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USS Carl Vinson, Embarked Tigers, Depart Pearl Harbor for Home

Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and the embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, after a scheduled four-day port visit, June 17.

While in Hawaii, Carl Vinson Sailors hosted tours and greeted family and friends who will ride the ship on her easterly transit to her homeport of Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego.

“Being able to have my family get a feel of the ship when we’re out here grinding every day is really special,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Jason Stanfield, of Cypress, Texas. “I’m really looking forward to showing them my spaces and the air power demonstration the ship has coordinated. It’s a rare opportunity.”

Stanfield’s father shared his son’s enthusiasm, noting that he is excited to see what life is really like on a Navy warship at sea.

“We see many portrayals of life at sea in the media, but I am looking forward to experiencing it firsthand,” said Chad Linna. “As I do that, I get to spend the final days of my son’s deployment with him. It’s an all-around rewarding and unique experience.”

U.S. Navy aircraft carrier strike groups have patrolled the Indo-Asia-Pacific regularly and routinely for more than 70 years and will continue to do so. Carl Vinson has deployed to the region several times, starting with a deployment to the Western Pacific in 1983 a year after commissioning. Most recently in 2015, Carl Vinson conducted port visits and exercises with regional navies in the South China Sea.

Busy Week at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam

USS Carl Vinson visits Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam following deployment
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) is scheduled to visit Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, June 14.

USS Carl Vinson

Commanded by Capt. Douglas Verissimo, the ship and her crew of more than 5,000 Sailors departed Naval Air Station North Island for a regularly-scheduled deployment with the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group as part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet-led initiative to extend the command and control functions of U.S. 3rd Fleet into the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, Jan. 5.
During the deployment, Carl Vinson conducted training as part of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group off the coast of Hawaii to improve readiness and cohesion as a strike group.
Carl Vinson also conducted bilateral operations with the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, including visit, board, search and seizure drills, tactical maneuvering, flag hoisting drills, photo exercises and air, surface and anti-submarine warfare training.
Additionally, Carl Vinson participated in the maritime portion of Exercise Foal Eagle, a series of annual defense-oriented training events designed to increase readiness to defend the ROK, protect the region, and maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula. The exercise is conducted by ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command and United States component commands in Korea, to include ground, air, naval and special operations.
Over the five-and-a-half month span, Carl Vinson executed port visits in Guam; Busan, Republic of Korea; and Singapore. While visiting each port, Carl Vinson Sailors participated in numerous community service events, including volunteer service at schools, community centers, an animal shelter and a food bank.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.  Third Fleet constantly coordinates with U.S. 7th Fleet to plan and execute missions based on their complementary strengths to promote ongoing peace, security, and stability throughout the entire Pacific theater of operations.
USS Michael Murphy returns from five-month deployment
USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) will return to its homeport Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam after a successful five-month deployment.
While deployed to the Western Pacific under the U.S. 3rd Fleet Forward construct, Michael Murphy promoted security and stability throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The ship was underway for nearly 150 days and conducted more than 600 flight hours with the ship’s attached helicopter squadron Maritime Helicopter Strike Squadron (HSM) 37, Detachment 2.
“I am incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication the crew exhibited during this deployment with the Carl Vinson Strike Group,” said Cmdr. Robert A. Heely Jr., Michael Murphy’s commanding officer. “They were resilient and always up to the task.”
Michael Murphy began the deployment by conducting training as part of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group off the coast of Hawaii to improve readiness and cohesion as a strike group.
Michael Murphy then conducted an 18-day joint mission with the U.S. Coast Guard in the Central and South Pacific under the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) to combat transnational crimes, enforce fisheries laws and enhance regional security.
Following the OMSI mission, Michael Murphy linked back up with the strike group to conduct a routine security patrol in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, focusing on normalizing U.S. presence in the region.
“Our missions spanned from Oceania, through the South China Sea, and ended in the Sea of Japan as we strengthened our partnerships within the Indo-Asia-Pacific region,” said Heely. “Team Murphy performed exceptionally well and led the fight each step of the way.”
Michael Murphy conducted several exercises with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) to build and strengthen alliances with foreign navies.
Among the exercises was a visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) exercise. Sailors from ROK Gang Gam Chan (DDH 979) conducted a VBSS boarding aboard Michael Murphy. Michael Murphy VBSS members then boarded Gang Gam Chan to complete the exercise.
“Being part of the VBSS team is pretty cool,” said Operations Specialist 3rd Class Ryan Rosado. “Being able to board a warship from another country is an incredible experience. The South Koreans were very welcoming, and I am glad to have met them.”
Over the five-month span, Michael Murphy executed port visits in Suva, Fiji; Honiara, Solomon Islands; Port Klang, Malaysia; and Guam. A group of Sailors also visited Funafuti, Tuvalu, for a community service event. Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sponsored tours and events were also offered, allowing Sailors to explore the ports and experience the culture of each location.
“I went on an MWR tour in Malaysia,” said Damage Controlman 2nd Class Peter Rodriguez. “We took a long bus ride through the Malaysian countryside to an elephant park. It was incredible seeing the landscape and vegetation in Malaysia. I don’t think many people experienced Malaysia like I did.”
Sailors also had many opportunities to participate in community service projects, with events in Fiji, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands and Guam. Sailors landscaped in Fiji, interacted with students at an intermediate school in Tuvalu, delivered extra medical supplies to a hospital in Solomon Islands and painted and picked up trash around a school in Guam.
“I participated in the Tuvalu community service event at a local intermediate school,” said Ensign Kasey Landry. “It was humbling to experience the culture of Tuvalu. I was amazed to see how passionate the teachers were, and although we were there to help their community, it was the people of Tuvalu who gave the most, humbling and embracing Michael Murphy Sailors in their homes.”
Commissioned Oct. 6, 2012, USS Michael Murphy is named after former U.S. Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy. Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan, June 28, 2005. He was the first person to be awarded the medal for actions in Afghanistan and was the first member of the U.S. Navy to receive the award since the Vietnam War.
Michael Murphy is part of U.S. 3rd Fleet and U.S. Naval Surface Forces. U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy, working constantly with U.S. 7th Fleet. The forces of both fleets complement one another across the spectrum of military operations in the Pacific.
USS CHAFEE to Depart for Western Pacific Deployment
The guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) is scheduled to depart Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for an independent deployment to the Western Pacific and South America, June 13.
Chafee has a crew of nearly 350 officers and enlisted Sailors and is a multi-mission ship designed to operate independently or with an associated strike group. The embarked air detachment from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 37 will serve as the air support for the ship.
While deployed, the ship will conduct theater security cooperation and maritime presence operations with partner nations. Having steadily worked thought a pre-deployment readiness cycle, the ship’s commanding officer is confident in his ship’s performance.
“Chafee recently returned from a highly successful Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), the final event preparing us for deployment,” said Cmdr. Brian Fremming, commanding officer of Chafee. “The crew is ready to deploy and is looking forward to operating again with our allies and partners from around the world.”
Chafee was named after the late Sen. John Lester Hubbard Chafee, a Marine veteran who fought in the Battle of Guadalcanal and served as secretary of the Navy.  The ship was last deployed to the Western Pacific and South America in 2015.
Chafee is part of U.S. 3rd Fleet and U.S. Naval Surface Forces. U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy, working constantly with U.S. 7th Fleet. The forces of both fleets complement one another across the spectrum of military operations in the Pacific.
For more information on Navy Surface Forces visit the Commander, Naval Surface Forces website at http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/Pages/home.aspx.
For more information on Chafee visit the ship’s website at:

Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group to Visit Hawaii

In 2010 I got to land on the USS Ronald Reagan Aircraft Carrier and then got catapulted off.  I just heard that the USS Carl Vinson Aircraft Carrier will be visiting Hawaii starting tomorrow:

In this file photo, aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) departs Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam with Sailors’ friends and families aboard for a ‘Tiger Cruise’ in June 2011. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Evans)

[Pearl Harbor, Hawaii] Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1, including aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), is scheduled to arrive at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam May 15 for a port visit.

CSG 1, led by Rear Adm. T.K. Shannon, also consists of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1, guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97), guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 embarked aboard Carl Vinson.

The ships of the CSG are currently transiting to their homeport of San Diego following a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific and Middle East areas supporting maritime theater security operations with the U.S. 7th and 5th Fleets.

“The dedication demonstrated by every Sailor up and down the chain of command was the key factor in accomplishing every mission objective for our time in the 5th and 7th Fleets,” said Carl Vinson Commanding Officer Capt. Kent D. Whalen. “With our return to 3rd Fleet, our focus may have changed but our mission-ready mindset continues.”

APEC – Where President Obama is Today

A lot of folks at APEC, including myself have been wondering where President Obama has been and if he’s even on Oahu yet.

SAN DIEGO (Nov. 11, 2011) -- President Barack Obama addresses attendees of the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic basketball game on the flight deck of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). The Carrier Classic is a Celebration of Veterans Day. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Zachary Bell/Released)

SAN DIEGO (Nov. 11, 2011) -- President Barack Obama addresses attendees of the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic basketball game on the flight deck of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). The Carrier Classic is a Celebration of Veterans Day. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Zachary Bell/Released)

I just got wind that Obama is on the USS Carl Vinson Aircraft today watching a basketball game… however he is scheduled to be here in Oahu later this evening for a meeting he will be having tomorrow at APEC.

SAN DIEGO (Nov. 11, 2011) -- Michigan State University Spartans practice on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Carl Vinson is hosting the Spartans and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels for the inaugural Quicken Loans Carrier Classic basketball game on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dylan McCord / Released)

SAN DIEGO (Nov. 11, 2011) -- Michigan State University Spartans practice on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Carl Vinson is hosting the Spartans and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels for the inaugural Quicken Loans Carrier Classic basketball game on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dylan McCord / Released)

Even former Michigan State alumni Magic Johnson was on board.

SAN DIEGO (Nov. 11, 2011) -- Magic Johnson greets service members attending the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic basketball game on the flight deck of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Zachary Bell/Released)

SAN DIEGO (Nov. 11, 2011) -- Magic Johnson greets service members attending the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic basketball game on the flight deck of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Zachary Bell/Released)

Needless to say… an aircraft carrier creates one weird platform for a basketball court!

(Nov. 11, 2011) -- Michigan State Spartans and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels tip off the inaugural Quicken Loans Carrier Classic basketball game on the flight deck aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). The Carrier Classic is a celebration of Veterans Day. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Evans/Released)

(Nov. 11, 2011) -- Michigan State Spartans and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels tip off the inaugural Quicken Loans Carrier Classic basketball game on the flight deck aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). The Carrier Classic is a celebration of Veterans Day. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Evans/Released)

Here is the White House Press statement on this:

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody!  How you feeling tonight? (Applause.)  We are so fortunate to be able to witness two of the greatest basketball programs in history — (applause) — Michigan State Spartans, North Carolina Tar Heels.  (Applause.)  Two of the best coaches of all time — Coach Izzo, Coach Williams.  (Applause.)  So we are proud to be here and see a great sporting event. 

But the main reason we’re here is, on Veterans Day, we have an opportunity to say thank you.  One of the greatest privileges of this job, and one of the greatest responsibilities of this job, is to serve as your Commander-in-Chief.  And I can tell you that every day when I interact with our military, every day when I interact with the men and women in uniform, I could not be prouder to be an American.  (Applause.)   

And that gratitude that we have for our men and women of the Armed Forces does not stop when they take off the uniform.  When they come home, part of the long line of those who defended our freedom, we have a sacred trust to make sure that they understand how much we appreciate what they do.  And that’s not just on Veterans Day.  That is every day of every year where we salute them and we say thank you for making the sacrifices, and for their families’ sacrifices, on our behalf.  (Applause.)

This week, throughout the week, we’ve been celebrating our veterans, but we have to turn our words into action.  And so what we’ve done is make sure that Congress passed legislation that makes it a little bit easier for businesses to hire our veterans. (Applause.)  We’ve put in place a series of reforms to help veterans, make sure they get the counseling and the job placement that they need. 

The First Lady along with Dr. Jill Biden have put together something called Joining Forces that has now gotten commitments  — 100,000 jobs for veterans and military spouses all across the country.  And we are grateful for them for that effort.  (Applause.)

But every American citizen can make a solemn pledge today that they will find some opportunity to provide support to our troops, to those who are still active duty, to our National Guard, to our Reservists, and to our veterans. 

And it’s especially appropriate that we do it here, because the USS Carl Vinson has been a messenger of diplomacy and a protector of our security for a long time.  And the men and women who serve on this ship have done extraordinary service in the Pacific, in the Persian Gulf, in the Indian Ocean.  It was from this aircraft carrier that some of the first assaults on Iraq were launched.  This ship supports what’s happening in Afghanistan. 

I think some of you may know because it’s been reported that the men and women on the Carl Vinson were part of that critical mission to bring Osama bin Laden to justice.  (Applause.) 

So to all our veterans, to all our men and women in uniform, we say thank you.  And we want you to know that we are committed to making sure that we serve you as well as you have always served us.  Thank you.  God bless you.  And God bless the United States of America.  Thank you.  (Applause.)