Posted by: arbeam | April 20, 2015

U.S.S. Kentucky A Milestone For Submarine Force


Thursday, April 16 marked an important milestone for the Navy and especially the ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) force here in Kitsap County. After 40 months at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility for an engineered refueling overhaul, USS Kentucky completed sea trials and returned to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, which will be her home base as she completes the remaining steps to return to strategic service.

Completing weeklong post-overhaul sea trials is the first time the ship has been in “open water” since it entered the shipyard in January 2012. During the sea trials, the crew and a large contingent of civilians from the shipyard put the ship through its paces and tested systems to ensure they perform to standards.

USS Kentucky is one of eight Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines here in Bangor. Though the details of their mission are veiled in secrecy for many who live here, getting the ship back helps our nation’s defense by greatly enhancing the strategic deterrent capability that “Team Bangor” and the Navy provides.

The maintenance and modernization conducted during Kentucky’s overhaul enhance her longevity and availability for operations anywhere in the world. This success required a dedicated effort by every man and woman, military and civilian, who either worked onboard Kentucky or supported her overhaul.

We’ve met these goal thanks to the gracious support received from our families and the local community here in Kitsap County. Going forward, I know that the professional civilian and military workforce here in Kitsap County will continue to maintain our ships and get them back to sea as planned. This is especially critical as our Ohio-class SSBNs begin to pass their original 30 years of anticipated service, which has been extended to 42 years until the Ohio-class replacement SSBNs come on line.

Thank you Kentucky, PSNS & IMF, Kitsap County, and all those who support your sailors and ships.

Rear Adm. Dave Kriete, Commander, Submarine Group 9


Two 2014 Naval Intermediate Maintenance Facility Pacific Northwest Sailors of the Year (SOYs) were recognized by the Navy League of the United States Bremerton/Olympic Peninsula Council during a recent luncheon. Shown left to right: Council Vice President, Kevin Torcolini; Junior SOY, ND2 Nelson Oelker; Command Master Chief, CMDCM(SS) Paul Coffin; and SOY, ND1(DSWS) Jeremy Kilchenstein.

Two 2014 Naval Intermediate Maintenance Facility Pacific Northwest Sailors of the Year (SOYs) were recognized by the Navy League of the United States Bremerton/Olympic Peninsula Council during a recent luncheon. Shown left to right: Council Vice President, Kevin Torcolini; Junior SOY, ND2 Nelson Oelker; Command Master Chief, CMDCM(SS) Paul Coffin; and SOY, ND1(DSWS) Jeremy Kilchenstein.

Silverdale, Washington. Two 2014 Naval Intermediate Maintenance Facility (NAVIMFAC) Pacific Northwest (PACNORWEST) Sailors of the Year (SOYs) were recognized by the Navy League of the United States (NLUS) Bremerton/Olympic Peninsula Council during a packed April 14th luncheon held at the Bangor Plaza on Naval Station Kitsap–Bangor. The luncheon was held jointly with the Pacific Northwest Council of the Naval Submarine League, and had over 85 members of both organizations in attendance. One of the missions of the NLUS is to support the men and women of the sea services and their families.

Each awardee was presented a soaring eagle statuette engraved with their names by Council Vice President, Kevin Torcolini. Senior Navy leaders from NAVIMFAC PACNORWEST were present to honor the 2014 stand-outs for their hard work and individual efforts, including the facility’s Commanding Officer, Captain James Jones, and Captain Stephen Williamson, Commander, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF), who was also the guest speaker.

Adding extra excitement to the luncheon, Read Admiral (select) Williamson found-out just before the official program began that he had been chosen for his first star. The two hosting organizations were among the first to congratulate him on his selection to flag rank. According to their web site, PSNS & IMF is focused on providing customers with quality, timely and cost efficient maintenance, modernization, and technical and logistics support. They have sites in Bremerton, Bangor, Everett, San Diego, Boston, Japan and wherever its workers travel to repair ships. The main Bremerton, WA shipyard site is the Pacific Northwest’s largest Naval shore facility and one of Washington State’s largest industrial installations. NAVIMFAC PACNORWEST, first known as TRIDENT Refit Facility (TRF), Bangor, was established on July 31, 1981 as the primary maintenance facility for the Pacific TRIDENT Submarine Fleet. In 1998, TRF consolidated with Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activities (SIMAs) at Everett and Bremerton to become NAVIMFAC PACNORWEST.

