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Freedom Interrupts Drug Delivery in Western Caribbean

The littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Freedom (LCS 1) achieved its first drug seizure Feb. 22 when it disrupted a high-speed "go-fast" vessel and recovered more than a quarter of a ton of cocaine. Freedom, with embarked Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, an LCS Surface Warfare Mission Package and a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET), was conducting counter-illicit trafficking (CIT) operations in U.S.

Gunston Hall Arrives in Rota to Prepare for Africa Partnership Station Mission

USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), along with its embarked Africa Partnership Station staff, arrived in Rota, Spain, Feb. 22 after a 10-day transit across the Atlantic Ocean and on the heels of its participation in Haiti relief efforts. Gunston Hall is serving as the flagship for African Partnership Station (APS) West 2010, an international initiative designed by Naval Forces Europe and Naval Forces Africa to foster enhanced maritime safety and security in west and central Africa.

Rescue Efforts Continuing in Navy Helicopter Crash

Rescue and recovery efforts are still ongoing following the Feb. 18 crash of a U.S. Navy MH-60S "Knighthawk" helicopter in a remote area of West Virginia, with the majority of the personnel safely extracted from the crash site. There are injuries reported to the 17 crew and passengers aboard, but none of the injuries are life threatening. There are no fatalities. The names of the injured are not being released at this time. The helicopter is assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Support Squadron 26 from Naval Station Norfolk.

X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Taking Shape On Board Lincoln

Personnel from the Navy Unmanned Combat Air System (N-UCAS) program team and industry partner Northrop Grumman Corporation are underway with USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) to test the integration of existing ship systems with new systems that will support the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D). This effort will reduce program risk and is one of many steps toward the X-47B's first carrier arrested landing or "trap." The X-47B will be the first unmanned jet aircraft to take off and land aboard an aircraft carrier.

Freedom Gets Underway For Maiden Deployment

The Navy's first littoral combat ship, USS Freedom (LCS 1), left Naval Station Mayport Feb. 16 for her maiden operational deployment to the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) areas of focus. During the independent deployment, Freedom will participate in counter-illicit trafficking (CIT) operations off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Central and South America and the Caribbean Sea. A U.S.

Coming Soon - New Crew-Served Weapons Training on Navy E-Learning

Center for Security Forces announced the upcoming release of four additions to its weapons safety training series on Navy E-Learning this April. Debuting are Web-based lessons for the crew-served weapons (CSW) M2HB 50 caliber machine gun, M240 and MK44 7.62 millimeter medium machine gun, and the MK19 Mod III 40 millimeter grenade machine gun.

Essex Completes Successful Cobra Gold 2010

The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex successfully completed exercise Cobra Gold 2010 (CG 10) Feb. 11 operating in the Gulf of Thailand and surrounding waters. Throughout the exercise, Essex Sailors and Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) worked alongside forces of the Kingdom of Thailand, Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Singapore and Japan to enhance multinational interoperability in the Pacific region. "Multinational exercises like Cobra Gold are invaluable," said Capt. Donald Schmieley, commander, Amphibious Squadron 11.

USS Ronald Reagan Wins Third Battle "E" Award

Sailors assigned to aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) won the Battle Efficiency Ribbon, or Battle "E" Award, Feb. 10. Vice Adm. Thomas Kilcline, commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF), awarded the Battle "E" Award to two carriers, one in the Atlantic Fleet and one in the Pacific. The award is a tribute to the superior battle readiness of the aircraft carrier that receives it. "To say that I'm impressed and incredibly pleased is an understatement." said Capt. Ken Norton, Ronald Reagan's commanding officer. "This is yet another testament to a very impressive crew.

ACU-2 Provides Relief to Haiti During Unified Response

As part of Operation Unified Response, the crew of Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 2 has been working non-stop from dropping off a Marine Air-Ground Task Force assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), to carrying approximately 300 tons of cargo to Killick Haitian Coast Guard Base. Embarked aboard USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), ACU 2 is deployed in support of Operation Unified Response, providing humanitarian aid and medical support to the Haitian people. "Our mission out here is ship-to-shore transport" said Engineman 3rd Class Jarrell Ray, from Sumpter, S.C., assigned to ACU 2.

Prime Minister of Haiti Visits Bataan

The prime minister of Haiti visited the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) Feb.

USS Nassau ARG/24th MEU Depart Haiti

The USS Nassau Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with embarked 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) departed Haiti Feb. 7, continuing on its originally scheduled deployment to the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR). The Nassau ARG includes ships from Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 8: the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA 4), the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48). The three ships and nearly 2,000 Sailors departed Virginia Jan.

USS Freedom Readies for Maiden Deployment

USS Freedom (LCS 1), the Navy's first littoral combat ship, is underway off the coast of Florida for final training and certification prior to its maiden deployment to the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) region. Counter-illicit trafficking (CIT), damage control, and systems training began soon after Freedom's arrival at Naval Station Mayport, Fla., on Jan. 25. "This training is extremely important for Freedom and will help us prepare for the CIT mission we expect to perform while in the 4th Fleet area of operations," said Lt. Cmdr.

USS George H.W. Bush Redelivered to Fleet, Departs for Flight Deck Certification

USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) departed Naval Station Norfolk, Va., for flight deck certification Feb. 2, three days after successfully completing Sea Trials. Bush embarked elements of Carrier Air Wing 8 to conduct flight deck certification and carrier qualifications following the ship's redelivery to the fleet. The crew recently completed an intensive seven-month Post Shakedown Availability/Selective Restrictive Availability (PSA/SRA) at Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding, concluding with Sea Trials Jan. 27-29. "USS George H.W.