Posted by: arbeam | August 10, 2018

Jul 25: Canoe Journey 2018 Paddle to Puyallup

The Salish Sea Native American tribes have a local custom of getting together on a periodic basis to affirm their traditions and culture. The annual expedition, which began more than 25 years ago, involves tribes from the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Canada, which travel to new tribal locations to pick up additional canoes until they all land in their final destination. The event is coordinated to provide a personal journey towards healing and recovery of culture, tradition, and spirituality.


During this year’s Canoe Journey 2018 – Paddle to Puyallup, one hundred canoes were expected to land on the shores of the small village of Suquamish on the ceremonial canoe journey. The canoes arrived on the morning of July 25th and departed on July 26th. It was a truly beautiful sight very colorful, a page out of the history books of Puget Sound. Many branches of the military stationed in this region volunteered to lift the canoes out of the sea on the 25 July before the blessing of the meal; I believe the Suquamish tribe fed an extravagant seafood dinner to more than seven thousand people, a truly extraordinary accomplishment.  The young service men and women also put the canoes back in the ocean on the morning of July 26th to continue on their journey to Puyallup.

Naval Base Kitsap provided the manpower to lift the 1000-1200lb canoes from the sea to protect them for the night. The Sailors and Marines came from many commands (NBK Kitsap, Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific, the Marine Corps Security Force Battalion Marines and Sailors, USS Bremerton and the US Coast Guard Maritime Force Protection Unit. My guess was that there were over 125 service personnel who gave of their own time volunteering.  On behalf of the tribes and myself I want to offer sincere thanks to all of those tribal staff family members, even children, whom I know contributed and anyone who contributed to the success of this fabulous journey back in time. I had the pleasure of helping in a small way with many longtime friends in the Suquamish Tribe. Sincere thanks for the learning experience, Respectfully Helen Miller.


Photos by: PatTom Wilson, Wallace Nagedzi Dzamgwal Watts


Posted by: arbeam | August 10, 2018

Jul 25: USCG Tour Port Angeles

Eleven Navy Leaguers traveled to Port Angeles July 25 to tour the Air Station / Sector Field Office and the Coast Guard Cutter, Active.  LCDR George Hall gave us the history of the air station, the oldest on the Pacific coast. He described their mission and the arrival of the first cutter there in 1862, followed by the building of a lighthouse in 1865. The air station was established for its strategic location in 1935.

LT Kevan Stoeckler showed us one of their three MH-65 Dolphin helicopters and discussed the many roles they play in law enforcement, search and rescue and drug interdiction. LCDR Hall then gave of a tour of their HQ building and wardroom.

We then walked to the piers and were met by Ens. Skye Jensen and CG Academy Cadet Third Class, Jacob Cheeseman.  They showed us their cutters and boats and then introduced CDR Chris German, commanding officer of Active, a 210-foot medium endurance cutter, built in 1965. We had a thorough tour of the ship, learning of their long deployments above the arctic circle and their recent drug seizures and arrests off Central America.  We were treated to lunch on Active’s mess deck, thanked our hosts and wished them success.  It was a perfect day, all conducted with a scenic backdrop of Port Angeles, its harbor and the Olympics.

Patrick Noonan

In Virginia Beach, VA at AFCEA East in 2010. I spoke regularly at DON CIO Conferences east and west every year.

I Work with Leaders to Develop Programs Designed to Build a More Successful and Resilient Military Community.

When I graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 1997 with a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology, no one, and I mean NO ONE, could have predicted the life that lay ahead of me. I had already decided against pursuing a PhD in Anthropology for the time being after a trip to New York revealed that Brancusi’s “Bird In Space”, which I’d thought to be the size of an Emmy Award thanks to a small photograph in an art history text book, was instead a huge sculpture (a series of sculptures if I’m to be accurate.) I decided in that moment that I wanted to experience the world, not read about it.

The office manager job I got immediately following my post graduation summer gig suddenly required me to learn how to make a “web page” and they promptly sent me to UCSB Extension to learn how to be a Webmaster and use Adobe Photoshop. Netscape Communicator became my jam (EEESH). This Internet thing was starting to get BIG and I had fun learning how to design and code (as wretched as my first designs may have been.) Soon, I was consulting for small businesses, non-profits, and individuals, creating much better websites and, after learning how to do more complex programming beyond HMTL and Javascript, I became a professional Web Developer.

ME. The woman who wanted to follow my professor, Napoleon Chagnon, into South America JUST to see the Yanomamo with my own eyes. ME. The woman who HATED math. ME. Once a kid who was told I should stick to writing and forget about pursuing sciences because I was better at the former. THAT woman suddenly was a no kidding “woman in tech”. That was 20 years ago when the tech space was still largely a lonely and frustrating place to be for women, from my perspective. Still, I did everything I could to excel in my profession, advance my career, and become “successful”. And to some extent, my LinkedIn profile will tell you that I did.

