Hudsons conducted follow up strikes but inflicted no appreciable additional damage.

Fire-gutted bow section of a PBY-3 Catalina patrol bomber (Bureau # 0824), photographed on the morning after the 7 December 1941 night bombardment by Japanese destroyers Ushio and Sazanami. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.



children if they need me to. One time I sat at the hair salon while a Sailor got their hair done, and I watched her boys the entire time. I’ve also helped Sailors while deployed by watching their children while their significant others were at work or when they stood duty on weekends.” Beckett, who has been in the Navy for 12 years and has an 11-year-old son to care for understands that motherhood in the Navy is about teamwork. “It’s about the child,” said Beckett. “It’s about knowing that I made a difference in that hour or many hours by caring, nurturing and educating that child or children. I help others because I know there have been times when my shipmates have helped me, especially when I was that junior Sailor having

IT TAKES A VILLAGE By MC3 Trey Hutcheson


t’s no secret that being in the military and balancing family life can be challenging. This is especially true for mothers that serve in all branches of service, including those on the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). Motherhood brings hardships and sacrifice when it comes to making sure an appropriate care plan is in place for the safety of their children. “It’s pretty challenging being a mother in the Navy,” said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Madeline Roberts, a mother aboard George Washington. “Some days are harder than others. On

duty days for instance, I have to be on the ship for 24 hours. Being a single mom I have to find someone to pick my child up from school and take care of them while I’m away.” Roberts, who has a 4-year-old son knows all too well the hardships of being a parent and having to rely on people she trusts to help care for her child. “One of the biggest challenges that I face is making sure that my child is safe because I can’t be there all the time with deployments, underways and standing duty,” said Roberts. “I can’t just leave my child with anybody. I

have to know them and trust them. I need to know that my child is being cared for. It’s an emotional feeling. As a mother, you want to know that your kids are safe and being cared for the way you would care for them.” Some Sailors go above and beyond to help their shipmates who are mothers, and their families. One such Sailor is Machinist Mate 1st Class Sheltina A. Beckett, the leading petty officer of fire watch division for Weapons department. “For many years I’ve helped Sailors with their children,” said Beckett. “On their duty days I will watch Sailors’

Photo courtesy of MM1 Sheltina A. Beckett

problems with duty days.” As a Sailor and a mother, Beckett shares the same hardships as all mothers who wear the uniform. “The biggest challenge that I am faced with being a mother in the Navy is the time that is lost with my son from constantly being underway or deployed,” said Beckett. “The one thing that you can never get back is time and the milestones that you missed.” Like teachers educating their students, mothers currently serving in Navy have great lessons to pass on to future mothers serving in the Navy. “The advice that I would give is try to make good friends because in the Navy you can be sent anywhere, anytime and most of the time you will have to depend on your shipmates

especially if you’re a single mother,” said Roberts. “If you have friends that you work with that you trust, you can rely on them to help pick up your kids when you can’t. It’s a relief knowing that you have other people that you trust that can take care of your child in your time of need.” With Sailors like Roberts and Beckett sharing their experiences, future mothers serving in the Navy can be prepared to face the challenges of motherhood that they may encounter. It’s like the old adage goes, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, and sometimes that village wears the cloth of our nation, supporting those that need extra help during those challenging times so they can continue to meet their military obligations.


Japanese aircraft carrier Shoho is hit, during attacks by U.S. Navy carrier aircraft in the late morning of 7 May 1942. Photographed from a USS Lexington (CV 2) plane. (Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives)


he Battle of the Coral Sea was a defining moment during the Second World War. For the first time in naval history, a battle at sea was waged without either side seeing their enemies’ ships. This was a battle of aircraft. At the beginning of the Battle of the Coral Sea, both the Americans and the Imperial Japanese sought control of Port Moresby as well as Tulagi Island. To control the area, both sides sent aircraft carriers. This would cause the entirety of the battle to be carried out by the aircraft attached to the carriers. According to historical data on Naval History and Heritage Command, the battle started in the beginning of May 1942, when Task Force 17, under the command of Rear Adm. Frank Jack Fletcher sent aircraft from Yorktown (CV 5) to attack an Imperial Japanese naval base on Tulagi Island. During this time, the Imperial Japanese navy was sailing toward Port Moresby to establish a base and cut Australia off from allied forces. On May 7, 1942, Yorktown and Lexington (CV 2) sent out an attack on Japanese forces that were covering the Port Moresby attack force. During this

