Navy.TogetherWeServed Newsletter - December, 2007 

A Pearl of Leadership Wisdom...

"Leadership must be based on goodwill. Goodwill does not mean posturing and, least of all, pandering to the mob. It means obvious and wholehearted commitment to helping followers. We are tired of leaders we fear, tired of leaders we love, and of tired of leaders who let us take liberties with them. What we need for leaders are men of the heart who are so helpful that they, in effect, do away with the need of their jobs. But leaders like that are never out of a job, never out of followers. Strange as it sounds, great leaders gain authority by giving it away."
- ADM James B. Stockdale


A LOOK-SEE WITH THE NAVY'S TOP DOC - Army PFC Thomas McClure, 708th Medical Company (Ground Ambulance), answers questions for Navy Surgeon General VADM Adam M. Robinson Jr., during a recent tour of medical facilities at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.
- Photo by MC1 Cindy Gill

- CNO Commemorates Pearl Harbor Day
- USS Tarawa, 11th MEU Provide Medical Aid to Bangladesh Residents

- Africa Partnership Station Arrives in Cameroon

Navy Aids WA, OR Flood Victims, Hoists 59 to Safety
Essex Departs Cambodia After Historic Port Visit
- Navy Ramps Up for Poinsettia Bowl
- Sailors, Marines Underway During Holidays To Get Free Phone Cards
- Judge Advocate General Corps Celebrates 40th Anniversary

CUTTIN' THE RUG - Yeoman 1st Class Equilla Sims dances with a member of Yokosuka's Sogo Fukushi Center during a disco party. The dancing event was a community relations project, giving Sailors an opportunity to spend a fun day with disabled members of the community.
- Photo by MCSN Kari R. Bergman
New NTWS Military Book & DVD Store

Our NTWS Book & DVD Store contains one of the largest selections of military-themed books and video sets available. Find what you are looking for here with the lowest prices and fast delivery. The NTWS Book Store is available on the left hand Home Page as you log into NTWS or by clicking on this link:

PEARL HARBOR 1941: THE DAY OF INFAMY. By Carl Smith. Examines the events and why the Japanese were so successful! A turning point in American history - One of the most significant events of World War II - The attack on Pearl Harbor marked the dawn of modern warfare as six Japanese aircraft carriers disgorged their full complements in two waves, and the full might of Japanese naval aviation was hurled against the United States. Opposing viewpoints label the attack as either the work of a brilliant strategist or a piece of unparalleled villainy. However we view it, we cannot dispute its status as a key event in world history.

In this specially revised 96-page edition, Carl Smith and David Aiken examine the events of that fateful day and look at why the Japanese were so successful. The expertise of David Aiken, a student of the events of 7 December 1941 with over 30 year's experience, uncovers several unknown aspects, and dispels many of the myths that have been built up around the event s of that day: A meticulous researcher, he has interviewed many veterans of the attack including Japanese pilots, US pilots, and US seaman, and has built up an unparalleled archive of incredible detail on the attack. This great value commemorative package brings together a fully revised and updated edition of Pearl Harbor. Softcover. OUR PRICE: $15.50

Enjoy browsing the "aisles" of our Store! We hope you find something of interest for yourself or as a gift.
NTWS Forums - Your Sounding Board!

What was your best duty station or shipboard assignment and why? What is the recipe for that wonderful dish you make for a holiday or other occasions? Do you have any tips about keeping healthy, or things to watch out for if you have a disease? These are but a few of the topics that are covered by the many Forums on NTWS. These forums provide you, the members, a variety of places to discuss with other members the many topics we have in common.

Those members still on active duty would probably like to know about good assignments when they make out their "dream sheets" or talk to their detailers at BUPERS. Those who have worked as detailers might want to provide a few tips for members in preparing to talk about their next assignment.

If you have a disease like diabetes, what tips can you give others about the disease and things to watch out for with diabetes? Encourage a shipmate on NTWS to keep on top of a health problem so he stays with us for a long time.

These are but a couple of topics that are available for you to offer advice, warn others about, discuss with other NTWS members, or just vent your frustrations about. So check out the many Forums and start a lively discussion about a topic that interests you!
NTWS Sailor Pride Poster (December)


Recently left the Navy? Maybe you're looking for a new career, or just going "in a different direction"?

Welcome to the NTWS Job Board which is on the left hand Home Page just as you log into NTWS and contains hundreds of job positions!

All positions, described in detail, are posted by fellow NTWS Members who are familiar with the credentials and experience offered by former Shipmates.

Here is just a small sample of the many new jobs recently posted:

Position Offered:
Senior Analyst/Engineer
Location: VA
Salary Range: TBD

Position Offered: Communications Specialist
Location: Not specified
Salary Range: TBD

Position Offered: Senior IT/IA/QA Analyst
Location: San Diego, CA
Salary Range: $75K-$95K

Position Offered: Panda Express General Managers
Location: Various franchise locations
Salary Range: TBD

Position Offered: Aviation Ordnance Logistics
Location: China Lake, CA
Salary Range: TBD

Position Offered: Concrete Finishers
Location: Odon, IN (w/travel)
Salary Range: TBD

Position Offered: Systems Administrator
Location: Hurlburt Field, FL
Salary Range: TBD

Position Offered: Naval Science Instructor, NJROTC
Location: Barre, MA
Salary Range: TBD

Position Offered: Wireless Technicians (7 openings)
Location: Hurlburt Field, Holloman AFB, UK & Germany
Salary Range: TBD

Position Offered: DoD Police & Security Contractor Positions
Location: Cp. Pendleton, CA
Salary Range: TBD

To view additional job postings, please check our new Job Board in the LEFT-HAND column of the NTWS Home Page.


"Sir - Just touching base to inform you that my Job Posting on TogetherWeServed resulted in a couple of fantastic applicants! After some time in other websites, your site provided us the applicants with the skills we were looking for fairly quickly. Thanks for the great service, not only for the job posting, but for the fantastic website!"
Mike Wesolowski, CRA Inc.


KUSI-TV San Diego, recently aired this biographical piece on long-time San Diego resident -- and Navy hero -- VADM Eugene P. "Dennis" Wilkinson, USN (ret.).

The video piece was written, produced and reported by Dave Scott (KUSI's weekend weathercaster and general assignments reporter), along with KUSI's chief photographer, Tom Zizzi.