Fast forward many years to a few weeks ago when I volunteered my advice for a book written for women in the first year of their career in tech. I was thrilled to be a part of it, but it also made me think, “SERIOUSLY? Why are we STILL having to encourage women and girls to consider technology careers? Why do we STILL have that ridiculous gender gap?” I don’t mean this as a slight to the strides that have been made for and by women in the tech industry over these last two decades at all. It’s a line of questioning that has made me ask myself, “Have I done enough to encourage women to get into this field? Have I shared the stories of fight, defeat, and victory in a way that inspires and lifts today’s women, particularly military spouses, and inspires them to continue to fight that good fight?” The answer I feel, sadly, is no.

In some ways, my new position at Microsoft will allow me to connect with women who are considering technology as a profession, but I’ve decided I want to do more. In addition to advocating for military spouses here, I want to advocate for women to consider careers in technology – not for equality’s sake but for QUALITY’S SAKE. Women make teams SMARTER as Wooley and Malone discovered in their research. So, weaved between the Top 5 Lists, Inspiring Quotes, and How-To videos in the works, I also plan to share a few of those personal stories from my life in technology for women considering (or even dismissing) it as a profession.

I’m a social scientist through and through, but technology is what I built my career with and on and I want to empower women to do the same – particularly female military spouses looking for work that is MEANINGFUL, rewarding, and profitable. I’m not here simply to say we need more women in tech. We need diversity of ideas, backgrounds, EQs, IQs, and experiences in the technical work force as we expand cloud architecture and make advances in AI, deep learning, and data analytics. For me that means, women, we need YOU.

If you’re a woman considering a career in technology, I’d love to speak with you! You can schedule a phone call on my calendar in just a few moments here: There is no ask on my part at all. I’m simply here to share my experiences and encourage you through yours.

Posted by: arbeam | August 7, 2018

Jul 13: USS Buffalo (SSN-715) Inactivation Ceremony

KEYPORT, Wash. (July 13, 2018) Sailors assigned to Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Buffalo (SSN 715), fold the boat’s national ensign during an inactivation ceremony at Keyport Undersea Museum. Buffalo was commissioned November 5, 1983, and is the third United States Ship to bear the proud name of Buffalo. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amanda R. Gray/Released)

It was a real privilege to be invited to attend this ceremony, by Captain Paul J Lee at the Keyport Naval Undersea Museum on the morning of 16 July 2018.  We learned the history of the USS Buffalo and this ceremony today went through the motions of decommissioning.  The ship’s colors and commissioning pennant are hauled down, the watches are secured, and the bell is rung for the last time.  This solemn ceremony of final customs and courtesies is a dedication to the successes of the ship and the crew.  Many past Commanding Officers  attended the ceremony. Rear Admiral (Ret) Robert Hennigan, Commodore Michael Lewis, Captain Richard Seif and the current Commanding Officer Commander Paul J  Lee spoke. The reception was held in the lobby of the Keyport museum. Captain Lee gave me a surprise, a wonderful remembrance of his USS Buffalo. real treasures, a small bottle of oil with shavings from the SSN-715 hull, a challenge coin, a key chain and a card. Sincere thanks and appreciation to the captain and crew for their many years of service to god and country. Respectfully Helen Miller

KEYPORT, Wash. (July 13, 2018) Retired Rear Adm. Robert Hennegan, Buffalo’s 7th commanding officer, delivers remarks during the inactivation ceremony for the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Buffalo (SSN 715) held at the Keyport Undersea Museum. Buffalo was commissioned November 5, 1983, and is the third United States Ship to bear the proud name of Buffalo. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amanda R. Gray/Released)



Posted by: arbeam | July 28, 2018

Jul 12: NL our of Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific

On July 12th, the Bremerton Olympic Peninsula Council of the Navy League toured the Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC).  Navy Leaguers met at The Keyport Museum to board the tour bus, get badges for the tour and receive the initial briefing by the SWFPAC PAO Brandie Klaasen.

Upon arrival at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, we proceeded to Missile Assembly Building #3 (MAB-3).  Due to building personnel limits, the tour group was divided into two groups.  One group toured MAB-3 while the other had an opportunity to tour Marine Corps Security Force Battalion armored vehicles staged in the parking lot and talk with members of the battalion.

During the MAB-3 tour, a safety brief was provided by Lockheed Martin personnel, the Navy prime contractor for missile body operations at SWFPAC.  An animated film was shown that depicted the D-5 missile flight sequence from launch from a submerged submarine, powered flight through first, second and third stages, post boost control operations including updating the onboard computer through a star sighting, payload release, and reentry.

The group was then provided an overview of SWFPAC D-5 missile production, the buildings/areas utilized in each step of missile assembly, and outload to an Ohio class SSBN.  Lockheed Martin personnel toured the Navy Leaguers through MAB-3 describing the various stages of missile processing in the building. This tour was a rare opportunity to experience the complexity of missile production and observe the safe and exacting procedures used to ensure reliable D-5 missiles are provided to the Pacific Fleet.

David Ellingson

On July 12, 2018 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.

Contributed by Gary Nystul

In honor of the US Coast Guard’s establishment on August 4th, 1790 our August luncheon speaker will be Captain Brendan C McPherson, Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard 13th District.

The Coast Guard 13th District comprises the Pacific Northwest and is the gateway to the North Pacific and Alaska. District 13’s Area of Responsibility encompasses four states and the entire Pacific Northwest coast. We also share a border with Canada to the north and California to the south.

Captain McPherson is a New Jersey native and a graduate of the US Coast Guard Academy. He has served on 6 Coast Guard Cutters including the three he commanded, and served on a number of staffs.

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 by Aug 7.

  • 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 | July 23, 2018

President’s Corner

The dog days of summer! As I write this its 92 degrees outside, which is hot for our region. We had a good turnout for our July luncheon, where Mr. Jake Delaney gave us insight into the planning for the Columbia Class submarine program, which will replace our aging Ohio class submarine fleet. Several people attending the luncheon commented on how long it takes to develop a new submarine, but any of you that have joined us on our submarine tours, know how complex a submarine is, and its mind bogging that it can even be accomplished at all! Add to that all the required reviews and testing and you end up with a very long development schedule.

We have had several people join as new members in the last month and also have a new community affiliate, Bremerton Historic Ships Association. Well done to those who have recruited the new members.

The US Coast Guard was established on August 4th, 1790. In honor of the August Anniversary (or Birthday), next month’s luncheon will honor the Coast Guard. We have invited Capt Brendan McPherson, Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard 13th District to be our luncheon speaker. I look forward to an entertaining and informative presentation about the US Coast Guard and the 13th district. For those who may not know, the 13th district includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

I hope to see you at the luncheon.

USS Turner Joy Executive Director Charles Birdsell accepts Bremerton Navy League Community Affiliate plaque at the July Navy League Luncheon.


Please welcome our newest Community Affiliate, the Bremerton Historic Ship Association. They maintain and operate the USS Turner Joy (DD-951) US Naval Destroyer Museum on the Bremerton Waterfront. In addition to museum activities they play an active role in our community. The Turner Joy is partnered with the US Naval Academy to provide Science Technology and Mate (STEM) activities to local area students. They also host US Navy training and indoctrination activities for new Chief Petty Officers. In addition the Turner Joy has rooms dedicated to a discussion of Vietnamese Prisoner of War issues.

USS Turner Joy DD 951 was the last ship in the FORREST SHERMAN – class of destroyers and the first ship in the Navy to bear the name. 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.

At about 8PM local time on Aug 4th1964, USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy were patrolling in the Tonkin gulf off Vietnam. In rough weather and heavy seas, both Maddox and Turner Joy, based on radar and sonar contacts, reported a number of what appeared to be small, high-speed surface craft approaching, but at extreme range. By nightfall, radar and sonar plots suggested that North Vietnamese small craft were converging on the two American warships from the west and south. Turner Joy reported that she sighted one or two torpedo wakes. Over the next three and a half hours, Maddox, Turner Joy, and planes from Ticonderoga fired at the suspected hostile craft and reported that at least two were sunk by direct hits and another two severely damaged, and that the remaining boats retired rapidly to the north. This “Tonkin Gulf Incident” was the proximate cause for the US to enter the Vietnam War. The Turner Joy is also credited with providing the final Naval Gun fire support at the end of the war.

Turner Joy was decommissioned in November 1982, but was selected as a U.S. Navy memorial in November 1988. Now moored on the Bremerton Boardwalk, she has kept the same look and feel since her launching May 5, 1958, through the work of the ship’s staff and volunteers.




William “Jake” Delaney is our July speaker. In a significant departure from the June speaker, our Lt Governor, we have the Columbia Class Submarine (formerly known as the Ohio Replacement) Program Representative – Bangor. Mr Delaney is a retired Master Chief, now working for General Dynamics Electric Boat Corporation primarily factoring in Trident Class Maintenance experience into Columbia Class SSBN planning.

The Columbia-class submarine is being designed to replace the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, that will be decommissioned, one per year, beginning in 2027. The Columbia-class will incrementally take over the role of submarine presence in the United States’ strategic nuclear force.

Our social hour will begin 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 as soon as possible. Next Week’s Fourth of July holiday  necessitates that the access list be submitted on Monday July 2. 

  • 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.




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