180214-N-FV739-058
CHANGI, Singapore (Feb. 14, 2018) The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Bremerton (SSN 698) pulls in to Changi Naval Base, Singapore for a port visit to strengthen partnership and a chance for crew rest. Bremerton is on a regularly scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher A. Veloicaza/Released)

SINGAPORE (NNS) — The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Bremerton (SSN 698) arrived in Singapore Feb. 14 for a visit as part of its deployment to the Indo-Pacific region.

With a crew of approximately 140, Bremerton will conduct a multitude of missions and maintain proficiency of the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet. For some of the crew, this is their first time visiting Singapore. USS Bremerton, commissioned on March 28th, 1981, is named after the city of Bremerton, Washington. It is the tenth ship of the Los Angeles-class attack submarines. The vessel is 362-feet long, displaces 6,900 tons and can be armed with sophisticated Mark-48 torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Navy article by Lieutenant Pah J. Yip, Submarine Group 7 Public Affairs

SaveSave

Advertisements
Posted by: arbeam | February 13, 2018

Tour Report San Diego, CA January 2018

A group of 18 Bremerton-Olynmpic Council Navy League members and guests enjoyed a special multi-day series of tours in San Diego, CA January 10-12, 2i018.  On the 10th some took advantage of a Harbor Cruise and/or visited the museum ship USS Midway.  A highlight of the Midway visit was that our new council president, Steve Westover, had served on Midway an shared a number of most interesting experiences about and aboard the ship.

San Diego is home to a number of US Navy (and Marine Corps) bases with many tenant commands.  Included are air, surface, submarine and special warfare components.  Although we did not visit the submarine base, all of the other components were included in the tour (actually 4 tours).


On January 11 Naval Air Station North Island was the first tour.  It is part of Naval Base Coronado and initially we received an overview othe magnitude of that command.  Specifically discussed were their excellent environmental work, affordable housing problems in the area affecting their personnel and efforts to cooperate with the community during necessary night training exercises.  Following the introduction we assembled at Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 85.  The unit is tasked with supporting special operations forces (e.g. Navy SEALS), and is appropriately equipped with weapons, sensors, and communications to facilitate troop deployment and extraction.  Crews are pilots, gunners and medics with advanced life support capability.  The helicopter presently in used, HH60-H, is a type that has been in service since the early 1990’s and will soon be replaced with MH-60 helicopters.  We were able to closely examine an HH60-H as well as observe sailors doing maintenance on another.

From there we drove down the “Silver Strand” on Coronado to the Naval Special Warfare Center…the home of initial training for Navy SEALs.  The entire training/qualification process includes not only “boot camp” but also water training, warfare training, SEAL qualification training, special boat team training and then graduation.  Of note is that the Navy is trying to do the best job possible in screening candidates so as to insure that the very best are included, but also to retain in training some who might otherwise drop out but are seen as great potential by their instructors.  There is now a 3 week orientation period which preceeds the start of training so as to better insure that candidates know what is coming and what is to be expected.  Now being stressed is character above performance in the selection and training process.  The average final graduation rate is about 28%.  Following a video presentation we went out by the white footprints where recruits assemble and then explored the SEAL’s obstacle course before departing.  So concluded January 11.


On the following day, January 12, for a tour of Naval Base San Diego, we all met at Anchors, a catering facility which is on the base but not within the gated area.  From there the Navy boarded us into two vans which then took us for a driving tour of the base.  NBSD is the largest base on the west coast and the 2nd largest in the world with a combination of 50,000 military personnel and civilian employees coming and going every day.  The base has two major components, a “dry side” and a “wet side” which are divided by public highways and a railroad track.  The dry side is home to the many schools, the pool and various morale facilities.  On the wet side are the piers and maintenance facilities as well as significant high rise housing for sailors.  At present on the base there are 24,000 parking spaces for the 50,000 base personnel.  For sailors not housed on base it can be a long commute from what affordable housing can be found at quite some distance from the base.  Solar power is being successfully implemented and utilized including a fleet of solar powered vehicles.  Unfortunately no ships were available for a tour but as we drove along the waterfront we got a good close up look at every ship in port.  To say it was impressive would be an understatement.