You can check out Dave's story on VADM Wilkinson here. Enjoy!

If you'd like to send Dave Scott a comment on this news story, email him here.
Useful Military Links

Defenselink -- The OFFICIAL source of news and information from the Department of Defense, related agencies and all military branches.

Multi-National Force - Iraq-- Official website of MNF-I.

Multi-National Corps - Iraq-- Official website of MNC-I, "Leading the transformation of Iraq."

The Pentagon Channel -- 24-hour broadcasts of official military news and information for members of the US Armed Forces through select stateside cable systems, and overseas via American Forces Network (AFN).

My -- American Forces Network (AFN) provides multi-channel, broadcast-quality radio and television services and expanded internal information products to all DoD members and their families stationed overseas, on contingency operations, and onboard Navy ships around the world. We Bring You Home.

Military Homefront -- A DoD Web portal for reliable Quality of Life information designed to help troops and their families, leaders and service providers. Whether you live the military lifestyle or support those who do, you'll find what you need!

Stars & Stripes
-- The DoD-authorized UNOFFICIAL daily newspaper for US Forces overseas, printed in European, Pacific and Mideast editions.

Department of Defense Educational Activity (DoDEA)
-- DoDEA operates more than 218 public schools for grades K-12 in 14 districts located in seven U.S. states, Puerto Rico, Guam and 12 foreign countries to serve the children of military service members and Department of Defense civilian employees.

Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES)
-- The military's largest retailer. A mission-essential, and the premier quality of life provider for all DoD military members, civilians, contractors and their families worldwide.

Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) --
The Navy's Family Store providing quality goods and services at a savings and supporting the naval quality of life programs.

Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) -- Delivering the premier quality-of-life benefit to military members worldwide.

United Service Organizations (USO) -- The USO supports U.S. troops and their families wherever they serve. Across the United States and around the world, the American military knows that the USO is there for them. Until Every One Comes Home.

Navy World Wide Locator
-- For locating individuals on active duty, those recently discharged, and current addresses for retired Navy service members.

Navy Retired Activities Branch -- Keeps the retired community informed of their benefits and provides customer service to Navy retirees and their families.

Shift Colors
-- The Magazine for Navy Retirees.



ARMY - AR 670-1

AIR FORCE - AFI 36-2903



NAVY - All Hands


ARMY - Soldiers

AIR FORCE - Airman

COAST GUARD - Coast Guard

Place your Website Link on NTWS!

If you operate a Navy-orientated website and interested in trading links with NTWS, please contact our Links Manager, CPO Art Gazelle, at Include your URL, up to 100 words describing your website, and a 468x60 website banner in JPEG format, if available.

For information on posting an NTWS banner on your site, please click here.

Remembrance Profiles

NTWS is a place for all Sailors, living and deceased. You can post and maintain Remembrance Profiles for your Shipmates by clicking on Remember a Shipmate on the left-hand side of the Home Page. This allows you to remember a Fallen, Deceased, MIA/POW, Unlocated Sailor/Aviator or to create an Assisted Profile for a living Sailor/Aviator who is unable to post their own profile.

LIFESAVERS LEAD THE WAY - USCG Petty Officer 2nd Class Travis Vanzandt carries a young child, followed by the child's family and their dog during a recent rescue in Washington State. The Coast Guard evacuated or provided medical assistance to residents living in remote regions of the Pacific Northwest that were hammered by torrential rains and floods earlier this month. Vanzandt and his helicopter crew are based at USCG Air Station Astoria, OR.
- USCG photo by PA2 Mariana O'Leary

- Army Prepares to Launch New Pay, Personnel System
- US Generals: "Jury Still Out" on Flow of Weapons From Iran
- Coalition, Afghan Forces Defeat Taliban in Two Operations
- Nigerian Native Serves With Pride as American Soldier
- Arab World Must Support Iraqi Progress, SECDEF Says
- Afghan Soldiers, Police Begin EOD Course
- Army Unit, Civil Affairs Team Hand Out $10,000 in Micro-grants
- Foreign Area Officers Help Bridge Cultural Divides

EYES OF HOPE - A Bangladeshi boy watches as food rations are offloaded from a CH-46E assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 166 (Reinforced), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Special Operations Capable (SOC). The amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa (LHA 1) and the embarked 11th MEU (SOC) are conducting Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief efforts in response to the government of Bangladesh's request for assistance after Tropical Cyclone Sidr struck their southern coast Nov. 15. The storm killed over 3,000 people and has left several hundred thousand homeless.
- USMC photo by Sgt. Bryson K. Jones

- RAV sweeps through Iraq, hundreds of Marines re-enlist
- Marines rock the boat

- Most decorated MEU adds OEF, OIF Battle Streamers on 25th anniversary
- N.C. native transforms from troublemaker to Marine role model
- Iwakuni police exercise promotes strong bond with station's PMO
- 29 Palms: Time of Pearl Harbor Attack
- Recon plays key role in humanitarian relief
- Okinawa Marine serves with POET

HICKAM AIRMEN REMEMBER DECEMBER 7, 1941 - Airmen from the Professional Military Education Center (PMEC) at Hickam AFB, Hawaii, present U.S. flags flown over Hickam's Atterbury Memorial Park to each of five surviving Airmen and a widow of a survivor of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Hickam Field. The ceremony, an annual tradition, was held in the Courtyard of Heroes lobby inside the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) headquarters building.
- USAF photo by Oscar Hernandez


- Wreath ceremonies to honor veterans in December
- Airmen support Bangladesh relief operations
- Alaska Guard conducts Operation Santa Claus
- Deployed Airmen remember Pearl Harbor, Hickam attacks
- Award winning program prevents suicides
- PME classrooms open for sister service

THE DEVASTATION FROM ABOVE - The coastal town of Vernonia, OR., was hard hit by heavy rains on Dec. 2 and 3. Oregon's governor, Theodore Kulongoski, surveyed the storm damage from an Oregon ArNG UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter on Dec. 4.
- Photo by TSgt. Nick Choy, Oregon National Guard Public Affairs


- National Guard Rescues Hundreds in Oregon Flooding
- Ghurkhas Train with U.S. Soldiers in India
- Fort Irwin Soldier wins Operation Rising Star Singing Contest
- Army's High School All-American Bowl Selection Tour Underway
- New PT program helps pregnant Soldiers
Help NTWS Grow!

