Posted by: arbeam | August 5, 2014

Seafair Navy Ship Cruise July 30, 2014

The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex transits Elliott Bay during a parade of ships to kick off Seafair week

The US Navy once again in support of Seafair arranged for the amazing opportunity for a limited number of civilians to ride aboard a Navy ship or Coast Guard cutter on Puget Sound. But unlike past years where the ship riders were all chosen by random drawing, this year some slots were specially reserved for the Navy League with a guarantee to get aboard. There were 14 of us (members and guests) from Bremerton-Olympic Council who took advantage.

The ships participating in the program this year, and which on subsequent days were open to the general public for tours, were amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), guided missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), guided missile destroyer USS Howard (DDG 83), and Coast Guard cutter USCGC Mellon (WHEC 717). Several additional smaller cutters plus two Canadian coastal defense vessels were also in the parade of ships. Our group was assigned to USS Essex.

USS Essex was commissioned October 17, 1992 and when fully operational carries 1200 Navy and 1800 Marine Corps personnel. Home ported in San Diego, CA the ship carries all components of an amphibious assault, whether by air, sea or land, and the Marines who fight. There was no fighting during our cruise…only exceptional friendliness from everyone on the ship. Essex is also prepared to furnish humanitarian assistance in case of disasters home and abroad. More information about the ship itself can be found on several on line locations.

What was particularly welcoming was that the XO CDR Brian J. Quin greeted us at the quarter deck and told us that the ship was ours to explore and enjoy. There were few areas roped off for obvious safety reasons, but otherwise we had pretty much unrestricted access to all areas above and below deck, from bow to stern. It was interesting to observe on operational bridge…very different from one that is dark and silent. There were several Navy and Marine helicopters deployed on deck as well. While aboard the crew provided us first with an extensive continental breakfast, and later with an equally extensive lunch. For sure no one went home hungry!

Seafair Parade 2014

We pulled out from Pier 90 mid morning and proceeded counter clockwise leading the parade of ships north a way near West Point Light and then across Puget Sound toward Bainbridge Island. Eventually we turned again to the south and then to the east off Alki Point, then past Duwamish and finally past Seattle where we passed in review for the people on shore. For part of the time the crew was manning the rain in their whites, a sight most people have never experienced from our vantage point. A Seattle Fire Department fire boat led the parade with a continuous water display. Mts. Rainier and Baker, along with the Cascades and Olympics provided the perfect backdrop on a crystal blue sky day.


While we were passing in review we also had the pleasure of a fly over by a variety of Marine Corps helicopters and two V22 Ospreys, all aircraft normally deployed aboard Essex. They flew over in spaced apart groups of two initially and later returned in close formation, an impressive display to end the day.

CAPT Peter M. Mantz, Commnding Officer USS Essex, addressed everyone over the PA system when we had docked back at Pier 90 and thanked us for coming and for our support of the US Navy…something we need to spread the word about wide and far. But in return it would be an understatement to say that we owe CAPT Mantz and the crew of Essex our thanks for an extraordinary day. Also thanks to Navy Region Northwest for putting this all together.


Norm Marten

Posted by: arbeam | August 3, 2014

July 30: Loss of Carolyn Dankers

Carolyn DankersCarolyn Dankers, past President and current Board Member of our Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Navy League Council passed the morning of Wednesday, July 30th. Back in 2008, Carolyn had eye surgery to remove a small Melanoma spot. Six years later, it became obvious that the Melanoma cancer had spread to her liver, her lungs and her bones.

The speed at which she succumbed to the cancer came as a surprise to all of us who considered Carolyn to be “Super Woman”. She was involved in so many activities in our Kitsap community that it would be impossible to list everything. For Navy League, Carolyn served as our council’s Board President, and then she went on to serve as the Northwest Coastal Area President and finally she served as a National Director. Carolyn somehow found time to also serve on the United Way Board, the Kitsap County Historical Society Board and the Kitsap Regional Library Foundation Board.

Last year, Carolyn received the “Citizen of the Year” award from the East Bremerton Rotary. The award is given to non-Rotarians, who exemplify the Rotary ideal of “Service Above Self”, making significant contributions to the community. She was cited as someone who builds bridges among various organizations and motivates others to work for the betterment of those in need.

