Tag Archives: San Diego naval base

San Diego-Based U.S. Navy Destroyers will Transfer to Hawaii Summer 2014

The U.S. Navy released a special announcement on January 7 stating that the San Diego-based guided-missile destroyers, USS John Paul Jones and USS Preble, will be transferring to Hawaii this summer.

USS John Paul Jones will trade places with the Naval cruiser USS Lake Erie, which will come over to San Diego for a major overhaul. Following maintenance work, USS Lake Erie is scheduled to stay in San Diego until it’s needed for deployment.

USS Preble will take the place of Naval frigate USS Reuben James in Hawaii. USS Reuben James was decommissioned last July after almost 30 years of service.

The Navy would like to focus on providing more current anti-missile and anti-aircraft capabilities and systems to the surface forces in the mid-Pacific. According to the Navy, the destroyer John Paul Jones is equipped with the most advanced ballistic missile defense technology in the fleet.

The USS John Paul Jones is 505 feet long with a crew of 303 sailors. Commissioned 20 years in San Diego, USS John Paul Jones was named after a man that many considered the father of the American Navy. Jones was a Scotsman who started volunteering his services to the newly founded Continental Navy in 1775.

USS John Paul Jones was also a main ship in the film “Battleship.”

The other guided-missile destroyer, USS Preble, just returned to San Diego in November from a 7-month deployment. USS Preble is named after Commodore Edward Preble, who led his squadron against Barbary pirates and formed the officer corps for the U.S. Navy during the war of 1812.

Photo Credit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery

USS George Washington Navy Ship Departs Philippines

After the devastating Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), the U.S. aircraft carrier USS George Washington took the lead for international relief operations according to military officials.

The aircraft carrier George Washington left the Philippines on Friday as the amphibious dock landing ships, USS Ashland and USS Germantown, took over extending aid to new areas surrounding the Philippines.

Still remaining in the Philippine Sea is the San Diego-based cruiser Cowpens along with its embarked helicopter crews. As stated by Marine Captain Rebecca Melesky, spokeswoman for Joint Task Force 505, Cowpens has been flying missions into Tacloban while a joint task force has been providing relief to typhoon victims in Visayas.

Currently, the U.S. government has a little more than 1,200 people in the Philippines. These troops are mainly from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit based in Okinawa, Japan.

Along with aircraft, the U.S. military has been using amphibious ships like small boats and hovercraft to transport trucks and heavy equipment to shore in order to clear roads and debris in addition to providing relief to areas that are inaccessible by aircraft.

The Philippine government has 19 active hospitals on the ground and did claim that air and medical support was not necessary from the George Washington carrier strike group.

U.S. Marine Lieutenant General John Wissler, the task force commander, said in a statement, “In addition to the enhanced capabilities of the Ashland and Germantown, the Japanese Navy will be surveying the eastern coast of Samar and identifying additional impacted areas for relief support.”

Even if the air and medical support of the George Washington carrier strike group is not deemed necessary, the Philippine government has been appreciative of the U.S. government’s assistance. Lieutenant General Alan R. Luga is vice chief of staff of the Philippine armed forces. Lt. Gen. Luga shared his gratitude: “We are very thankful to the United States armed forces for sending one of their aircraft carriers to the Philippines and immediately supporting our humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations following the devastation of super typhoon Yolanda.”

The United States military will continue to be present in supporting and helping the Philippines heal from the devastating typhoon. Until deemed unnecessary, U.S. troops will extend aid to the Philippines.

Photo Credit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery

Malfunctioning Drone Hits Navy Ship during Training, Injuring Sailors

Investigators are still determining what went wrong with the malfunctioning drone that hit a Navy guided missile cruiser during a training exercise near San Diego, CA.

A Navy official reported that two sailors were injured Saturday when a BQM-74 series drone hit and damaged USS Chancellorsville, the San Diego-based guided missile cruiser.

