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Navy’s New Fire Scout Unmanned Helicopter Takes its First Flight

US Navy 090508-N-2821G-001 The Northrop Grumma...

US Navy 090508-N-2821G-001 The Northrop Grumman Corporation-developed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle MQ-8B Fire Scout sits on the flight deck of the guided-missile frigate USS McInerney (FFG 8) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PT MUGU, Calif. (NNS) — The Navy’s newest variant of the Fire Scout unmanned helicopter completed its first day of flying Oct. 31 at Naval Base Ventura County at Point Mugu.

At 12:05 p.m. PDT the MQ-8C Fire Scout took off and flew for seven minutes in restricted airspace to validate the autonomous control systems. The second flight that took off at 2:39 p.m. was also flown in a pattern around the airfield, reaching an altitude of 500 feet.

The MQ-8C air vehicle upgrade will provide longer endurance, range and greater payload capability than the MQ-8B, which is currently operating aboard USS Samuel B. Roberts.

The MQ-8C is a larger air vehicle, has a range of 150 nautical miles and a payload capacity of more than 700 pounds.

“It is a big accomplishment for the integrated government and industry team to fly this air vehicle for the first time,” said Capt. Patrick Smith, Fire Scout program manager at Patuxent River, Md. “MQ-8C will require fewer aircraft [than the MQ-8B] to operate at maximum performance and will meet the U.S. Africa and Special Operation Commands urgent needs requirement.”

The MQ-8Cs will conduct initial shipboard testing on Guided Missile Destroyers (DDG)-class ships but the program is looking into supporting Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) missions. The Navy will continue to use the MQ-8B as it phases in the MQ-8C. Lessons learned from MQ-8B have been applied to MQ-8C variant, Smith said.

Initial operating capability for the MQ-8C is planned for 2016, with a potential for early deployment in 2014.

Navy Deputy Surgeon General Retires After 33 Years

English: U.S. Navy Medicine logo

English: U.S. Navy Medicine logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Joshua L. Wick, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) — The Navy’s deputy surgeon general and deputy chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED), retired June 14 after a military career that spans more than 33 years of service.

In Navy tradition, Rear Adm. Michael H. Mittelman’s flag was hulled down during a formal ceremony attended by senior and junior military members, civilian guests, family and friends at the Sail Loft on the Washington Navy Yard, D.C.

“When you look at the breadth of his career, the amazing telescopic view he’s had of the Navy, the military, and the joint world in addition to what he’s been able to bear throughout his career, it really is an amazing accomplishment,” said Vice Adm. Matthew Nathan, U.S. Navy surgeon general and chief, BUMED.

Nathan added that in his last role, Mittelman was a compelling representative and co-leader of Navy Medicine.

“This ceremony is fitting for an officer of his caliber and for contributions he’s made,” said Nathan.

Mittelman, a native of Long Beach, N.Y., has held the position as deputy surgeon general and deputy chief of BUMED since November 2011.

The rear admiral began his Navy career as a staff optometrist in 1980 at Naval Hospital Cherry Point, N.C. In June 1989, he became the first Navy optometrist to earn designation as an Aerospace Optometrist (NAsO).

He took command of Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan in July 2000, becoming the first optometrist to command a naval hospital. Additionally, Mittelman is the first and only clinician to serve as the 15th director of the Medical Service Corps (MSC). He was the only non-physician to serve as a combatant command surgeon for U.S. Pacific Command and the first at U.S. Joint Forces Command.

In addition to his series of firsts, Mittelman served in a variety of additional assignments and command positions across the Navy Medicine enterprise including Pensacola, Fla.; Great Lakes, Ill.; Washington, D.C.; Yorktown and Norfolk, Va.; Honolulu; Rota, Spain; as well as Okinawa, Japan.

“I got my first hop in a Marine EA-6B while stationed in Pensacola,” said Mittelman. “That cemented my love for aviation.”

At each duty station, Mittleman added, they [his family] met some amazing folks, who made a real impact on their lives and that has helped to make the Navy such a uniquely gratifying and rewarding career.

Though command has taken him out of regular clinical operations, treating great patients and being able to mentor junior Sailors is what has kept him motivated and dedicated.

“Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and take some calculated risks,” Mittelman said. “Take care of your people, be honest and have fun, it’s the only way you’ll grow professionally.”

According to the rear admiral, one of his most significant accomplishments was his involvement in Operation Tomodachi, the United States’ military medical response to the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor crisis in Japan in 2011.

