News - October 2004

News when it happens related to Naval vessels and aviation. Credit will be given to the information sources.


October - 2004

13/10/04 Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group Deploys

U.S. 2nd Fleet Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Nearly 7,600 Sailors left their homeports as the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) deployed Oct. 13 in support of the global war on terrorism. The strike group wrapped up Summer Pulse ‘04, a groundbreaking exercise involving seven carrier strike groups, in late July. During this exercise, Truman also completed their Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), successfully completing a series of complex training events, which included naval surface fire support training and air-to-ground bombing off the East Coast of the United States. COMPTUEX is an intermediate level exercise designed to forge the strike group into a cohesive, fighting team and is a critical step in the pre-deployment training cycle. Commanded by Rear Adm. Michael Tracy, commander, Carrier Strike Group 10, HSTCSG includes the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman with its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3; the Norfolk-based guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61); the Norfolk-based guided-missile destroyers USS Barry (DDG 52) and USS Mason (DDG 87); the Groton, Conn.-based fast-attack submarine USS Albuquerque (SSN 706); and the combat logistics ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8) from Naval Weapons Station Earle, N.J.


USS Mahan Gets Underway To Support STANAVFORMED

USS Mahan Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- More than 300 Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72) sailed east Oct. 13 to support Standing Naval Forces Mediterranean (STANAVFORMED). The Mahan crew completed required training quickly and are demonstrating that they are truly "Built to Fight." "This is an excellent opportunity for the crew of Mahan to demonstrate the capability of a CONUS (continental U.S.)-based ship to meet short notice tasking and excel," said the ship's executive officer, Lt. Cmdr. Michael Huck, from Papillion, Neb. "Despite the quick turnaround from notification to under way, the crew is excited to finally do what we have been training for." Barring further mission requirements, the ship is currently scheduled to return after a few months. NATO's  STANAVFORMED was activated April 30, 1992, in Naples, Italy. STANAVFORMED provides a continuous maritime presence, and thus is a constant and visible reminder of the solidarity and cohesiveness of the Alliance. Standing Naval Forces Mediterranean is currently operating in support of the international campaign against terrorism by providing maritime presence.


Malabar 04 Exercises Conclude Successfully Off Indian Coast

7th Fleet Public Affairs

GOA, India (NNS) -- About 2,000 U.S. and Indian navy personnel took part in Malabar 04, a training exercise off the southwest coast of India Oct. 1-9. Malabar was designed to increase interoperability between the two navies, while enhancing the cooperative security relationship between India and the United States. The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63), the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Gary (FFG 51), the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Alexandria (SSN 757), and P-3C maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft participated from the U.S. side in Malabar. The Indian vessels included the destroyer INS Mysore, frigate INS Brahmaputra, the tanker INS Aditya and the submarine INS Shankul. The bilateral exercise involved a number of events designed to test the abilities of Sailors on both sides. Some of these included small boat transfers, manoeuvring as a group, night time underway replenishments, visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) drills, and the central event, a “war at sea.”  Senior leaders at Malabar said all the training and cooperation are designed to not only learn how to better work together, but also to understand each other. “Working with each other and building friendships is what this is really all about,” said Capt. John Sorce, commanding officer of Cowpens. “Sure, we're learning about each other, but we're also learning to trust each’s all about building allies and friendships so if called upon in later days, it makes it easier for us all to work together and perform together." “If we ever have to go to battle side-by-side, we’ll go much better, having had the experience we gained this week,” Sorce said. “It’s important for everyone to understand that we are learning as much as the Indian navy is learning," said Cmdr. Thomas Kearney, who skippers Alexandria. "I learned more about diesel submarine operations working with [the Indian submarine INS Shankul] than I would at home, because we don’t have diesel submarines in the U.S. Navy.” This is the sixth time the Malabar exercises have been conducted. They have been increased in complexity and scope.
“The Malabar exercises between the Indian and U.S. navies started off at elementary levels of communication checks and basic manoeuvres,” said Indian navy Capt. C.S. Patham, commanding officer of Mysore. “Today, we have reached a stage where the two navies are in a position to exercise in a multi-dimensional and multi-threat scenario with the presence of major combatants, which include destroyers and frigates with integral helicopters, both nuclear and diesel submarines, carrier-borne fighter aircraft and, lastly, maritime patrol aircraft.” An example of this cohesion was evident in each exercise, according to Chief Gunner’s Mate (SW) James Burke and Fire Controlman 1st Class (SW) Michael Davidson, both assigned to Cowpens, who worked with Indian sailors on techniques involved in VBSS operations. Davidson said they went over the proper techniques for boarding a vessel, questioning the crew, and keeping their own security in mind the whole time. “They were very willing to learn,” said Davidson, a Tupelo, Miss., native. “They learned quickly from when we boarded one of their ships earlier [in the exercise].” “They knew the basics, and they handled themselves well,” said Burke. The White Haven, Pa., native added that watching their navy in action, he sees little difference between their abilities and those of the U.S. Navy. “I don’t see them as any different than our own Sailors,” he said. “Cultural differences aside, sailors are sailors everywhere.” “We were thoroughly trained for this exercise,” said Operations Specialist 3rd Class Anthony Bain from Cowpens. “We were ready and we got the job done. Training with the Indian navy has been a good experience.”