Carolyn’s “super woman” status started many years ago. Her daughter, Sheri Tousey, said that her Mom was President of just about every organization in her high school in Marin county, California. She was elected to serve as the Student Body President, which was a position usually held by one of the male students. She was only 16 when she graduated from High School and had her Associates Degree by the time she was 18. Carolyn then went on to obtain her teaching degree from California State University at Chico. She was teaching Jr. High students when she decided to get her Master’s Degree. She did her Master’s thesis on “Effective Methods of Teaching Reading”. Then, of course, she was selected to serve as the “President of the National Reading Association” and later served as the President of the “National Education Association”.

Carolyn worked on obtaining her PhD in Education for six years. She would work full-time during the regular school year, teaching college students at CSU-Chico and then attend her doctorate classes during the summer quarters at the University of Southern California. This time, her doctoral thesis was on “Effective Methods of Teaching”. She served as the key-note speaker at many education conventions. She was the leading authority in California regarding “State Textbook Adoptions”. After teaching at California State University at Chico for almost 40 years, Carolyn retired as Professor Emeritus and moved to Washington state to be closer to her daughter, Sheri. Sheri mentioned that one of Carolyn’s former college students wrote a nice card to Carolyn during her illness. This former student said that one thing Dr. Carolyn Dankers stated has always stayed with her. “Demand respect and treat everyone with love”.

A” Celebration of Life” will be conducted in September per her request. More information will be published when available.

CG MFPU Bangor change of commandBangor WA –  Cmdr. Michael L. Schoonover relieved Cmdr. Thomas P. Sullivan as commanding officer of Coast Guard Maritime Force Protection Unit Bangor, during a change-of-command ceremony held at Naval Base Kitsap in Silverdale, Friday.

Rear Adm. Richard T. Gromlich, commander of the 13th Coast Guard District, presided over the ceremony.

Schoonover previously served as the chief of response at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle, where he was responsible for all search and rescue, homeland security, law enforcement and pollution response efforts along the northern Washington Coast, and in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound and San Juan Islands.

CG MFPU Bangor change of command

Rear Adm. Richard T. Gromlich, presents Cmdr. Thomas P. Sullivan with a Meritorious Service Medal to recognize his efforts while serving as Commanding Officer of Coast Guard MFPU Bangor

The mission of MFPU Bangor is to protect special, high-value units in their homeport transit areas, as part of the ports, waterways and coastal security mission. The Coast Guard crews assigned to MFPU Bangor are trained and equipped to provide security escorts to a variety of Navy assets transiting the Puget Sound and Strait of Juan de Fuca. Crews employ their Coast Guard law enforcement authority to enforce a security zone surrounding U.S. Naval submarines in the Sector Puget Sound Captain of the Port zone.

The crew of MFPU Bangor completed more than 300 escorts of Navy submarines through Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca under Sullivan’s command.

Sullivan retired from the Coast Guard after 33 years of service as both an enlisted electronics technician and a commissioned officer, during a retirement ceremony following the change of command.  He plans to remain in the Pacific Northwest.

The change-of-command ceremony is a time-honored tradition and deeply rooted in Coast Guard and Naval history. The event signifies a total transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability for the command. All members of the unit attend the ceremony to witness the complete transfer of leadership.

US Coast Guard news article by Katelyn Shearer


Posted by: arbeam | July 24, 2014

USS Bremerton ending life in Bremerton


BREMERTON — The USS Bremerton will return to its namesake city to be inactivated.

The Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine will arrive at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in fall 2017, said shipyard spokeswoman Mary Anne Mascianica. It’ll be moored until employees become available to perform the work. The Bremerton facility, which is busy with several other jobs, is the only place in the country where Navy submarines are recycled.

The USS Bremerton is the oldest commissioned submarine in the Navy, launched almost exactly 36 years ago, July 22, 1978, in Groton, Conn. It was commissioned on March 28, 1981.

The USS Bremerton was never home-ported here, but paid a handful of visits to Bremerton and Bangor, as early as Oct. 7, 1982 and most recently on May 26, 2012. The only fast attack subs to be based here are the three Seawolf-class — Seawolf, Connecticut and Jimmy Carter.

The USS Bremerton is based in Pearl Harbor, and spent some time in San Diego.

Capt. Thomas Zwolfer, commander of Naval Base Kitsap, commanded the USS Bremerton from Dec. 9, 2005 until March 4, 2008.

Kitsap Sun article


PASCAGOULA, Miss. (July 11, 2014) The future amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) is saluted as it departs Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. America  is scheduled to transit the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility on its way to San Francisco for a scheduled commissioning ceremony Oct. 11.

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (July 11, 2014) The future amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) is saluted as it departs Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. America is scheduled to transit the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility on its way to San Francisco for a scheduled commissioning ceremony Oct. 11.