During his time as command surgeon for Pacific Command, Mittelman and his team were responsible for ensuring the health safety of residents in the region as well as monitoring the air, food, soil and water for contaminates.

In addition, they collaborated with the joint multinational disaster relief effort. Mittelman and his Navy Medicine team provided radiation health support, established a registry to document radiation exposure estimates for more than 70,000 Department of Defense affiliated personnel on or near the mainland of Japan and laid the foundation and established new science protocols for dealing with these type of situations.

Mittelman thanked Nathan and Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) and director of TRICARE Management Activity, for their leadership and friendship. He added, Navy Medicine and the military health system are in great hands because of them, great officers and enlisted who keep Sailors, Marines and all service members healthy and on target for readiness.

Mittelman’s awards and decorations include: Defense Superior Service Medal (two awards), Legion of Merit Medal (five awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation (two awards), National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon (five awards), and the Navy Expert Pistol ribbon.

As the U.S. Navy Deputy Surgeon General, Mittelman helped lead a global health care network of 63,000 Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high-quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.

Navy Names Next Two Destroyers

USS Arleigh Burke

USS Arleigh Burke (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today the next Arleigh Burke-class
(DDG) will be named USS Paul Ignatius and USS Daniel Inouye.


“As secretary of the Navy it is my privilege to name these
ships to honor a respected naval leader and a true American hero.”
Mabus said.  “For decades to come, the future USS Paul Ignatius and USS
Daniel Inouye will represent the United States and enable the building
of partnerships and projection of power around the world.”


The future USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) honors Paul Ignatius
who served as secretary of the Navy 1967–1969 and as assistant
secretary of defense under President Lyndon Johnson.  The future USS
Daniel Inouye (DDG 118) is named to honor former Sen. Daniel Inouye,
D-Hawaii.  Inouye was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in
Tuscany, Italy, during World War II and later became a U.S. senator.
USS Paul Ignatius and USS Daniel Inouye will be the first naval ships
to bear these names.


Arleigh Burke-class destroyers conduct a variety of
operations from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control
and power projection.  They are capable of fighting air, surface and
subsurface battles simultaneously and contain a myriad of offensive and
defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare.


DDG 117 and DDG 118 are part of the DDG 51 multiyear
procurement with the contract award to the building yard pending.  The
ships will be 509 feet long, have a beam length of 59 feet and be
capable of operating at speeds in excess of 30 knots.


Additional information about the Arleigh Burke class destroyers is available online at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=900&ct=4 .



Navy Issues Order to Account (Boston)

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) — The Navy has issued an order to account for Navy personnel and their families within a defined geographic area of interest near Boston, according to a Navy message released April 16.

NAVADMIN 100/13 requires commanders to conduct a personnel accountability muster of all Navy personnel in the following counties of the states listed below:

Map of Greater Boston

Map of Greater Boston (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Connecticut: Fairfield, Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, Tolland and Windham.

Massachusetts: Barnstable, Berkshire, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, Worcester.

Maine: Androscoggin, Aroostook, Cumberland, Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Sagadahoc, Somerset, Waldo, Washington, York.

New Hampshire: Belknap, Carroll, Cheshire, Coos, Grafton, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, Strafford, Sullivan.

Rhode Island: Bristol, Kent, Newport, Providence, Washington.

This order includes active and Reserve component Sailors, Navy government service employees and family members.

Commanding officers are responsible for ensuring the muster is entered in the Navy Family Accountably and Assessment System (NFASS) at https://navyfamily.navy.mil.

If NFAAS is not available, commands are to report the status of personnel affected to the affected region operations center or direct chain of command.

Individuals who are unable to contact their command should log on to NFAAS and muster on the Navy Family Member’s section. Impacted personnel unable to contact their command or the NFAAS website can call the NFASS Help Desk at (866) 946-9183.

Navy personnel and families who are severely impacted may log into NFAAS at https://navyfamily.navy.mil to update contact information and complete a needs assessment survey at their earliest convenience. Affected personnel can contact the Navy Personnel Command (NPC) Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) at (877) 414-5358 for further assistance once their needs assessment survey is submitted.

NFAAS standardizes a method for the Navy to account, manage, and monitor the recovery process for personnel and their families affected and/or scattered by a wide-spread catastrophic event.

For more information read the NAVADMIN 100/13 at www.npc.navy.mil.

Secretary of the Navy Names Multiple Ships

English: MONTREAL (Nov. 21, 2008) The littoral...

