Posted by: arbeam | August 21, 2016

USS John C Stennis (CVN-074) 2016 Tiger Cruise

Stennis Rich Passage

On August 10th, nine Navy League members, plus a member’s grandson, boarded the USS John C. Stennis in San Diego for a four day Tiger Cruise to Bremerton.  The group met at the USO facility at the San Diego Airport and were bused to the ship docked at the Coronado Naval Airbase.  We cleared security and were guided to the officers wardroom were we met out host, Lt. Michelle Mayer.

Bremerton NL Tigers: Left to right: Joe Baney, Lt. Michelle Mayer, USN, (our host and tour coordinator), Kevin Nortness. Bernard Korth, Gary Simpson, Jo Nelson, Fred Nelson, Anthony “AJ” Bredberg, Robert Satterthwaite, George Cargill, and in front, Anthony Dinsmore.

Bremerton NL Tigers: Left to right: Joe Baney, Lt. Michelle Mayer, USN, (our host and tour coordinator), Kevin Nortness. Bernard Korth, Gary Simpson, Jo Nelson, Fred Nelson, Anthony “AJ” Bredberg, Robert Satterthwaite, George Cargill, and in front, Anthony Dinsmore.

All of the aircraft and the air crews had departed the ship earlier that morning so our group was assigned berthing in the pilot’s staterooms  The officer’s wardroom and the officer’s mess would be our gathering point for the trip.  We all felt the VIP treatment was very special. Needless to say, the food was great and a temptation to over indulge.

Tiger Cruise Flight Ops

Tiger Cruise Flight Ops

On Thursday the 11th we met  at 06:30 for breakfast and Lt. Mayer gave us a list of the activities for the day.  Since there were nearly 400 Tigers on board there were a lot of displays and events on the hanger deck all day.  We all chose to go up to the flight deck and watch the departure at 09:35.  At 13:00 hours the ammunition supply ship, T-AKE 6 Amelia Earhart, came along side and the aircraft munitions were transferred from the Stennis by a HH-60H Seahawk helicopter.  It took nearly four hours for the transfer of the bombs, missiles and other ordnance.  Fun to watch.

We were kept busy every day with several tours to various parts of the ship.  On Friday there was a brief airshow by three F-18 jets from Lemoore Naval Air Station.  They made several very loud close passes.

Our host, Lt. Mayer is not only a P-3 pilot but also a “Shooter” responsible for launching the aircraft as well as being responsible for the transfer and storage of all the aircraft fuel. 134 crew members report to her taking care of a million gallons of fuel.  She took our group on a special tour of the aircraft launch bubble, the arresting cable controls and down to the fuel storage control room.  Very impressive.

Stennis Enetai

On Sunday we entered the Strait of Juan de Fuca in dense fog.  Not much to see until we were near Port Townsend when the fog cleared to a beautiful sunny, warm day.  The ship was greeted from shore along the way with flag waving, fireworks and horns honking.  The sailors manned the deck at attention in their dress white uniforms.  It made us all feel very proud of our navy friends and the USS John C. Stennis.

Stennis pier

The Tiger Cruise was a great opportunity to see firsthand what it is like to live aboard and operate such a massive complex warship.  During their nearly seven month deployment, the sailors aboard John C. Stennis have the numbers to back up their hard work.  They performed more than 8,500 aircraft launches and recoveries, and conducted 30 replenishments at sea. The pilots of CVW-9 accumulated more than 19,600 flight hours.

USS Stennis Mooring at PSNS

USS Stennis Mooring at PSNS

This was a great trip for us to learn and better understand our modern U.S. Navy’s mission in such a changing world. – Fred Nelson

Posted by: arbeam | August 15, 2016

Aug 12: Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Tour

NASWI Aerial
NASWI logoOur tour began with an in depth briefing by the XO of the base. He told us that they have now replaced all the EA-6B Prowlers with EA-18 Growlers and that the P-8, which has greater capability, will be arriving in the next few weeks to replace the 50 year old P-3, which has served the nation well. Modification is being done to a 1950’s era hangar to accommodate the larger P-8.