Lunch for our group was at Anchors and then we headed north to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, a former NAS that was converted to an MCAS in the late 1990’s.  When still an NAS this was where the Navy “Top Gun” program operated.  We were welcomed at Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 163 whose mission is medium light assault support with the V-22 aircraft.  Unique about the V-22 is that it takes off and lands like a helicopter but when airborne the engines rotate 90 degrees and it then flies like a conventional airplane.  The V-22 can reach an altitude of 25,000 feet and has a range of 450 miles in a 3-4 hour period.  Passengers and/or cargo can be carried internally and externally.  VMM 163 has a legacy that goes back to Viet Nam and is the only unit still authorized to decorate their aircraft…in this case with “evil eyes” painted on the nose.  Their official unit name is now Ridge Runners, but in a tribute to the past on every Friday a replacement unit patch is worn with the name Evil Eyes on it.  Being it was a Friday for out visit, that was the patch of the day being worn.  We went out on the apron and extensively inspected a V-22 inside and out and watched another V-22 take off and land.  The Osprey can be refueled in mid air and when on the ground can be reduced in size by folding the blades and part of the fuselage to improve storage aboard ship…or in hangars.  Since dust can be a problem close to the ground pilots are directed and trained to follow their instruments.  So concluded January 12 and our San Diego tour.

It is more than safe to say that it was a great one.  Our thanks to all of the US Navy and Marine Corps personnel who took the time to tell us about what they do and to show us their facilities.  And thanks, as always, to Byron Faber for putting this all together.  It is a lot of work.  Some of those on the tour were already wondering when the next San Diego tour will be.  Byron?

Norman Marten

Posted by: arbeam | February 7, 2018

Maritime Force Protection Units

U.S. Coast Guard Units Shield Strategic Assets to Guarantee Global Security

After the terrorist attacks on the USS COLE, and those on September 11, 2001, the United States responded by increasing security measures. It was determined that the United States Coast Guard is an indispensable, and uniquely qualified, military service and law enforcement organization capable of performing the security activities required for escorting nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) in and out of port. In keeping with our service’s motto “Semper Paratus”, the Coast Guard, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy, swiftly created two focused-mission units, known as Coast Guard Maritime Force Protection Units (MFPUs). Both units provide enhanced security measures for in-transit escorts for the only US underwater nuclear deterrent; that is, the SSBN fleet. The two MFPUs are co-located at the SSBN homeports at Navy Base Kitsap-Bangor, WA, and Navy Base Kings Bay, GA.

A common misconception is that the MFPUs are part of the Navy. The fact is the Coast Guard MFPUs are Coast Guard units exercising Coast Guard authority while conducting a Coast Guard mission under the tactical and operational control of the Coast Guard and within Coast Guard policy including the use of force continuum. MFPUs are each commanded by a commissioned Coast Guard officer (O-5), and the boats, cutters, and weapons are fully manned by Coast Guard personnel exercising Coast Guard tactics, techniques, and procedures. Assignment to the MFPUs is part of the standard Coast Guard Assignment Year (AY) process with assignment officers selecting only those members with strong matches to the required skill sets necessary to complete this critical mission.

The MFPUs work closely with the Navy every day and the overall success of the in-transit protection of SSBNs is the result of a close relationship developed across service lines with the common goal to execute a “no fail” mission critical to global peace and security. The development of the MFPUs is the product of an extensive and dynamic partnership between the Navy and the Coast Guard codified by a joint-service memorandum signed by the Vice Commandant and the Vice Chief of Naval Operations in 2006. A memorandum of agreement for Department of Defense Support to the Coast Guard for Maritime Homeland Security, signed by both the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security, further emphasizes the significance of the Coast Guard’s role in national defense. The joint-service program initiated to meet the USN requirement for Nuclear Weapons Security (NWS) in the transit environment is called the Transit Protection System (TPS). The CG MFPU is part of the TPS. As such, the TPS Flag Board consists of both Navy and Coast Guard flag officers. TPS Escort Steering Group (ESG) consists of Navy and Coast Guard O6 and GS15 leadership. The TPS Flag Board and ESG are joint forums to consider strategic and operational issues related to the TPS and the MFPUs.

The Coast Guard’s enforcement authority, unique to our military service, is the cornerstone for this effective and highly capable escort package. The Coast Guard exercises authorities granted by Congress on waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and on, under, and over the high seas, and is charged with providing an armed deterrent and response to acts of terrorism in the maritime environment. Typically, the CG deploys armed escort vessels to provide security during transits in and out of ports. However, subject to USN reimbursement, the MFPUs deploy a much more robust escort package to assist the USN in meeting its NWS requirements. MFPUs consist of men and women organized, trained, and equipped to operate Navy owned CG cutters and CG boats along with the associated weapons systems under the on-scene tactical control of a Patrol Commander (PATCOM) while executing the mission. The PATCOM, in turn, is under the tactical control of the respective Captain of the Port.

