Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line and is responsible for providing realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.

Archive for June, 2011

Navy Departs the City of Roses

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Nathan Lockwood, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest

PORTLAND, Ore. (NNS) – Fleet Week came to an end as the three visiting Navy ships departed the Tom McCall Waterfront Park sea wall in Portland, Ore. and began transiting the Willamette River, June 13.

The guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and guided-missile frigates USS McClusky (FFG 41) and USS Ingraham (FFG 61) were in Portland along with vessels from the Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers and the Royal Canadian Navy in celebration of the 104th Annual Portland Rose Festival.

“It’s a nice opportunity that the Sailors can come here and have some fun,” said Gladys Stanton, Rose Festival Softball Tournament volunteer. 

Stanton also said just being part of something that provides a little payback to the Sailors is her favorite part of the festival.

More than 5,000 visitors toured the Navy ships, allowing the public to interact with and see the character of the Sailors and the capability and quality of the ships. Festivities for Sailors during Fleet Week included several officially-hosted parties, a waterfront carnival, sports tournaments and the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade. 

“It’s been outstanding, the support of the public and outpouring of friendliness has been overwhelming,” said Cmdr. Ron Candiloro, executive officer of Navy Recruiting District Portland. “Portland Navy Week is the chance the Navy gets to show off and the community really responds to it.”

“I think the Navy being able to come out here is good for the community,” said Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class (SW) Erik Wilkins, assigned to USS Lake Champlain (CG 57). “It also gives the Navy a chance to see how much the community does for us.”


The arrival of the USS Charleston in 1907 marked the first visit From a Navy vessel.


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Sailors Spread Cheer to Children in Portland

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Nathan Lockwood Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest

PORTLAND, Ore. (NNS) — Sailors assigned to guided-missile frigate USS Ingraham (FFG 61) visited Shriners’ Hospital for Children in Portland, Ore., June 10, continuing a tradition that Sailors have carried out each year during the Portland Rose Festival.

Service members visited the hospital to bring a part of Rose Festival to the children who couldn’t leave as part of a Navy community relations project.

Susan Gallegos, child life specialist at Shriners, said it was important to visit children at the hospital to let them know the Navy cares about them.

“Oh, they love it. We all do, it’s not just the patients, it’s the staff too,” said Gallegos. “It really does make it nice, knowing that [the Sailors] come in every time and take their time off the ship and spend it with the kids.”

Sailors were divided into groups and moved through the hospital to hand out ball caps from various commands. They were also able to talk to children and posed with them for souvenir pictures and even watch a magic show put on by one of the patients.

“They are great; they are cheering up,” said Ensign Jorge Fuentes, Ingraham’s Fire Control Officer. “Their parents are telling us it’s the happiest they have ever been in the hospital.”

The hospital provides specialized care for children under the age of 18 and is funded by the Shriners Hospital for Children endowment fund, which is maintained through gifts, bequests and contributions.

“I’m grateful that we can cheer them up even in their pain,” Fuentes said.

Ingraham Sailors also visited the Veterans Administration Hospital and Sailors from the Canadian navy visited Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
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Ingraham Changes Command

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) Terry L. Feeney, Commander, U.S. Third Fleet Public Affairs

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Ingraham (FFG 61) held a change of command ceremony June 10 pierside at Portland’s Rose Festival.

At the ceremony, Cmdr. Kristin Stengel relieved Cmdr. Adam Welter as the commanding officer of Ingraham.

Stengel, a native of Redding, Calif, is reporting to Ingraham after an assignment with Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tenn. as one of the Detailers for post Department-Head/post-Executive Officer Surface Warfare.

“I’m extremely excited to be granted the opportunity to command this ship and crew,” said Stengel.  “Command at sea is the dream of every surface warfare officer.  I am proud, and humbled, to lead you.”

Capt. Carol A. Hottenrott, commodore of Destroyer Squadron Nine was the presiding officer and presented Cmdr. Welter with a Meritorious Service Medal for his accomplishments as the commanding officer of Ingraham.

“Cmdr. Welter has developed an outstanding relationship with the community,” said Hottenrott.  “Marysville, Wash. named a street after USS Ingraham with his committed outreach program.”

During Welter’s command, Ingraham participated in Task Force 51 Red Sea Maritime Security Operations and planned and executed the safe and professional escort of two Iraqi navy vessels from the Gulf of Suez to Iraqi territorial waters.  Ingraham also supported a ground-breaking cooperative engagement agenda with the Bangladesh navy to develop regional military partnerships. They were a “Golden Anchor” recipient in 2010, signifying superior retention during that time.

“This ship would be empty steel and aluminum without the dedication of this crew,” said Welter.  “You inspire me on a daily basis.  I will miss not going to sea with you on your next deployment.”