The base employs about 10,000 people and directly contributes over 1 billion a year to the local economy. Base personnel are very involved with the community & schools. The base was started in early WW2 as a seaplane facility and now has become essential to our nation’s defense. Everywhere on the planet where US air operations are taking place has some influence & involvement with planes or personnel from NASWI.

NAS Whidbey Aircraft

NAS Whidbey Island Aircraft

Besides the fixed wing planes, they also have helicopters for search & rescue. Each year they save between 25-35 lives. They do rescues over water & mountains, too. We visited squadron administration offices, an EA-18 squadron hanger and had a demonstration of the survival gear carried on missions.

After lunch at the CPO club, we finished the day with a fascinating tour of a P-3. We were told about the various stations aboard the aircraft and the important work of each person manning it. The highlight of the day, of course, was watching from the flight line as the EA-18 Growlers practiced. They did take offs, formation flying, formation breaks and landings, to our great enjoyment.

As we saw the high quality of these people and organizations, we were reminded of how proud we can be of our armed forces and the men & women who work so very hard for our country.

NASWI Tour 081216.jpg

Capt. Eric Woelper PSNS IMAA new commanding officer took the helm of the Naval Intermediate Maintenance Facility at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Washington, Aug. 12, 2016, when Capt. Eric P. Woelper relieved Capt. James H. Jones as head of the organization.  Captain Woelper previously had command of USS  Louisiana Blue (SSBN-743)B  from February 2009 – September 2011.

A retirement ceremony was held for Jones, in conjunction with the change of command ceremony. Jones, who took command of IMF in August 2013, is retiring from the Navy after 38 years of service.

Please come and welcome the newest arrivals to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard! Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS) and the Bremerton Navy League Council are sponsoring a Welcome Aboard Ceremony at Sam Adams at 4:30-6:00 PM on Thursday Aug 11, 2016.

City of Corpus Christi Arrival

The USS City of Corpus Christi passes the Manette Bridge on the way to PSNS for decommissioning. LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN

USS Houston LogoUSS City of Corpus ChristiThe USS Houston and City of Corpus Christi have come here from Pearl Harbor for deactivation and defueling. This process lasts about a year then the crew is released and the hull is scheduled for recycling.

Posted by: arbeam | August 9, 2016

USS Bremerton Change of Command

160805-N-LY160-269 JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (August 5, 2016) Cmdr. Travis W. Zettel, left, relieves Cmdr.Wesley P. Bringham, right, during the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Bremerton (SSN 698) change of command ceremony on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lee)

160805-N-LY160-269 JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (August 5, 2016) Cmdr. Travis W. Zettel, left, relieves Cmdr.Wesley P. Bringham, right, during the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Bremerton (SSN 698) change of command ceremony on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lee)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – A change of command ceremony was held aboard the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Bremerton (SSN 698) at the submarine pier on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Aug. 5.

Cmdr. Wesley Bringham, commanding officer of Bremerton, was relieved by Cmdr. Travis Zettel.

The ceremony’s guest speaker, Capt. James P. Waters, praised Bringham for his successful performance while in command of Bremerton.

“I believe it is clear that he has proven himself through the trial by fire that is independent command at sea,” said Waters. “Wes demonstrated a rare combination of traits which ensure that when the storms come, he sees the opportunities for success and relentlessly drives to achieve them.”

Bringham said he is proud of having had the opportunity to be in command of Bremerton and its accomplished Sailors.

“I will miss this crew,” said Bringham. “They are the embodiment of what is right with our country. You can look at them and know that everything will be alright.”

During the ceremony, Capt. Tim Rexrode, commander of Submarine Squadron One, presented Cmdr. Bringham with a Meritorious Service Medal for his service as commanding officer of Bremerton from July, 2013 until Aug. 2016.

Following his tour as Bremerton’s commanding officer, Bringham will report to Submarine Squadron One as Deputy Commander in Pearl Harbor.

As Zettel assumed command of Bremerton, he expressed his pride in becoming the boat’s 15th commanding officer and commended the crew of Bringham for his successful tour.

“Becoming the 15th commanding officer of the now 35 year old ‘American classic’ is a proud moment for me and my family,” said Zettel. “Cmdr. Bringham, you have done an outstanding job leading these men over the last three years. You have truly been an effective transformational leader and you have set the bar high for everyone to follow.”

USS Bremerton is named in honor of the city of Bremerton, Washington. Commissioned on Mar. 28, 1981. Bremerton is the 10th ship of the Los Angeles-class of nuclear attack submarines. The submarine is 362-feet long, displaces 6,900 tons, and can be armed with sophisticated Mark-48 torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Battle of Midway

Wednesday Aug 17 – 6:00 to 7:30 PM McCloud’s Grill House Special Navy History Presentation

 The Japanese plan was to overwhelm and destroy the US fleet and capture Midway as an advanced base to protect it’s eastern flank. The Japanese threw almost the entire Imperial Fleet into the battle – four aircraft carriers, two light aircraft carriers, eleven battleships, thirteen cruisers, forty-five destroyers, and assorted submarines, transports and mine sweepers. Greatly outnumbered, the American defense consisted of three aircraft carriers eight cruisers, fourteen destroyers, and the aircraft stationed on Midway. A local Naval Historian describes how the US Navy used intelligence and planning to outmaneuver and destroy the enemy forces. This naval battle provided the turning point for the war in the Pacific.

Posted by: arbeam | August 6, 2016

Battle Of Midway: The Turning Point in WW II

Battle of midway

Posted by: arbeam | August 6, 2016

USS Bremerton Change of Command

Commander Wesley Bringham was relieved by Commander Travis Zettel as Commanding Officer USS Bremerton (SSN-698) on 5 August 2016 at Pearl Harbor HI. IMG_5843

Brem COC 2016

The Bremerton Olympic Peninsula Council was represented at the ceremony by Pat and Byron Faber and Pam and Bob Battin.

Bringham COC

USS Bremerton is the oldest commissioned submarine in the fleet, as such she has the honor of carrying the Dick O’Kane cribbage board. O’Kane’s lucky cribbage board has become an important submariner tradition; since WWII it has been passed along to the oldest active submarine in the United States Pacific Fleet. Once the sub is decommissioned, it is given to the next oldest submarine, where it is placed in the wardroom. As a departure gift Byron presented Wes Bringham a Bremerton Cribbage Board.

Cribbage Board

Cdr Brigham’s next assignment is on the Staff of Submarine Squadron One in Pearl Harbor.

Cdr Wesley Bringham departing.

Cdr Wesley Bringham departing.



Posted by: arbeam | July 21, 2016


MFPU Tour Jul 2016

On Friday July 15, 2016 a most fortunate group of Navy League members and guests were welcomed by commanding officer CDR Michael Schoonover to the headquarters of USCG-MFPU-BANGOR for a tour.  MFPU stands for Maritime Force Protection Unit.  The unit at Bangor is one of only two…the other being at the submarine base in Kings Bay, GA.

The USCG, now a component of the Department of Homeland Security, has statutory law enforcement authority, something not held by any of the DOD services.  Law enforcement is actually one of the USCG’s 11 Missions and is applied at Bangor by providing protective escort to SSBNs leaving for or returning from deployment.  Only SSBNs are so escorted.

The MFPU was officially established in 2007 as a result of concerns following the attack on USS Cole and the 9-11-2001 attacks.  Because the US Navy does not have law enforcement authority a unique arrangement was made with the USCG in that, while the 150 personnel in the MFPU  are members of the Coast Guard and their boats have Coast Guard paint and markings, all assets are actually owned by the Navy.  And all costs, including for personnel, are paid for by the Navy.

