This Month’s Luncheon Speaker is Rdml Gary Mayes Commander Navy Region Northwest. This year the Navy is celebrating its 242th birthday on October 11th. We are honored to have Rdml Mayes help us celebrate.

Commander, Navy Region Northwest provides consolidated base operations support for Navy activities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. The Commander oversees the assigned shore organization and provides facilities and space management, exercise coordination, and support to homeported and transient ships, submarines, and aircraft as well as afloat and ashore tenants, military and family members.

Rear Adm. Gary Mayes was raised in Indianapolis. Mayes graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in 1987 and received his commission from Aviation Officer Candidate School in 1988. He was designated a naval aviator in 1989. He also earned a Master of Military Studies from the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College in 1999 and graduated from the Joint Forces Staff College in 2002.

Mayes’ afloat and operational assignments in the SH-60B/R involved tours with Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 48 and 46. He served as the executive officer and commanding officer, HSL 44. He participated in operations conducted in Haiti, South America, the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Adriatic Sea and the Persian Gulf. He also served as the officer in charge of a combined East and West Coast HSL/HSM detachment of 16 helicopters conducting rescue and humanitarian relief missions in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that caused massive devastation to the Gulf Coast region. Mayes logged over 3,300 flight hours in fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

Ashore assignments include duty as a station pilot at Naval Air Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Senate liaison officer in the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs; naval aide to the Vice President of the United States; administrative aide to the secretary of the Navy; commanding officer of Naval Base Coronado; and deputy director, plans and programs, for Commander, Navy Installations Command. Prior to his promotion to Mayes was executive assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment.

His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (five awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy Achievement Medal (three awards) and numerous campaign and unit ribbons.

Location is the Bangor Conference Center, Trident Ballroom, NBK, Bangor. Doors open at 11:00, Lunch begins at 11:30

Registration: Call Realty Station at 360 377-5699 for your lunch registration. Please call before October 3.

Members without base access – processing time can take weeks.

Please provide your name as it appears on your ENHANCED drivers license or US passport, your city and date of birth.

Members without enhanced WA Drivers License or passport need to be escorted by a member with base access.

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Posted by: arbeam | September 21, 2017

Navy League Luncheon September

The Speaker for our September Luncheon Was CDR Homer Ring. He has successfully completed a Shipyard Decommissioning Availability as Commanding Officer USS Houston (SSN-713). In keeping with our Theme of reviewing the War in the Pacific portion of the 75th Anniversary of WW II.  CDR Ring Related the Second War patrol of the USS Trout SS 202.

It was January 1942 and the US Army in the Philippines was running out of Anti Aircraft ammunition. The USS Trout was stripped of all of unessential gear and loaded with  3,500 rounds of mechanically-fuzed, high altitude ammunition for the defenders of Corregidor. A submarine was needed to elude the Japanese forces.

After the shells were delivered Trout needed to take on Ballast to allow it to submerge. trout’s request for Sandbags was denies but a compromise was reached. the Army needed to evacuate the Philippine Gold supply to ensure it wouldn’t be captured. So USS Trout took on 20 tons of gold as blast. Read the full story The Golden Patrol of USS Trout (SS202).

 

Posted by: arbeam | September 21, 2017

USS Washington has Adopted the Nickname Blackfish

The United States Navy’s newest submarine is the USS Washington (SSN-787). It is the third ship named for the state of Washington and the first one since World War II. One of the first official functions of a submarine pre-commissioning unit is to develop the ship’s own distinct coat of arms – or crest – which reflects the heritage embodied in the ship’s namesake. Unique in design for each ship, the crest represents the ship’s identity throughout its service life and helps foster unity and esprit de corps.

Their central image is the submarine, surging forth from the waters of the Puget Sound, emblazoned with a paint scheme reminiscent of Native American art depictions of an orca whale, the state’s official marine mammal. The Tlingit Legend of Eekoli (Blackfish, Killer Whale, Orca) has particular significance to submariners as marine hunters of the deep. The crew takes their nickname from this design, Blackfish. And has adopted the Blackfish as their Totem.

EEKOLI (WHALE) THE LEGEND OF THE BLACKFISH

Blackfish is an important medicine animal to the First Nation tribes of the Pacific Northwest Coast and are considered a particular symbol of power and strength. Catching sight of one isconsidered a momentous omen. Tlingit were accomplished whale hunters but viewed the killer whale as a special protector of humankind and never hunted. The Kwakiutl tribes believed that the souls of marine hunters turned into killer whales upon their death, just as the souls of forest hunters turned into wolves. For this reason, there were a number of special rituals regarding the killing of a killer whale, so that its spirit could be reborn as a human once again.

http://www.native-languages.org/killer-whale.htm

Posted by: arbeam | September 21, 2017

Commissioning Gift Submarine Dolphin Presentation Box

Many Submarines have a display case onboard to display the submarine dolphins that each crew member will earn when they qualify in submarines. The crew of the Washington has adopted a ship’s crest with a Northwest Indian Motif. It has also taken to calling itself the blackfish after the indigenous Orca Whales. In order to establish a connection with the Northwest Natives of the Salish Sea, the Commissioning Committee solicited the design and construction of a presentation case crafted by master carver Samuel L White of the Lower Elwa S’Kallam Tribe located on the Strait of Juan De Fuca in the entrance to Puget Sound. The Orca whale is the Totem for the S’Kallum Tribe.