attack, Yorktown and Lexington sunk the light-aircraft carrier Shoho as well as one cruiser. The following day, both the Japanese and the Americans sent out scouts to locate more enemy ships. Several hours later, and after the scouts made contact with their opponents, Japanese fighters were sent out. According to historical data on Navy. mil, the first successful hit was on the aircraft carrier Shokaku, which left the carrier unable to launch planes. This attack caused the ship to leave the area and return to Japan for repairs. Two hours later, the Imperial Japanese fighters struck the American carriers, severely damaging Lexington. The ship was unable to continue through and was therefore evacuated. At the end of the battle, Yorktown and

Japanese carriers Zuikaku and Shokaku were damaged. Despite the damage, both sides were able to return to Pearl Harbor and Japan respectively, ending the Battle of the Coral Sea. According to historical data on Naval History and Heritage Command, the battle is one of the most infamous events in modern naval history. Distinguished as the first time a naval battle was fought solely with aircraft, as well as forcing the Imperial Japanese to adopt a new strategy in the Pacific Theatre which would ultimately lead to their defeat. The tactics used in the Battle of the Coral Sea were new, but it didn’t keep the Allied forces from reaching success. Due to the gains made in this battle, it set the Allied forces up for the Battle of Midway that occurred shortly thereafter.

Destroyers assist with the abandonment of USS Lexington (CV-2), during the afternoon of 8 May 1942. (Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.)

(March 30, 2018) Sailors pose for a photo following the retirement ceremony of AB1 Tommy Ulman at Olde Yorke Chapel. (Photo by MCSA Adam Ferrero)



ailors who accrue several years of service in the Navy provide themselves with the opportunity to build, not just a solid naval career, but also something to take with them after it’s complete. I’m talking of course about retirement. For a long time, Sailors who served for at least 20 years had the opportunity to retire under the traditional “High-3” retirement system. Sailors with 12 or more years of service as of Dec. 21, 2017 will still be grandfathered into that system. For less seasoned Sailors however, the advent of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) new Blended Retirement System (BRS) will require some thought in regard to which system works best for them. “The Blended Retirement System is important because it is the new retirement system for all Sailors joining the Navy after Dec. 17, 2017, and anyone who elects to opt-in,” said Nuclear Trained Machinist Mate Chief Paul Tornabene, the command financial specialist (CFS) aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). “It allows 85 percent of active duty members to receive retirement benefits without needing to

serve 20 years like the old retirement system.” The option of receiving these benefits before the 20-year mark is well received among some Sailors who aren’t sure about how much time they’ll commit to the Navy. “It’s still early, and I’m not sure yet if I want to do the full 20 years,” said Machinist Mate Fireman Chris Davids,

a Sailor aboard George Washington. “With the new system, if I decide to leave earlier than that, I don’t come away with any benefits like I would have before. It’s reassuring.” In addition to receiving retirement benefits with less than 20 service years, the BRS carries other advantages. Tornabene said that advantages over the traditional retirement system include

(March 30, 2018) AB1 Tommy Ulman gives a speech at his retirement ceremony Olde Yorke Chapel. (Photo by MCSA Adam Ferrero)

continuity pay, a mid-career retention tool received between the eight and 12 year mark in which, if a Sailor reenlists in the Navy, they receive a pay between 2.5 and 13 times their base pay, depending on the Navy’s need for their skill set. This can be determined by rate, rank, and Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC ). According to Tornabene, those enrolled in BRS also get the option of receiving a lump sum of 25percent or 50 percent at retirement in exchange for a reduced retired pay annuity until they reach full retirement age, which is 67 years old. Perhaps one of the most exciting advantages for some Sailors is that, under the BRS, the DoD provides matching contributions to a Sailor’s Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) up to 5 percent. “You are in charge of your money,” said Tornabene. “The TSP portion of BRS allows you to control how contributions are invested within TSP.”

“The TSP matching is awesome,” said Davids . “Having a matching contribution on top of what I’m already putting in means even more savings put away for later.” Despite several advantages of the BRS’s, there are some aspects of it that may still make the traditional system more appealing for some Sailors. “Sailors enrolled in BRS only receive 40 percent pension after 20 years of service instead of 50 percent,” said Tornabene. “Annual increase for years of service after 20 years are 2 percent per year instead of 2.5 percent as well.” With so many differing features of each system, some Sailors may want to seek additional guidance in helping them make the choice of whether or not to opt-in. “The most common question I get is, ‘should I opt-in to BRS?’,” said Tornabene. “That is really up to the individual. The most helpful tool to help in making this decision is the BRS calculator.”

The BRS calculator is a tool located on the military compensation website that assists eligible service members in comparing the two retirement systems. “In general, I tell Sailors who know they don’t want to stay in the Navy until retirement that they should opt-in,” said Tornabene. “Otherwise they will leave the Navy with no benefits.” Tornabene said that Sailors who have questions about Blended Retirement can ask the CFS, the Command Career Counselor and the Fleet and Family Support Center. It’s never too early to think about the future and about retirement. By keeping themselves informed, Sailors can make sure they choose the retirement system that works best for them. For more information on the Blended Retirement System and to use the BRS calculator, visit the Military Compensation website at BlendedRetirement/.

Infographic created by MCSA Adam Ferrero Source: Military Compensation Website –

(May 8, 2018) Sailors assigned to the training department pose for a photo. (Photo by MC3 Kristen Yarber)


In The




By MCSN Michael Botts

he life of a Sailor requires balancing many things, such as work commitments, maintenance, deck watches, meetings and training opportunities in order to maintain readiness standards to support mission tasking. One department aboard the Nimitz-

class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) that can make one requirement a little easier is Training. Training Department manages the Indoctrination courses, which trains newly reporting Sailors and Officers about life aboard the ship.

They process requests for cost and no cost Temporary Duty Orders for Sailors and Officers to attend schools locally and across the country. This includes obtaining course quotas, arranging transportation and lodging for Sailors through Corporate Enterprise Training Activity Resource

(May 8, 2018) Sailors recently assigned to George Washington attend command indoctrination organized by the ship’s training department at Huntington Hall. (Photo by MC3 Kristen Yarber)

Systems (CeTARS) and Defense Travel System (DTS). The Training department also assists in guiding those who have not previously obtained a Government Travel Charge Card, which is a necessary tool to have for any cost temporary duty travels that occur. “Training brings various different aspects to the ship,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate-Handling 1st Class Reshawn Orr, the leading petty officer of Training department aboard George Washington. “We are in charge of all travel requests and we also run the command indoctrination program. Every new Sailor that comes aboard USS George Washington has to check in through us and has to get their basic qualifications through Training department.” Although RCOH can be a challenging time, Sailors in the Training department are working hard to make sure every Sailor gets the training they want or need.

“We are the number one Training department of all carriers throughout the fleet, with a 97.3 average of schools not missed,” said Orr. “We are able to operate at this high of a level because of the hard work of my Sailors, as well as the hard work of all the Sailors onboard the ship that are attending these schools and classes.” As well as hard work, George Washington’s Training department is the best in the fleet because of the willingness get the job done. “I think our department is so effective because everyone in the department is people friendly,” said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Hannah Bellingham. “We love to make sure that any need or request you have is answered. We will go the extra mile for anyone who needs us.” Unlike other departments aboard George Washington, Training’s day-to-day requirements doesn’t change much, even in a shipyard environment.

“There really aren’t any differences while being on deployment or underway versus what we are doing here in the shipyards,” said Orr. “Regardless of where we are, our job is basically the same.” Although their job stays the same, their workload becomes easier to manage because of the environment the shipyard brings to a carrier. “Our workload, on the other hand, would be much harder to handle if we weren’t in the shipyard because of the limited computer access you have at times while underway,” said Orr. “In the shipyard, the computers are a lot faster, which makes us able to operate much faster, and we can call the necessary people right away instead of taking all of the extra steps while we are underway or on deployment.” With a friendly staff to assist with all of your travel, schools, and travel card needs, Training department encourages the Spirit of Freedom crew to take advantage of training opportunities while in the shipyard.