For every five Sailors who join NTWS from your invitation, you'll be rewarded with 6 months FREE Full Membership allowing you special access to all the premium areas of the TWS website!

Your support will also be recognized by a special "Recruiting Ribbon" placed on your LH Profile Page -- and a bronze star for every five new members you invite!

By inviting other Shipmates to join this site you not only greatly increase the chances for Members to find others with whom they served, but the site becomes even more enjoyable through the increased interaction between Sailors from all eras and Navy communities.

Inviting a Shipmate is simple: Click on the Invite tab at the top of your Profile Page, enter the name and e-mail address of the Sailor you wish to invite and a formal invitation, in your name, is instantly e-mailed to the recipient with full instructions on how to join. Also, all Sailors you invite will have your name on their Profile Page as being invited by you!

Email your club/association reunion announcement as early as possible to: or

USS WAINWRIGHT (DLG/CG 28) Tenth Biennial Reunion Jacksonville, FL at the Crowne Plaza Riverfront, July 15-20, 2008.
Contact: Dan Bowman 5567 Winton Rd. Fairfield, Ohio 45014
E-Mail: or Website: for the latest reunion information

MCB1 (all eras) Reunion
Washington DC, October 10-12, 2008. A mini-reunion slated in Hemlock, NY on July 4th weekend. Contact Peter Dowd (781) 837-0393 or email If you can't make the reunion, at least get on the shipmates roster.

CVSG 57 Reunion
For all that served in the CAG. Next reunion slated for October 2008 in Corpus Christi, TX. Contact AO1 Jerry Elliot (ret.) for more information.

USS POCONO (AGC-16/LCC-16) Association
2008 Reunion will be held at Virginia Beach, VA, October 1-5, 2008. For full details, please visit the association website at:

SSN-649 or SS-281) Reunion June 18-22, 2008, San Diego, CA. For more details, visit

A reunion is being planned for September 18-21, 2008, in Charleston, SC. For more information, go to the Henry Clay website and click on "reunions".

USS SOLEY (DD-707) Reunion Plymouth, MA, May 13-17, 2008. Contact: Eugene Blum, 6749 San Benito Way, Buena Park, CA 90620-3741. (714) 527-4925, E-Mail:, or visit our Website:

USS ROBISON (DDG-12) The Robie is having a reunion in Branson, MO Sept. 11-14, 2008. This is will be the first reunion and formation of the association. For more info and to get listed on our roster, contact RM1 Chuck Siedschlag (71-74) at or call (715) 787-4559.

USS HAVERFIELD (DER 393) is having a reunion March 2008. If interested, contact Bill Hammond at

USS BLUEFISH (SSN-675 ) Reunion For all that served on Ole' Blue, we are having a reunion May 1-4, 2008 in St. Louis, MO. For additional info: or

USS MARVIN SHIELDS (FF/DE-1066) Second reunion in Fall 2008. For further details go to

USS GREENLING (SS-213 & SSN-614) A joint reunion for crew members from both subs in Branson, Missouri Sept. 19-23, 2008. The reunion website is For more information, contact BU1 Jeff Stone at (512) 352-7034

USS COGSWELL (DD-651) Reunion October 9-11, 2008, Boise ID. Contact: George H. Overman, P.O. Box 6098, Oceanside, CA 92052-6098. (760) 889-2216. Email to or visit

USS WHITE PLAINS (AFS-4) 40th Anniversary Reunion for crewmembers of the one and only "Orient Express!" June 21-28, 2008; Handlery Hotel & Resort, San Diego, CA (the birthplace of all Mars-class AFS). For details and registration, contact Steve Edmison at, or visit the AFS-4 Association website at

USS CONCORD (AFS-5) We are looking for all shipmates who have served on this great ship. If you are interested please respond to or with your name, address, years on board, rate/rank and we will place your information in our database.

USS SAN DIEGO (AFS-6) Reunion planned for May 2008 in Norfolk, VA. We are looking for all shipmates who have served on this great ship. If you are interested please respond to with your name, address, years on board, rate/rank and we will place your information in our database. Please check out the ship's website at We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Stay Connected -- Keep Your E-mail Addresses Current!

There are two ways in which an old friends and Shipmates can contact you via the NTWS website: the first is via your "public" e-mail address displayed in your Personal Details on your Profile Page; and the other is by leaving a message in your Message Center Inbox. The latter triggers an advisory e-mail, sent to your "private" e-mail address to inform you that you have received a message and who it's from. Your "private" e-mail address, which is the one that TWS uses, is contained in your Account Details at the top of your Profile Page which you can modify at any time. NTWS Members' "private" and "public" e-mail addresses are usually the same. So, please regularly log-in and update any changes to your e-mail addresses both in the Account Detail and Personal Detail sections of your Profile.

Technology Center Helps Vets Transition

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Transitioning from military to civilian life can be daunting for some, but one group is helping to streamline the process.

Fast Forward Community Technology Center, in Columbia, S.C., provides access to technology and technology education to people who might otherwise have access. Recently, however, the group has created a program to provide veterans with tools necessary to successfully transition into civilian employment.

The main effort of the Homefront Readiness program is to help military veterans find good, secure jobs within the civilian sector, said Becca Smith, the program's director.

Veterans meet with Smith to decide on a course of action, which can include anything from getting help with technology and job skills to networking. She can help them create or edit a resume or find military-friendly employers in the area.

"We have been incredibly successful thus far", Smith said. "Currently, 69 veterans are enrolled in the program, and 16 have secured civilian jobs."

She said more than half of veterans participating in Homefront Readiness have increased their technology skills. I believe it's the personalized attention and individualized plan that makes our program different and that helps veterans achieve success in the civilian sector, she said.

Homefront Readiness recently became a supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and corporations with military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad.

I'm excited about the networking aspect of being on the (America Support You) Web site, Smith said. "We are actively looking for funding and support to help us keep the programs running."

Homefront Readiness, which began in January, is funded through a grant by the South Carolina Department of Commerce, Smith said. That grant will expire in January 2009.

VA Announces $4.7 Million to Help Caregivers
Department Enhancing Education, Training and Resources

WASHINGTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced it will provide nearly $4.7 million for 'caregiver assistance pilot programs' to expand and improve health care education and provide needed training and resources for caregivers who assist disabled and aging veterans in their homes.