The MFPUs surface assets include 33ft and 64ft boats, and 87ft cutters. These escorts form outer defensive layers. The PATCOM and gun crews serve onboard large blocking vessels that are stationed on either side of the SSBN. Crews assigned to the MFPUs receive extensive tactical operations training and are experts at determining the temper and intent of potential threats. Upon making a determination, they respond in accordance with Coast Guard tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) to mitigate any threat or attack on a transiting SSBN.

33’ Special Purpose Craft –Law Enforcement (SPC-LE)

The 33ft Special Purpose Craft – Law Enforcement (SPC-LE) and 87ft Marine Protector Class of Coastal Patrol Boats are standard platforms used throughout the Coast Guard.

64′ SPC Screening Vessel

 

The 64ft Special Purpose Craft – Screening Vessel (SPC-SV) was designed and built for use by the MFPU crews.

 

The 87’ Patrol Boats were altered for the MFPUs with the addition of the MK49. Interestingly, the Patrol Boats assigned to the MFPUs are named for decommissioned Navy submarines: SEA FOX, SEA DOG, SEA DRAGON, and SEA DEVIL, which also coincidentally relate to the traditional 87ft Marine Protector Class naming scheme. In fact, USCGC SEA FOX’s bell is that of the USS SEA FOX that was in active service during World War II.

As part of a comprehensive training program, the crews undergo realistic and challenging scenarios in a state of the art simulator known as the Transit Protection Training System (TPTS). The TPTS allows the PATCOMs, weapons operators, cutter and boat crews to develop and refine the requisite communication skills, their ability to rapidly assess targets, and appropriate use of force decision making while creating cohesive team building experiences.

The MFPUs employ weapon systems that until recently were unique within the Coast Guard: the MK38 Mod 2 and MK49 guns and mounts are stabilized, remotely operated systems controlled by gunners under the supervision of the PATCOM. MFPU cutters and SPC-SVs are also outfitted with the MK49 Remotely Operated Small Arms Mount (ROSAM).

While the Coast Guard Office of Maritime Security Reponses Policy manages the MFPU program, the Navy provides the full funding for the MFPUs through the authority of the Economy Act. The CG receives funding for personnel, operations and maintenance in order to field the assets, personnel, and all CG capabilities required to execute the mission. The Navy provides for the maintenance and configuration of all the MFPU assigned boats while a Coast Guard Maintenance Augmentation Team, in conjunction with the Patrol Boat Product Line, provides maintenance and logistical support to the cutters. The maintenance and logistics of the MFPU assets is managed through the cooperation of the Naval Warfare Centers and Navy’s TPS project managers at Kings Bay, GA and Bangor, WA.

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Posted by: arbeam | February 4, 2018

Feb 04: USS Bremerton Captains log

BREMERTON’s schedule hasn’t let up since my last entry. As the summer wound down, our deployment preparation ramped up. We spent a significant portion of August and September out to sea, making our in-port time both limited and valuable. But despite all the churn at sea and ashore, my Sailors displayed a work ethic that was nothing short of admirable in their drive to make sure the “American Classic” was ready for its final trip into the depths of the Pacific.

Although it’s been almost four months since we deployed, the farewell BBQ on the pier seems like yesterday.  I could tell some of the goodbyes were hard, but as we made our way past buoys ‘one’ and ‘two’ outbound, it was finally our time to do what we had been working towards over the past 15 months.

It was almost two months before BREMERTON returned to the surface again from the depths of the briny blue. We pulled into Guam for a much needed voyage repair, and the Sailors once again showed unbelievable determination in their ability to get the boat back underway in such a short amount of time. After a little stint back at sea, we made our way north to Yokosuka, Japan for Christmas – the one place that the crew was excited to get to after missing out on the opportunity to stop there during the 2016 deployment. For me, it was my fifth Christmas in Yokosuka, for the majority of my crew, it was the first time they set eyes on Mt. Fuji or “walked” through the ‘Honch’ in person.