Included in the design is a Northwest Native rendition of the Submarine Dolphins. The design illustrates the story of a legendary hunter of the deep, Natsilane and alludes to the submarine’s mission of Anti Submarine Warfare.

The Presentation Case is made of native Western Red Cedar with a Yellow Cedar carved inlay traditional carving woods.

Posted by: arbeam | September 21, 2017

Meet The Carver

Samuel White is a Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribal member located in the Pacific Northwest of Washington State. Sam’s native name is phonetically pronounced “kooa-kowa-day” which means little bull head. Unfortunately, many of his names left to him by Dave Forlines where lost when a tape recording was stolen from him. He is a direct descendant of the Chickasaw tribe in Oklahoma through his father. Sam is a father of 11 children. Sam is the Chief of Police for Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe which is a sister Tribe to his own.

Sam was trained to carve as a young teen by Dave Forlines his Godfather and Richard Mike his uncle. He helped carve the totem poles for the Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribe along with the first traditional dugout canoe.

Sam has been carving for near 30 years. Sam mostly has carved small carving for friends and family as gifts such as combs, rattles, masks, miniature canoes, full size paddles (functional and decorative) and plaques. Sam tries to keep as true to traditional carving as possible with a slight integration of modern contemporary native art. He tries to freehand the designs with nothing being exact or symmetrical. He was taught to if you carve good enough, no sandpaper would be needed. Sam feels he is improving every time but has lots to learn with each carving.

Sam has a family history of military service and is a proud father of his eldest son joining the Marines. That is why he is proud to be part of this project for the U.S.S. Washington.

Posted by: arbeam | September 21, 2017

The Legend of Natsilane

Native American Legend Natsilane

A Tlingit Legend

In a time before there were any killer whales there lived a very able sea lion hunter and a highly skilled carver named Natsilane. He was from Kake and when he took as his wife the daughter of a chief on Duke Island, he decided to live among her people. He was accepted into her family and because he tried hard to prove himself, he soon had a place of honor as an accomplished hunter and spear carver.

His desire to please won him the admiration of the youngest of his brothers- in-law but the oldest ones misunderstood his intentions and became jealous and so began to plot against him. The men decided to get even with Natsilane on the day of the big seal hunt.

After much preparation, the day of the big hunt arrived and Natsilane along with his four new brothers paddled their canoe toward West Devil Rock, out in the open straits. The wind was blowing fiercely and the waves were high but Natsilane was determined that the hunt would be successful. When the canoe neared the rocks, he leaped toward shore and plunged his spear into the nearest sea lion before it could escape. Unfortunately, the point broke off and the lion slipped into the water. Worse yet, Natsilane saw that his brothers, over the fierce objections of the youngest, were paddling away- abandoning him on the deserted island with no food or weapons. Their betrayal stung him deeply and after a time, he pulled his cloak up over his head and fell asleep.

Natsilane awoke the next morning to the sound of his name. He saw a sea lion that looked like a man beckoning to him to go with him down beneath the waves into the Sea Lion’s House. At the great house he met the chief of the sea lions who asked him if he could help his injured son. Natsilane saw that the young lion had his spear point embedded in his body and with some effort was able to remove it and the son was healed. The chief was very grateful and after granting Natsilane even greater skills, arranged for his safe return to the village.

Natsilane met with his wife and after telling her his story, he made her promise to keep his return a secret. He took with him his carving tools and went into the woods to carry out a plan of revenge on the older brothers-in-law who had betrayed him.

Remembering the Sea-Lion Chief’s promise, he asked him for help and began carving a large black fish, a killer whale of spruce the likes of which had never been seen before. After three tries and much improvement in his carving skills, he fashioned a whale of yellow cedar and when launched, came to life and swam out to sea.

He called the black fish to him and ordered it to find his brothers-in-law when they returned from their hunting, destroy them and their boat but spare the youngest boy. The black fish set out and found them late that afternoon. The black fish capsized the boat breaking it in two and drowned the older three brothers by keeping them from shore. The youngest made it back safely along with his story of the great black fish and his brothers’ treachery.

The villagers now came to wonder if Natsilane had carved the great black fish and given it life. Not long afterward, a strange black fish with teeth was seen near the shore and at times would leave a freshly killed seal or halibut there for the villagers.