The 2014 IMF SOY is Navy Diver First Class (Diving Salvage Warfare Specialist (DSWS)) Jeremy Kilchenstein, from Baltimore, MD. According to his citation, ND1(DSWS) Kilchenstein’s extensive diving knowledge, leadership abilities, and complete commitment to excellence make him a highly valued member of NAVIMFAC PACNORWEST. He led 19 people in the completion of the Naval Sea Systems Command 2014 Diving Operational Readiness Assessment, which resulted in above average scores. As Production Officer, he was responsible for the management, scheduling and execution of 183 critical jobs on eight Trident Class submarines, plus regional diving missions in support of the Army Corps of Engineers, Naval Intermediate Maintenance Facility, and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command.

NAVIMFAC PACNORWEST Command Master Chief, CMDCM(SS) Paul Coffin, pointed out that both the 2014 SOY and Junior SOY are Navy divers. “It speaks volumes for what they do out there for the Command and the ships. Both of them set the standard in the examples of what to do.” “Young Petty Oficer Kilchenstein runs the Dive Locker. When I call over there trying to get hold of the Department Chief [Petty Officer], I get him instead. He kicks the Chief out of the shop and runs it with little supervision as the go-to guy whenever we need anything. He also sets the example in physical fitness; he is an avid mountaineer and is willing to take-aboard anyone who is willing to try it.” Kilchenstein later thanked the crowd for the recognition, “I seldom get to do anything like this and I’m very thankful for the opportunity. It’s an honor to be up here.”

The Junior SOY is Navy Diver Second Class Nelson Oelker, from Aurora, IL. According to his citation, ND2 Oelker accrued 85 hours of bottom time while performing critical repairs to eight Trident Class submarines. He expertly managed the Dive Locker’s inventory of critical diver life support equipment valued at $300,000, which resulted in above average scores and no discrepancies found during the 2014 Naval Sea Systems Command Diving Operational Readiness Assessment.

As a key diver for a special project at the Dalles Hydroelectric Dam, he utilized Broco® underwater cutting techniques to remove derelict sensory equipment from the dam powerhouse. His efforts saved the Army Corps of Engineers $10,000 in contractor costs.

Coffin further praised Oelker by emphasizing, “This is Petty Officer Oelker’s first command in the Navy, and has only been in the Navy for three and one-half years. He has already qualified everything he can qualify, and set the track record for the time it took him to complete them. He will leave us soon and transfer to the East Coast to teach at Submarine School, training the next generation of superstars.” Oelker was quick to recognize his leadership for the mentorship. “I just want to thank them for showing me the right way to get things done and how to be a good member of the team.”

The U.S. Navy established SOY and JSOY programs to recognize superior performance of petty officers with emphasis on outstanding achievements, exemplary personal conduct and military bearing, and demonstrated initiative in performance. The recognition program starts at the unit level (ship, shore command, aviation squadron, etc.). Each winner then competes at the next higher organizational level until one Navy-wide SOY is selected for each of four areas: Pacific Fleet, Atlantic Fleet, Reserve Force, and Shore Support Commands.

Posted by: arbeam | April 14, 2015

Tour of Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific

It was March 25th, 2015, a cold, windy, rainy day when thirty plus dedicated Navy League members gathered in the parking lot of the Naval Undersea Museum Keyport to attend a special tour of SWFPAC on Naval Base Kitsap Bangor.  Our tour guide, Danise Barnes from SWFPAC, had us board the Navy bus and checked us in to view SWFPAC, the best-of-its-kind facility dedicated to the safety, security, readiness, and reliability of every TRIDENT II D5 missile produced and issued to allow our submarine fleet to maintain our nation’s strategic deterrent capability.

Enroute to SWFPAC we stopped by SWFPAC Headquarters and picked up the Commanding Officer, Captain Mike Baretela, who led us on the tour.

Adoption+Certificate+PresentationWe arrived at the SWFPAC conference room where we were all seated and our Navy League Treasurer, Dave Ellingson, presented Captain Baretela and Master Chief Mitch Erhardt with a certificate stating that our Navy League Council has adopted SWFPAC. Captain Baretela stated that he and SWFPAC were very proud and happy to be part of our Navy League family. MCSFBN1

We then adjourned to the parking lot where the Marine Corps Security Force Battalion Bangor had put on a display of two of their armored vehicles.  Security for SWFPAC and the Bangor waterfront is provided by Marine Corps Security Force Battalion. The service, commitment and professionalism of this guard force make them an essential member of “Team SWFPAC.”