There are four types of boat used in SSBN escort service.  The largest is the 250′ blocking vessel.  Then there is the 87′ reaction vessel, next a 64′ large screening vessel and finally the 33′ small screening vessel (which is made by SAFE Boats in Bremerton).  Each type is used every time and is called a “package”.

At the conclusion of our informative briefing, which CDR Schoonover said would be brief…and it was…we all boarded a bus and relocated to the USCG dock on the waterfront.  After being arranged into two groups and donning life vests we boarded two of the 64′ large screening vessels for a demonstration run on Hood Canal.  The amazing maneuverability of the boat and its speed (over 30 MPH) were demonstrated.  Also shown was the .50 cal. machine gun mount computerized aiming system   Skill at video games can actually be transferred to the real world.

On a beautiful day and most gracious hosts the tour finally concluded as we needed to be through the floating security gates before 11:30 AM.  We made it.  Most of us then proceeded to one of the base galleys where we enjoyed a great lunch together.

Very sincere thanks to USCG-MFPU-BANGOR, CDR. Schoonover, his personnel, and Byron Faber, our super tour coordinator.

NBK Bangor Service Pier

NBK Bangor Service Pier

BREMERTON, Wash. – The U.S. Navy has prepared the Land-Water Interface (LWI) and Service Pier Extension (SPE) Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which is available for public review July 15 to Aug. 15.

The completion of the Final EIS follows years of research, analysis, regulatory and tribal consultations, and public involvement. The Navy held two public scoping meetings in February 2013 and two public meetings in March 2015 to provide information and receive public comments on the Draft EIS.

In the Final EIS, the Navy evaluated the potential environmental impacts from the construction and operation of new security structures and for the extension of the existing Service Pier on Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) at Bangor.

Regulations provide for a 30-day public review and wait period after the Final EIS is published before the Navy may make a decision and take action on the proposal. During this time, the public has the opportunity to see how the Navy has adjusted the document from the Draft EIS.
Comments may be submitted via mail by Aug. 15, to:

Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Northwest
Attn: Dr. Robert Senner
LWI/SPE EIS Project Manager
1101 Tautog Circle, Suite 203
Silverdale, WA 98315-1101

The Final EIS is available for public review online at and at the following public libraries:
. Bremerton (Sylvan Way)
. Port Hadlock
. Port Townsend
. Poulsbo
. Seattle Central
. Silverdale

The Final EIS includes all tribal government, agency, and public comments received during the 60-day Draft EIS public review and comment period (Feb. 13, 2015 to April 13, 2015) along with Navy responses to those comments.

The Final EIS is also being reviewed by agency and Navy leadership, including the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment, who will make the final decision regarding which alternative will be selected to accomplish the proposed action.

Proposed Actions

The Navy proposes two actions: to construct and operate new LWI security structures; extend the existing Service Pier and construct associated support facilities.

The purposes of the proposed actions are: to comply with Department of Defense (DOD) directives to protect Navy Ohio-Class (Trident) submarines from increased and evolving threats and to prevent the seizure, damage or destruction of military assets (LWI); provide additional berthing capacity and improve associated support facilities for existing homeported and visiting submarines at NBK Bangor (SPE).

These projects are independent actions, but are being analyzed in the same EIS due to efficiencies, their geographic proximity, and the potential to affect the same resources.

The project website can be found by visiting to review the Final EIS, and learn more about the projects. For additional information about regional Navy activities, please visit the Commander, Navy Region Northwest (CNRNW) website at

Naval Base Kitsap provides world-class service, programs and facilities that effectively and efficiently meet the needs of hosted war-fighting commands, tenant activities, crew and employees at several installations including Bangor, Bremerton, Keyport, Manchester and Jackson Park.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed U.S. Navy Land-Water Interface and Service Pier Extension at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, located in Silverdale, Kitsap County, Washington.

Release Date: July 15, 2016
Release Number: #25-16

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