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Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group: Celebrating 75 Years of U.S. 3rd Fleet after Historic Vietnam Visit

By Rear Adm. John Fuller
Commander, Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group

Carl Vinson Strike Group patrols the Western Pacific as U.S. 3rd Fleet marks its 75th anniversary. We are demonstrating America’s commitment to regional security, stability and prosperity.

This deployment marks the second time this strike group deployed to the Indo-Pacific region under an initiative called Third Fleet Forward. Of note, the Carl Vinson Strike Group is the first carrier group in recent history to remain under U.S. 3rd Fleet’s control beyond the international dateline. These deployments provide the Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) commander options to the traditional practice of U.S. 7th Fleet operationally controlling all U.S. Navy ships west of the international dateline and enables PACFLT the opportunity to better leverage the capabilities of its two subordinate fleets.

U.S. 3rd Fleet operating in the Western Pacific is not new. The command’s origins trace back to its formation as a forward-deploying unit under Adm. William “Bull” Halsey Jr., during World War II. Although the size and nature of 3rd Fleet’s mission has changed since that time, Carl Vinson’s current deployment symbolizes a return to 3rd Fleet’s roots. The strike group’s historic four-day port visit to Da Nang, Vietnam is a tangible symbol that 3rd Fleet’s legacy carries on.

Adm. William F. Halsey Jr. (second from left) and Vice Adm. John S. McCain Jr. aboard USS Missouri BB-63 just before the Japanese surrender, circa September 1945. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
Adm. William F. Halsey Jr. (second from left) and Vice Adm. John S. McCain Jr. aboard USS Missouri BB-63 just before the Japanese surrender, circa September 1945. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

 

It was an incredible honor to fulfill an agreement between our top leaders by serving as the first carrier strike group to visit Vietnam in more than 40 years. The visit helped improve the bilateral relationship through people-to-people interactions that will forge stronger ties for years to come. Developing new cooperative relationships in the Indo-Pacific region is critical to stability, and the Carl Vinson Strike Group under 3rd Fleet’s command was pivotal.

U.S. 7th Fleet also played a leading role during the Vietnam visit. Vice Adm. Phillip Sawyer, 7th Fleet’s commander, led the U.S. delegation during formal meetings with key leaders and the U.S. 7th Fleet Band performed free public concerts, showcasing music as a universal language. The Third Fleet Forward construct allowed both numbered fleets to complement one another in Vietnam just as it does at sea.

Rear Adm. John Fuller (right), commander of Carl Vinson Strike Group, accepts a plaque from Vietnamese Rear Adm. Do Quoc Viet, commander, Navy Region 3 while aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), March 6, 2018.
Rear Adm. John Fuller (right), commander of Carl Vinson Strike Group, accepts a plaque from Vietnamese Rear Adm. Do Quoc Viet, commander, Navy Region 3 while aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), March 6, 2018.

 

While transiting the South China Sea prior to the port call in Da Nang, we hosted guests from the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. One of the most heartwarming comments was how such young people – our Sailors – are able to do such sophisticated things. Our visitors gained a better understanding of our Sailors’ character after observing flight operations and interacting with crew members throughout the ship. During various tours and events in Da Nang, the Vietnamese people observed the same. Visitors learned what I know: platforms don’t build maritime cooperation; machines don’t forge relationships that can withstand the test of time – Sailors do. Sailors show our presence and reassure friends and allies. Sailors at sea under 3rd Fleet’s command proudly carry the mission forward.

Congratulations to U.S. 3rd Fleet for 75 years of honorable and dedicated service.

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2018/03/15/carl-vinson-carrier-strike-group-celebrating-75-years-of-u-s-3rd-fleet-after-historic-vietnam-visit/ U.S. Navy

Battle of Coral Sea leads to Midway: A comeback for U.S. Navy

By Rear Adm. John Fuller
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific

Seventy-five years ago today, May 12, 1941, American submarines inflicted the final major casualties of the Battle of the Coral Sea, a fight that tested the skill of our Navy on, under and above the sea.

The Battle of the Coral Sea etched names in our history and heritage: Rear Adm. Frank Jack Fletcher, Lt. “Jo Jo” Powers, Lt. Milton Ricketts, Dauntlesses Devastators aircraft (VB 2, VB 5, VS 2, VS 5, VT 2, VT 5), USS Hammann (DDG 412), USS Neosho (AO 23), USS Lexington (CV 2) and USS Yorktown (CV 5).

A mushroom cloud rises after a heavy explosion on board USS Lexington (CV 2), May 8, 1942. This is probably the great explosion from the detonation of torpedo warheads stowed in the starboard side of the hangar, aft, that followed an explosion amidships at 5:27 p.m. Note USS Yorktown (CV-5) on the horizon in the left center, and destroyer USS Hammann (DD 412) at the extreme left. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
A mushroom cloud rises after a heavy explosion on board USS Lexington (CV 2), May 8, 1942. This is probably the great explosion from the detonation of torpedo warheads stowed in the starboard side of the hangar, aft, that followed an explosion amidships at 5:27 p.m. Note USS Yorktown (CV 5) on the horizon in the left center, and destroyer USS Hammann (DD 412) at the extreme left. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

The enemy sank our aircraft carrier USS Lexington and so badly damaged another carrier, USS Yorktown, they thought it too was lost.

