Posted by: arbeam | October 1, 2018

Aug 24: Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Tour

On a clear day, rare this August, a number of Navy Leaguers were treated to a special tour of Naval Air Station (NAS), Whidbey Island. NAS Whidbey Island is located in the quaint town of Oak Harbor, settled by Dutch immigrants.

Hosted by the VAQ-139 Cougars, the Navy Leaguers saw and touched the amazing EA-18G Growler. The Growler has the mission of Electronic Warfare for our US Navy. That mission includes detecting enemy radar and communications and jamming them when required. The Growler also can carry anti-radiation and air-to-air missiles. It carries a two-man crew.

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is the only other service flying the Growler. All Growler squadron maintenance and aircrew personnel, US and Australian, are trained at NAS Whidbey Island. All of the US Growler squadrons but one (Forward deployed in Japan) are based here.

The Navy Leaguers were given the rare treat of ascending the tower to get a better view of the Air Station. Byron and Pat Faber are shown at altitude. Byron is our amazing tour coordinator.

Posted by: arbeam | October 1, 2018

President’s Corner Oct 2018

Fall is here! Nice to have the cooler days and some rain to douse the fires and feed our lawns! Our September luncheon speaker was Capt Mike Lockwood, the Commanding Officer of the University of Washington Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps. Both Alan Beam and I are alumni of the unit so it was good to hear about the happenings at Clark Hall, on campus. Capt Lockwood detailed the training that takes place at the unit and how the Midshipmen are selected. The indoctrination for incoming freshmen, is modeled after the Naval Academy, but much shorter (one week) and not as intense. The Navy continues to emphasize STEM core subjects; not a lot of history majors are being accepted. The program appears to be much more demanding than when Alan and I went through. The unit has the last sailing vessel still in service. The Navy has divested itself of the sailing program for the units, as the costs of maintaining and mooring the boats has become prohibitive. Through the philanthropy of UW NROTC alumni, the unit has been able to keep their boat and teach sailing to the midshipman.

The US Navy was established on October 13th, 1775, 243 years ago. As is our custom, we will have a Navy Speaker this month to help celebrate the birthday.

As a response to 911 terrorist attacks All SSBN movements in the Puget Sound have been escorted by units of the USCG Maritime Force Protection Unit Bangor. There are occasions that require the MFPU crews and vessels to remain overnight in Port Angeles.

In order to facilitate the stays the Navy has built a Transient Vessel Facility consisting of a 425-foot long pier, located on Coast Guard Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles which can berth up to seven boats. In addition to the new pier, construction included an 8,200-square-foot facility with sleeping quarters for up to 30 personnel, an above-ground 10,000-gallon diesel fuel storage tank and a 200-square-foot armory.

Rear Adm. David Throop, commander of the Coast Guard 13th District, Sissi Bruch, mayor of Port Angeles, Wash., Cmdr. Thomas Evans, commanding officer of Coast Guard Maritime Force Protection Unit Bangor, Capt. Chad Brooks, commanding officer of Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest, and Theo Cragg, head of the Operations Management Department for Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific, participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony in front of the Transit Protection System pier in Port Angeles, Sept. 14, 2018.

Come out and help us celebrate the 243rd Navy Birthday! The United States Navy was originally established as the Continental navy on October 13,  1775, when the Continental Congress authorized the procurement, fitting out, manning, and dispatch of two armed vessels to cruise in search of munitions ships supplying the British Army in America.

Our Guest Speaker will be Rear Admiral Blake Converse, Commander Submarine Group 9. The Group Commander provides oversight for shipboard training, personnel, supply and material readiness of SSBNs and their crews. The Group Commander is also responsible for nuclear submarines undergoing conversion or overhaul at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton. As Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Representative, COMSUBGRU NINE coordinates all submarine matters in the Pacific Northwest.

Rdml Converse comes to us from US Fleet Forces Command where he served as the director, Joint and Fleet Operations (N3). This is his second tour in the area. His career as a nuclear submarine warfare officer includes assignments aboard USS Lapon (SSN 661) and USS Olympia (SSN 717) as the engineer officer, and USS Minneapolis-St.-Paul (SSN 708) as the executive officer. Command assignments include commanding officer of USS Louisiana (SSBN 743) from February 2006 to February 2009 and commodore of Submarine Squadron 6 from October 2012 to August 2014.

Location is the Bangor Conference Center, Trident Ballroom, NBK, Bangor.

Doors open at 11:00, Lunch begins at 11:30

Registration: Please call realty station at 360 377-5699 for your lunch registration. Please call before Oct 2.

  • Members without base access; processing time can take weeks.
  • Please give your name as it appears on your driver’s license.
  • Spell your name to make certain that it will be correct on the gate access sheet. Provide your date of birth and city of birth.
  • Members without enhanced WA Drivers License need to be on the base access list or be escorted.

The September Luncheon Speaker is Captain Michael Lockwood Professor of Naval Science, Commanding Officer University of Washington and Seattle University NROTC.

The Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (Navy ROTC) Program was established in 1926 to provide a broad base of citizens knowledgeable in the arts and sciences of Naval Warfare. The program provided an opportunity for young men to undertake careers in the naval profession. In the beginning, there were six Navy ROTC units located at the University of California at Berkeley, Georgia Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, University of Washington, and Harvard and Yale Universities.

Captain Lockwood was born and raised in Rochester, New York, and is a 1991 graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology where he earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He was commissioned via NROTC.

He has served at sea as Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans (N3/N5), GEORGE WASHINGTON Carrier Strike Group; Commanding Officer, Assault Craft Unit ONE; Chief Staff Officer, Destroyer Squadron NINE; Executive Officer, USS O’KANE (DDG 77.  Captain Lockwood has completed nine deployments to the Western Pacific and Middle East, supporting Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, SOUTHERN WATCH, DAMAYAN, and RESTORE HOPE.

He holds a MS in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University, and an MS in Applied Physics from the Naval Postgraduate School. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, as well as other personal and unit level awards and citations.

Our social hour begins at 11AM with the meeting starting at 11:45 in the Bangor Conference Center, Trident Ballroom, Naval Base Kitsap, Bangor.

For lunch registration, please call Realty Station at 360 377-5699 ASAP.

  • For members without base access, processing can take some days. We will take that job on if you call.
  • When registering provide your name as it appears on your Driver’s License and date and city of birth.
  • Members without an Enhanced Washington Drivers license will need to be escorted onto the base.
Posted by: arbeam | August 27, 2018

USS Washington Commissioning Committee

One of the last official acts of the USS Washington Commissioning Committee was to present Governor Jay Inslee with his honorary plank owner certificate. He promptly hung the framed certificate on his wall. Presenting the certificate to the Governor is Rear Admiral MikeSharp, USN Retired, Commissioning Committee Chairman. Also pictured is Captain LarrySalter, USN Retired, Committee Treasurer and Government Liaison.

Mayor Lent Was presented her Plank Owner Plaque by President Steve Westover at the August luncheon

The committee solicited donations and in-kind support for the events (approximately $175,000.00 was collected). The committee planned and paid for events/receptions, plank owner plaques/certificates, commissioning coins, lapel pins, and donator gifts. Since the commissioning we have been paying bills, getting plaques/certificates, collecting the donor gifts, and shipping the items to the appropriate donors/support individuals, and crew.

The formal work of Commissioning Committee work is complete. We were also able to establish a $55,000.00 Dolphin Scholarship Foundation scholarship for the crew and families of those having served on the USS Washington. The $2500.00/year scholarship will be available in 2023. Contributed by Larry Salter

Posted by: arbeam | August 27, 2018

Tour Planning

Sept 20NUWC Div Keyport
NUWC Keyport, one of two divisions of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), provides Fleet readiness support for submarines, surface ships, torpedoes, mines, land attack systems, and Fleet training systems. Support services we provide includes inservice engineering, test and evaluation, custom engineered solutions, and cutting-edge technologies that sustain and maintain our nation’s Undersea Warfare Systems.

