Posted by: arbeam | June 17, 2016

Meet the New Commander, Submarine Group Nine

Rear Admiral John W. Tammen, Jr.

Commander, Submarine Group 9


Rear Adm. John Tammen is a native of Washington Township, New Jersey. He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and earned a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University.

His early sea tours include: USS Plunger (SSN 595), where he completed his division officer tour, USS Nevada (SSBN 733), where he served as engineer officer and USS Providence (SSN 719), where he served as executive officer.

Tammen’s command assignments include: commanding officer of USS Georgia (SSBN/SSGN 729) from March 2002 until December 2004 and commodore of Submarine Squadron 19 from July 2008 until July 2010.

Tammen’s shore assignments include: officer in charge of the Combat Systems Training Team on the staff of Commander, Submarine Group 5. Squadron engineer on the staff of Commander, Submarine Squadron 17. Force Nuclear Power officer for the Atlantic Submarine Force. Executive assistant to the director of Submarine Warfare Division (N77) on the OPNAV Staff. Deputy division chief for Joint Capabilities Division in the J8 Directorate of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Section head for Platforms, Payloads and Budget in the Undersea Warfare Division (N97) on the OPNAV Staff. Military assistant and chief-of-staff for the assistant secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs (OEPP), the HON Sharon Burke. Deputy director for Undersea Warfare on the OPNAV Staff.

Tammen is entitled to wear the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (four awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (five awards), and the Navy Achievement Medal (two awards).

Tomodachi Reception

On June 2, at the Consul General’s Official Residence, a Tomodachi Reception was held for U.S. Navy personnel with the shared experience of being stationed in Japan. The event was the second such reception hosted by the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle to build stronger connections between Japan and U.S. military personnel.

During the opening speeches, Consul General Masahiro Omura and Rear Admiral Jeffrey Ruth, Commander of Navy Region Northwest, spoke about the importance of the security alliance between the U.S. Navy and Japan. Washington State Senator Karen Fraser then gave a toast to furthering Japan-U.S. relations. The reception featured a musical performance by Ms. Fumi Tagata and Ms. Lisa Maria d’ Aquila, both of the Seattle-based music group Songs of Hope, a samurai armor demonstration, and a quiz game about Washington State-Japan relations.

Over 60 Navy personnel and their spouses from Navy installations in Washington were in attendance. Rick Takeuchi, Commander of the Nisei Veterans Committee, and other representatives from local community organizations, including the Japan Business Association of Seattle, the Japan-America Society, and the Japanese Community Service of Seattle, were also in attendance.
The Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle hopes that this reception provided an opportunity for Navy personnel to reflect on their service in Japan. We look forward to building and strengthening connections between the U.S. Navy and Japan through future events.

Posted by: arbeam | June 15, 2016

Please report any Drone Sightings over Military Bases

Drone UAV

National security is everyone’s concern.

Locally, residents may have heard that unauthorized Non-Traditional Airborne Technology (NTAT, more commonly known as “drones”) have been flown over Naval Base Kitsap.  This is in violation not only of base policy but against Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations as the base is a designated National Security Area.

The Navy is committed to the safety and security of our installations, equipment, personnel and surrounding neighbors so we are fully cooperating with the investigation of these incidents.  We will also be supporting the prosecution of those responsible once they have been identified.

And this is where we need your help.

If you see or hear what may be a drone flying over any Naval Base Kitsap installation – Bangor, Bremerton, Jackson Park, Keyport, Manchester or any other military facility here – please call (360) 396-4444 to report it. Information helpful to the investigation includes:
. Location (general reference point, landmark, street intersections, etc.)
. Description (approximate size, color, umber of propellers, fixed or rotary
wing, etc.)
. Direction of travel
. Information identifying the drone operator (name, physical description, make of vehicle, license plate number, etc.)

Also, if you can safely take a photo or video, we encourage you to do so.

We would also appreciate your assistance in helping to spread the word that drones may not be flown over any Naval Base Kitsap installations.  We’ve launched a marketing campaign which includes recently installed signs on our fences, regular social media posts, reader board messages, newsletters articles, emails and a host of other outreach methods but we understand that in today’s world of expanding communication options, it’s impossible for us to reach everyone on our own.

Steps you can take include:
. Sharing our Facebook posts about reporting a drone
. Asking people you know who own drones (or are considering purchasing one) if they are aware that they cannot be flown over the bases
. If your business sells drones, letting your customers know that flying on military property is not authorized
. Discussing this topic with friends and neighbors

If you have any questions or have information that could be helpful, please contact Naval Base Kitsap Public Affairs at (360) 627-4030 or or call Navy Region Northwest Public Affairs at (360) 396-1630.

Working together, we can put an end to these flights and keep all of us safe.

Posted by: arbeam | June 4, 2016

Meet the New Commanding Officer NUWC Keyport

Capt Doug LaCoste CO NUWC Keyport

Capt. Eugene (Doug) LaCoste received his commission after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1992. He completed nuclear and submarine pipeline training and reported to USS BLUEFISH (SSN 675) in December 1993. On BLUEFISH, he held division officer positions as Electrical Officer, Damage Control Assistant, and Sonar Officer while homeported in Charleston, SC, and Pearl Harbor, HI.

After completing his initial submarine tour and reporting to Commander, Destroyer Squadron Twenty Two, he conducted a deployment on USS CARON (DD 970) in 1998 as the Combined Task Force Sixty submarine liaison officer. Following ten months as a Watch Officer for the Atlantic Submarine Force, Capt. LaCoste attended the Submarine Officer Advanced Course in Groton, CT.

In December 1999, he reported as Combat Systems Officer on USS ALBANY (SSN 753) and then transferred to Navigation/Operations Officer in February 2002 on USS MINNEAPOLIS SAINT PAUL (SSN 708), both homeported in Norfolk, VA.

While stationed in Ft. Leavenworth, KS from July 2003 to June 2004, he graduated from the US Army Command and General Staff College, and also completed a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University. Capt. LaCoste then reported as Executive Officer on USS CHARLOTTE (SSN 766) in Pearl Harbor, HI. Following his XO tour, he was assigned to the Joint Staff in the J-5 directorate working security assistance plans and policy.

Completing the Naval Reactors and submarine Prospective Commanding Officer courses, Capt. LaCoste was assigned as Deputy Commander of Submarine Squadron Six in Norfolk, VA, and then commanded the Naval Submarine Torpedo Facility in Yorktown, VA from July 2011 to June 2013.

He next reported to the Washington Navy Yard as an Assistant Program Manager for Undersea Weapons (PMS 404), and managed all in-service aspects of the US Navy undersea weapons program starting in July 2013. In April 2016, Capt. LaCoste assumed the role of commanding officer at Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Keyport.

His awards include the Defense Meritorious Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), and various other personal, campaign, and unit awards.


Posted by: arbeam | June 2, 2016

NUWC Keyport Change of Command

NUWC Keyport Change of Command

NUWC Keyport LogoKeyport, Wash. – On Friday, April 29, 2016, Captain Doug LaCoste took command of Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division (NUWC), Keyport.  He replaced Commander Dustin Demorest, who served as Interim Commanding Officer since March and will continue serving as Executive Officer.

Captain Francis Spencer became the commanding officer at NUWC Keyport in May 2015, and just a few months later was asked to take the helm of the newly-formed Naval Surface Warfare Center Division, Philadelphia.  “I believe strongly that for a Naval officer, the mission and the needs of the Navy must come first,” he said. “Keyport is a fantastic place that I was honored to lead, but when I was asked if I’d be willing to take Command at Philadelphia, I said yes.”

Spencer said that he was excited for the challenge of leading NSWCPD, but would miss the “friendliness, teamwork, sense of community, and strong dedication to the Navy and the Submarine Force” exhibited by the Keyport workforce.

In April 2016, Executive Officer, Commander Demorest, assumed the interim role until LaCoste was in place. “This is a great command,” he said. “The team knows what needs to get done and they make that happen.”

LaCoste is a career submarine officer whose previous assignments included service on the Joint Staff, and management of all in-service aspects of the US Navy undersea weapons program. As commanding officer, Captain LaCoste is the senior military member of NUWC Keyport and is responsible for all aspects of the organization’s climate and operations.

“NUWC Keyport has a strong, positive reputation in the naval community and with our customers.  I look forward to working closely with the workforce and enhancing our support of the Fleet,” said LaCoste.

NUWC Keyport has provided technical capabilities that support America’s dominance in the undersea domain for over 100 years. NUWC Keyport is headquartered in Washington State, and has facilities and operations in California, Guam, Hawaii, British Columbia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, and personnel working in several other states and countries.

Posted by: arbeam | May 31, 2016

May 29: Military Spouse Appreciation Night

Kitsap Mall

On Sunday, May 29th 2016, Swarner Communications & the Northwest Military publication held their 2016 Kitsap County Military Ladies Party at the Kitsap Mall.

It was a rainy day outside but approximately 250 military spouses showed up at the event for free activities, pampering, music, food and drawings. The Bremerton Olympic Peninsula Council of the Navy League attended as a vendor to inform the women that as spouses of an active sea service member they can join to promote and support our Navy, Marines and Coast Guards here in Kitsap County.

The event was a big success we got 2 new members for our Council & at least 4 others that seemed very interested.

Posted by: arbeam | May 27, 2016

May 23: USS Turner Joy (DD-951) Tour

USS turner-joy_145

The Bremerton Historic Ships Association graciously welcomed 13 Navy Leaguers and guests aboard the museum ship and US Navy Memorial USS Turner Joy (DD-951) on Monday, May 23, 2016.  We were set up into two groups, each escorted by a ship’s docent.

The Turner Joy, named after a famed admiral, was built in Seattle and was launched on 5 May 1958.  The last of the Forrest Sherman class, the ship is 418 feet in length and can attain a speed of 32+ knots.  Turner Joy was decommissioned in 1982 and has been a museum ship serving as a Navy Memorial since 1990.

Our tour began at the torpedo launchers where the various torpedo types and uses were discussed.  Adjacent is the replenishment station where ship to ship underway replenishment took place.  The first thing sent across was always mail, followed by movies.  Everything else then followed, with a priority for TP.

Turner Joy BridgeWe visited the CO and XO staterooms and then the bridge where underway operations and chain of command were discussed.  After looking into the adjacent Combat Information Center through the necessary plexiglass shield we were able to actually enter the space through another hatch.  It Turner Joy7was here that part of the famed Tonkin Gulf Incident played out on 2 AUG 1964 when USS Maddox and Turner Joy noted possible enemy contacts and fired on them.  Later analysis suggests that what was seen was “sea return” rather than actual contacts.  It is likely to always be a mystery.

The maximum ship’s company is 320 but Turner Joy usually carried more in the range of 270 personnel.  From the ward room we move on the forecastle on the forward deck where 5” gun operations were discussed and then checked out the officer’s quarters and sonar, where search is conducted for submarines and when contact is made torpedoes are (as necessary) launched.   The chiefs’ quarters followed and the E-6 mess deck and chiefs’ mess.

140803-N-OO032-008 BREMERTON (Aug. 20, 2014) Navy Region Northwest chief selectees paint USS Turner Joy gun mounts while participating in the USS Turner Joy Chief Petty Officer Legacy Academy. The academy entails living aboard the Vietnam-era destroyer for six days while participating in community relation projects, ship preservation, leadership training, reenactments of Vietnam-era operations and heritage projects relating to the U.S. Navy and its Chief's Mess. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cory Asato/Released)

Of interest is that Turner Joy still serves the active duty Navy as a location for the Legacy Academy for newly promoted chiefs.  Promotion ceremonies are also held aboard ship and volunteers from the local area active duty Navy perform community service by helping with maintenance aboard Turner Joy.  Scout and other groups can arrange overnights aboard, as well.

In the engineering space we inspected the now cold boilers which once provided 975 degree steam at 1200 pound pressure for the turbines which drove the ship.

Although there was much more we did not see, time ran out and our great tour had to conclude.  There is much information about the ship posted in many places and a return visit for personal touring is strongly recommended.  Turner Joy is also an excellent destination for a visit when entertaining guests from out of town.  A major dry docking for hull inspection and preservation is tentatively planned for next year, but more funds need to be collected for that purpose.  A fund raising program is underway.

Sincere appreciation to our hosts and to Byron Faber for arranging the tour. Norman Marten


Posted by: arbeam | May 27, 2016

PCU Washington (SSN-787) Adoption Ceremony

CO (CDR Jason Schneider), STS1 Maynard, Pat & Byron Faber, COB (ITSCM Burchette), ETN1 Fernald, EM1 Benzschawel

PCU Washington (SSN-787) CO (CDR Jason Schneider), STS1 Maynard, Pat & Byron Faber, COB (ITSCM Burchette), ETN1 Fernald, EM1 Benzschawel

On May 2, 2016 Byron and Pat Faber of the Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula
Council of Navy League, representing the Washington NL councils, met with
CDR Jason Schneider, CO of the USS Washington (787), LCDR Brian Rhoades XO, and the crew at a conference room at the shipyard where the boat is well along in stage of construction. PCU Washington was formally adopted by the Bremerton Navy League Council.  The articles of adoption were read to the crew.

STS1 Maynard

Their Sailor of the Year, STS1 Maynard was presented with the eagle statue
from our Council by Dr. Faber. STS1 Maynard is the go-to guy for many tasks
on the boat. He often volunteers for extra duties and they always know that
whatever it is, it will be well done. He expressed great pleasure at
receiving this award from Navy League.

Byron then addressed the crew regarding what it means for our Councils to
adopt them and how proud we are for the association. With less than 1% of
Americans serving in the armed forces, they are already in the status of
elite warriors. We mentioned our sincere desire for them to be able to make
a port call at Bremerton on their way to their future home port at Pearl
Harbor. We assured them of a warm welcome!

Adoption Dinner

That evening the Fabers had dinner with the Schneiders (Jason and Bonnie)
and the Rhoades (Brian and Cortney) at one of Newport’s fine restaurants.
These are delightful people and a great association for our Councils.

Posted by: arbeam | May 27, 2016

May 26: Tolling of the Boats NBK Bangor

Tolling of the Boats

BANGOR, Wash. (NNS) — Sailors, veterans and civilians attended the “Tolling the Boats” ceremony hosted by Commander, Submarine Group Nine at Deterrent Park at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, May 26.

Originally established by the U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II, the memorial ceremony honors the submariners who lost their lives in the line of duty. During the ceremony, the names of each of the U.S. submarines lost, along with the fate of its crew, are read aloud as a ship’s bell is tolled.

“We are here today to honor our veterans, to remember their courage and dedication, and to say thank you for those that gave the ultimate sacrifice,” said Cmdr. Paul Reinhardt, commanding officer, USS Alabama (SSBN 731) blue crew. “Tolling of the Boats reminds us of the debt of gratitude we owe to both our departed shipmates and submariners today, who defend our country, while serving silently under the sea.”

The U.S. submarine force suffered the highest percentage of losses of any branch of the armed forces during World War II.

Retired Master Chief Electronics Technician Richard L. Litscher, a member of United States Submarine Veterans, attended the ceremony. “Our credo is built on those who went before us,” Litscher said. “Our purpose is to perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of their duties while serving their country. That their dedication, deeds and supreme sacrifice be a constant source of motivation toward greater accomplishments.” Litscher graduated from boot camp in 1958 and retired after 20 years in the United States Navy. He served onboard multiple submarines including USS Trumpetfish (SS-425).

At the end of the ceremony, the names of the 52 submarines lost during World War II, along with the fate of its crew were read by retired Capt. Bill Rothert and Electronics Technician (Navigation) 1st Class Gerardo Hernandez. Rothert served on five submarines while on active duty from 1961 to 1985. Hernandez recently transferred from USS Texas (SSN-775) and is currently serving as an instructor at the Trident Training Facility in Bangor, Washington.

The “Tolling the Boats” ceremony has been held on Memorial Day weekend since 1977.

Navy news article by Amanda Gray


JackJames lgOur June 14 Luncheon Speaker Jack James Director of the USS Turner Joy (DD-951) US Naval Destroyer Museum on the Bremerton Waterfront.

USS Turner Joy (DD-951) was the last ship in the Forrest Sherman – class of destroyers. Her keel was laid down on Sept 30, 1957 in Seattle, Washington by the Puget Sound Bridge & Dredging Company, was commissioned on Aug 3, 1959. Turner Joy is credited with firing the first shots of the Vietnam War in the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. She is also credited with firing the last naval gunfire shots of the war. Turner Joy (DD-951) was decommissioned in November 1982, and was selected as a U.S. Navy memorial in November 1988.

Jack graduated from Bremerton’s West High School. He was a U.S. Naval Sea Cadet with the Yorktown Division in Bremerton. He enlisted in the Navy in 1972 and graduated from the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in February 1973. Jack was commissioned in 1981, and has a Masters Degree in Strategic Intelligence. Jack retired in 2007 after 35 years with the SEAL Teams.

In addition to his work as the Director of the Turner Joy (DD-951), he serves as a Seal Team Legacy Recruiter. He is very active in youth programs serving as the Bremerton Navy League Director of Youth Programs. He works with our NJROTC units, Sea Cadets, Boy Scouts and the YMCA.

The Bremerton Historic Ships Association is in the process of raising funds to cover the required 10 year drydocking for hull preservation scheduled for next year.

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

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

Registration: Please call Evergreen Transfer & Storage at 360 674-2762 for your lunch registration. Please call before June 7.

  •  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.

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