Natsilane had instructed it never again to harm humans but instead, to help them. As he continued to help the villagers, they realized that the “Killer Whale” was a gift from Natsilane and so they took it for their crest. Natsilane became a legend to their village and some have claimed to have seen him riding the seas on the backs of two great black fish.

http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/Natsilane-Tlingit.html

Posted by: arbeam | September 21, 2017

Aug 9: Tour of USS Buffalo (SSN-715)

On a warm and sunny Wednesday 9 August 2017 at NBK-Bremerton, 32 Navy Leaguers received an even warmer welcome aboard USS Buffalo SSN-715 from Commanding Officer CDR Micah D. Maxwell and crew for a tour.  Buffalo was commissioned in 1983 in the “first flight” of Los Angeles class fast attack submarines.  As such, even though the boat (submarines are boats, not ships) is in good physical condition it would require an expensive inspection and recertification in order to remain in active service.  Buffalo also does not have the vertical Tomahawk vertical launch missile tubes found on later versions of the LA class boats.  As such the Navy determined that it would be more realistic to retire Buffalo at this time and since its arrival in Bremerton in April 2017 following its final deployment Buffalo has been tied pier side pending the process of inactivation, decommissioning and scrapping.  In the meantime Buffalo has a full crew on board which necessarily oversees the daily operational procedures normal for an active submarine.  In time the crew size will decline.  A normal compliment is about 120 enlisted and 20-25 officers.  Buffalo had been home ported in Pearl Harbor for its entire period of service until the recent move to Bremerton.

Unique to the early LA class are dive planes on the sail.  These were replaced by bow planes
on the hull on later versions which facilitates rising to the surface under ice.  In wartime the primary mission of fast attack submarines is hunter-killer…something that Buffalo fortunately never had to do.  At other times missions such as intelligence gathering and exploration are assigned as well as availability to fulfill any requirement.

Our tour of Buffalo (named for the New York State city…not the animal) included the very important control room, the nerve center of the boat, where all operations are directed.  We also saw areas and equipment for navigation, fire control, SONAR, the mechanical room (which included oxygen generation and carbon dioxide scrubber equipment) plus the railroad locomotive size diesel engine available for emergency electric power.  Additionally we saw the galley, crew’s mess and ward room and torpedo room with 4 forward facing torpedo tubes.  To avoid triple hot bunking, necessary due to space constraints, some crew choose to sleep in the torpedo room on mats spread over the torpedo racks.  Not as private, but way more spacious.  It was pointed out that the greatest fire risk on the submarine is the clothes dryer which is used by every member of the crew.  The plan of action in event of a fire there is to have an extinguisher in operation in less than 15 seconds!

Our tour concluded and we all thanked CDR Maxwell and the personnel of Buffalo for the tour and for their service to our country.  It would be appropriate at this point to acknowledge the many crews that have served on USS Buffalo during the 34 years the boat has been in service and of course to say “well done” to SSN-715.  Thanks, too, to Byron Faber for arranging an amazing tour. – Norm Marten

 

 

Our New September Luncheon Speaker is Commander Andrew H Ring Commanding Officer of the USS Houston (SSN-713). He has just successfully completed the decommissioning  ahead of schedule Arriving last August and turned over the ship to PSNS on August 24, 2017.

Commander Andrew Homer Ring, a native of Wilmore, KS, joined the Kansas Army National Guard and Army Reserve in 1992 as a cannon crewmember in field artillery.  In 1993 he received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating from U.S. Naval Academy in 1997 with a BS in Aerospace Engineering.

Commander Ring’s sea assignments include a junior officer tour on USS CHARLOTTE (SSN 766), Navigator/Operations officer on USS ALABAMA (SSBN 731) BLUE and USS NEVADA (SSBN 733) He completed five Pacific strategic deterrent patrols with his departments earning three CSS 19 Navigation “N” awards.  He was the Executive Officer on USS JACKSONVILLE (SSN 699).

Commander Ring’s shore assignments include duty as a Watch Officer at Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet in Norfolk, VA.  He served as a Liaison Officer at the Joint Warfare Analysis Command in Dahlgren, VA for the U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Forces Korea.  During this assignment he also completed a tour in Iraq at Camp Victory as the Multi-National Corps Iraq and U.S. State Department Liaison Officer.  He was selected for the 2011 Federal Executive Fellowship Program and attended Harvard University as a Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs studying Chinese foreign policy.  He served as Executive Officer of the Tactical Readiness Evaluation Team at Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet and Deputy for Material Readiness at Submarine Squadron Seven in Pearl Harbor, HI.

Commander Ring earned a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Planning from the U.S. Naval War College, a Masters in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University, a Masters of Business Administration from Touro University, and a Masters of Art in Liberal Studies from University of Oklahoma.