Our group then was transported to the newest missile assembly building at Bangor where the Navy and contractors from Lockheed Martin perform missile construction and refurbishment. This is one of only two locations in the country capable of this task. They were working on two missiles inside, actually missile simulators as they were checking out new equipment and installation procedures on inert shapes without ordnance.   If they were working on actual missiles we wouldn’t have been allowed to enter the facility.  The missiles, weighing over140,000 lbs each, were sitting on metal pallets.  When the workers want to move them, the pallets are filled with compressed air which raises the missile a fraction of an inch from the ground and these huge, heavy, missiles sections can be moved around the facility by hand.  Everything about this missile and the handling of it is amazing.  It’s interesting to note that there have been 157 test firing of these massive rockets over the years, and 155 of the firings were an absolute success.  A great record when you consider how many parts have to work together and at the right time.

We then moved to the Explosives Handling Wharf (EHW). At this location, the Wharf Officer explained how the EHW allows the missiles to be removed or loaded on the SSBN’s at this facility.  The EHW is a large covered area over the water where workers can load or unload the missiles from the submarine in a weather protected atmosphere. We also got a chance to see the new Explosives Handling Wharf #2 under construction next to the current EHW.  This $750M dollar project is coming in under budget, and with great care for the local environment. When it is completed it will allow for greater flexibility in future operations, as the current facility is almost continuously in use.

This tour was arranged by Navy League member and tour organizer Byron Faber.  We are very grateful to Captain Baretela for the opportunity to tour this vital facility and view this complex activity up close. Another great tour with the Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Navy League Council – George Rose

ZwolferOur May 12  Luncheon Speaker  will be Captain Thomas Zwolfer, Commanding Officer Naval Base Kitsap

NBK provides services to several major afloat commands including a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and three types of active submarines; assists numerous tenant shore commands to include Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division-Keyport, Fleet and Industrial Supply Center-Puget Sound and Strategic Weapons Facility-Pacific.

Captain Thomas Zwolfer graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Naval Architecture. He subsequently earned a Masters in Business Administration from Chaminade University . In December 2005 Captain Zwolfer relieved as Commanding Officer of USS BREMERTON (SSN 698). Following his command tour he reported to the staff of the Secretary of the Navy in July 2008 where he served as the Assessment Division Director within the Office of Program Appraisal. Captain Zwolfer’s most recent assignment was as the Strategic Programs Branch Head within Undersea Warfare Division on the Navy Staff.

Our social hour will begin at 11 am; opening will be at 11:45 followed by lunch. Location is the Bangor Conference Center, Trident Ballroom, NBK, Bangor.

Registration! Please call Evergreen Transfer & Storage at 360 674-2762 for your lunch registration.
Please call at your earliest convenience.
Cut off for reservations is May 5
Members with out base access; processing time takes 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 of the Bremerton/Olympic Peninsula Council of the Navy League of the United States who volunteered as judges for the 2015 Washington State Science and Engineering Fair gather for a group photo. Back left to right: Jerry Logan. Mike Sullivan, Bob Aronson, Mike Sharp, Bob Satterthwaite, Tex Lewis, Susan Grantham, and Kevin Torcolini. Front left to right: Alan Beam, Helen Miller, Tom Danaher, and Kelley Emerson. Not pictured were: Lauren Lomax, Larry Tellinghuisen, Don Krump, Bob Lamb, and Challen Parker.

Members of the Bremerton/Olympic Peninsula Council of the Navy League of the United States who volunteered as judges for the 2015 Washington State Science and Engineering Fair gather for a group photo. Back left to right: Jerry Logan. Mike Sullivan, Bob Aronson, Mike Sharp, Bob Satterthwaite, Tex Lewis, Susan Grantham, and Kevin Torcolini. Front left to right: Alan Beam, Helen Miller, Tom Danaher, and Kelley Emerson. Not pictured were: Lauren Lomax, Larry Tellinghuisen, Don Krump, Bob Lamb, and Challen Parker.

Bremerton, Washington. The Bremerton/Olympic Peninsula Council of the Navy League of the United States (NLUS) presented cash awards and certificates to seven students at the 2015 Washington State Science and Engineering Fair (WSSEF) at Bremerton High School. As part of the Council’s initiatives in supporting youth interest in Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics (STEM), 17 Council volunteers were on hand to judge for basic fair awards, judge for the Navy League awards, and present their awards to the winners at the awards ceremonies.

The awards were given to those students whose projects best contributed to the advancement of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics in support of our nation’s Sea Services (Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine). Two awards were presented each in Grade groups 1-3, Grades 4-6 and Grades 7-8. One award was also given in Grade 9-12.  Read More…

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy, LTjg William Anthony, Photographer.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy, LTjg William Anthony, Photographer.