English: MONTREAL (Nov. 21, 2008) The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) sails under the Pont Jacques-Cartier Bridge as the ship departs from the Old Port of Montreal. Freedom is the first of two littoral combat ships designed to operate in shallow water environments to counter threats in coastal regions and is en route to Norfolk, Va. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth R. Hendrix/Released) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today the names of seven ships: three joint high speed vessels (JHSV), the USNS Trenton, the USNS Brunswick and the USNS Carson City; an amphibious transport dock ship (LPD), the USS Portland; two littoral combat ships (LCS), the USS Wichita and the USS Manchester; and an ocean-class auxiliary general oceanographic research (AGOR) ship, the R/V Sally Ride.

            “As secretary of the Navy, I have the great privilege of naming ships that will represent America with distinction as part of the fleet for many decades to come,” Mabus said.  “These ships were all named to recognize the hard working people from cities all around our country who have contributed in so many ways to our Navy and Marine Corps team.”

            Joint high speed vessels are named for small American cities and counties that embody American values.  The future USNS Trenton (JHSV 5), named in honor of New Jersey’s capital city, will be the fourth ship to bear this name.  Similarly, the USNS Carson City (JHSV 7) is the second naval vessel to be named in honor of Nevada’s capital city.  The USNS Brunswick (JHSV 6) is the fourth naval vessel named for the seaport city in Georgia and recognizes its longstanding relationship with the Navy.

            Military commanders will have the flexibility to use the JHSV in a variety of roles to include supporting overseas contingency operations, conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, supporting special operations forces and supporting emerging joint sea-basing concepts.

            The 338 foot-long aluminum catamarans are being constructed at Austal USA in Mobile, Ala., and are designed to transport 600 short tons 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots.  These vessels can operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways, providing U.S. forces added mobility and flexibility.  JHSVs are equipped with an aviation flight deck to support day and night air vehicle launch and recovery operations.  JHSVs have berthing space for up to 104 personnel and airline-style seating for up to 312.

Amphibious transport dock ships are named for major American cities.  Mabus named the future USS Portland (LPD 27) in honor of Oregon’s most highly populated city.  LPD 27 will be the third ship to bear this name.

            The principal mission of Portland will be to deploy combat and support elements of Marine expeditionary units and brigades.  With the capability of transporting and debarking air cushion (LCAC) or conventional landing craft and augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft (MV-22), these ships support amphibious assault, special operations, and expeditionary warfare missions.  The USS Portland will provide improved warfighting capabilities including an advanced command-and-control suite, increased lift capability in vehicle and cargo-carrying capacity and advanced ship survivability features.

Portland will be a San Antonio-class (LPD 17) amphibious transport dock ship, built by Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Miss.  The ship will be 684 feet in length, have an overall beam of 105 feet, a navigational draft of 23 feet, displace about 24,900 tons and capable of embarking a landing force of about 800 Marines.  LPD 27 will be capable of reaching sustained speeds in excess of 22 knots.

Littoral combat ships are named after great American communities.

The littoral combat ships named for Wichita and Manchester recognize regionally beneficial cities that are also within the top five highly populated communities in their states.  The USS Wichita (LCS 13) is named in honor of Kansas’ largest city and will be the third ship to bear the name.  The USS Manchester (LCS 14) will be the second ship named for one of New Hampshire’s industrial centers.

Wichita and Manchester will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called mission packages, which can be changed out quickly as combat needs demand.  These mission packages are supported by special detachments that will deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of mine, undersea and surface warfare missions.

These ships are designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in the coastal waters.  A fast, agile surface combatant, the LCS provides the required war fighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute focused missions close to the shore such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare.

Lockheed Martin with Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wis., will build the Freedom-variant, USS Wichita (LCS 13), which will be 388 feet in length, have a waterline beam of 58 feet, displace approximately 3,400 tons, and make speed in excess of 40 knots.  Austal USA in Mobile, Ala., will build the Independence-variant, USS Manchester (LCS 14), which will be 419 feet in length, have a waterline beam of 103 feet, displace approximately 3,100 tons, and make speed in excess of 40 knots.

Mabus named the future R/V Sally Ride (AGOR 28), which will be a Neil Armstrong-class AGOR ship, to honor the memory of Sally Ride, a professor, scientist and an innovator at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego.  Ride was the first woman and also the youngest person in space.  She later served as director of NASA’s Office of Exploration.

Traditionally, AGORs are named for nationally recognized leaders in exploration and science.  The R/V Sally Ride is the first academic research ship to be named in honor of a woman.