But the carrier, captain and crew were tough, resilient and determined. And so was our Navy.

On May 27, Yorktown made it back into the Pearl Harbor channel and eased into drydock at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, met by Adm. Chester Nimitz, who conducted an immediate inspection.

Back then, Sailors and civilians were still in recovery mode after the attacks of Dec. 7, 1941. Shipyard workers were repairing hulls, propellers and pumps on damaged ships.

Simultaneously, ashore at what is now known as Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, preparations were underway for the battle that would turn the tides in America’s favor in the war in the Pacific.

While Imperial Japan felt emboldened and confident after the destruction the Japanese inflicted to our Pacific Fleet battleships, we were quietly getting ready to engage in multiple domains, including cyber, through codebreaking.

At Station Hypo in Building One, Navy code breakers, led by Lt. Cmdr. Edwin Layton and Lt. Cmdr. Joe Rochefort, provided intelligence to Nimitz about the enemy’s plans to attack Midway Atoll. The surprise, combined with luck and courage, would give the Americans the edge despite the armada they faced at Midway.

Meanwhile, at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, workers, who had already been working for months to salvage, recover and repair warships in the harbor, would have to perform a miracle for Yorktown.

View of damage on USS Yorktown’s third and fourth decks, amidships, caused by a 250 kilogram bomb hit received during the Battle of Coral Sea. This view looks forward and to starboard from the ship's centerline at frame 110. The photographer is in compartment C-301-L , shooting down through the third deck into compartment C-402-A. The large hole in the deck was made by the bomb's explosion. Many men were killed or badly injured in C-301-L, a crew's messing space that was the assembly area for the ship's engineering repair party. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
View of damage on USS Yorktown’s third and fourth decks, amidships, caused by a 250 kilogram bomb hit received during the Battle of Coral Sea. This view looks forward and to starboard from the ship’s centerline at frame 110. The photographer is in compartment C-301-L , shooting down through the third deck into compartment C-402-A. The large hole in the deck was made by the bomb’s explosion. Many men were killed or badly injured in C-301-L, a crew’s messing space that was the assembly area for the ship’s engineering repair party. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

 

Nimitz ordered the ship to be ready in three days.

According to historian Thomas Cutler, “Civilian yard workers swarmed aboard armed with a different arsenal of war – hammers, acetylene torches and the like – and soon the ship echoed with a cacophony of frantic but purposeful activity. Working around the clock in temperatures sometimes reaching 120 degrees, these workers labored in an eerie world of pulsating light, choking smoke, pungent fumes and a racing clock. Three days later, the resurrection was complete. Yorktown steamed down the channel, headed for sea and ‘rendezvous with destiny,’ civilian workers spilling from her insides into small boats alongside as she went.”

Cutler said the U.S. Navy’s victory at the Battle of Midway is shared by those workers here at Pearl Harbor. “The miracle began when others fought exhaustion and the clock to do the seemingly impossible.”

Japanese facilities burning on Tanambogo Island, east of Tulagi, Aug. 7, 1942 – the Battle of Guadalcanal invasion's first day. This view looks about ESE, with Gavutu Island to the right, connected to Tanambogo by a causeway. Small island to the left is Gaomi. The Florida Islands are in the distance. Photographed from an SBD aircraft based on one of the supporting U.S. aircraft carriers. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
Japanese facilities burning on Tanambogo Island, east of Tulagi, Aug. 7, 1942 – the Battle of Guadalcanal invasion’s first day. This view looks about ESE, with Gavutu Island to the right, connected to Tanambogo by a causeway. Small island to the left is Gaomi. The Florida Islands are in the distance. Photographed from an SBD aircraft based on one of the supporting U.S. aircraft carriers. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

The war in the Pacific started in Pearl Harbor and so did the comeback.

After Midway, our Sailors and Marines continued to fight across the Pacific and northward from Guadalcanal, eventually defeating Imperial Japan and setting the stage for greater freedom, democracy and prosperity.

Editor’s note: Fuller is finishing up his tour as commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. He is slated to become commander of Carrier Strike Group 1 this summer.

 

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2017/05/12/battle-of-coral-sea-leads-to-midway-a-comeback-for-u-s-navy/ U.S. Navy

Getting to Green: U.S. Navy Building Strength Through Stewardship in Hawaii

By Rear Adm. John Fuller
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific

April is Earth Month, which makes this the perfect opportunity to reflect on the mutually beneficial and strong relationships we share in Hawaii. We are all part of the ohana (family), and we all care about the environment and protecting and strengthening it through cooperative stewardship.

PEARL HARBOR (Oct. 8, 2016) Chief Petty Officer James Powers removes invasive non-native vegetation during a National Public Lands Day cleanup at the ancient fishpond, Loko Pa’aiau, at McGrew Point Navy housing on Oahu. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st class Ernesto Bonilla/Released)
PEARL HARBOR (Oct. 8, 2016) Chief Petty Officer James Powers removes invasive non-native vegetation during a National Public Lands Day cleanup at the ancient fishpond, Loko Pa’aiau, at McGrew Point Navy housing on Oahu. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st class Ernesto Bonilla/Released)

Let’s look at some tangible examples where the ohana delivered and let’s start with a really cool initiative, Loko Pa‘aiau fishpond. Located at McGrew Point Navy housing, this ancient fishpond is one of three fishponds in the Pearl Harbor area which is still relatively intact. Our volunteers work closely with Hawaiian civic clubs and school groups to periodically conduct cleanups, removing invasive mangrove and pickleweed. Ultimately, this partnership will re-create a fully functional restored fishpond available for educational opportunities for future generations.