BREMERTON celebrated the halfway point of deployment on 11 January 2018, and we were fortunate enough that our schedule permitted some of the more ‘traditional’ festivities to include ‘corn-on-the-COB’ and ‘pie-in-the-eye’.  The entire crew got a laugh at LT Clark’s bald head after his lovely locks were shaved off by the high bidder, earning the MWR a whopping $800.

In January, the “American Classic” was recognized by COMSUBRON ONE for its engineering excellence with the Engineering “E”; recognition that was well deserved. From preservation to training and qualifications; my Engineering team puts in 100% every day.  It’s impressive to me that the most “classic” boat in the fleet only seems to improve in material readiness regardless of time at sea.

We have now been away from family and friends just shy of four months, but there is no quit in my Sailors’ eyes.  They’re determined to finish the mission. They’re determined to get home safely. And they’re determined to return BREMERTON to its namesake city after nearly four full decades of proud Naval service.

Steady as she goes…

VR/

Travis Zettel
CDR, USN
Commanding Officer
USS BREMERTON (SSN-698)

Si vis pacem, para bellum

Posted by: arbeam | February 3, 2018

Jan 26 Installation Dinner

Navy League Northwest Region President Roger Olsen swore in our Officers and Directors at an Installation Dinner at the Silverdale on the Bay Hotel on January 26th.

Officers

  • President – Steve Westover
  • Vice President – David Ellingson
  • Second Vice President – Byron Faber
  • Treasurer – Larry Tellinghuisen
  • Secretary – Joe Hulsey
  • JAG – Robert Battin
  • Past President – Alan Beam
  • National Director – Larry Salter

Board of Directors

  • Larry Salter
  • Tim Katona
  • Carol Meteney
  • Guy Stitt
  • Patty Lent
  • Helen Miller
  • Pat Faber
  • Ron Kirkland
  • Kevin Staub
  • George Rose
  • Karin Zwolfer
  • Mark Westover
  • Mike Spence

Our February Luncheon speaker is CDR Scott Smith, Commanding Officer Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Squadron One.

UUVRON-1 was established on September 26, 2017 as unit of Commander Submarine Development Squadron Five.  It is a first-of-its-kind command.  Per the undersea enterprise plan, UUVRON-1 is to integrate and employ UUVs into the submarine force in order to sustain an advantage in the undersea domain in direct support of the naval warfare.  Standing up UUVRON-1 shows the Navy’s commitment to the future of unmanned systems. The Squadron operates out of BARB HALL (USS BARB SS-220), dedicated in January 2107, and located on Naval Base Kitsap, Keyport, WA.

Ninety 93 days after the command was established it deployed a detachment to search for the missing Argentine submarine ARA San Juan (SS-42).

Cdr Scott Smith grew up in Hartford, South Dakota. He enlisted in the US Navy in 1992, and earned a commission through the Seaman to Admiral Program in 2002. Following enlisted nuclear power training, he was assigned to USS TENNESSEE (SSBN 734) (G) where he completed nine strategic deterrent patrols. After commissioning, he was assigned to USS MARYLAND (SSBN 738) (B) where he completed five strategic deterrent patrols. His next submarine assignment was as Navigator and Operations Officer on USS JIMMY CARTER (SSN 23). He recently completed his Executive Officer tour onboard USS MONTPELIER (SSN 765).

Cdr Scott’s shore tours include duty as the Special Operations Officer for US Strategic Command and Special Operations Officer for Commander Submarine Forces Pacific Fleet. He earned a Bachelor of Science for Computer Science from North Florida University and a Masters of Business and Administration degree from Grantham University. CDR Smith’s personal awards include the Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Achievement Medal, and Navy Achievement Medal.

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 Realty Station  at 360 377-5699 for your lunch registration.
Please call before Feb 6.

  • 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.

Bremerton Olympic Peninsula Council CFC# 19117, CFD #1481953. 

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Posted by: arbeam | January 27, 2018

Navy Special Ops training in the Pacific Northwest EIS

Naval Special Operations Environmental Assessment

This provides public access to information about the Environmental Assessment for Naval Special Operations Training in Western Washington State.  The U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC) proposes to conduct small-unit land and cold-water maritime training activities for naval special operations personnel.  The proposed training would occur on selected nearshore lands and inland waters of Puget Sound, including Hood Canal, as well as the southwestern Washington coast. The intent of the proposed training is to build trainees’ skills, experience, and confidence by challenging them in a location with dynamic weather, land, and cold water conditions. As part of the rigorous training, the trainees learn skills needed to avoid detection along with the goal of leaving no trace of their presence during or after training activities.

