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CHIPS Articles: Editor's Notebook, October-December 2004

Editor's Notebook, October-December 2004
By Sharon Anderson - October-December 2004
Your suggestions about the topics you would like to see us tackle in CHIPS are helpful in planning future issues. I want to share with you some comments from CHIPS reader, Al Kaniss from Naval Air Systems Command.

"I enjoyed your article in the Summer 2004 CHIPS, 'Why We Need the Navy Marine Corps Intranet.' I realize that the NMCI is not always the most popular of topics, and you did a great job of tactfully addressing its critics. If one looks at any change, like the invention of the telephone or the airplane, there were always naysayers. Too many people take computer security and interoperability for granted — until there's a problem. Thank you for pointing out these important facets of NMCI."

"By the way, I like CHIPS magazine a lot. I notice that over the years, it has expanded its focus from primarily information systems to all DoD IT issues, including the tactical realm. It's also nice to hear what our top level executives are thinking about issues we struggle with."

Thanks, Mr. Kaniss. Feedback from readers indicates great interest in interviews and articles from top Navy and Defense leadership. DON CIO, Dave Wennergren, says leadership should inspire and motivate and that is our aim too — to excite and challenge our readers.

Sept. 9, at a ceremony at the Pentagon, Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England named two new warships, the USS Arlington and the USS Somerset, in honor of the victims and heroes of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and for the passengers and crew aboard United Airlines Flight 93 and American Airlines Flight 77. Secretary England explained that it is a Navy tradition to name ships after great national or military leaders; heroes who sacrificed for the defense of freedom; great battles; or after great American communities that represent the resiliency, vitality and spirit of America.

The USS Arlington is named for the city and county in northern Virginia, and the 184 victims aboard American Airlines Flight 77 and on the ground, who died during the attack on the Pentagon. It also pays tribute to the first responders: firefighters, police and medical personnel who unhesitatingly rushed to the scene of the attack.

The Somerset is named for the county in Pennsylvania where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed after passengers stormed the cockpit in an attempt to retake control of the plane. Their actions prevented the terrorists from reaching the nation's capital and causing further casualties and destruction. The bravery of the 40 passengers and crew rallied the nation.

The USS Arlington (LPD 24) and USS Somerset (LPD 25) will join the USS New York (LPD 21), named in 2002, as living tributes to those who suffered in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. At the Pentagon ceremony, England spoke to the victims' families and the first responders in the audience. "We honor and recognize the profound service and sacrifice of all those who lost their lives … who were injured … Soldiers, Sailors and civilians … and the thousands of rescue personnel and citizens who came forward to provide aid to their neighbors."

Secretary England said the ships are symbols of freedom and military might. "The USS Arlington and USS Somerset will help America project power to the far reaches of the earth and will support the cause of freedom as we engage in the current war on terrorism…. The courage and heroism of the people aboard those flights, and in the Pentagon, will never be forgotten by the American people."

Honored guests observe as the Navy unveils a model of a San Antonio class amphibious dock landing ship (LPD), following the official naming ceremony for USS Arlington (LPD 24) and USS Somerset (LPD 25). Arlington and Somerset join the previously named USS New York (LPD 21), in honoring the heroes and citizens, who provided aid and support during and after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Journalist Craig Stawser.
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