About 300 crew members were aboard the USS Chancellorsville when the drone struck its side, however, only two sailors were injured. The two sailors are being treated for minor burns.

According to Lieutenant Lenaya Rotlein of the U.S. Third Fleet, the ship had been testing its combat weapons system off Point Mugu in Southern California. The aerial target drone was being used to test the ship’s radar when it crashed into the ship’s left (port) side.

Investigators at Naval Base San Diego are currently assessing the damage to determine why the drone malfunctioned. The BQM-74 series aerial drone is 13 feet long, 1 foot in diameter, and has a wingspan of approximately 6 feet. Manufactured by Northrop Grumman Corp., these drones are used frequently in testing for combat and weapons systems.

USS Chancellorsville will be returning to the Naval Base San Diego for reports and to undergo an investigation regarding the drone mishap.

USS Chancellorsville is a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser that carriers guided missiles and rapid-fire cannons; this Naval vessel also has anti-subsurface, anti-surface, and anti-air capabilities. Focused on anti-submarine warfare, USS Chancellorsville also carries two helicopters.

Please enjoy this video of the heroic USS Chancellorsville gliding along the San Diego Bay. The amount of damage will be determined soon by Navy officials.

Photo Credit: Naval Surface Warriors

San Diego Sailor found dead on Navy Patrol Boat

A local sailor was found dead on Tuesday, September 3rd, aboard a Navy patrol boat that was anchored in the San Diego Bay, according to authorities. The patrol boat was located just north of the Midway Museum in San Diego.

The fatality was noted on Tuesday shortly after 4 p.m. close to the Broadway Pier, as stated by the San Diego Fire Rescue Department. The death of one Navy sailor was due to a shooting, however, the Navy Region Southwest Public Affairs said that no foul play was involved in the death of the sailor.

According to NBC San Diego, Navy and San Diego Harbor Police boats were seen on the pier going to investigate the scene; there were many frantic people aboard these ships descending to meet the Navy patrol boat.

Medics quickly pronounced the victim as dead at the scene. The name of the sailor is being withheld until family notification is fulfilled.

Navy spokesman Brian O’Rourke said that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) took charge of the investigation immediately and is working hard to discover the source and preface to the shooting.

Because the death did not look like a homicide, the authorities were not looking for suspects as of Tuesday night but they are working on discovering resolutions to the matter.

Although the cause of death is still uncertain, there will be a release revealed in the near future to define closure on this tragic event. The end of this sailor’s life is a devastating tragedy for San Diego and we hope that his family and friends will find relief and necessary closure through these investigations.

Photo Credit: Rennett Stowe

Navy’s Coronado Speed Festival in San Diego has been Approved

The annual Coronado Speed Festival has successfully dodged the budget cuts this year. Next month, the Naval Air Station North Island will host the Coronado Speed Festival on September 21 & 22 as part of San Diego Fleet Week.

San Diego Fleet Week is a public open house of the Navy base that coincides perfectly with Coronado Speed Festival and Fleet Week Foundation festivities.

The popular event will have a race track on the flight line, where the public can watch race cars zip around the track. Military aircraft will also be on display during the event.

Fleet Week’s executive director, Alexandra Squires said, “We’re thrilled at the opportunity to continue the tradition of celebrating Speed Fest at Naval Base Coronado.”

A Navy memo was released July 24 requesting the Pentagon to approve the Coronado Speed Festival, stating that all costs would be covered by Fleet Week even though costs have usually been shared between the Navy and the foundation in the past.

Usually, the Coronado Speed Festival has tours of the Navy ships for the public to see, however, Naval officials said on Friday that they aren’t sure if these tours will be able to happen for this year’s festival.

If it is approved to allow ship tours at Coronado Speed Festival, the piers that are home to the USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan, will be the first to be on display. For more information about this fun-filled Navy event in San Diego, visit Fleet Week online and for the newest details and an interesting peek into Naval living in America’s Finest City.

Photo Credit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery