This week in U.S. Navy History:
Navy Hosts 8th Annual Wounded Warrior Hiring Summit — The 2018 Wounded Warrior Hiring and Support Summit wrapped up this week on Wednesday at the Washington Navy Yard, bringing the total wounded warriors hired into the Navy Department alone to more than 13,000 since the annual summit's inception in 2010. The two-day summit offered resume and interview preparation, career advice and resources for transitioning wounded warriors on its first day, then a hiring fair the second day where more than 40 DoD, Federal and commercial organizations offered career opportunities. The Navy Human Resources team alone conducted 64 on-site interviews.
On May 5, 1969, Cmdr. Alan Shepard Jr. makes the first U.S. manned space flight. USS Lake Champlain (CVS-39) recovers the capsule after the 15-minute flight.
On May 9, 1926, Lt. Cmdr. Richard E. Byrd and Chief Aviation Pilot Floyd Bennett reported reaching the North Pole. Both received the Medal of Honor for this event.
Retired Master Chief Britt Slabinski to Receive Medal of Honor — Master Chief Slabinski will be awarded the Medal of Honor during a White House ceremony on May 24, 2018 for his actions while leading a team under heavy effective enemy fire in an attempt to rescue teammate Petty Officer First Class Neil Roberts during Operation ANACONDA in 2002. Master Chief Slabinski's selfless actions throughout the 14-hour battle constituted gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.
USFF Holds Changes of Command, Welcomes 42nd Commander — Adm. Chris Grady relieved Adm. Phil Davidson as commander, U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) and U.S. Naval Forces Northern Command, in a ceremony aboard aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) in port Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, May 4. Nearly 500 civilian and military guests gathered to welcome Grady and bid fair winds and following seas to Davidson as he departs after more than three years in command. Distinguished guests included Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson and Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) Gen. Lori Robinson.
CNO Announces Establishment of U.S. 2nd Fleet — Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, announced the establishment of U.S. 2nd Fleet during a change of command ceremony for U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) in Norfolk, May 4. Second Fleet will exercise operational and administrative authorities over assigned ships, aircraft and landing forces on the East Coast and northern Atlantic Ocean. Additionally, it will plan and conduct maritime, joint and combined operations and will train, certify and provide maritime forces to respond to global contingencies. Commander, 2nd Fleet will report to USFF.
NATO-Allied Command Transformation Farewells Davidson, Welcomes New U.S. Fleet Forces Commander — French Air Force Gen. Denis Mercier, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, said farewell to Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) U.S. Navy Adm. Phil Davidson following a change of command ceremony held aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) in Norfolk on May 4. Davidson was relieved by U.S. Navy Adm. Christopher Grady. During the change of command, U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, announced the establishment of U.S. 2nd Fleet, emphasizing the increased importance of conducting maritime, joint and combined operations within the region.
Premier Navy Squadron Receives New Leadership, Thanks Outgoing Commander — The nation's only military squadron dedicated to scientific research, an integral part of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory's capabilities, received new leadership May 4. Cmdr. Erik M. Thomas relieved Cmdr. David G. Neall of duty as commanding officer of the NRL's Scientific Development Squadron (VXS) 1 "Warlocks" during a change of command ceremony at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Maryland. The Warlocks are responsible for the planning, engineering, installation, coordination and execution of airborne science and technology projects, which is a unique capability. The squadron also maintains the training, qualifications and proficiency of all assigned military personnel, government civilians, contractors, and project specialists as well as the maintenance of research aircraft.
Mobility Team Rolls into 2018, Beyond — The Sea Warrior (PMW 240) Mobility Team has come a long way since deploying its first app, eDIVO, in Spring 2015. To date, the team has created a dynamic and successful program from scratch, produced 23 apps for iOS and Android devices, launched the Navy App Locker, cloud-hosted the Enterprise Mobile Content Management System (EMCMS), developed a mobility-focused contract framework that accelerates the acquisition-to-development process, and streamlined the Agile process to reduce app production time to just 2-4 months. The result is 300,000+ app downloads, 8,000+ general military training course completions via apps and pleasant feedback from sponsors and app users.
Navy Welcomes First Female Aviation Search and Rescue Senior Chief Petty Officer — Female Sailors accomplished many firsts in the Navy, such as Adm. Michelle Howard's selection as the first female four-star admiral and Vice Adm. Nora Tyson being the first woman to lead a Navy operational fleet. Shattering glass ceilings in the Navy is not reserved for only the highest ranking Sailors, however. During a ceremony on Naval Base Coronado, April 27, Erica Gibson, a 17-year enlisted Sailor, became the first female aviation Navy Search and Rescue (SAR) swimmer to promote to the rank of senior chief petty officer. Assigned to Commander Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Pacific (CHSMWP) Squadron Augment Unit (SAU), Gibson is the only chief in the Reserve unit and serves as the Senior Enlisted Leader.
Remembering the Holocaust — It's been 73 years since the Axis powers surrendered to the western Allies, ending World War II. While many look fondly on that hard-won victory, it is important that we never forget those events that are forever etched in our history. George Washington's Heritage Committee held a Holocaust remembrance ceremony on the floating accommodation facility (FAF) mess decks, April 30. The ceremony opened up with the singing of the national anthem by Yeoman 3rd Class Lynnett Evans, from Columbus, Georgia, followed by the invocation, led by Bagrow. Operations Specialist 1st Class Rita Dennison, from Kernersville, North Carolina, stood as the master of ceremonies for the event.
These stories originally published by Navy News Service during April 30-May 11, 2018. For more Navy news, go to: www.navy.mil/.