The Navy has conducted training in the Pacific Northwest for more than 70 years, including naval special operations training for the past 30 years.  Puget Sound, including Hood Canal, and the southwestern Washington coast, offer unique conditions and varied coastal conditions which create opportunities for realistic and challenging special operations training in a safe, sheltered, cold-water environment.

NSWC has prepared a draft Environmental Assessment that can be downloaded by clicking the link at the bottom of this page. Paper copies of the document are available at the following public libraries: Anacortes Public Library, Bainbridge Public Library, Gig Harbor Library, Kitsap Regional Library – Poulsbo, Oak Harbor Public Library, Port Townsend Public Library, Sequim Branch Library, Tacoma Public Library – Main Branch, Timberland Regional Library – Ilwaco, and Timberland Regional Library – Westport. NSWC is accepting comments during a 30-day public comment period from January 22, 2018 to February 21, 2018. All comments submitted during the 30-day comment period will become part of the public record and comments will be addressed in the final Environmental Assessment. There are three ways to submit comments: at one of the three public meetings listed below, by e-mail to nwnepa@navy.mil, or by mail to:

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest
Attention: Project Manager, EV21.AW
1101 Tautog Circle, Suite 203
Silverdale, WA 98315-1101

Three open house meetings will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the following locations:

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Poulsbo, WA
North Kitsap High School Commons
1780 NE Hostmark Street

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Port Townsend, WA

Blue Heron School Commons
3939 San Juan Avenue

Thursday, February 8, 2018
Oak Harbor, WA

Oak Harbor School District ASC Board Room
350 S. Oak Harbor Street

Click here for the Draft EA

SaveSave

Posted by: arbeam | January 16, 2018

President’s corner Jan 2018

As I write this, I am just back from a fabulous trip to San Diego, that was organized by our tours director, Byron Fabor.  What a way to start the new year.  We started off with a tour of San Diego bay which gave us a good situational awareness of the Naval facilities that we would be visiting.  We next had lunch onboard the USS Midway (CV-41) and toured her in the afternoon.  For me it was a special treat, as I was deployed on her for two years when she was based in Japan.  On Thursday after we toured the Naval Air Station, North Island and we traveled down the Strand to the SEAL training base to be briefed on SEAL recruit training.  Friday started off with a tour of 32nd Street, where a large percentage of the US Pacific fleet is based.  Our tour guide, Capt Love, the base CO, personally guided us around the facility that he commands.  Our trip concluded with a visit to MCAS Miramar where we visited a V-22 Osprey squadron, and were able to get up close and personal with one of these birds.  And, as an added bonus, the weather there was perfect!!

Again, thanks Byron, for a great job in putting this trip together.

Posted by: arbeam | December 30, 2017

Jan 26: Bremerton Navy League Installation Dinner

We are going to continue a tradition of celebrating our successes of the year and the installation of new Officers and Board of Directors at an Installation Dinner. We will hold this dinner Friday January 26 2018 at the Silverdale Beach Hotel. There will be a social hour at 5 PM with Dinner starting at 6 PM. Our Guest Speaker will be Capt Alan Schrader, Commanding Officer Naval Base Kitsap. The dinner will be both Roast Beef and Salmon Filet. The cost will be $45/person. Please sign up before Jan 12 by contacting bremertonnavyleague@gmail.com or calling 360-377-5699.

Posted by: arbeam | December 29, 2017

Meet the New ComSubGroup 9 Rdml Blake Converse

Rear Adm. Blake Converse is a native of Pennsylvania and graduated from Penn State University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He also holds Master of Science degrees in Space Systems Engineering and Applied Physics from the Navy Post Graduate School.

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.

Ashore, he served as the radiological controls officer on the staff of Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Submarine Force; as a special assistant to the commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command; as the prospective commanding officer course instructor at Naval Reactors headquarters; as chief of staff to the commander of the U.S. Submarine Force; and as the director, Joint and Fleet Operations (N3) at U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

Converse relived as as Commander Submarine Group 9 onDecember 15 2017

His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (two awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Joint Commendation Medal, Joint Achievement Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (three awards) and various unit awards. In 2008, he was awarded the Rear Adm. Jack N. Darby award for Inspirational Leadership and Excellence of Command.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Categories