BREMERTON, Wash. – Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) held successful training exercises in Sinclair Inlet between Bremerton and Port Orchard on Friday, March 27.

“Friday’s exercise gave our security personnel the opportunity to hone their skills in a more realistic training environment,” according to Capt. Tom Zwolfer, Commanding Officer, Naval Base Kitsap.  “We appreciate the community’s support while we were conducting the exercise.”

Residents around Sinclair Inlet Friday morning may have heard simulated gunfire that was used to amplify the real-world training experience.  This type of training will continue to be a staple in honing the tactical skills of NBK’s security forces.

NBK’s Naval Security Forces are comprised of active duty masters at arms, Department of Navy police officers, and contracted security forces.  This diverse security force is maintained at a maximum state of readiness through a robust training and drill program.  A variety of training scenarios are used in numerous locations to ensure security forces are reacting quickly and effectively to potential threats.


BANGOR, Wash. – The Blue and Gold crews of USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735) were named as the recipients of the 2014 Trident Submarine Outstanding Performance Award Feb. 13 in a letter signed by Commander, Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet Rear Adm. Philip G. Sawyer.

The award, which is also known as the Olympic Bowl Trophy, is presented annually by the Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Council of the Navy League to the top ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) in the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

“This ship demonstrated a superior level of performance over the course of a year and I commend them on a job well done,” said Rear Adm. Dave Kriete, commander, Submarine Group Nine. “What is even more remarkable is the fact that two crews – Pennsylvania Blue and Gold – upheld the highest standards while working on completely separate patrol cycles. This combined effort exemplifies the sense of teamwork and partnership that must be prevalent in order to succeed in our deterrence mission.”

The Pennsylvania crews demonstrated quiet consistency throughout 2014, spending two-thirds of the year supporting the nation’s strategic deterrence mission. They also achieved superior marks in every external validation of readiness during the year, a process that helps determine the award recipient.

These areas include weapons system performance and readiness, navigation performance and practices, communication system performance, material condition and engineering readiness, personnel readiness, initiative in promoting new operational concepts, and tactical readiness.

USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735) following a successful a 140-day strategic deterrent patrol. The patrol set a new record for the longest strategic deterrent patrol completed by an Ohio-class submarine.

USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735) following a successful a 140-day strategic deterrent patrol. The patrol set a new record for the longest strategic deterrent patrol completed by an Ohio-class submarine.

In 2014, Pennsylvania set the record for the longest strategic deterrent patrol recorded since the beginning of the Poseidon C3 ballistic missile program in the early 1970s. That feat, coupled with a total of more than 27,000 nautical miles traveled over the course of the year, highlights the significant endurance and versatility of the Ohio class SSBN fleet.

The two crews are scheduled to receive the Olympic Bowl Trophy May 16 at the Bremerton, Wash. Armed Forces Gala.

Navy News Story by Lt.Cmdr. Brian Badura



NOSC Centennial Celebration Everett Radm Passmore

Radm Robert O. Passmore at NOSC Everett Reserve Centennial Celebration

???????????????????????EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) — Navy Region Northwest Reserve Component Command (NAVREG NW RCC) and Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Everett held a ceremony commemorating the Navy Reserve’s 100th anniversary, March 14.

The Navy Reserve – then the Naval Reserve – was established March 3, 1915 as part of the 1916 Naval Appropriations Act, and has since participated in every U.S.-involved conflict since World War I.

Saturday’s ceremony honored the service of Navy Reservists over the past century, while delivering the message that the Navy Reserve is “Ready then. Ready now. Ready always.”

To honor the past, retired Rear Adm. Robert O. Passmore spoke to the more than 300 Sailors and their families and employers in attendance on the history of the Navy Reserve. From its humble beginnings in 1915 to its overwhelming support during World War II, during which it comprised 84 percent of the Navy, Passmore discussed integral points in its history.

“Your predecessors were not only vital to our country’s survival, but have provided relief from tsunamis in Indonesia and other disasters,” Passmore said.

Speaking on his role as head of Task Force Navy Family following hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005, Passmore noted the valuable contributions of Navy Reserve Sailors and their lasting effects.

“From day one, the majority of the expertise on the task force came from you, our Naval Reservists,” he said. “Your Navy Reserve has always been ready. You never know when the call will come, and I am happy that we have always been ready.”

The event’s keynote speaker, Rear Adm. Eric Coy Young, commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command, spoke to the audience about the Navy Reserve being “ready now, ready always.”

