Navy to Christen Littoral Combat Ship Tulsa

The Navy will christen its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship, USS Tulsa (LCS 16), during a 10 a.m. CST ceremony Saturday, Feb. 11 in Mobile, Alabama.

Tulsa, designated LCS 16, honors the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Adm. William F. Moran, vice chief of naval operations, will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Kathy Taylor, former mayor of Tulsa, is serving as the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony will be highlighted by Taylor observing a time-honored Navy tradition of breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship.

“The christening of the future USS Tulsa serves as a tribute to the extraordinary work done by our nation’s shipbuilders and brings this great ship one step closer to joining our fleet,” said the Honorable Sean Stackley, acting secretary of the Navy. “Our nation can be proud of this crew as they ready the ship to represent the city of Tulsa, and the United States, around the world for years to come.”

The future USS Tulsa is the second U.S. Navy ship to be named in honor of the city of Tulsa.  The first USS Tulsa was an Asheville-class gunboat designated as PG-22 that served from 1923 to 1944 before being renamed Tacloban. She earned two battle stars for World War II service.  A cruiser to be named USS Tulsa was also authorized for construction during World War II, but the contract was canceled before it was built.

The future USS Tulsa is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. It is designed to defeat asymmetric “anti-access” threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant – designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls, e.g. LCS 1) while the Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

Each LCS seaframe is outfitted with a single mission package made up of mission modules containing warfighting systems and support equipment. A dedicated ship crew will combine with aviation assets to deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare or surface warfare missions.

Release No: NR-054-17
Feb. 9, 2017

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FALLEN HEROES – Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens, 36

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a U.S. Navy sailor who was supporting U.S. Central Command Operations.

Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens, 36, of Peoria, Illinois, died Jan. 28 in the Arabian Peninsula of Yemen, of wounds sustained in a raid against al-Qaida.

He was assigned to an East Coast based Special Warfare unit.

Release No: NR-036-17
Jan. 30, 2017

Flag Officer Assignments

Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John M. Richardson announced today the following assignments:
Rear Adm. Craig S. Faller will be assigned as senior military assistant to the secretary of defense, Washington, District of Columbia.  Faller is currently serving as chief of legislative affairs for the secretary of the Navy, Washington, District of Columbia.

Rear Adm. James T. Loeblein will be assigned as chief of legislative affairs for the secretary of the Navy, Washington, District of Columbia.  Loeblein is currently serving as assistant deputy chief of naval operations for Operations, Plans, and Strategy, N3/N5B, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, District of Columbia.

Rear Adm. Stuart B. Munsch will be assigned as assistant deputy chief of naval operations for Operations, Plans, and Strategy, N3/N5B, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, District of Columbia.  Munsch is currently serving as senior military assistant to the deputy secretary of defense, Washington, District of Columbia.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Linnea J. Sommer-Weddington will be assigned as deputy director, Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems (C4) and Information Technology, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.  Sommer-Weddington is currently serving as deputy director, Warfare Integration, N2/N6FA, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, District of Columbia.

Release No: NR-021-17
Jan. 23, 2017

Flag Officer Assignments

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John M. Richardson announced today the following assignments:

Rear Adm. (lower half) Bret C. Batchelder, selected for promotion to rear admiral, will be assigned as director, Assessment Division, N81, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, District of Columbia.  Batchelder is currently serving as commander, Navy Warfare Development Command, Norfolk, Virginia.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Eugene H. Black will be assigned as commander, Carrier Strike Group 8.  Black is currently serving as deputy commander, U.S. Naval Forces, U.S. Central Command; and deputy commander, U.S. 5th Fleet, Manama, Bahrain.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Dell D. Bull will be assigned as commander, Carrier Strike Group 3, Naval Base Kitsap, Washington.  Bull is currently serving as chief of Naval Air Training, Corpus Christi, Texas.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Stephen C. Evans will be assigned as commander, Carrier Strike Group 2, Norfolk, Virginia.  Evans is currently serving as commander, Naval Service Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois.

Rear Adm. (lower half) John V. Fuller will be assigned as commander, Carrier Strike Group 1, San Diego, California.  Fuller is currently serving as commander, Navy Region Hawaii; and commander, Naval Surface Group, Middle Pacific, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Michael P. Holland will be assigned as commander, Submarine Group 10, Kings Bay, Georgia.  Holland is currently serving as director, Maritime Headquarters, N03, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Jeffrey W. Hughes will be assigned as commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2, Virginia Beach, Virginia.  Hughes is currently serving as commander, Navy Recruiting Command, Millington, Tennessee.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Thomas E. Ishee will be assigned as director, plans and operations, U.S. Naval Forces Europe – 6th Fleet; deputy commander, 6th Fleet; commander Submarines, Allied Naval Forces South; and commander, Submarine Group 8, Naples, Italy.  Ishee is currently serving as deputy commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Global Strike, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Stephen T. Koehler will be assigned as commander, Carrier Strike Group 9, San Diego, California.  Koehler is currently serving as director, Fleet and Joint Training, N7, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Norfolk, Virginia.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Peter G. Stamatopoulos will be assigned as director, Supply, Ordnance and Logistics Operations Division, N41, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, District of Columbia.  Stamatopoulos is currently serving as deputy chief of staff for Fleet Ordnance and Supply; and fleet supply officer, N41, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Norfolk, Virginia.