“Sally Ride’s career was one of firsts and will inspire generations to come,” said Mabus.  “I named R/V Sally Ride to honor a great researcher, but also to encourage generations of students to continue exploring, discovering and reaching for the stars.”

            The ship will be a well-equipped modern oceanographic research platform that includes acoustic equipment capable of mapping the deepest parts of the oceans, and modular onboard laboratories providing the flexibility to meet a wide variety of oceanographic research challenges.  These make them capable of supporting a wide range of oceanographic research activities conducted by academic institutions and national laboratories.  The research vessel will be outfitted with multi-drive low-voltage diesel electric propulsion systems.  This upgraded system will help maintain efficiency while lowering maintenance and fuel costs.

            The Neil Armstrong-class AGOR ship will be 238 feet in length, have a beam length of 50 feet, and can operate at more than 12 knots.  AGOR 28 will be built by Dakota Creek Industries, Inc. in Anacortes, Wash.

            Additional information about joint high speed vessels is available online at: http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=1400&ct=4 .

            Additional information about landing platform dock ships is available online at:  http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=600&ct=4.%3Cbr .

            Additional information about littoral combat ships is available online at: http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=1650&ct=4 .

            For more information about the ocean-class auxiliary general oceanographic research ships please  visit www.onr.navy.mil .

Seal Beach Trains First Responders During Exercise Citadel Shield

SEAL BEACH, Calif. (NNS) — Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach participated in the annual security training exercise known as Citadel Shield 2013 from Feb. 26 to March 1.

Citadel Shield is the largest force protection and anti-terrorism exercise of the year and is conducted on naval bases and installations throughout the continental United States.

“It’s designed to enhance the training of our security forces to respond to threats, leveraging all processes security forces would implement in the event of an actual emergency,” said training officer Patrick Harding.

Thirteen events were conducted between the Seal Beach installation and subordinate units in Fallbrook, Norco and San Pedro, Calif. Some of the scenarios included active gunmen, suspicious packages, fraudulent identification cards at the gate, and even a mock protest.

“The exercise makes sure the security force isn’t getting complacent,” said Harding. “These drills keep our Sailors and security forces updated on current tactics and threats.”

In addition, base personnel had to coordinate their scenarios with their chains of command.

“It also tests the installation’s ability to communicate with higher headquarters and ensure proper reporting criteria are met,” said Lt. Christopher Ambrosi, security officer.

“We met our objectives,” said Ambrosi. “We will take our lessons learned and provide additional training as required.”

ONR Program Uses Cell Phones to Fight Epidemics

New banner of the Office of Naval Research (ON...

New banner of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) including the seal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) — A program managed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to get ahead of epidemic outbreaks has led to the deployment of new healthcare monitoring and information collection technology in South America and Africa, officials announced Jan. 15.

Building off of an original project funded by ONR, researchers are collecting data through a text message-based system set up to take advantage of widespread access to handheld devices in Colombia and Zambia.

Through the collection of pictures, videos, texts and geo-location information from cell phones in a given population, researchers can perform complex data analysis and begin to track and map a fluid situation such as an earthquake or the spread of disease.

In Sailing Directions meant to guide the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert has called on the service to employ resources in a variety of situations.

“The U.S. military continues to take on a bigger role in disaster relief and humanitarian assistance operations around the globe,” said Cmdr. Joseph Cohn, program officer in ONR’s Warfighter Performance Department. “Real-time epidemiological data allows military decision-makers to be medically prepared and, more locally, provide quicker responses to potential disease outbreaks in close quarters common to military facilities like ships.”

Limited technical infrastructure in developing countries often can slow humanitarian aid and hamper responses to disasters. ONR’s research delves into smartphone apps to take full advantage of the fact that more people have cell phone subscriptions than access to the Internet throughout the world, especially in lower income populations.

“When you’re trying to get information from people in an area devastated by a natural disaster, you have to use technology that the population already has in their pockets,” said Ryan Paterson, CEO of IST Research, LLC, which created an Android-based short message service (SMS) gateway to support the work being done in Colombia and Zambia.

The project, which also includes funding from Naval Sea Systems Command, is a partnership with the Zambian Ministry of Health, the University of South Alabama and Tiny People Matter, a global medical relief team that provides care for children and infants in developing countries.

“This effort shows it doesn’t require expensive solutions to effectively collect highly structured data from local populations in some of the least-networked locations around the globe,” Cohn said.

ONR provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps’ technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.