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 September, 2011

Boxer Amphibious Ready Group Returns from Deployment

By Lt. Chad Dulac, Amphibious Squadron ONE Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO – Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (BOXARG) will return to its homeport of San Diego, Sept. 30 after a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific and U.S. Central Command area of responsibility (AOR).

BOXARG consists of amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), amphibious dock landing ship USS Comstock (LSD 45) and amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20). BOXARG is commanded by Commander, Amphibious Squadron ONE, Capt. Curtis Shaub.

“I couldn’t imagine a more rewarding deployment than the one we’re returning from,” said Shaub. “Our Sailors and Marines are the finest in the world and I couldn’t be more proud of their exploits. They executed a multitude of complex tactical operations across an extremely demanding theater of operations during one of the most challenging times in our world’s history.”

While operating throughout the Western Pacific and U.S. Central Command AOR, BOXARG provided continuous detailed planning and support to combatant commanders, fleet commanders, and numerous country teams.

BOXARG and embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted various operations across the Western Pacific and U.S. Central Command AOR, routinely supporting simultaneous joint tactical missions in addition to theater security cooperation (TSC) and maritime security operation missions in support of Global Maritime Safety and Security Initiatives.

Comstock and Green Bay completed several TSC operations across five different countries and two combatant commands, including the launch and recovery of more than 275 landing craft air cushion, 59 landing craft utility and 94 amphibious assault vehicle movements accounting for the transportation of 6,424 personnel and 17,488 tons of cargo and equipment.

The Scan Eagle Unmanned Aerial System, embarked aboard Comstock, flew more than 120 missions totaling 900 flight hours allowing for prosecution of sea, land and air contacts, further enhancing the situational awareness across the theater.

“There’s nothing like coming home,” said Shaub. “For every service member who deployed in 2011, there were dozens of parents, spouses, children, family and friends left behind who’ve kept the vigil watch and pressed on with maintaining the home life until these fine men and women could return from answering their nation’s call.”

Other vital elements of the BOXARG include: Fleet Surgical Team Three; Tactical Air Control Squadron 11; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23, Detachment Five; Assault Craft Unit One, Detachment C; Assault Craft Unit Five, Detachment C and Beach Master Unit One, Detachment E.


USS Sampson Sailor awarded in Afghanistan

By U.S. Air Force Capt. David Tomiyama, Provincial Reconstruction Team Khost Public Affairs

KHOST PROVINCE, Afghanistan – A Sailor aboard USS Sampson (DDG 102) was awarded the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Warrior of the Week, while deployed to Afghanistan.

Fire Controlman 2nd Class Victor Taylor was awarded the PRT Khost Warrior of the Week for Aug. 28 at Forward Operating Base Salerno, Afghanistan for his support efforts at the base’s Tactical Operations Center (TOC).

“Warrior of the Week recognizes someone who has shown initiative and efficiency in their duties. Most people, like me, feel like they are just doing their job,” said Taylor. “I think that says something about our team. We don’t even realize when we are going ‘above and beyond.’ All we want is to accomplish the mission.”

In Taylor’s citation he was recognized for planning and tracking air missions supporting the transport of 15 service members who were conducting multiple operations in five separate locations. This effort directly supported the commander’s effort to mentor local government officials and provide quality of life support to remote locations.

“I am very lucky to have petty officer Taylor as a member of the PRT,” said Cmdr. Brad Brewer, the PRT Khost commander. “His work ethic, leadership and devotion to the team have made it possible to meet our daily tasks and move us forward in accomplishing our overall mission of improving security, supporting good governance and enhancing provincial development.”

PRT Khost is made up of more than 85 Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and civilians. The PRT conducts population-centric governance and development counterinsurgency operations.  The team builds the capacity of the provincial and district governments, develops critical infrastructure, education and stabilization initiatives, and works to increase the legitimacy and accountability of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the populace, ultimately enabling reintegration and transition.


Third Fleet participating in San Francisco Fleet Week

SAN DIEGO – Six U.S. Navy ships from the U.S. Third Fleet area of operations are scheduled to visit San Francisco to participate in the 30th annual San Francisco Fleet Week, Oct. 7-12.

The Third Fleet ships include the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54), guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69), mine countermeasure ship USS Chief (MCM 14) and fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200).

San Francisco Fleet Week 2011 (SFFW 11) is an opportunity for the American public to meet their Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard team and to experience the best of the sea services. More than 9,000 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen are scheduled to participate in SFFW 11 to celebrate the shared maritime history of the naval services and the Bay Area. This event will showcase naval personnel, equipment, technology and capabilities with an emphasis on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR).

2011 is a banner year for Naval Aviation as it celebrates its 100th anniversary of flight. From its inception, Naval Aviation has been a “Global Force for Good,” as a symbol of power, and a force for stability in an increasingly unstable and interconnected world. Naval Aviation is involved in a range of military operations around the globe, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief anywhere, anytime – to help American citizens and citizens of the world.

Expanding further on the HA/DR emphasis is the second-iteration Senior Leadership Seminar (SLS) which brings together leaders from local, regional, State and Federal agencies to present their capabilities and create a partnership to respond to a disaster in the Bay Area. The SLS provides senior Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard leaders an excellent opportunity to interact with their local, State and Regional counterparts that are involved in disaster preparedness and response.

There will be several opportunities to interview the crew and leadership of the various ships during Fleet Week. Key events include the SLS, an HA/DR-themed static display area at the Marina Green, Urban Search & Rescue Training involving SFPD, SFFD, Sailors and Marines at Treasure Island, the Parade of Ships, Battle of the Bands in Golden Gate Park, and Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard participation in the Italian Heritage Day Parade and the San Francisco 49ers Military Salute game. Additionally, the Blue Angels will perform along the waterfront.