"This funding will enhance support and training for the family members and other caregivers who sacrifice to care for disabled and aging veterans, said Acting VA Secretary Gordon H. Mansfield. At VA, we're committed to looking after caregivers who dedicate their own time and well-being to take care of loved ones who are veterans.

The pilot programs will support eight caregiver projects across the country. In addition, VA provides support and assistance through a variety of programs such as care management, social work service, care coordination, geriatrics and extended care, and through its nationwide volunteer programs.

Among the key services provided to caregivers are transportation, respite care, case management and service coordination, assistance with personal care (bathing and grooming), social and emotional support, and home safety evaluations.

Education programs teach caregivers how to obtain community resources such as legal assistance, financial support, housing assistance, home delivered meals and spiritual support. In addition, caregivers are taught skills such as time management techniques, medication management, communication skills with the medical staff and the veteran, and ways to take better care of themselves.

Many of the projects use technology, including computers, Web-based training, video conferencing and teleconferencing to support the needs of caregivers who often cannot leave their homes to participate in support activities.

The VA pilot programs announced today include:

  • At the Memphis (Tenn.) and Palo Alto (Calif.) VA medical centers, a project will provide education, support and skills-building to help caregivers manage both patient behaviors and their own stress. This intervention will be provided in 14 Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC) programs across the country and also to caregivers in non-HBPC settings at the Palo Alto VAMC.

  • At the VA medical center in Gainesville, Fla., caregivers will take part in a Transition Assistance Program to provide skills training, education and supportive problem solving using videophone technology.

  • At the VA Healthcare System of Ohio, headquartered in Cincinnati, caregiver advocates will be available around the clock to coordinate between VA and community services.

  • At the VA Desert Pacific Network and the VA Sierra Nevada Healthcare System, VA will work with a community coalition to provide education, skills training and resources for caregivers of veterans with traumatic brain injury using computer-based telehealth, including Web, telephone and videoconferencing.

  • At the VA medical center in Albany, N.Y., a pilot project will convert a three-hour workshop developed by the National Family Caregivers Association called Communicating Effectively with Health Care Professionals into a cost-effective multimedia format.

  • At the Atlanta VA Medical Center, use of computer-based technology will provide instrumental help and emotional support to caregivers who live in remote areas or to those who cannot leave a patient alone.

  • The Tampa VA Medical Center and the Miami VA Healthcare System are working on a collaborative project. In the Tampa area, the current program will be expanded to provide 24-hour in-home respite care to temporarily relieve caregivers up to 14 days a year. In Miami, the program will coordinate comprehensive community-based care services, including respite, home companions, adult day care and use of emergency response system.

  • The VA Pacific Islands Health Care System will use the medical foster home model of care, in which caregivers in the community take veterans into their homes and provide 24-hour supervision. This program will take place on the islands of Kauai, Hawaii, Maui and rural areas of Oahu.

Free Maps of Iraq and Afghanistan

Free, downloadable full color maps of Iraq and Afghanistan in Adobe PDF format, courtesy of the military's only UNOFFICIAL daily newspaper, Stars and Stripes.
You must have Adobe Reader 8.0 to view the document. If you need to download Reader, get it here.
NTWS Membership Growth

Since its launch on Navy Day, October 27, 2006, more than 280,000 Sailors of all eras, from WWII to present-day, have joined this website. As a result, many Members have reported reconnecting with Shipmates from the past; and as the site continues to grow beyond 300,000 Members by the end of the year, this will be an increasingly common occurrence.

NTWS does not permit public access, and therefore has one of the highest percentages of Navy Members of any Navy community website - as most have been invited by existing NTWS Members. Please help our unique Navy Community continue its strong growth and invite other Sailors that you know.

To go directly to the website click on: Navy.TogetherWeServed
Profile Assistance

The NTWS profile pages are very detailed, so we've created a list of tips and pointers to help you navigate and use the features of the site more easily.

You may visit the "Member Assistance" section at the bottom left of the Home Page under the "Home" tab or e-mail for assistance.
THE HOIST - NTWS Newsletter

A monthly online publication of, a commercial entity in no way affiliated, authorized or endorsed by the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any of its agencies.

Opinions and views expressed herein are not necessarily those of, the U.S. Government, Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense.

- NTWS Newsletter is published and distributed for informational purposes only and should not be considered official Navy policy, regulation or doctrine.

All photos used in this online publication are official U.S. Navy/Department of Defense property, unless otherwise indicated.

Please send any comments, quality improvement suggestions or story ideas to: or

Jon Yim -


FIRST CALL: Notes & Ramblings From The Pilothouse

Well, we are. December. The last edition of The HOIST for 2007. As we close this year, I'd like to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah, and all the best for the New Year in 2008.

It was a struggle at the start, getting-in those first baby steps and growing pains.

A few issues and months later, The HOIST managed to get noticed by a few veterans organizations and reunion associations as one of the best newsletters serving the Navy online community. We set the bar high, and we'll continue to deliver on our promise of "News You Can Use" in 2008. I thank all of you for your support and words of encouragement over the year; especially the staff and management of NTWS.

I also thank those of you who contributed articles and photos to our pages over the past year. Keep sending them in and emailing your suggestions.

Some final thoughts for 2007:
Keep in your thoughts a prayer for peace for those who stand at the spear tip and away from their loved ones, and prayer for those families whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice for the Nation.

We all have so many gifts to give throughout the year. And they don't need a hefty price tag, fancy wrapping paper or ribbons and bows to make them valuable.

For those of you fortunate to be home for the Holidays, make your time count. Spend time with family and close friends.

Reach out to those less fortunate than you: Clean out your closet and donate your unwanted, but good, warm, serviceable clothes and shoes to a homeless vets center or women's shelter. Serve meals to the local needy at a rescue mission. Invite local single servicemembers into your home to share Christmas Day. Visit a veterans hospital or nursing home to listen and chat with a vet who has no family to visit them. Volunteer to run errands or do chores for a shut-in. Help prepare hot meals or sack lunches for the elderly. Teach a child -- or an adult -- to read.

The list is endless. In my view, a strong NATION starts with strong COMMUNITIES -- right down to the block and street you live on.

And most of all, this Christmas and New Years, please use your head and DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE. I can't stress it enough.

Over the years I've seen many a good life and Navy career ruined because a Shipmate didn't have the presence of mind to call a cab, offer their Shipmate a place to sleep it off, or take-away their keys. When you're sober, your vehicle is a CONVEYANCE. When you're drunk, it becomes a LOADED WEAPON. Save the weapons for the enemy -- not our roadways.

Until next time...and next safe...


Jon Yim

CNO's Holiday Message to the Fleet

WASHINGTON -- The Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead has released the following holiday message to the fleet:

I wish all who are serving today - Sailors, Navy civilians and families - a joyous holiday season. The holidays provide a welcome opportunity to spend time with family, friends, and loved ones, and I urge each of you to take advantage of every opportunity.

This holiday finds us serving at sea with our partner sea services, the Marine Corps and Coast Guard; and standing shoulder to shoulder with them, the Army, and Air Force, supporting a joint fight that is critical to our nation's future. I am honored to serve as your Chief of Naval Operations during a time when our Navy's reputation - your reputation - is absolutely incredible.

For those of us who are fortunate enough to celebrate the holiday at home with family and friends, let's keep in mind our shipmates who are serving forward. Thanks to them, we can enjoy this special time. For all who are deployed during this holiday season, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Remain diligent in your duty and look out for your shipmates. Know that your service is appreciated, and that you are making a difference.

Whether you are serving at home or abroad, take pride knowing you are providing for the safety, security, and prosperity of our nation.

From my family to yours, happy holidays.

Petraeus: Violence in Iraq Down, But Fight Not Over

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Violence in Iraq has dropped significantly in recent months, but it's still too soon to declare the home stretch in U.S. operations here, the commander of Multinational Force Iraq said today.

Army Gen David H. Petraeus cited significant security progress during a roundtable with reporters at the Multinational Task Force headquarters at Camp Victory. Following the roundtable discussion, the general spent an hour with visiting Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

Weekly attacks in recent weeks are roughly 60 percent of the levels they were in June, Petraeus said. High-profile attacks are down 60 percent from their high in March, and attacks overall have dropped during the last seven weeks to levels not seen here consistently since spring 2005.

As a result, fatalities are down, too. Civilian deaths have fallen dramatically to rates not seen since late 2005. And during a year Petraeus acknowledged has witnessed the most U.S. combat losses since operations first began in Iraq, the figure for November was its lowest in 20 months.

But Petraeus told reporters it's far too early to talk about turning a corner or seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Nobody in uniform is doing victory dances in the end zone, he said. There is much hard work still to be done and that there are numerous difficulties, enemies and issues that still must be addressed.

The challenge, he said, is to continue bringing down violence and building Iraqi security forces to confront it themselves while promoting similar advances on other fronts.

Petraeus credited the formula thats brought about security progress: More coalition and Iraqi forces -- conventional, special operations and counterterrorism -- are in the fight. They're infusing intelligence to target terrorists, and as they clear al Qaeda strongholds, they're pursuing terrorists who flee to other areas.

As a result of our combined efforts, we have taken away a number of enemy sanctuaries, killed or captured numerous enemy leaders and rank-and-file members and disrupted enemy networks inside Iraq, Petraeus said.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi people who have tired of violence are becoming partners in the fight. Petraeus cited Sunni Arabs widespread rejection of al Qaeda and extremist ideologies. As a result of this development, we have increasingly received important support and information from citizens in areas that used to be al Qaeda sanctuaries and bases, he said.

Local citizens are committing personally to security in their areas, as well. They're volunteering for the police, army or local citizens groups that are keeping once-violent neighborhood clear of al Qaeda. They're providing tips about terrorist activities and weapons. Petraeus credited their efforts for nearly doubling the number of weapons caches uncovered.

We believe the cumulative effect of these finds has gradually degraded our enemy's ability to conduct attacks, Petraeus said, emphasizing that the capability certainly still remains.

Petraeus also cited more aggressive action by Iraq's neighbors, including Syria, to crack down on the flow of foreign fighters across their borders into Iraq. He expressed hope that Iran will live up to the promises its seniors leaders made to their Iraqi counterparts to stop training, funding, arming and directing groups that threaten Iraq's security.

Another promising development is radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's declared ceasefire this summer to rid his Mahdi Army militia of criminals and assassins. 'We applaud al-Sadr's action, even as all of us in Iraq, including those in his units, recognize that some elements connected with the militia continue to carry out criminal actions and thus must be dealt with by Iraqi and coalition forces,' Petraeus said.

He said these recent positive trends and factors that have produced them are changing the context in many parts of Iraq.

But the general conceded that the fight is far from over. "We have to be careful not to get feeling too successful," he said, noting the need for a continued amount of very tough work.

You just keep your head down and keep moving,he said, conceding that while officials push for more progress, there will be setbacks along the way.

Success in Iraq is not akin to flipping on a light switch, he said. It emerges slowly and fitfully with reverses as well as advances.

As troops 'soldier through' those successes and strive to build on the momentum, Petraeus expressed hope that Iraqi leaders will take advantage of the security gains that have been purchased through the sacrifice of Iraqi and coalition forces.

Pearl Harbor Survivor Emphasizes Need for Vigilance

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

It's been 66 years, and tears still well up in the eyes of Robert Bishop when he thinks of that day.

He was a 20-year-old sailor aboard the USS Tennessee when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 7, 1941. Some images are burned into his mind that he will never forget, he said.

It was just an unbelievable sight. I couldn't believe it. How could this thing happen But it did, Bishop said today outside the U.S. Capitol.

He had gathered with 13 other survivors and about 100 others including family, friends, servicemembers and members of Congress for a remembrance ceremony sponsored by the White House Commission on Remembrance and the Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund in partnership with the AMVETS and the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. The event was synchronized and satellite-linked to a ceremony in Hawaii at the USS Arizona memorial.

During the attack, Bishop's duty station was in the heart of the ship, preparing to fire the ship's main battery of guns. For four hours, the horrors of that day were relayed through his radio.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing about ships blowing up, catching on fire, rolling over. It was about four hours later before I got to go topside to see what actually happened, he said.

When he finally went topside, he couldn't believe what he saw. Bishop said he doesn't remember what he did the rest of that day.

Now, Bishop lives in Youngstown, Ohio, with his wife. At 87, he still works every day, getting up at 5 a.m. to put in eight hours working at a nearby steel mill, where he orders maintenance equipment.

Married for 65 years, Bishop jokes that he will retire when his wife quits getting up with him in the mornings and fixing his breakfast and packing his lunch.