15/10/04 USNS Arctic Deploys with Harry S. Truman CSG Military Sealift Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8) deployed with the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Carrier Strike Group Oct. 13 for a six-month deployment in support of the global war on terrorism.  Crewed by 160 civil service mariners and 60 embarked Sailors, the 754-foot Arctic is one of more than 30 civilian-crewed MSC ships that provide at-sea logistic support to deployed U.S. Navy ships. Ships like Arctic enable Navy combatant ships to remain at sea, on station and combat-ready for extended periods of time. Nearly 7,600 Sailors left Norfolk, Va., aboard U.S. Navy ships including aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) and guided-missile destroyers USS Barry (DDG 52) and USS Mason (DDG 87). The fast-attack submarine USS Albuquerque (SSN 706) is also under way as part of the carrier strike group. Arctic will provide food, fuel, supplies and ammunition to the carrier strike group throughout its deployment. With a top speed of 25 knots, Arctic is ideal for re-supplying Navy ships at sea. Additionally, two on-board Navy MH-60 Knight Hawk helicopters will provide vertical replenishment. "Last year, Arctic deployed with the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Carrier Strike Group and has supported USS George Washington (CVN 73) and her escorts, as well as various amphibious ships, including USS Wasp (LHD 1) and USS Kearsage (LHD 3)," said Capt. Randall H. Rockwood, Arctic's master. "We are proud to be able to supply the U.S. military with much-needed food, fuel and ammunition, sustaining U.S. forces wherever they may be."  MSC operates more than 110 noncombatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish Navy ships at sea, chart ocean bottoms, conduct undersea surveillance, strategically pre-position combat cargo at sea around the world, and move 95 percent of military equipment and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces.

18/10/04 San Diego Ships to Depart with USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group 3rd Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Strike Group arrived in San Diego Oct. 16 and will depart Oct. 19 to support Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet potential contingency operations and theater security cooperation initiatives. The Lincoln Carrier Strike Group will deploy with the following San Diego-based ships: the cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67), commanded by Capt. Joe Harriss; and the destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65), commanded by Cmdr. Don Hornbeck. Other ships deploying with the Lincoln Carrier Strike Group include the Everett, Wash.-based destroyer USS Shoup (DDG 86), led by Cmdr. Alexander T. Casimes; the Pearl Harbor-based attack submarine USS Louisville (SSN 724), under the command of Cmdr. David Kirk; and the fast combat support ship USS Rainier (AOE 7), based in Bremerton, Wash,. Abraham Lincoln is the flagship for the strike group commander, Rear Adm. Doug Crowder, commander, Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group. On deployment, Abraham Lincoln will also be home to Commander, Destroyer Squadron 9, commanded by Capt. Jon W. Kaufman; and commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, commanded by Capt. Craig Geron. Capt. Kendall L. Card of Fort Stockton, Texas, commands Abraham Lincoln at the centre of the strike group. Abraham Lincoln carries approximately 3 million gallons of fuel for 70 aircraft and three escort ships, and enough weapons and stores for extended operations without replenishment. The massive flight deck covers 4.5 acres and looms almost seven stories above the water. "Because of our surge capabilities under the new Fleet Response Plan, our deployment will actually result in having spent less days at sea overall," explained Crowder. "We will continue to train for this mission, becoming progressively more ready as we depart the West Coast and head across the Pacific." This is the first deployment for Abraham Lincoln since the ship and crew returned from their historic 10-month deployment in May 2003 supporting Operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.  Abraham Lincoln's embarked air wing consists of the following types of aircraft: F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18E Super Hornet, EA-6B Prowler, E-2C Hawkeye, C-2 Greyhound and SH/HH-60 Seahawk. These aircraft can be used to conduct strikes, support land battles, protect the strike group or other friendly shipping, and implement a sea or air blockade. This will be the first deployment of a carrier air wing without the F-14 Tomcat and the S-3B Viking. This is also the first deployment of an SH-60B Seahawk squadron aboard a carrier; the helicopter is typically deployed on surface combatants.  Also deploying with the Lincoln Strike Group are the following units: - Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 2, the Bounty Hunters, is the Air Wing's air superiority and interceptor squadron. Flying the F/A-18F "Super Hornet," VFA-2 is based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, Calif. - Strike Figher Squadron (VFA) 151, the Vigilantes, is one of the three air wing squadrons that flies the Navy's newest Night Strike Fighter version of the F/A-18 Hornet. VFA-151 is based at NAS Lemoore. - Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 137, the Kestrels, is also an F/A-18 Hornet squadron, fulfilling the strike fighter role. VFA-137 is also based at NAS Lemoore. - Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 82, the Marauders, is also an F/A-18C Hornet squadron, fulfilling the strike fighter role. VFA-82 is based at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C.