U.S. Third Fleet area of responsibility includes 50 million square miles of the Eastern and Northern Pacific ocean areas including the Bering Sea, Alaska, the Aleutian Islands and sectors of the arctic. Third Fleet measures its success by the readiness and combat efficiency of the Fleet and the extent to which it is connected and interoperable with domestic partners, international partners and allies.

For further information about San Francisco Fleet Week, please see the official website http://www.fleetweek.us/


Third Fleet participating in San Diego Fleet Week

SAN DIEGO – USS Princeton (CG 59) and USS Rushmore (LSD 47) from the U.S. Third Fleet area of operations will be available for tours Sept. 17 and 18 at the Broadway Pier during San Diego’s Fleet Week. USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) will be available for public tours at Naval Station North Island Sept. 24 and 25.

San Diego Fleet Week 2011 is a great opportunity for the American public to meet their Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard team and to experience the best of the sea services. This event will showcase naval personnel, equipment, technology and capabilities.

Naval Aviation is celebrating its 100th anniversary of flight. From its inception, Naval Aviation has been a “Global Force for Good,” as a symbol of power, and a force for stability in an increasingly unstable and interconnected world. Naval Aviation involves everything from engaging in combat and warfare support, to keeping waterways safe and open for global commerce, to deterring sea piracy and drug trafficking. And when called upon, it provides humanitarian assistance and disaster relief anywhere, anytime – to help American citizens and citizens of the world.

There will be several opportunities to interview the crew and leadership of the various ships during Fleet Week.

U.S. Third Fleet area of responsibility includes 50 million square miles of the Eastern and Northern Pacific ocean areas including the Bering Sea, Alaska, the Aleutian Islands and sectors of the arctic. Third Fleet measures its success by the readiness and combat efficiency of the Fleet and the extent to which it is connected and interoperable with domestic partners, international partners and allies.

For more information about San Diego Fleet Week, the Big Bay Family Festival, Coronado Speed Festival, please go to http://www.fleetweeksandiego.org/index.shtml


USS Thach Returns to San Diego from Deployment

SAN DIEGO – The guided-missile frigate USS Thach (FFG 43) will return to San Diego Friday Sept. 16 after an independent seven-month deployment to the 4th Fleet area of responsibility in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Thach performed a variety of operations during the deployment, including participation in Panama Canal Exercise 2011 (PANAMAX), a multi-national exercise focusing on the defense of the Panama Canal.

“PANAMAX exercised our voice reporting procedures, ship-handling skills and gave our boarding teams a chance to hone their skills,” said Cmdr. Jeff Scudder, Thach’s commanding officer. “These types of events also allow for the multi-national task force to get comfortable working together and build trust at the start of the exercise.”

Thach also took part in Southern Seas 2011, which concentrated on strengthening relationships with regional partner nations and improving operational readiness for all assigned units. In addition, Southern Seas provided the opportunity for U.S. and other forces to operate in the multinational environment, refine coordination, improve interoperability and demonstrate flexibility.

Thach participated in the Pacific Phase of UNITAS 52. UNITAS, Latin for “unity,” is a combined South American and U.S.-sponsored annual exercise series that included theater security operations, anti-terrorism, anti-narcotic operations, and surface defense warfare exercises, as well as visit, board, search and seizure training and live fire events.

During its deployment, Thach participated in community relations projects in Chile and Ecuador, playing baseball with young children and administering an open-call youth baseball clinic to more than 150 children. In Ecuador, Ecuadorian navy officers visited Thach and were given a tour of the ship’s main engine spaces, mess deck, berthing, damage control stations and supply store rooms. The group also viewed the exterior of the ship and was briefed on the ship’s various communications arrays and weapons systems.

Thach is assigned to Destroyer Squadron 7 (DESRON 7), led by Capt. Jim Morgan.

Thach helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the sea and humanitarian/disaster response within 3rd Fleet’s 50-million square mile area of responsibility in the Eastern Pacific, as well as supporting the Navy’s Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.


Chilean submarine in San Diego for three month training

SAN DIEGO – Chilean submarine CS Carrera (SS 22) arrived in San Diego Sept. 1 to participate in the Diesel Electric Submarine Initiative (DESI) training program alongside U.S.  Navy assets.

DESI is a three-month partnership that allows the U.S. and partner navies to work together to train and test underwater warfare capabilities through engagement tactics, weapon system tests and close-encounter operations.
“The DESI program allows us to train together and improve our ability to combat the real-world threat of diesel-electric submarines,” said Rear Adm. Jack Hines, Deputy Commander, U.S. Third Fleet. “We have a long-standing partnership with the Chilean Navy, and this event is evidence of that relationship. The extent to which we are connected and interoperable with our international partners and allies is invaluable to our success in the maritime environment.”

 

The partnership assists in the development of a stronger Navy and setting historical milestones with the United States and countries like Chile. Other participating DESI partners include Colombia, Brazil and Peru.

 

“This is a great opportunity for both navies to train together,” said Cmdr. Carlos Schnaidt, the commanding officer of CS Carrera. “We will be training with the world’s best Navy in dealing with the different threats of today. There will be challenges for both navies, but my crew and I are ready to participate in the training exercises.”

 

This is the fourth time that a Chilean submarine has participated in DESI, but it is the first time Carrera has visited San Diego and partnered with Commander, U.S. Third Fleet to conduct operations off the west coast.

While in San Diego, Chilean Sailors and officers will stay with their U.S. counterparts in on-base quarters. They will also have the opportunity to visit the city of San Diego and engage with U.S. Sailors during scheduled social events in their honor. 

— USN —