The two meet on the third Saturday of every month with a local Pearl Harbor survivor chapter. It's the reading of the official minutes and a meal, sometimes a game of cards. There were once about 22 members. Now there are about eight who come regularly, Doris said. They try to make it to the anniversary ceremonies held in Hawaii every five years. Other years, they attend a Pearl Harbor commemorative Mass near their home.

Bishop said it is important that Americans remember the attack at Pearl Harbor and not become overconfident or too secure.

I think we need to be more alert. It seemed that most people thought that nothing like this could happen to us. But because we were not alert enough as a nation, it did happen. We need to know what's going on around us, Bishop said.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead spoke at the event and said that today's military is stronger because of those who served then.

Because of your example, your service, your sacrifice, we are stronger, we are better and we see the importance of a strong military to carry on that which you began: To ensure the safety and the security and the prosperity of our great country. To be able to go forward wherever it may be and serve our nation proudly as you did and to do that which is right and be mindful of that which has gone before, and be an example for the next generation that will follow us, Roughead said. We walk in your footsteps. We honor what you have done. We have the highest respect for your service and your sacrifice.

The admiral, who once commanded the U.S. Pacific Fleet based in Hawaii, said the harbor is hallowed ground for the Navy.

In the 13 years that I was there sailing in and out of Pearl Harbor, commanding the fleet I never stopped looking out on that harbor without a sense of awe, without a sense of great respect, without a sense of reverence. 'the sacrifice, the service, the camaraderie that is embodied there is palpable, Roughead said. You feel it every day that you're on the water.

Pearl Harbor serves as a memorial for those who fought and died there, but it also is a source of inspiration for those still in uniform, he said.

We draw our inspiration, we draw our strength, we draw our commitment from that which has gone on before. And there is no greater example than what took place that day in Pearl Harbor, Roughead said.

CNO: "We are going to remain a global Navy"

Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs

WASHINGTON -- Sailors and Navy civilians attended an all hands call held by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead at Henderson Hall earlier this month.

Roughead talked about current issues and answered questions from the crowd.

He spoke about the Maritime Strategy and its significance to the Navy and its partners. He also explained the role the Navy will play in the Maritime Strategy.

"We are going to remain a global Navy," said Roughead. "We are going to remain a forward-deployed Navy. And it's from that forward-deployed capability that we have that we are going to be able to influence events and deter actions that are not helpful to the safety, security and prosperity of our country and other countries around the world."

Roughead talked about the significance of the strategy being a concentrated effort between the maritime services to provide prosperity and peace for the United States and partner nations and the importance of the strategy being cooperative and inclusive to build partnerships with other nations to increase trust.

"There is no other force in the world that can move power the way the Navy and Marine Corps can. No one else can take that power for good, for deterrence, power to assure our safety and security and have it in place and not infringe on anyone's sovereignty."

Roughead also spoke about the three priorities of building a future force, maintaining current readiness and people. He emphasized that people are the most valuable resource that the Navy has.

"All the ships and airplanes and submarines that we own are of zero value to the United States of America," he said, "until people get in and make them do things that even the designers didn't have in mind."

One of the goals that Roughead intends to accomplish over the next four years is to make the Navy one of the 50 best places for young people to work. He is committed to making that goal a reality and stressed the importance of the work Sailors and Navy civilians are accomplishing toward that goal.

"What we do day in and day out, the talent we have, the technology that we work with, the effect that we have around the world, all of the aspects are there, we just have to put them together."

NAVPERS Announces Rating Merger Decisions

By MC2 Trevor Andersen
Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs

Last month, the Navy announced in NAVADMIN 319/07 that the merger of eight engineering ratings into three has been postponed until 2010 when the proposal will be reevaluated. Two other rating mergers were also rejected.

The larger merger of eight ratings included combining the hull maintenance technician, damage controlman and machinery repairman ratings into one rating, the electrician's mate and gas turbine system technician-electrical ratings into a second and the machinist's mate, engineman and gas turbine system technician-mechanical rating into a third.

"I believe an engineering rating merger makes sense," said Vice Adm. John Harvey, Chief of Naval Personnel (CNP). "But when we do it, we'll do it right. It's not an easy process; there are training and distribution issues that need to be carefully planned, so that when we do execute, we can be certain we've set our Sailors up for success."

The proposal to merge interior communications electrician (IC) with electronics technician (ET) was disapproved.

"The bottom line is ICs and ETs are just too unique to merge," said Harvey. "They have unique skills, and the equipment they operate and repair requires individualized training. Things are working well now and it makes sense to keep them that way."

The operations specialist (OS) and quartermaster (QM) merger was also shot down.

"In-depth analysis determined that while OS and QM rating share some common skill sets, we found as Sailors become more senior, each rating focuses on different operational and warfare priorities," said Fleet Master Chief Mike McCalip of CNP's Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education Office. "Additionally, during the course of the rating merger study, senior enlisted leaders revealed a strong belief that the quartermaster, as one of the oldest ratings in the Navy, is deeply rooted in the culture of our nautical heritage.

"These factors," McCalip added, "combined with the fundamental role of positional accuracy in safe navigation, led to the decision to maintain the uniqueness of these two ratings."

With the release of the NAVADMIN, the CNP made it clear that the Navy considers rating mergers seriously.

"This is not a process that we take lightly; every proposal is carefully analyzed. Where it makes sense, rating mergers will occur. Where it does not make sense, we're not afraid to pull back or cancel those proposals," said Harvey.

DECK LOG: Pearl Harbor survivor shares memories of Dec. 7 attack

Blair Martin, Contributing Writer
Hawaii Navy News

It has taken former Navy Chief Petty Officer Edward "Dutch" Gaulrapp more than 60 years to come back to Pearl Harbor to commemorate the 66th anniversary of the Dec. 7, 1941 attack and according to him, it took quite a bit of coaxing.

"I never wanted to come back," he said. But with some prodding from his family, the 85-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor reluctantly made the trip.

"My kids kept saying 'Dad, you have to come back because you ain't gonna live forever,'" he explained, tucking in the pockets on his naval uniform. "They kept telling me, 'You can't just sit on your memories. You have to go back to where they came from and bring them out again.' That is why I am here, for my family.'"