Here are some other examples of good neighbors working together to protect the environment:

Adopt a Stream: Navy’s Afloat Training Group Middle Pacific adopted Kalauao Stream through the City and County of Honolulu’s Adopt-a-Stream program, cleaning and managing areas around the stream. With our neighbors, we clean beaches and roadways as part of a network of partners in the community.

Pearl Harbor Bike Path cleanup: Speaking of being good neighbors, for the past 10 years the Navy partnered with the City and County of Honolulu to clean up the bike path twice, annually. Last month, Mayor Caldwell’s office awarded our volunteers – service members, civilians and family members – with another Good Neighbor and Environmental Hero award.

HONOLULU (Feb. 22, 2017) Rear Adm. John Fuller, center, and representatives of volunteers throughout the Navy and local community pose for a photograph during a presentation of honorary certificates at Honolulu Hale in Honolulu. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Laurie Dexter/Released)
HONOLULU (Feb. 22, 2017) Rear Adm. John Fuller, center, and representatives of volunteers throughout the Navy and local community pose for a photograph during a presentation of honorary certificates at Honolulu Hale in Honolulu. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Laurie Dexter/Released)

 

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam: At the Joint Base, Air Force Airmen and Navy Sailors and their families join together to mālama ‘aina (protecting the land). Last year JBPHH closed Fort Kamehameha Beach and Ahua Reef to all domestic animals in an effort to protect endangered birds and sensitive plant species and restore the reef and important wetland sites. Each fall, JBPHH invites our Native Hawaiian friends and partners on base to conduct the wonderful Makahiki celebration. Cultural and environmental sustainability go hand in hand.

KAUAI, Hawaii (Oct. 27 2015) With light shielded from view above, members of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) environmental program at Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), Barking Sands on Kauai use ornithology radar to keep track of flight patterns of the Newell’s Shearwater. The Newell’s Shearwater is an endangered pelagic seabird that flies to remote areas of Kauai to nest during the night. PMRF is implementing new programs such as the Dark Skies Program along with the use of radar ornithology to assist with ongoing conservation efforts and improve the birds’ chances of safely making it to sea. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gabrielle Joyner/released)
KAUAI, Hawaii (Oct. 27 2015) With light shielded from view above, members of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) environmental program at Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), Barking Sands on Kauai use ornithology radar to keep track of flight patterns of the Newell’s Shearwater. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gabrielle Joyner/released)

Pacific Missile Range Facility: We believe PMRF – our installation at Barking Sands, Kauai – is the Navy’s pound-for-pound environmental stewardship champion. Officials including from Hawaii House of Representatives (“Stewardship of the Land and Strong Community Involvement”), National Military Fish & Wildlife Association and the Kauai County Council – presented 11 environmental awards in seven years to PMRF. Achievements include albatross relocation project, shearwater fallout prevention, honeybee and hive protection, and sea turtle nesting and hatching monitoring.

Accountability: Several years ago, during excavation at Radford High School’s track and football field, workers discovered debris that our military left there many decades ago. U.S. Navy partnered with the Department of Education and the Department of Health to study, safeguard and remove debris. The Navy spent $9.2 million to help restore the track and field area. In another example, we recently closed legacy cesspools that predated joint-basing in order to comply with state law.

We remain committed to confronting and being accountable for our actions and we are equally committed to presenting science-based evidence to enhance understanding and highlight solutions.

Those were just a few examples that highlight our environmental stewardship and strong partnerships in the community. However, there are many more including mammal protection; energy security initiatives and our proven track record with solar energy, biofuels, and other renewables; Red Hill and our commitment to keeping the drinking water safe; and our key partnership with the state to combat the invasive Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle.

151003-N-ON468-060 PEARL HARBOR (Oct. 3, 2015) U.S. Air Force Col. Dick Palmieri, left, helps civilian volunteers uproot vegetation with a shovel during a National Public Lands Day cleanup at the ancient fishpond, Loko Pa’aiau, at McGrew Point Navy housing on Oahu. The fish pond restoration started September 2014 and is an ongoing cultural resources project involving the Navy and the local community. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeff Troutman/Released)
151003-N-ON468-060 PEARL HARBOR (Oct. 3, 2015) U.S. Air Force Col. Dick Palmieri, left, helps civilian volunteers uproot vegetation with a shovel during a National Public Lands Day cleanup at the ancient fishpond, Loko Pa’aiau, at McGrew Point Navy housing on Oahu. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeff Troutman/Released)

As part of the ohana, we will continue to do our part to protect and preserve our Hawaii Nei (beloved Hawaii) – and not just during Earth Month, but always.

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2017/04/21/getting-to-green-u-s-navy-building-strength-through-stewardship-in-hawaii/ U.S. Navy

Getting to Green: U.S. Navy Building Strength Through Stewardship in Hawaii

By Rear Adm. John Fuller
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific

April is Earth Month, which makes this the perfect opportunity to reflect on the mutually beneficial and strong relationships we share in Hawaii. We are all part of the ohana (family), and we all care about the environment and protecting and strengthening it through cooperative stewardship.

Let’s look at some tangible examples where the ohana delivered and let’s start with a really cool initiative, Loko Pa‘aiau fishpond. Located at McGrew Point Navy housing, this ancient fishpond is one of three fishponds in the Pearl Harbor area which is still relatively intact. Our volunteers work closely with Hawaiian civic clubs and school groups to periodically conduct cleanups, removing invasive mangrove and pickleweed. Ultimately, this partnership will re-create a fully functional restored fishpond available for educational opportunities for future generations.

Here are some other examples of good neighbors working together to protect the environment:

Adopt a Stream: Navy’s Afloat Training Group Middle Pacific adopted Kalauao Stream through the City and County of Honolulu’s Adopt-a-Stream program, cleaning and managing areas around the stream. With our neighbors, we clean beaches and roadways as part of a network of partners in the community.

Pearl Harbor Bike Path cleanup: Speaking of being good neighbors, for the past 10 years the Navy partnered with the City and County of Honolulu to clean up the bike path twice, annually. Last month, Mayor Caldwell’s office awarded our volunteers – service members, civilians and family members – with another Good Neighbor and Environmental Hero award.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam: At the Joint Base, Air Force Airmen and Navy Sailors and their families join together to mālama ‘aina (protecting the land). Last year JBPHH closed Fort Kamehameha Beach and Ahua Reef to all domestic animals in an effort to protect endangered birds and sensitive plant species and restore the reef and important wetland sites. Each fall, JBPHH invites our Native Hawaiian friends and partners on base to conduct the wonderful Makahiki celebration. Cultural and environmental sustainability go hand in hand.

Pacific Missile Range Facility:  We believe PMRF – our installation at Barking Sands, Kauai – is the Navy’s pound-for-pound environmental stewardship champion. Officials including from Hawaii House of Representatives (“Stewardship of the Land and Strong Community Involvement”), National Military Fish & Wildlife Association and the Kauai County Council – presented 11 environmental awards in  seven years to PMRF. Achievements include albatross relocation project, shearwater fallout prevention, honeybee and hive protection, and sea turtle nesting and hatching monitoring.

Accountability: Several years ago, during excavation at Radford High School’s track and football field, workers discovered debris that our military left there many decades ago. U.S. Navy partnered with the Department of Education and the Department of Health to study, safeguard and remove debris. The Navy spent $9.2 million to help restore the track and field area. In another example, we recently closed legacy cesspools that predated joint-basing in order to comply with state law.

We remain committed to confronting and being accountable for our actions and we are equally committed to presenting science-based evidence to enhance understanding and highlight solutions.

Those were just a few examples that highlight our environmental stewardship and strong partnerships in the community. However, there are many more including mammal protection; energy security initiatives and our proven track record with solar energy, biofuels and other renewables; Red Hill and our commitment to keeping the drinking water safe; and our key partnership with the state to combat the invasive Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle.

As part of the ohana, we will continue to do our part to protect and preserve our Hawaii Nei (beloved Hawaii) – and not just during Earth Month, but always.

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2017/04/20/getting-to-green-u-s-navy-building-strength-through-stewardship-in-hawaii/ candacewilliams

U.S. Navy Toughness: ‘Amazing Grace’ and namesake USS Hopper

By Rear Adm. John Fuller
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific

Our Navy continues to grow as a force, with our Sailors judged based on the content of the individual’s character, leadership and performance, not gender. Women’s History Month is an opportunity to consider how far we’ve come: Women and men working together – along with our families – are critical enablers and our greatest advantage.

Sailors aboard USS Hopper (DDG 70) return to Pearl Harbor following their 180-day independent deployment to the Arabian Gulf, Western Pacific and Indian Ocean, Feb. 21. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
Sailors aboard USS Hopper (DDG 70) return to Pearl Harbor following their 180-day independent deployment to the Arabian Gulf, Western Pacific and Indian Ocean, Feb. 21. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

Recently, the women and men of USS Hopper (DDG 70) returned from deployment. Welcome home!

USS Hopper returned to Pearl Harbor after representing us and our U.S. 3rd Fleet while operating in the 5th Fleet and 7th Fleet areas of operation – in the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf and in points and ports in between.

The Sailors aboard Hopper worked with partners and friends, including the Royal Australian navy, building relationships and protecting America’s interests.

Their successful deployment marks another milestone in the ship’s proud history, and is a tribute USS Hopper’s namesake, Rear Adm. “Amazing” Grace Hopper.

On Dec. 7, 1941, when Grace Hopper heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor, she signed up to join the Navy.

Capt. Grace Hopper, head of the Navy Programming Language Section of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OP 911F), discusses a phase of her work with a staff member, August 1976. (U.S. Navy photo by PH2 David C. MacLean/Released)
Capt. Grace Hopper, head of the Navy Programming Language Section of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OP 911F), discusses a phase of her work with a staff member, August 1976. (U.S. Navy photo by PH2 David C. MacLean/Released)

The trouble was, the Navy had no female commissioned officers at the time. Hopper became one of the early WAVES: Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Services, and she worked at Harvard University on one of the first computers, helping in the war effort on the homefront.