NAVY NEWS The White House announced today that President Donald J. Trump will award the Medal of Honor to Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL), Retired, Britt Slabinski for his heroic actions in March 2002 during the Battle of Takur Ghar while serving in Afghanistan. Master Chief Slabinski will be awarded the Medal of Honor during a White House ceremony on May 24, 2018 for his actions while leading a team under heavy effective enemy fire in an attempt to rescue teammate Petty Officer First Class Neil Roberts during Operation ANACONDA in 2002. Master Chief Slabinski’s selfless actions throughout the 14-hour battle constituted gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. In the early morning of 4 March 2002, then-Senior Chief Slabinski led a reconnaissance team to its assigned area atop Takur Ghar, a 10,000-foot snowcovered mountain in Afghanistan. An enemy rocket-propelled grenade attack on the insertion helicopter caused Petty Officer Neil Roberts to fall onto the enemyinfested mountaintop below, and forced the damaged helicopter to crash land in the valley below. Fully aware of the risks, a numerically superior and well-entrenched enemy force, and approaching daylight, without hesitation Senior Chief Slabinski made the selfless and heroic decision to lead the remainder of his element on an immediate and daring rescue back to the mountaintop. Senior Chief Slabinski’s team, despite heavy incoming enemy fire, was subsequently successfully inserted on top of Takur Ghar. Senior Chief Slabinski, without regard for his own life, charged directly toward the enemy strongpoint. He and a teammate fearlessly assaulted and

Retired Master Chief Britt Slabinski to Receive Medal of Honor From Naval Special Warfare Command

cleared one enemy bunker at close range. The enemy then unleashed a murderous hail of machine gun fire from a second hardened position twenty meters away. Senior Chief Slabinski exposed himself to enemy fire on three sides, then moved forward to silence the second position. With bullets piercing his clothing, he repeatedly charged into deadly fire to personally engage the enemy bunker with direct rifle fire, hand grenades and a grenade launcher on the surrounding enemy positions. Facing mounting casualties and low on ammunition, the situation became untenable. Senior Chief Slabinski skillfully maneuvered his team across open terrain, directing them out of effective enemy fire over the mountainside. Senior Chief Slabinski maneuvered his team to a more defensible position, directed danger-close air support on the enemy, requested reinforcements, and directed the medical care of his rapidly deteriorating wounded teammates, all while continuing to defend his position. When approaching daylight and accurate enemy mortar fire forced the team to maneuver further down the sheer mountainside, Senior Chief Slabinski carried a seriously wounded teammate through waist-deep snow, and led an arduous trek across precipitous terrain while calling in fires on enemies engaging the team from the surrounding ridges. Throughout the next 14 hours, he stabilized the casualties and continued the fight against the enemy until the mountain top could be secured and his team was extracted. His dedication, disregard for his own personal safety and tactical leadership make Master Chief Slabinski unquestionably deserving of this honor. He is only the 12th living service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery displayed in Afghanistan. The Medal of Honor is an upgrade of the Navy Cross he was previously awarded for these actions. Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter directed the military departments

to review all Service Cross and Silver Star recommendations for actions since September 11, 2001, to ensure Service members who performed valorously were appropriately recognized. Master Chief Slabinski, a native of Northampton, MA, joined the Navy in September 1988. After graduating from Radioman Class “A” School in San Diego, CA, he completed the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL course in January 1990. He retired in June 2014 as the Director of Naval Special Warfare Safety Assurance and Analysis Program after more than 25 years of service. Throughout his career, Master Chief Slabinski was assigned to both West and East Coast SEAL teams and completed nine overseas deployments and 15 combat tours. Master Chief Slabinski has previously been awarded the Navy Cross; the Navy and Marine Corps Medal; five Bronze Star Medals with Combat “V” device; two Combat Action Ribbons; two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals; the Defense Meritorious Service Medal; the Meritorious Service Medal; the Joint Service Commendation Medal; the Joint Service Achievement Medal; and eight Good Conduct Medals. Additional information about Master Chief Slabinski is available at http:// The Medal of Honor is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their own lives above and beyond the call of duty while: * engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; * engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or * serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.



14 May 2018 Washington Surveyor  

The newspaper of the USS George Washington

14 May 2018 Washington Surveyor  

The newspaper of the USS George Washington