Gaulrapp said that he has mixed feelings about stepping back onto the base for the first time in over six decades. "There are a lot of old memories - some good, but some really lousy ones, too," he explained. When the first of the Japanese planes hit early the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, a then-18-year-old Gaulrapp was in the middle of a card game at the submarine barracks.

"We heard a loud explosion and looked at each other like 'what the hell is that' so we all went outside," he said. "At first we thought the Navy was practicing, but when we saw the Arizona go up in flames and they started sinking the ships beside her, we knew we were under attack."

The young seaman, who served as a baker for the USS Pompano (SS-181), a submarine that was away for repair in the states, was then issued a .30 rifle and ordered to shoot for "anything he could hit." "It all just scared the hell out of us," he recalled.

After the attack, Gaulrapp said he and others were sent out to view the wreckage at Battleship Row and look for survivors.

"We got in the patrol boats to pick up the bodies and it was awful looking down in that oily water," he remembered. "There were times when I would reach out for [what I thought was] an arm, and only half of one would come out of the water. I never could wear my whites again after that day. They were too dirty." Luckily, Gaulrapp said that when he returned to baking duty after a couple of days, his chief allowed him to work in his dungaree jeans until he was issued a fresh, new uniform.

Looking for Bud

For all of the memories he has of Pearl Harbor and its aftermath, Gaulrapp said only one to date stirs him up the most - looking for his best friend, Bud, after the attack. His friend, Alvin "Bud" Loring, a machinist's mate fireman, was aboard the USS Nevada during the attack. As children, Loring and Gaulrapp had grown up in St. Vincent's Catholic orphanage in Freeport, Ill. and became the best of friends. Eventually, with the permission of one of the priests, they joined the Navy together at the age of 17. Despite being assigned to different units, the friends, only a year into their budding naval service careers, had remained a close and all but inseparable pair until that fateful Sunday morning.

"I thought I had lost him," he said remembering his friend. Gaulrapp spent days personally looking for Loring and was relieved to find him at the hospital a few days later. Loring, however, had suffered severe burns and nerve damage from the attack on over two-thirds of his body. "He was burned like hell, but I was glad he was alive," said Gaulrapp.

Although Gaulrapp was lucky to not sustain any injuries from the attack, his friend's scars left a lasting impression on him. It made the young seaman more eager for the USS Pompano, his submarine, to return to Pearl Harbor so that he and his fleet "could get back to work and take care of things."

A fast learner in the kitchen, Gaulrapp said he was relieved to get back to his old duty as a baker for the Pompano. "The men sure took a liking to my baking," he chuckled. "I think their favorites were my homemade doughnuts, apple pie and cherry cobbler."

In enemy waters

Although the crew consisted of only 100 men, living quarters were tight, forcing Gaulrapp to bunk above a few torpedoes occasionally. Early in the war, he recalled a close call with the enemy.

While patrolling for Japanese vessels at Tokyo Harbor, the Pompano was briefly spotted entering enemy territory. In an attempt to dodge enemy fire, the Pompano quickly ducked but plunged too far, accidentally wedging herself in the bottom of Tokyo Harbor.

"We got stuck in the mud and were down there for 78 hours. We were low on gas and all of us nearly ran out of air," Gaulrapp described. Right when the skipper was about to "throw us to the dogs," he said, an engineering officer persuaded him otherwise. "He said, 'I know a way you can come out of this smelling like roses.' And we did!"

With her battery nearly exhausted, the Pompano, through a series of maneuvers, was able to free herself and finally surface. When she did, she spotted several Japanese sampans and freighters and eventually brought them down with gunfire.

"I still remember Tokyo Rose saying, 'We'll get you yet,'" Gaulrapp said, recalling his heroic tour with the Pompano. "But they didn't because I am still here today," he added with a laugh.

A full and successful naval career

During World War II, Gaulrapp made eight war patrols on several U.S. Navy vessels such as the USS Pompano, USS Haddock and the USS Runner. Throughout his 20-year naval career, he garnered more than 10 medals, including the Asian Pacific Medal (bronze star), National Defense Service medal (double bronze star) and the World War II Victory Medal, and earned a spot on the World War II Monument in Washington, D.C.

When Gaulrapp eventually retired, he continued his involvement with naval reunions and activities, as well as enjoyed an occasional visit from a former shipmate.

His daughter Lois Deininger, who was born on a naval base in Connecticut, said that the bedrock of their family has always been centered on her father's naval service. She noted that although her father never had any parents, he always had the Navy. "A lot of people ask him what it was like to be an orphan," she said. "And he would always say, 'How can you be an orphan on a ship with 100 men?' He may not have had a mom and dad, but he had 100 brothers."

Deininger, her family and close family friends, accompanied Gaulrapp on his trip to Pearl Harbor so that he can pay his respects before he dies. Although the trip is emotional, she regards it as a "blessing."

"As a daughter, the thing I appreciate most about my father is although he had a hard life, he never had a bad thing to say about it, not one bad thing about the orphanage or about the service," she said. "My father is proud of having been part of the military. The Navy has been his soul mate throughout his life."

As Deininger stood with her father at Ford Island, near the Arizona Memorial, she gently held his hand and together they quietly observed the splendid landmark glowing in the distance touched by the vibrant Hawaiian sun. After a long pause, his eyes welled up and he turned back to his family and friends waiting near the car. His words were few, but they were clear: "I think I am glad we made the trip."

HO, HO, HO! NORAD Ready for 52nd Year of Tracking Santa!

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE - In honor of the 52nd season of NORAD tracking Santa Claus on his annual journey around the world, the bi-national command tasked with providing aerospace security for North America announces that the NORAD Tracks Santa Web site is live, according to NORAD officials.

The NTS program began in 1955 when an errant phone call was made to NORAD's predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colo, said Michael Perini, NORAD Director of Public Affairs.

The call was from a local child who dialed a misprinted telephone number in a local newspaper advertisement, Perini said. Although the wrong number, the commander who answered the phone that night gave the youngster the information he requested .thus the tradition of NORAD tracking Santa began.

The program has grown immensely since it was first presented on the Internet in 1998.

In 2006, the Web site received a whopping 941 million hits from 210 countries and territories, Perini said. In addition, the NTS Operations Center, occupied by over 700 Canadian and American military and civilian volunteers on Christmas Eve, answered nearly 65,000 phone calls and 96,000 emails from children around the world.

The Web site features the history of the program, information on how NORAD tracks Santa and interactive games.