Her success as a computer programmer and creator of COBOL language is legendary. And so is her toughness.

Grace Hopper faced an extra-thick glass ceiling. Others held her back because of her gender or because of rigid thinking and lack of imagination.

But, Grace Hopper prevailed. She demonstrated her forward-thinking vision and the drive and commitment to achieve her vision. She believed in science-based decision-making. And she demonstrated mental toughness.

Many years ago society, including our military, denied women the same opportunities as men. In recent decades, the Navy has opened more career opportunities regardless of gender. And today, women are embracing opportunities and seizing the success they can on a more level playing field.

Women shipmates – navigators, mechanics, federal workers, ship-drivers, aviators and many others – are working together as part of our One Navy Team.

We are stronger when we work together.

Amazing Grace passed away in 1992. Less than five years later the U.S. Navy commissioned USS Hopper (DDG 70).

Last November, President Barack Obama presented Hopper with a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Deborah Murray, accepting on behalf of her great aunt, Grace Hopper, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 28, 2016. (Official White House photo by Chuck Kennedy)
President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Deborah Murray, accepting on behalf of her great aunt, Grace Hopper, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 28, 2016. (Official White House photo by Chuck Kennedy)

 

President Obama said during the ceremony, “If Wright is flight and Edison is light, then Hopper is code.” We should all be inspired by Hopper, because she personified Honor, Courage, Commitment – and Toughness.

Editor’s note: USS Hopper is part of Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, homeported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) makes a breakaway following a replenishment-at-sea with the fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8) in the Arabian Gulf, Nov. 18, 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Cole Keller/Released)
The guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) makes a breakaway following a replenishment-at-sea with the fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8) in the Arabian Gulf, Nov. 18, 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Cole Keller/Released)

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2017/03/17/u-s-navy-toughness-amazing-grace-and-namesake-uss-hopper/ U.S. Navy

U.S. Navy Toughness: ‘Amazing Grace’ and namesake USS Hopper

By Rear Adm. John Fuller
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific

Our Navy continues to grow as a force, with our Sailors judged based on the content of the individual’s character, leadership and performance, not gender. Women’s History Month is an opportunity to consider how far we’ve come: Women and men working together – along with our families – are critical enablers and our greatest advantage.

Sailors aboard USS Hopper (DDG 70) return to Pearl Harbor following their 180-day independent deployment to the Arabian Gulf, Western Pacific and Indian Ocean, Feb. 21. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
Sailors aboard USS Hopper (DDG 70) return to Pearl Harbor following their 180-day independent deployment to the Arabian Gulf, Western Pacific and Indian Ocean, Feb. 21. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

Recently, the women and men of USS Hopper (DDG 70) returned from deployment. Welcome home!

USS Hopper returned to Pearl Harbor after representing us and our U.S. 3rd Fleet while operating in the 5th Fleet and 7th Fleet areas of operation – in the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf and in points and ports in between.

The Sailors aboard Hopper worked with partners and friends, including the Royal Australian navy, building relationships and protecting America’s interests.

Their successful deployment marks another milestone in the ship’s proud history, and is a tribute USS Hopper’s namesake, Rear Adm. “Amazing” Grace Hopper.

On Dec. 7, 1941, when Grace Hopper heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor, she signed up to join the Navy.

Capt. Grace Hopper, head of the Navy Programming Language Section of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OP 911F), discusses a phase of her work with a staff member, August 1976. (U.S. Navy photo by PH2 David C. MacLean/Released)
Capt. Grace Hopper, head of the Navy Programming Language Section of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OP 911F), discusses a phase of her work with a staff member, August 1976. (U.S. Navy photo by PH2 David C. MacLean/Released)

The trouble was, the Navy had no female commissioned officers at the time. Hopper became one of the early WAVES: Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Services, and she worked at Harvard University on one of the first computers, helping in the war effort on the homefront.

Her success as a computer programmer and creator of COBOL language is legendary. And so is her toughness.

Grace Hopper faced an extra-thick glass ceiling. Others held her back because of her gender or because of rigid thinking and lack of imagination.

But, Grace Hopper prevailed. She demonstrated her forward-thinking vision and the drive and commitment to achieve her vision. She believed in science-based decision-making. And she demonstrated mental toughness.

Many years ago society, including our military, denied women the same opportunities as men. In recent decades, the Navy has opened more career opportunities regardless of gender. And today, women are embracing opportunities and seizing the success they can on a more level playing field.

Women shipmates – navigators, mechanics, federal workers, ship-drivers, aviators and many others – are working together as part of our One Navy Team.

We are stronger when we work together.

Amazing Grace passed away in 1992. Less than five years later the U.S. Navy commissioned USS Hopper (DDG 70).

Last November, President Barack Obama presented Hopper with a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Deborah Murray, accepting on behalf of her great aunt, Grace Hopper, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 28, 2016. (Official White House photo by Chuck Kennedy)
President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Deborah Murray, accepting on behalf of her great aunt, Grace Hopper, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 28, 2016. (Official White House photo by Chuck Kennedy)

 

President Obama said during the ceremony, “If Wright is flight and Edison is light, then Hopper is code.” We should all be inspired by Hopper, because she personified Honor, Courage, Commitment – and Toughness.