VADM_Hilarides(LowRez-NoCover)_thARLINGTON, Va. — The commander of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) is pleased with the quality of the ships being built for the Navy and the trends in ship repair backlog.

Speaking July 17 at a Navy League Special Topic Breakfast, VADM William H. Hilarides said that in his business “you have to have an infinite capacity for bad news,” but stressed that there is plenty of good news in the shipbuilding and repair business, and that the defense industry is delivering ships that give the United States “an exceptional Navy that is the envy of the world.”

Hilarides spoke of the new amphibious assault ship America, first of its class, that he recently witnessed sailing away from the Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., saying it “was a real testament to Huntington Ingalls [in getting] quality right.” Read More…

Posted by: arbeam | July 21, 2014

July 12: Tour of USS Shoup (DDG 86)


USS_Shoup_DDG-86_CrestSeveral Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Council Navy Leaguers were treated to an exceptional tour of the USS Shoup on July 12. The ship is named after General David Shoup, who received the Medal of Honor for actions at Tarawa during WWII. The ship’s current CO is CDR Bryant Trost.

We were greeted by ENS Victoria Hudgins, who is the Ordinance Officer & ship’s PAO. The tour began on the front deck, where the ship’s 5″ gun and multiple missile launchers were explained. At each location, ENS Hudgins had arranged for very knowledgeable sailors to describe their areas of responsibility. The sailors exhibited great pride and breadth of comprehension of the ship’s various functions.

Sea Trials

The ship is 509 ft long & 9,180 tons, only slightly smaller than a WWII Light Cruiser. However, this ship’s armament & capability far exceeds the ships of WWII. The Tomahawk missiles can travel over 1,000 miles and are very accurate. If it lands even 3 ft off target, it is considered a miss. Impressive!!

The fuel capacity is 540,000 gal and they can load it at a rate of 3,000 gal per minute through a 7 inch hose. They refuel normally about once a week during deployment.

The ship is protected from Chemical, Biological and Radiation threats by being internally pressurized as well as with an external wash down capability.

In the Engineering Dept, we learned that they can make many thousands of gallons of fresh water every day, and have enough food storage for 2-3 weeks. If required, the ship can be made ready to sail in 2 hours.


They can carry 2 helos if needed and on the aft decks there are many more missiles, a CIWS that can shoot 4,500 rounds per minute and mounts for 50 Cal machine guns. This is all in addition to the 5″ gun forward, the 25 MM gun midships, and the torpedo launchers. What a lot of firepower! It is extremely capable of defending the aircraft carrier to which it is assigned.

The wonderful people we met are justifiably proud of this powerful & magnificent warship.

And the CO can certainly be pleased with the high morale & professionalism his crew demonstrated. We all came away with a deep admiration and appreciation for each of these fine sailors.

On 5 August 2014, former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates will be doing a book signing at the Bangor Main Navy Exchange from 1130-1300 hrs.

Gates_flyerRobert M. Gates served as secretary of defense from 2006 to 2011.  He also served as an officer in the United States Air Force and worked for the Central Intelligence Agency before being appointed director of the agency by President George H. W. Bush. He was a member of the National Security Council staff in four administrations and served eight presidents of both political parties. Additionally, Gates has a continuing distinguished record in the private sector and in academia, including currently serving as chancellor of the College of William and Mary. He holds a Ph.D. in Russian and Soviet history from Georgetown University.

The NEX will have copies of his book “DUTY – Memoirs of a Secretary at War”, which is a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Forthright and unsparing, and meticulously fair in its assessments, Duty takes readers behind the scenes of nearly five years of war. Gates recounts his battles with Congress, the presidents, and the military itself; his efforts to help Bush turn the tide in Iraq; his role as a guiding (and often dissenting) voice for Obama and most importantly, the ardent devotion to and love for American soldiers he developed on the  job. He also offers unvarnished appraisals of Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton.

Celebrate the 90th anniversary of the 1st flight around the world. Over 50,000 people greeted the returning Douglas Cruisers and US Army Air Service airmen as they landed at Naval Station Sand Point at 1:28pm on September 28, 1924. The logistics of the 175 day journey were primarily the responsibility of the US Navy and Coast Guard. The project was truly a joint service effort and a key element US military capability development.


The World Cruiser replica “Seattle II” is poised to reprise the 1924 round-the-world flight made by its forebear. [Image: Bob Dempster]

At 1:28pm, exactly 90 years later, Bob Dempster will arrive with Seattle II, a reproduction Douglas Cruiser at Sand Point. He will be greeted by City officials and interviewed by a modern day Lowell Thomas on the exploits of the journey.