Welter’s next assignment is to Commander, U.S. Navy Central Command, Bahrain as the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans/Exercises.


Ships Arrive in Portland for 104th Annual Rose Festival

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Nathan Lockwood, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West Det. Northwest

PORTLAND, Ore. — The guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates USS Ingraham (FFG 61) USS McClusky (FFG 41) arrived in Portland, Ore. to celebrate the 104th annual Rose Festival, June 9.

Throughout the week, Sailors will have an opportunity to enjoy premier events of the festival including the Rose Festival Golf Tournament and Rose Parade, live music, food, entertainment and various sports competitions among ships.

“I’m excited to be here ’cause the people here are nice and really like the military,” said Fire Controlman 2nd Class (SW) Steven Santillanes, stationed aboard USS Lake Champlain. “It’s a positive event because people get to experience the Navy up close and personal.”

The Portland visit offers the public an opportunity to tour the ships and meet Sailors as they showcase their ship’s capabilities.

“It is very different to see something that you don’t see a lot of from where I’m from,” said Mark Gilchrist, of Longview, Wash. who embarked aboard Lake Champlain on the ship’s transit into Portland.   “I think it puts a real personal touch on the Navy. I got to talk to the crew members, and I brought some young ones that had a chance to see what it was like and if the Navy was something they would be interested in.”

In addition to the three U.S. Navy ships, ships from U.S. Coast Guard, the Canadian Maritime Forces and the Army Corps of Engineers are also participating in Fleet Week.

Navy warships have been coming to the City of Roses since USS Charleston’s visit in 1907 and are considered a highlight of the festival.

For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest, visit

Near Midway Atoll, USS Chung-Hoon Renders Honors

By Mass Communication Specialist First Class Jason Swink, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

USS CHUNG-HOON, Pacific Ocean (NNS) — The crew of the USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) rendered honors to the fallen in the Battle of Midway during a ceremony June 3, in the waters near Midway Atoll.

The ceremony, commemorated the U.S. Navy’s victory over the Imperial Japanese Navy in the three-day battle June 4-7, 1942.

“Today we are here to remember those Sailors whose gallantry and unshakeable determination decisively won the day against a superior foe,” said Chung-Hoon Commanding Officer Cmdr. Scott Erb. “Countless Sailors performed feats that seem impossible today.”

Regarded as the turning point of the war in the Pacific during World War II, U.S. Navy carrier strike forces, in conjunction with shore-based bombers and torpedo planes, defeated the numerically superior Japanese fleet.

“Our victory was not without cost,” said Erb. “An aircraft carrier, a destroyer and 145 planes lay on the ocean floor, and 307 of our shipmates with them.”

During the battle, the Japanese lost four aircraft carriers, a heavy cruiser, three destroyers and 256 planes. The defeat delayed Japanese plans for assaults on Samoa, New Caledonia and Fiji.

“The ceremony meant a lot to the crew, it helped the Sailors recognize our history,” said Command Master Chief Chris Detje, “It opened their eyes to the realization that this is how we got here. If it wasn’t for the great men and women who came before us, and did wonderful and amazing things during World War II, we wouldn’t be here today.”

Admiral Yamamoto’s battle plans for a surprise attack on Midway Atoll was thwarted by Navy cryptologists working out of the basement of Building 1 on board the Navy base in Pearl Harbor. This information allowed Admiral Chester Nimitz to strategically position our fleets to destroy the Japanese carriers.

Facing Japan’s eleven battleships and four aircraft carriers, the U.S. Navy fought with no battleships and just three aircraft carriers including USS Yorktown that had been badly damaged in the Battle of Coral Sea and only made available through speedy repair efforts at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

“We fought in these epic battles, against foes we could never beat, with odds that were insurmountable,” said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Lauren Boulay after the ceremony. “Those Sailors fought and did what ever they could to win. It makes me want to be a better sailor.”

By the evening of June 7th, 1942, with the crippled Imperial Japanese Navy in retreat, the need for carrier aviation power became a prominent security necessity to defending our interest as a maritime nation.

“As time marches forward, these Sailors, a part of what we call the Greatest Generation, are rapidly leaving us,” said Erb. “They leave behind a legacy of honor, courage and commitment. We must strive to uphold their legacy.”

Chung-Hoon’s honor guard fired a 21-gun salute followed by the playing of taps to remember those who lost their lives sixty-nine years ago in the waters of Midway Atoll.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) is underway for an independent deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

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Pacific Partnership Departs Papua New Guinea after Helping Thousands

By MC1 (SW/AW) R. David Valdez, Pacific Partnership 2011 Public Affairs

LAE, Papua New Guinea (NNS) — After 13 days of working with local medical, dental and engineering professionals in Papua New Guinea, serving close to 11,000 people, Pacific Partnership 2011 concluded its mission May 31 and got underway aboard amphibious transport dock ship USS Cleveland (LPD 7).