Editor’s note: USS Hopper is part of Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, homeported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) makes a breakaway following a replenishment-at-sea with the fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8) in the Arabian Gulf, Nov. 18, 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Cole Keller/Released)
The guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) makes a breakaway following a replenishment-at-sea with the fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8) in the Arabian Gulf, Nov. 18, 2016. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Cole Keller/Released)

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2017/03/17/u-s-navy-toughness-amazing-grace-and-namesake-uss-hopper/ U.S. Navy

Dorie Miller’s Legacy: Inspiration for all U.S. Navy Sailors and all Americans

By Rear Adm. John Fuller
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific

The story of Dorie Miller is inspiring for all Sailors and all Americans.

In honor of African American History Month, let’s consider what his legacy means for all of us.

Mess Attendant Third Class Doris “Dorie” Miller
Mess Attendant Third Class Doris “Dorie” Miller

Mess Attendant Third Class Doris “Dorie” Miller was ready, willing and able Dec. 7, 1941. He literally took matters into his own hands to protect his ship and his shipmates when he – on his own volition – took control of a machine gun aboard USS West Virginia (BB 48) and returned fire during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Prior to and even during World War II, mess attendants were relegated to laundry detail, cooking meals, swabbing the deck and shining officers’ shoes.

And, while the support functions the mess attendants provided then – and by extension the things our culinary specialists do today – have mission impacts, “messmen” were not allowed to be direct warfighters. In a fight, they carried ammunition and they carried the wounded to medical care.

They also carried the weight of discrimination and segregation – separate and unequal.

Adm. Chester Nimitz presents Dorie Miller with the Navy Cross on May 27, 1942, aboard USS Enterprise (CV 6) for Miller’s valor on Dec. 7, 1941. (Photo courtesy of the National Archives)
Adm. Chester Nimitz presents Dorie Miller with the Navy Cross on May 27, 1942, aboard USS Enterprise (CV 6) for Miller’s valor on Dec. 7, 1941. (Photo courtesy of the National Archives)

Adm. Chester Nimitz personally presented Miller with the Navy Cross May 27, 1942 aboard USS Enterprise (CV 6) for his valor Dec. 7, 1941.

Then, like most Pearl Harbor survivors, Miller took the fight from Hawaii and across the Pacific.

Miller was aboard USS Liscome Bay (CVE 56) in November 1943 during the Battle of Makin Island when an Imperial Japanese Navy submarine sank his ship. Miller was among the 646 Sailors killed when Liscome Bay went down.

In addition to the Navy Cross and other medals and awards, the Navy honored Doris “Dorie” Miller in 1973 by commissioning a Knox-class frigate, named USS Miller (FF 1091) after him.

On Oct. 11, 1991, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority dedicated a bronze commemoration plaque in a military housing community near Pearl Harbor that is also his namesake – Doris Miller Housing.

Miller became a poster-hero in the earliest days of the civil rights movement.

He became a symbol of the notion that we should expect the exceptional if talented individuals have an equal opportunity or level playing field.

Miller fought for the ideals that our founders so eloquently described in the Declaration of Independence and in our Constitution, ideals that are meant for every American.

The United States military – and our society – have made great strides since President Truman desegregated the military; since Brown v. Board of Education; and since Presidents Kennedy and Johnson (both former U.S. Navy officers and World War II veterans) fought for and achieved the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

Today, as we contemplate Miller’s bravery over 75 years ago and his sacrifice for our freedom, let’s consider the gift he and other World War II Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Marines gave us.

We have peace and freedom for ourselves, and our families because of their sacrifice and we must protect that gift.

Think about it: Dorie Miller and other young service members killed in World War II never had a chance to have their own family. We, however, have the privilege to honor their memory.

Since 1945 millions of American families have lived, loved and thrived thanks to the sacrifices warfighters like Miller made during World War II. Here in Hawaii, hundreds of families since 1991 have called the Doris Miller Housing community “home.”

Like Miller and his shipmates, we who wear the cloth of our nation are ready, willing and able to run toward danger to defend our homeland and our values.

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Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

As part of the 75th commemoration of the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor and other U.S. military facilities on Oahu, Petty Officer 2nd Class Freddie White shared how Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller’s toughness, accountability, integrity and initiative have influenced him.

Profiles in Leadership

To achieve optimal mission readiness, we provide every U.S. Navy Sailor and civilian with equal access to the tools and resources they need to succeed. Rear Adm. Fuller shares why his entire goal is to let his work and the content of his character speak for itself.

 

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2017/02/21/dorie-millers-legacy-inspiration-for-all-u-s-navy-sailors-and-all-americans/ U.S. Navy

Innovation Lessons from Great White Fleet and Great Green Fleet ‘Energize’ RIMPAC 2016

By Rear Adm. John Fuller
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific
Commander, Task Force Energy and Environment

More than 100 years ago this month – July 16, 1908 – President Teddy Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet sailed into Hawaii as part of its cruise that circumnavigated the globe.