This event will be part of a Naval Air Station Sand Point Reunion (1925-1995).

Any American who can fog a mirror will know the name of the airplane and aviator that first flew from New York to Paris nonstop, but the details of a perhaps more difficult accomplishment—first to fly all the way around the world—are known only to aviation buffs. The six-month voyage of two Douglas World Cruiser biplanes from Seattle to Seattle westbound in 1924 was overshadowed by Lindbergh’s epic solo just three years later. Retired Boeing avionics engineer Robert Dempster and his wife, Diane, herself a member of Boeing’s 737 team and also a pilot, now intend to fill at least some of that void.

Over the last decade, Bob Dempster and a small group of volunteer craftspeople have constructed a remarkably accurate replica of a Douglas World Cruiser, and the Dempsters plan to re-create the original 73-leg round-the-world feat starting early next April. (The airplane, Seattle II, made its maiden flight on June 29, at Boeing Field in Seattle.)

The original record flight was not only a technological milestone but also an organizational and logistical triumph, orchestrated by the U.S. Army Air Service. Some 30 spare engines, standby floats and wheeled landing gear—the World Cruisers would use both setups—plus fuel and support personnel were stationed all along the route, with U.S. Navy vessels spaced along the overwater legs. Four World Cruisers started the flight. One, Seattle, crashed in Alaska not long after the start of the epic journey, and Bostonditched in the North Atlantic four months later. (Both crews were rescued.) New Orleans and Chicagosurvived the entire circumnavigation, joined by the prototype, christened Boston II.

The Dempster Douglas is a triumph as well. Bob started the project with his and Diane’s own funds 10 years ago and only slowly acquired helpers and sponsors. The project has at times been homeless, shifting from hangar to friendly hangar, at one point ending up in a Boeing facility. With a 50-foot wingspan and towering to 15 feet on floats—even with the airplane on wheels, Dempster can stand under the nose—his airplane is, for a single-engine biplane, a monster. Gross weight is nearly four tons, making this one of the largest and heaviest homebuilts ever attempted.

Dempster’s only concessions to current technology are modern avionics; aluminum Edo floats with water rudders; a tailwheel rather than a skid for runway landings; and aircraft-grade fasteners, fittings, fuselage tubing and fabric. At one time, Dempster planned to use a modern engine in place of the original World Cruiser’s Liberty V-12, but his replica will be outfitted with a fully restored, Lincoln-built, 420-hp Liberty Model A for the trip. A gutsy move, since the original World Cruisers underwent complete engine changes in Japan and then India. See


Posted by: arbeam | July 16, 2014

Jul 19: Lake Washington NL Council Summer Fun Event

The Lake Washington Navy League  Council’s 2014 “Summer Fun Event” will be held on Saturday, 19 July 2014, 1400 – 1700, at the Coast Guard Museum which is located at Coast Guard Base Seattle, Pier 36.
The Coast Guard Museum is one of Seattle’s best kept secrets where you will discover 100+ years of  Pacific Northwest Coast Guard History. The Coast Guard nautical Museum Northwest displays nautical items, Coast Guard memorabilia and more than 1500 photographs dating from the mid-1800s. Also, several exquisitely crafted models of Revenue Cutter service and Coast Guard cutters … and much, much more!
USCGC Midgett

And in addition …Tour of the Coast Guard Cutter Midgett

  • Lunch and Beverages (Soda & Water)
  • A short historical presentation by Captain Gene Davis, USCG (Ret)
  • Free Parking & Easy Access to get on Coast Guard Base Seattle

This will be an outstanding afternoon for families including children!

Cost per person $20.00 paid by Thursday, July 17th

This will be an outstanding event for families including children grade school age and above!
You can register for our “Summer Fun Event” by going to our website
We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, 19 July.
Posted by: arbeam | July 15, 2014

Submarine Group Nine Holds Change of Command Ceremony

BANGOR, Wash. (July 11, 2014) Rear Adm. Dave M. Kriete, left, relieves Rear Adm. Dietrich H. Kuhlmann as commander of Submarine Group 9

BANGOR, Wash. (July 11, 2014) Rear Adm. Dave M. Kriete, left, relieves Rear Adm. Dietrich H. Kuhlmann as commander of Submarine Group 9

BANGOR, Wash. (NNS) — Commander, Submarine Group Nine conducted a change of command ceremony July 11 at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. Rear Adm. Dietrich H. Kuhlmann III turned over command of Submarine Group Nine to Rear Adm. Dave Kriete at Deterrent Park.

Read More…

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