When USS Cleveland arrived, the Pacific Partnership 2011 mission commander was greeted with loud chants and leaping dances designed to demonstrate the strength of the community’s warriors. However, when it was time to depart, the people of Papua New Guinea sang songs, expressed their gratitude in dance, and provided tokens of appreciation to the multinational crew that came to their shores.

In addition to delivering medical care to 11,000 Papua New Guineans, the Pacific Partnership team completed three main engineering projects, treated 124 animals, delivered 45 pallets of donated goods, and finished 10 community service projects conducted in and around Lae.

“The Papua New Guinea mission was designed to provide as much basic health care as possible,” said Cmdr. Michael Smith, director of medical operations for Pacific Partnership. “We worked with the Papua New Guineans to engage in meaningful, on-the-job, subject- matter-expert exchanges (SMEEs) that are sustainable after we depart.”

Medical personnel working with Pacific Partnership routinely treated over 1,000 patients in a given day. The team dispensed over 9,000 prescriptions and provided people with over 6,000 pairs of glasses.

“On the whole, we were successful,” Smith said. “We have a very good group. All of the countries participating in the mission, from the U.S. and Australia to Spain and France, gelled together very well and achieved the peak of efficiency.”

Smith further explained how the culture of interoperability contributed to the success of the medical mission. While the majority of the participants are military, regardless of what nation they come from, the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working as a part of the Pacific Partnership team are just as important as their military counterparts.

“Project Hope, World Vets and the other NGOs are a great asset, and they bring something different to the table,” Smith continued. “They don’t accept anything as impossible.”

Smith also spoke to the expertise of the Australian Defence Force, which has been a part of the Pacific Partnership 2011 mission since the planning stages of the deployment.

“The Australians know this area,” he said. “They know the diseases, the people, and the cultures. They have a lot of enthusiasm for this mission. I think it’s kind of like our Army counterparts here. They are a little outside of their comfort zone, but they end up thriving in an unfamiliar environment like a U.S. Navy ship.”

While the Pacific Partnership medical, dental and veterinary team worked together in a variety of locations, the engineering team, made up of U.S. Navy Seabees and Australian Sappers, worked with Papua New Guinean engineers.

“Our multi-national team built three classroom structures, two six-stall toilet facilities and installed roofs on two schools,” said Lt. Michael Sardone, officer in charge of civil engineering for Pacific Partnership 2011. “Now the local children will have no need to miss hours of school because they have to go home to use the restroom. Now they can study without the need to feel embarrassed about going to the bathroom outside. Here, too, a small change – building a bathroom – will impact a generation of school children.”

The impact of Pacific Partnership may not be a new experience for Papua New Guinea, but there is always a warm welcome for the joint, multinational crew and their NGO partners.

“Papua New Guinea is a welcomed and regular stop for the Pacific Partnership mission,” said Capt. Jesse Wilson, Pacific Partnership 2011 mission commander and Commander, Destroyer 23. “We see our differences in culture and training as something to be celebrated, as anyone would appreciate the unique qualities of a friend. We are also seeing that the bond between us is growing stronger every time we come to these shores.”

Since the first mission in 2006, Pacific Partnership has visited 15 countries, treated more than 230,000 patients and built over 150 engineering projects in 15 countries. During this year’s mission, the Pacific Partnership team has treated more than 21,000 patients, participated in thousands of contact hours of formal SMEEs, and built classrooms and water catchment systems in all three of its mission ports.

Pacific Partnership is an annual humanitarian assistance mission sponsored by U.S. Pacific Fleet. This year, Pacific Partnership has completed its mission in Tonga, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea and will continue on to Timor-Leste and the Federated States of Micronesia.

For more news from Pacific Partnership, and for more information on the Pacific Partnership mission go to:
For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, visit

Pacific Partnership Builds Understanding through Soccer Competes in Papua New Guinea

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Christopher Farrington, Pacific Partnership 2011 Public Affairs

LAE, Papua New Guinea (NNS) — The Pacific Partnership soccer team played an exhibition match against a Lae, Papua New Guinean team May 29, giving Sailors the chance to strengthen relationships during Pacific Partnership 2011.

A crowd of more than 5,000 locals were in attendance to see the two teams play, what’s often called, the world’s most popular sport.

Lt. j.g. Kristen Laraway, an alternate on the All-Navy Women’s Soccer team, and the only woman on the 17-person team, was inspired by the crowd.

“Having that many people come out to cheer us on was an unreal experience,” Laraway said. “The crowd’s energy inspired both teams to come out and give it their all.”