Then, the armada of 16 battleships, painted white, steamed into the harbor trailing thick black smoke from the coal-fired engines that drove them. One of the goals of the Great White Fleet was to demonstrate the capability of new technologies and platforms to enable the U.S. Navy to establish itself as a worldwide presence.

Atlantic Fleet battleships steaming out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, at the start of their World cruise, 16 December 1907. The nearest ship is USS Maine (Battleship # 10). Next astern is USS Missouri (Battleship # 11). U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Atlantic Fleet battleships steaming out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, at the start of their World cruise, 16 December 1907. The nearest ship is USS Maine (Battleship # 10). Next astern is USS Missouri (Battleship # 11). U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

 

One of Roosevelt’s challenges with operating the Great White Fleet was whether there would be enough sources of fuel to support the trip. So, even then, the availability of fuel determined our ability to operate forward.

In those days, as it does today, Pearl Harbor played a critical role as a strategic logistics hub for the Pacific. The Navy originally established Pearl Harbor as a coaling station for ships transiting the world’s largest ocean.

Firemen. Members of the "Black Gang", stoke the coal burning power plants of the battleships of the Great White Fleet. Circa 1907-1908.

Firemen. Members of the “Black Gang”, stoke the coal burning power plants of the battleships of the Great White Fleet. Circa 1907-1908.

It was not an easy transition from wooden ships and sail to steel hulls and coal-fired steam engines but, in the purest sense, the Great White Fleet was absolutely bold, innovative, audacious and daring.

Naysayers warned against abandoning the “tried and true” wooden sailing ships for a new technology– steam power– that they saw as too dangerous and unproven. Yet, in a relatively short time, the U.S. Navy and all the great navies embraced the new concept.

One hundred years ago, the world was changing and it was changing more quickly than ever before in history. Sound familiar?

During Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016, we are linked to last century’s Great White Fleet by the innovation chain demonstrated by the Great Green Fleet.

I’d be willing to bet that a hundred years ago, Sailors would scratch their heads (and their beards) if they heard words like photovoltaic, biofuel blend, LED lights, nuclear fission, net zero, and Great Green Fleet.

What would the great leaders of the past think about today’s culture of change, about embracing new fuels and efficiencies, and about the construct of using energy as a key element in operations – including directed energy weapons systems?

SOUTH CHINA SEA (March 4, 2016) – Seaman Recruit Joshua Mwamba, from Dallas, signals the fast combat support ship USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7) during a replenishment at sea to receive a blend of advanced biofuel and stores aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53). Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, Mobile Bay is operating as part of the John C. Stennis Strike Group and Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan J. Batchelder/Released)

SOUTH CHINA SEA (March 4, 2016) – Seaman Recruit Joshua Mwamba, from Dallas, signals the fast combat support ship USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7) during a replenishment at sea to receive a blend of advanced biofuel and stores aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53). Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, Mobile Bay is operating as part of the John C. Stennis Strike Group and Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan J. Batchelder/Released)

 

Today, as part of the Great Green Fleet, we are achieving what Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, calls a “new normal” in fleet operations, where energy is an operational and tactical resource. As a “fact of life,” we must continue developing the tools and tactics to use energy as part of that chain of events necessary to achieve mission success.

Just as we learned from history – that there is a greater good in productive, capable, and adaptive partnerships – we also can learn how to be better stewards of the environment and smarter users of energy:

  • We can conserve non-renewable resources.
  • We can develop renewable sources of energy.
  • We can achieve synergy and strength by working together.

Today, with the Great Green Fleet, we demonstrate our interdependence as team players with our friends and partners – moving away from a reliance on nonrenewable energy and moving toward protecting our shared global environment.

The Great Green Fleet’s Task Force Energy and Environment at RIMPAC 2016 demonstrates collaboration, cooperation, communication and innovation here in the beautiful Hawaiian Islands – where navies can train like nowhere else on Earth and achieve a mastery of the sea even Roosevelt could not predict.

Editor’s notes: For more information on RIMPAC 2016, visit the following links:

Be a part of the conversation on social media using #RIMPAC and #PacificPartners.

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2016/07/09/innovation-lessons-from-great-white-fleet-and-great-green-fleet-energize-rimpac-2016/ U.S. Navy

Constellations to Steer by in Middle Pacific

By Rear Adm. John Fuller
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific

Last Wednesday, June 8, was World Oceans Day, which makes this a good time to reflect on our Navy’s commitment here in Middle Pacific – in the world’s biggest ocean – and consider our shared values with friends and partners. As any Sailor can tell you, the sea does not separate us. It brings us together.

That’s why I am inspired to learn more about traditional voyagers like the Samoa Voyaging Society and Polynesian Voyaging Society.

Adm. Scott Swift, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and Rear Adm. Vince Atkins, commander of the Fourteenth Coast Guard District, visited Samoa last February. While there – along with other dignitaries – the admirals personally met with and congratulated Lefagaoali‘i Savai‘i, the first woman captain of the Samoa Voyaging Society.

Meanwhile, traditional voyagers from Hawaii’s Polynesian Voyaging Society are sailing aboard Hōkūleʻa on a three-year global journey called Mālama Honua (“to care for our Island Earth”).

