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.









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…


Travis Zettel
Commanding Officer

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.


  • 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. 





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, 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


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 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.

Posted by: arbeam | December 28, 2017

Dec 18: Tour of USCG Station Marathon Florida

USCG Station Marathon Florida

On Monday December 18, two of our Council’s members were in the Florida Keys at the town of Marathon.  We called to ask if we could visit and have a tour, and were delighted  that they welcomed us. The station there has a mission of search and rescue mainly, as well as ensuring compliance with safe boating practices.  Although they do not have a helicopter based there, they do have at least monthly practice exercises with the Navy helicopters from Key West.






The base is commanded by an E9 and has about 30 personnel assigned. Our guide was primarily a mechanic but also was the main first aid teacher and medical support, MK3 David Wiegman. It was interesting that one of the fellows had been stationed at Bangor on a blocking boat that accompanied the subs.  This was when CDR Tom Sullivan was the CO. As we walked around the base, we came across several large iguanas.

We also saw some very nice looking housing units that any of us can arrange to rent, right on the canal where they tie up the boats.  Several of their boats were made in Bremerton at SAFE boats.  These are their favorites.

By the way, the amount of destruction from the hurricane on September 10 is astounding.  Many houses, businesses, trees, roads, parks and beaches were either destroyed or severely damaged.  There were debris piles of household goods, appliances, trees and chunks of concrete along the roads that went for many blocks.  These are slowly being cleared, but immediately after the storm the debris piles were 3 or 4 stories tall. Most are down to 5-10 ft tall now. The people are resilient and working hard to restore normalcy (and want everyone to know that the Keys are open for business) but it will be over a year getting squared away again. – Byron







Posted by: arbeam | December 25, 2017

Santa Sightings


The Department of the Navy issued orders today to ADM S. Clause, recalling him to active duty, with a report date of 24 Dec 16.

A reservist, with 1,742 years of service, this Naval Aviator specializes in vertical delivery of high-value items. He is flight deck and carrier qualified. He is also a Public Affairs Specialist.

Also recalled, were LCDR Dasher, Master Chief Dancer, Senior Chief Prancer, LT Vixen, CDR Comet, Chaplain (LCDR) Cupid, PO1 Donner, and PO1 Blitzen, an Individual Augmentee from the Naval Reserve. Ensign Rudolph is also authorized to report for duty; however, he must first successfully complete Carrier Qual training, which he has failed three times.

Although the above troops are on orders for only 24 hours, it is anticipated that they will submit a travel claim for 24,901 miles at .56/mile, using a POV. Suitable Government transportation is not available.

As a special operations unit, each member is granted a high level of uniform flexibility, as well as relaxed grooming standards. Per diem has been modified to include large quantities of hot cocoa and cookies.

Go Navy!

…and Mega Merry Christmas!

P.S. – Let’s ALL remember the men and women of our Armed Forces, as they serve in far away lands during this Christmas Season.



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