Location is the Bangor Conference Center, Trident Ballroom, NBK, Bangor. Doors open at 11:00, Lunch begins at 11:30

Registration: Call Realty Station at 360 377-5699 for your lunch registration. Please call before Sept 5.

Members without base access – processing time can take weeks.

Please provide your name as it appears on your ENHANCED drivers license or US passport, your city and date of birth.

Members without enhanced WA Drivers License or passport need to be escorted by a member with base access.

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On Aug. 29, 2017, Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer released a memorandum that outlined the Department of the Navy mission, vision and priorities.

Sailors, Marines and Civilian Teammates,

As I stated in my confirmation hearing, I have discussed priorities that must be at the forefront of every action. Our mission, vision and priorities for the Department of the Navy are listed below.

I call upon you to make every effort count and to align your goals with our priorities. I look forward to making progress alongside you in these areas.

Mission: The Department of the Navy will recruit, train, equip and organize to deliver combat ready Naval forces to win conflicts and wars while maintaining security and deterrence through sustained forward presence.

Vision: We are an integrated Naval force that will provide maritime dominance for the Nation. To accomplish this in the face of current and emerging challenges, we must renew our sense of urgency and speed of execution throughout the entire organization. Our core values and accountability at the individual and organizational levels will shape our culture and guide our actions.

Priorities: Our priorities center on People, Capabilities and Processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships. Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.

People: Our military and civilian workforce is our greatest resource.

  • We will enhance the performance of our force by improving policies, programs and training.
  • The organization will capitalize on its best talent today, retain that talent over the long term, and find ways to continue to recruit the best people for the mission of the future.
  • Our military and civilian team will be measured against the highest ethical standards for every task and mission.

Capabilities: We will be capable of providing maritime dominance and power projection
required by the Nation.

  • The organization will focus on training, modernization and maintenance in order to achieve a high state of readiness and enhanced lethality, now and in the future.

Processes:  We must improve our processes in order for our people to meet future challenges.

  • We will drive efficiency, adopt and implement new ideas, and leverage leading practices from industry and academia to positively impact and support acquisition, manpower,
    research, and operational processes.

Our actions across these priorities will ensure mission success today and in the future.

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Posted by: arbeam | August 21, 2017

What my Dolphins mean me

Before a sailor is awarded his dolphins onboard BREMERTON, he writes a letter to the Commanding Officer about what his dolphins mean to him.  Before I make the final mark in their dolphin qual card, I sit down with each to discuss the letter they wrote.

I believe CDR Bringham instituted this final phase early in his command tour and it’s been around since. Some sailors spend days drafting these letters and some only minutes.  I wanted to share with you and, if you may, the BREMERTON Navy League one of these letters that I found particularly thoughtful from MM2 (SS) Moore who qualified earlier this week.

I asked him for permission to post his letter and he was happy for me to share it.

VR

Travis Zettel
CDR, USN
Commanding Officer
USS BREMERTON (SSN-698)

03 Aug 17

FROM: MM2/SU RYAN A. MOORE, USN

TO: COMMANDING OFFICER, USS BREMERTON (SSN698)
SUBJ: SUBMARINE WARFARE QUALIFICATION

SIR,

LIKE MANY BEFORE HIM, ANOTHER SAILOR HAS PROVEN WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A SUBMARINER. TO BE A SUBMARINER, ONE MUST ALWAYS BE ON THE ALERT, KEEPING HIS SHIP AND SHIPMATES SAFE. HE IS THE RAPID RESPONSE, THE FIRE PARTY, AND THE RE-FLASH WATCH. EVERY SUBMARINER MUST LEARN HIS JOB AND THAT OF HIS FELLOW SHIPMATES. IT IS VITAL THAT ONE TREATS THIS TRUST, BESTOWED ON HIM BY HIS PEERS AND THE IMMENSE RESPONSIBILITY INVOLVED, WITH THE UTMOST RESPECT, HUMILITY, AND DIGNITY.

NOW, THE SUBMARINE WARFARE PIN MAY REPRESENT THE PROFICIENCY OF A SAILOR IN DC AND SHIP COMPREHENSION, BUT IT WILL ALSO STAND TESTAMENT, TO ALL I SHALL MEET, THAT THIS SUBMARINER WAS FORGED FOR A PURPOSE. REMEMBERING WHERE WE COME FROM, I WILL DEDICATE MY TIME TO THE FUTURE OF THE NAVY, PASSING DOWN LESSONS LEARNED AND TUTORING NEW ARRIVALS. I WILL STRIVE TO REACH OUT AND HELP MY BROTHERS, SO THAT WE, AS A TEAM, CAN MAKE A BETTER NAVY AND A BETTER BREMERTON.

V/R
MM2/SU RYAN A. MOORE, USN

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