Like our Navy, traditional voyaging groups show their commitment to healthy oceans, renewable energy, cultural heritage and good navigation. Aboard their canoes, the voyagers sail by the wind and steer by the constellations, using only traditional wayfinding and celestial navigation techniques. This is something our Navy is reemphasizing and again teaching at our schools, including at the U.S. Naval Academy and Surface Warfare Officers School.

The commanding officer of SWOS, my good friend Capt. Dave Welch, is intimately aware of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. As former CO of USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) and commodore of Destroyer Squadron 31 here in Pearl Harbor several years ago, Capt. Welch and his Sailors volunteered their off-duty time to sand canoes and refurbish PVS facilities as part of Navy community outreach.

HONOLULU (Jan. 22, 2011) Sailors sand down pieces of a Polynesian canoe for the Polynesian Voyaging Society, who plans on sailing the canoe around the world using ancient techniques without any electronics or navigation equipment. Sailors assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 31, the guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) and Navy Information Operations Command Hawaii spent the day restoring the canoe, support vessels and work areas while learning about ancient Hawaiian culture in the process. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Paul D. Honnick/Released)

HONOLULU (Jan. 22, 2011) Sailors sand down pieces of a Polynesian canoe for the Polynesian Voyaging Society, who plans on sailing the canoe around the world using ancient techniques without any electronics or navigation equipment. Sailors assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 31, the guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) and Navy Information Operations Command Hawaii spent the day restoring the canoe, support vessels and work areas while learning about ancient Hawaiian culture in the process. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Paul D. Honnick/Released)

 

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM (March 21, 2013) Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Peter Davidson, a search and rescue (SAR) swimmer assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90), conducts an underwater rescue approach technique for active drown victim Lehua Kamalu. The training was held with the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) during a survival safety training course at Scott Pool. SAR swimmers demonstrated techniques for basic approaches, release holds and transport techniques for PVS. The training was coordinated by the Afloat Training Group Middle Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nardel Gervacio/Released)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM (March 21, 2013) Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Peter Davidson, a search and rescue (SAR) swimmer assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90), conducts an underwater rescue approach technique for active drown victim Lehua Kamalu. The training was held with the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) during a survival safety training course at Scott Pool. SAR swimmers demonstrated techniques for basic approaches, release holds and transport techniques for PVS. The training was coordinated by the Afloat Training Group Middle Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nardel Gervacio/Released)

Prior to launching their global journey, Hōkūleʻa voyagers received training in search and rescue swimming from U.S. Navy Sailors at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Now Sailors, veterans and their families on the East Coast are turning out to meet the voyagers, tour Hōkūleʻa, and learn more about celestial navigation and traditional voyaging.

Last week, the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Hōkūleʻa was in New York City for World Oceans Day celebrations. They will be going up to New England in the days ahead. In recent weeks, the voyagers visited Florida, the Carolinas, Virginia and Washington, D.C. (Hōkūleʻa has already sailed around Africa, visited Cuba, and will head to the Mediterranean. We look forward to their safe homecoming to the islands next year.)

Mālama Honua highlights our shared values: a courageous warrior’s ethos committed to preserving peace. We share our deep respect for the sea and for the environment. We believe in relationship-building and a strong commitment to diversity, innovation and science. Like all mariners, we have a common sense of adventure, perseverance and resilience.

These are constellations to steer by in the 21st century.

For hundreds of years our Navy has respected international laws, protected sea lanes and built cooperation with friends and partners. Ships deployed from or through Hawaii have helped our Navy preserve greater prosperity for many nations and hundreds of millions of people in Indo-Asia-Pacific.

Adm. Swift speaks of an “international rules-based system that emerged from the ashes of World War II and benefitted so many nations over the past 70 years. Codified by a series of norms, standards, rules and laws, adherence to this system remains the best possible way for all nations – large and small – to continue to rise peacefully, prosperously and securely.”

And our friends throughout the Pacific know we can and will respond with humanitarian assistance in times of need.

PACIFIC OCEAN (July 25, 2014) Forty-two ships and submarines representing 15 international partner nations maneuver into a close formation during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2014 was the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Shannon Renfroe/Released)

PACIFIC OCEAN (July 25, 2014) Forty-two ships and submarines representing 15 international partner nations maneuver into a close formation during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2014 was the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Shannon Renfroe/Released)

Next month, we will welcome 27 nations to the Middle Pacific to participate in the world’s biggest maritime exercise: Rim of the Pacific 2016. During RIMPAC, in support of Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, commander, U.S. Third Fleet, we will explore new and innovative ways to use energy and protect the environment as part of the Great Green Fleet.

Our Navy is committed to reducing the use of fossil fuels that damage the environment and put warfighters at risk. Our Sailors and Marines are embracing renewable and alternative energy and innovative ways to use science, technology, engineering and mathematics for greater sustainability. We embrace the concepts that will lead to a “healthy ocean, healthy planet,” the theme of World Oceans Day.

The United States is a Pacific nation, with a responsibility – a commitment – to maintain security and stability for ourselves and our friends and allies. That’s our North Star. We achieve greater mutual understanding, security and prosperity by working together – communicating, training, learning and applying corrections to old observations. Just like we must align ourselves before we navigate by the stars.

 

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2016/06/13/constellations-to-steer-by-in-middle-pacific/ U.S. Navy