18/10/04 VF-103 Commanding Officer Relieved U.S. Atlantic Fleet  Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The commanding officer of Fighter Squadron (VF) 103 "Jolly Rogers" has been relieved by the commander of the USS John F. Kennedy (JFK) (CV 67) Strike Group in October, following a liberty incident during a recent port visit. Capt. W. R. Massey, deputy Carrier Air Wing 17, has temporarily replaced Cmdr. Guy Maiden as commanding officer of VF-103. Cmdr. David Landess is en route to JFK to assume command of the Jolly Rogers. Maiden will be temporarily reassigned to duties in the United States. The relief of VF-103’s commanding officer was an administrative action taken by Rear Adm. Barry McCullough, commander of John F. Kennedy Strike Group after a review of the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident. The U.S. Navy takes these incidents very seriously and holds service members accountable. The JFK Strike Group leadership took immediate action to ensure and reinforce accountability for individual actions. The John F. Kennedy Strike Group is deployed to the Persian Gulf supporting coalition forces in Iraq and providing security for vital sea lines of communication in the region

20/10/04 Exercise Trident Warrior Takes Tarawa ESG into Future USS Tarawa Public Affairs

ABOARD USS TARAWA, At Sea (NNS) -- The crew of the San Diego-based amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa (LHA 1) had its first look at FORCEnet, the next-generation naval war fighting process, during exercise Trident Warrior 04, Oct. 4-15.  The ships of the Tarawa Expeditionary Strike Group participated in Trident Warrior as they headed north to participate in Fleet Week celebrations in San Francisco. The participating units included Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 1, the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Tarawa, USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), USS Cleveland (LPD 7), USS Chosin (CG 65) and USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53). “A lot of people compare FORCEnet with Star Wars, because we’re talking about how to fight battles in the timeframe from 2015 to 2020,” said Cmdr. Paul Lommel, Tarawa’s C4I Officer, who coordinated the ship’s Trident Warrior efforts. “It’s an opportunity for the Navy to take advantage of cutting-edge technology to make a major leap forward.” The FORCEnet technology being tested during Trident Warrior is essential to how U.S. naval forces will conduct battle in the future, according to Tarawa Commanding Officer Capt. John Riley. Riley had a commanding overview of the promise that this new process offers to the Navy’s future aboard his ship, where more than 150 different FORCEnet capabilities and processes were tested and evaluated during this year’s Trident Warrior exercise.  Overall, FORCEnet takes a major step toward achieving the fundamental concepts of the Chief of Naval Operations' vision for future Naval operations, according to Lommel. It will align and integrate Sea Service warriors, networks, sensors and weapons to implement a more centralized warfare network. It also will empower commanders in battle to make better decisions faster and to see the effects of those decisions more rapidly. “Increasing the speed that our naval forces can successfully engage our adversaries in the global war on terrorism has become critically important,” said Riley. “With FORCEnet, instead of taking hours to execute an operational mission, now we’re working down to minutes.” Outside the improved warfighting capabilities, FORCEnet offers other aspects that will improve the quality of life for Sailors, according to Lommel. Sailors will be able to access information on managing their careers through Navy Knowledge Online, and be able to use the Distance Support Web site to help them do their jobs aboard ship. Additionally, they will be able to communicate with their detailers and family using e-mail and Web-based services while deployed. “What impressed me the most was that Navy Knowledge Online gave me a standpoint of where I’m at right now in my career and what I need to do to advance,” said Tarawa crew member Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 2nd Class Tyrell Cleveland, who learned about this new career management system. “I anticipate it will help me a great deal as I start to plan for my future.”  According to Lommel, FORCEnet has no ‘end state’ – the technology and capabilities will continue to grow and evolve as necessary to ensure the continued dominance of U.S. and coalition forces on the battlefield. More importantly to the Sailors and Marines of the Tarawa ESG, most of the FORCEnet technology will remain permanently installed aboard their ships for use during their upcoming deployment.  “The technology looks very promising,” said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Martin MacLorrain, who assisted the Trident Warrior contractors working in Tarawa’s Automated Data Processing shop. “In the parts of our job that involve the FORCEnet technology, everything will be more laid out and there’ll be less guesswork involved in our work.” “What I’ve liked most about Trident Warrior has been the interface between the systems commands, the technical experts and the ship,” said Riley. “This has been a textbook example of building and testing equipment. The technical experts came aboard during Trident Warrior and brought us new systems and equipment, along with the training and logistics support. This has been a true partnership that will bring us, our shipmates and the Navy into the future.”

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