“Since the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, the Navy Reserve has mobilized more than 73,000 Reserve Sailors,” Young said. “Let me be more specific: 73,349 Reserve Sailors providing tens of thousands of boots on the ground in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Horn of Africa. All in support of the CNO’s (Chief of Naval Operations) tenant of ‘Warfighting First.’

Today, more than 20,000 Navy Reserve Sailors – about one third of the Navy’s Reserve component – is providing fully integrated global operational support to fleet and combatant commanders at any time.”

Young recognized the sacrifices of Citizen-Sailors and those closest to them. “A great deal is required of our Reserve Sailors, their families and their employers,” Young said. “Our Citizen-Sailors balance the demands of Family Life, civilian careers, community service and the Navy.”

The Washington State chapter of the Employers Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) was on hand to present Patriot Awards to employers who have gone above and beyond in support of their Reserve Sailor.

“Today, we are honoring employers who have provided outstanding support to their employees – our “Citizen Sailors,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mathew Pescador, executive officer of NOSC Everett. “The ESGR Patriot Award recognizes supervisors and employers for their continued support of our Navy Reserve and continually recognizing and supporting our country’s service members and their families in peace, in crisis and in war.”

In all, 14 employers and supervisors were honored for their support to the Nation’s security.

During the ceremony, Cmdr. Derek Dwyer, commanding officer of NOSC Everett, and Washington State Deputy Director for External Affairs Lacey Harper presented a signed proclamation from Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. The proclamation designated March 3, 2015, as the Centennial Commemoration of the Navy Reserve in the State of Washington.

Established on March 3, 1915, the Federal Naval Reserve originally only allowed Navy veterans to enroll into the program. However, on Aug. 29, 1916, with the prospect of America’s entry into World War I looming, the Navy Reserve reorganized to allow the enrollment of non-veterans and designated as the U.S. Naval Reserve Force.

Of the more than three million Naval Reservists that served during World War II, 15 received the Medal of Honor and five became president of the United States.

There are currently 107,000 Selected Reserve, Full Time Support and Individual Ready Reserve Sailors serving in the Navy Reserve.

Navy Reserve Sailors have been deployed to and been a part of every conflict since World War I, working alongside active duty personnel to secure the Navy’s mission and protect the nation’s freedom.

Navy News article by Chad V. Pritt




Posted by: arbeam | March 18, 2015

Navy League Supports MCSFB Bangor Baby Shower

The Marine Corps Security Force Battalion at Bangor, WA commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Keane, is a Bremerton Navy League Adopted Unit. Six of our Board members were delighted and honoured to volunteer to assist LtCol Keane’s wife, Vanessa, with the Battalion’s Baby Shower held in February.

Baby BlanketsMCSFBn’s Family Readiness Team hosts an annual baby shower, for new and expecting mothers. We have all had fun either purchasing items or making them, these young Marines and Sailors are some of the brightest and the best and America’s future.

This Battalion along with a similar unit in Kings Bay, GA, are unique Marine Corps Units made up of both Sailors and Marines. They guard America’s most valuable military assets. The young Marines and Sailors in Colonel Keane’s Command, have a tough, demanding job, day in and day out they patrol, protect and serve in all kinds of weather.

We have collected such items as gently used car seats, strollers, a crib and crib linens, receiving blankets, teddy bears, baby food, formula, baby clothing plus diapers. We are grateful to the local businesses who were generous in their pricing of items when they became aware of the baby shower including: Bella Luna Consignment Boutique in West Bremerton, GoodWill and Grocery Outlet in Silverdale.

We know our efforts were well-received by the wonderful volunteers of the MCSFBn Family Readiness Team and we look forward to their future events.

Posted by: arbeam | March 17, 2015

Navy League Luncheon and Base Access


We are honored that the Kitsap Navy Base Commander has allowed us to have our Luncheons onboard the Navy Base. This enables many of our active duty guests to attend. Recent security changes will have an impact on how we get on base.

Our current practice requires a registration one week in advance of the meeting by calling Shannon at Evergreen Moving and Storage 360-674-2762. For those members with base access this is sufficient notice to tell the cooks how many people to plan for.

For members with out base access we need to know much sooner (weeks) to allow for security to review and develop a base access list to be positioned at the gates. Please call Shannon as early as possible to allow for a smooth process.

If this process isn’t completed the only other option is to ride with
someone who does have base access.

Access Information Required:
Name as it appears on the Drivers License Date of Birth, City of Birth.

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