The first half of the game was competitive, but with two minutes left before the half, a member of the Papua New Guinean team made a fast move for the goal and scored.

Going into the second half, the two teams battled back and forth for control. The Pacific Partnership team went on to score two goals, followed by one of the New Guineans scoring a goal.

With the game tied at 2-2 and two minutes remaining, Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Ricardo Cisneros scored the winning goal, sending the crowd into an uproar.

“It felt great to score the game winning shot in front of such an electrifying crowd,” said Cisneros. “The other team gave us a great game. It’s definitely one I will never forget.”

Following the post-game custom of most competitive sporting events, the teams shook hands and congratulated each other on a great match.

“Winning or losing the game wasn’t the point of coming out here to play,” said Laraway. “It was about coming together with the residents of Lae and bonding through sport.”

Developing relationships and the bonds of friendship are two of the ways the Pacific Partnership mission enhances interoperability. Cultural exchange through sport, music, and tours are key elements of that mission objective.

Pacific Partnership is an annual humanitarian aid initiative sponsored by the U.S. Pacific Fleet, aimed at improving interoperability between host and partner nations. Now in its sixth year, Pacific Partnership 2011 will continue to Timor-Leste and the Federated States of Micronesia following their mission in Papua New Guinea.

“The Pacific Partnership mission has given us the chance to provide medical, dental and engineering projects to the people of Lae, but it also gives us the opportunity to get out and socialize with them on a personal level,” said Laraway.

During the past five years, Pacific Partnership has provided medical, dental, educational, and preventive medicine services to more than 220,000 people and completed more than 150 engineering projects in 16 countries.

For more news from Pacific Partnership, visit:; http://pacificpartnership/; http://www.facebook/pacificpartnership/;
For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, visit

Pacific Partnership Band Performs in Papua New Guinea

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Christopher Farrington, Pacific Partnership 2011 Public Affairs

LAE, Papua New Guinea (NNS) — The Pacific Partnership 2011 Band performed a concert for more than 4,000 people at Kilage Stadium in Lae, Papua New Guinea, May 28.

The band consists of 12 Sailors who are also professional musicians. Their performances cover a range of musical genres consisting of ceremonial military music, jazz, R&B, soul, funk, and rock.

For this performance, the band performed ten songs including “Yeah” by Usher, “I Feel Good” by James Brown and “Love Rollercoaster” by The Ohio Players.

“Its been a pleasure to interact with the people of Papua New Guinea through a tuba, guitar, microphone, drums and all the other instruments we play,” said Musician 3rd Class Anton du Preez.

Du Preez and the other members of the band are passionate about their belief that music can communicate with people across cultural lines and political borders. They also believe that different genres of music can broaden peoples’ cultural horizons.

“A lot of the people in Papua New Guinea only hear Reggae and Hip Hop music on the radio, so we brought some Rock, Motown, Jazz, and a whole bunch of different genres for the people,” said du Preez.

The band was met with cheers, applause, dance, and laughter since their first Papua New Guinean performance in Lae, May 21. Since then, the band has performed every day in Papua New Guinea at local venues for thousands of people.

The May 28 concert, with more than eight times the anticipated amount of people in attendance, attracted the largest audience.

“This was the biggest turnout that we’ve had at one of our concerts since Pacific Partnership 2011 began,” said Musician 3rd Class Travis Smilen. “It’s amazing how word of mouth spread about our performances after just one week in Lae.”

The crowd grew as the concert went on, and when the band played “Let’s Get it Started” by the Black Eyed Peas, most of the attendees rose to their feet, applauding the performance, dancing and singing along.

“The energy and enthusiasm from the people is what we live for,” said Smilen. “I’m glad we had the opportunity to connect with the people of Lae through the universal language of music.”

The Pacific Partnership 2011 band provides host nationals with an opportunity to acquire a cultural interaction with the U.S. that may not otherwise be available through medical, dental, engineering and veterinary civic action projects. While these projects are beneficial to partner nations and host nations alike, the band has been to these events to show another side of the Pacific Partnership team

“I feel like the band and I have made a huge impact on the people of Papua New Guinea, and as we leave for the next stop in Pacific Partnership 2011, I’ll be able to look back and draw off that energy and support we received,” said du Preez.

Pacific Partnership is an annual humanitarian aid initiative sponsored by the U.S. Pacific Fleet, aimed at improving interoperability between host and partner nations. Now in its sixth year, Pacific Partnership 2011 will continue to Timor-Leste and the Federated States of Micronesia following their mission in Papua New Guinea.

For more news from Pacific Partnership, visit:, http://pacificpartnership/, http://www.facebook/pacificpartnership/ or