Rear Adm. (lower half) William W. Wheeler III will be assigned as commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, Norfolk, Virginia.  Wheeler is currently serving as deputy commander, Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Kenneth R. Whitesell will be assigned as commander, Carrier Strike Group 4, Norfolk, Virginia.  Whitesell is currently serving as commander, Carrier Strike Group 2, Norfolk, Virginia.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Jesse A. Wilson Jr. will be assigned as commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk, Virginia.  Wilson is currently serving as director, Assessment Division, N81, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington District of Columbia.

Release No: NR-005-17
Jan. 6, 2017

Secretary of the Navy Names Three Vessels

During a ceremony today at the District of Columbia city hall, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus formally announced the first ship of the new fleet ballistic missile submarines (SSBN), formerly known as the Ohio-class replacement, will be named USS Columbia (SSBN 826) in honor of the District of Columbia.

Ballistic missile submarines are critical, stabilizing and efficient elements of the U.S. nuclear deterrence and assurance policy, carrying the majority of deployed U.S. nuclear warheads. Columbia-class SSBNs incorporate advanced technology and will provide the most survivable leg of the Nation’s strategic triad.

Mabus also announced that the next ship in the John Lewis-class of fleet replenishment oilers, named in honor of U.S. civil rights heroes, will be named USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207).

The future USNS Earl Warren will be operated by Military Sealift Command and provide underway replenishment of fuel and stores to U.S. Navy ships at sea and jet fuel for aircraft assigned to aircraft carriers. Construction is expected to begin on the Earl Warren in 2019.

Born in 1891 in Los Angeles, Earl Warren served in the military during WWI and later became a county district attorney. He won election to his home state’s governorship, holding that position from 1943 until 1953, and was then appointed chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Warren led the Court through many landmark cases dealing with race, justice, and representation. He is credited with helping end school segregation with the court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, stating “in the field of public education, the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”

The final ship named during the ceremony was the future USNS Puerto Rico (T-EPF 11). The Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF), formerly named the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV), is a shallow draft, all aluminum, commercial-based catamaran that is designed for High Speed Intra-Theater Surface Lift. It serves in a variety of roles for the military, including support of overseas contingency operations, conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions and supporting special operations forces.

Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, will build the new EPF, which will be 338 feet long, have a waterline beam of 93.5 feet, displace approximately 2,362 tons, and operate at speeds of approximately 35+ knots.

Release No: NR-444-16
Dec. 14, 2016

Navy to Christen Submarine Colorado

The Navy will christen its newest Virginia-class fast attack submarine, the future USS Colorado (SSN 788), during an 11 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, Dec. 3 at General Dynamics Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, Connecticut.

The Honorable Ray Mabus, secretary of the Navy, will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. His daughter, Anne Mabus, is serving as the ship’s sponsor.

“The christening of the future USS Colorado is an example of our enduring partnership with our nation’s shipbuilders, and this ceremony marks a milestone along the journey to add another submarine to our Navy fleet—a fleet that will reach more than 300 ships by 2019,” Mabus said. “Colorado and its crew will, for decades to come, carry the American spirit and the name of this great state around the world as a testament to the hard work and patriotism of those who built SSN 788 and the people who call Colorado home.”

Colorado (SSN 788) is the 15th Virginia-class fast attack submarine and the fifth Virginia-class Block III submarine. The ship began construction in 2015 and is scheduled to commission in 2017. This next-generation attack submarine provides the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea superiority well into the 21st century.

The submarine will be the fourth U.S. Navy ship to be commissioned with the name Colorado. The first Colorado was a three-masted steam screw frigate that participated in the Union Navy’s Gulf Blockading Squadron and that fought in the Second Battle of Fort Fisher with then-Lt. George Dewey serving as her executive officer. In the early years of the 20th Century, the second Colorado (ACR-7) was a Pennsylvania-class armored cruiser that escorted convoys of men and supplies to England during World War I. The third ship of her name, the lead ship of the Colorado class of battleships (BB-45), supported operations in the Pacific theater throughout World War II, surviving two kamikaze attacks and earning seven battle stars.

Colorado has the capability to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters or other sea-based forces. Other missions include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare; mine delivery and minefield mapping; and special forces delivery and support.

Virginia-class submarines, built under a unique teaming arrangement between General Dynamics Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News, are 7,800 tons and 377 feet in length, have a beam of 34 feet, and can operate at more than 25 knots submerged. They are built with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship—reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.

Release No: NR-424-16
Dec. 1, 2016

FALLEN HEROES – Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott C. Dayton, 42

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a sailor who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott C. Dayton, 42, of Woodbridge, Virginia, died Nov. 24 in northern Syria, of wounds sustained in an improvised explosive device blast.

He was assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Two, which is based in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Release No: NR-420-16
Nov. 25, 2016