Oct 12
– SAFE Boats International
SAFE Boats builds purpose designed special performance boats for law enforcement, military and all levels of government world wide. Safe Boats International builds rapid response craft at their facility at the Bremerton Airport. SAFE Boats is a major supplier to the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG) small boats fleet. The USCG uses SAFE vessels for diverse missions including homeland security, patrol, maritime law enforcement, marine environmental protection, search and rescue, and aids to navigation.
Interested  in Attending:
Byron Faber
Home: 360-638-1235
Cell: 360-434-1144
Posted by: arbeam | August 27, 2018

Oct 13: Pacific Northwest Navy Birthday Ball

The Navy Ball in celebration of the 243rd Anniversary of the Navy will be held from 5:30-11PM on Saturday October 13 in the NBK Bangor Trident Ballroom. The Bremerton Navy League is interested in having 1 or more tables. If you are interested in attending please contact Byron Faber before 21 September. Home: 360-638-1235, Cell: 360-434-1144

This is a wonderful event and a chance to socialize with our navy servicemen of all stripes!

Come out and have some fun!

Posted by: arbeam | August 27, 2018

Presidents Corner September 2018

Welcome to the fall! However, as I write this, the air quality is awful. We had a great turnout for the August Luncheon, where we recognized the birthday of the Coast Guard, the oldest of the sea services. Capt McPherson, Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard Thirteenth District gave us a great overview of the operations of the District, and their challenges ahead. The Thirteenth District encompasses Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

Joining us was Cdr Scott Jackson new Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Air Station at Port Angeles and Commander Tom Evans Commanding Officer Coast Guard Maritime Force Protection Unit Bangor. Both the Port Angeles Coast Guard Station and the Maritime Force Protection Unit Bangor are one of our Adopted Units.

The September speaker is the Commanding Officer another of our adopted units, the USS Bremerton SSN-698. CDR Zettel is the final CO of this USS Bremerton. She is currently being inactivated at the Bremerton Shipyard. The First USS Bremerton was CA-130 which was in service from 1945 through 1960.

We are fast approaching the annual CFC drive. Please take note of the block on page one that provides the details on how to contribute to our Navy League for both the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) and the State’s Combined Fund Drive (CFD). I look forward to seeing many of you at the luncheon on September 11th.

Posted by: arbeam | August 20, 2018

O’Kane Cribbage board passed to USS Olympia (SSN-715)

CDR Travis Zettel Commanding Officer USS Bremerton(SSN-698) passed the O’Kane Cribbage Board to CDR Benjamin Selph Commanding Officer USS Olympia (SSN-715)

There are few special perks that accompany the title of Oldest Submarine in the Pacific. USS Bremerton at 37 years of service has entered the Puget Sound Naval Ship Yard and commence the decommissioning process.

Cribbage has been a tradition onboard submarines dating back to World War Two. It was used to ease tensions after particularly trying encounters. This Cribbage Board Story goes back to 1943 onboard the USS Wahoo on War Patrol in the Yellow sea. Captain Dudley “Mush” Morton challenged the Executive Officer Richard O’Kane to a game of cribbage as a way to relax after a trying day. After dinner Mush dealt O’Kane a perfect 29. This was taken as a good luck omen and resulted in a very successful patrol.  O’Kane both went on to command the USS Tang and was subsequently awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for action on the USS Tang.

The Second USS Tang presented O’Kane with a Cribbage board which still in use today. After Richard O’Kane died in 1994 his personal cribbage board was presented to the oldest SSN in the Pacific. At the time that was the USS Kamehameha (SSN-642). USS Kamehameha was the last surviving  41 for Freedom SSBN and had been converted to a drydeck carrying SSN. It was then transferred to USS Parche (SSN 683) who served over 36 years. When USS Parche was decommissioned in 2005 it then passed to USS Los Angeles (SSN-688). USS Bremerton inherited it in 2010. USS Bremerton at 37 years of commissioned service passed the cribbage board to the USS Olympia (SSN-715, when she entered PSNS in May 2018.

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