On December 24, beginning at 2:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time (4 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, 9 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time/UTC), the Web site will feature a minute-by-minute update on Santa's travels around the world. All of this information will be available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.

The NORAD Tracks Santa Web site and program is presented each year WITHOUT TAXPAYER DOLLARS with the support and generosity of the following corporate partners:


  • Google
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Analytical Graphics, Inc
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Official Santa
  • Globelink Language and Cultural Services, Inc.
  • Avaya
  • Qwest
  • Plantronics
  • First Choice Awards and Gifts
  • Meshbox
  • e-frontier
  • The North Pole Christmas Store


The NORAD Tracks Santa Program is managed by the NORAD and United States Northern Command Public Affairs Office at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, HQ NORAD/NORTHCOM.

If you want to personally talk to a NORAD Santa Tracker volunteer manning the phones, you may call the numbers below on Christmas Eve beginning at 2am MST. 1-877-Hi-NORAD toll free from United States only, or 719-556-5211 in Colorado. From overseas: 011-719-556-5211 (overseas long distance charges incurred)

For Hearing Impaired: Contact your current relay service; connect to 877-Hi-NORAD toll free.



NTWS Ships Store - For All Your Navy Shipmate Swag!

Visit to our online NTWS Ships Store for all your cool Navy swag - Shirts, Jackets, Hats, Jewelry, Footwear, Medals, Patches and much, much more!

(The Ships Store can also be found under the "Navy Store" tab or on the left hand Home Page just as you log into NTWS)

Over 9,000 quality Items at the lowest prices...and a 30-day, money-back guarantee! Here's some new items that just arrived in our store:

 Navy Golf Shirts (Various logos and colors)  Belleville US Army Insulated Combat Boot  Jostens Classic Men's U.S. Navy Ring - Rectangle Stone  US Navy Ship Art Prints (Choose from 2000 Ships)
"I'm, a new customer, and a satisfied one at that. Your service is excellent, and so are your prices - talk about time to receive items! Its service like the old days.
Roger Alexandre (Gunner)

Thank you for your support of the NTWS Ships Store. All Store proceeds go towards promoting the NTWS website, bringing more Sailors to the TWS Community.

PHOTO LOG: Views Around The Fleet This Month


ARRANGING THE ARRANGEMENTS - Seaman Apprentice Chaz Chesnek, assigned to Naval Station (NAVSTA) Pearl Harbor, lays down a wreath in the shrine room of the USS Arizona Memorial. The wreaths were donated by more than 40 veterans organizations and serve as a tribute to service members killed during the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. More than 2,500 distinguished guests and the general public joined Sailors, Pearl Harbor survivors and their families and friends on board NAVSTA Pearl Harbor for the annual observance to commemorate the 66th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
- Photo by MC2 Michael A. Lantron

THE "OTHER" ARMY-NAVY GAME - Quarterback, Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 1st Class Jakob Chauvin -- an instructor at the Center for Information Dominance (CID) Corry Station, FL -- throws a pass during the fifth annual CID Flag Football Game, a holiday tradition at the school. The game is played simultaneously on the day when the Midshipmen of the Naval Academy and the Black Knights of West Point meet on the gridiron. Army beat Navy in this match-up, 7-6.
- Photo by Gary Nichols

LIGHTS BRIGHT - Storekeeper 2nd Class Mariel Gatbonton sets up Christmas lights on the front lawn of the Fleet and Industrial Supply Center (FISC) for the Grand Illumination, a December holiday event held onboard Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan.
- Photo by MC2 Nardelito Gervacio

SPARKS FLY - Hull Technician 3rd Class Craig Baker welds the Landing Signal Officer's platform to prepare it for normal flight operations aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). The carrier is currently underway conducting training exercises.
- Photo by MC3 Jonathan Snyder


- USN photo by MC1 James E. Foehl

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OFF DUTY: Escape Winter's Chill in Hawaii!

By Jon Yim
Editor, The HOIST

For most of the world, winter has arrived once again. And while most will be dealing with the trials and tribulations of the season's icy grip, there's a place where military members can go for year-round sun, fun, sand and surf. And if you won't need a passport or visa to stay there.

It's our 50th State -- Hawaii.

Believe it or not, a Hawaii vacation is affordable for GIs going on-leave, whether you're planning on going solo or bringing the family. And there's a ton of options and locations for almost every military pocketbook.

In this Off Duty section, we'll look at a few tried-and-true places...and a few hidden gems in the Islands.

Keep in-mind -- with the exception of the Hale Koa Hotel -- that service members of all branches (and in some cases, current and retired DoD civilians) are welcome to use military recreation areas in Hawaii; but at some facilities priority is given to those of the host service.

Hale Koa Hotel - Armed Forces Recreation Center
Since its grand opening in October 1975, the Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki remains an all-ranks, all-service hotel bent on providing first-class service without regard to an individual's status. This is echoed in the hotel's mission statement that has remained unchanged from its inception: "To operate a first class hotel and recreation facility at affordable prices for military members and their families."

Today, Fort DeRussy Armed Forces Recreation Center is home to the Hale Koa Hotel -- House of the Warrior in Hawaiian -- an 817 room, world-class resort hotel and continued favorite R&R destination for our country's military members.

In 1991, a major expansion project of the Hale Koa, including development of 66 acres of Fort DeRussy, a new swimming pool complex, two snack bars, a beverage bar and luau garden. In addition, Kalia Road, fronting the hotel, was also realigned and improved. By 1995, the new Maile Tower took its place beside the existing Ilima Tower increasing the number of guestrooms from 419 to 817. Also, debuting was a 1,287 stall parking garage, fitness center, adults-only pool, and an upscale restaurant, Bibas.

The Hale Koa takes great pride in operating self-sufficiently from day one, as not one taxpayer dollar is used in its upkeep or operation. The Hale Koa, one of four Army MWR-operated recreation centers worldwide (includes the Edelweiss Resort, Germany; the Dragon Hill Lodge, Korea and Shades of Green Resort, Orlando, FL), is truly a benefit for all military personnel to enjoy. It's estimated that over one million military personnel and dependents take advantage of the Hale Koa's many facilities each year.

The Hale Koa's two towers, Maile and Ilima, house a total of 817 spacious guest rooms. Rates for these rooms are based on rank and room category desired (ocean-view rooms are pricier). Most rooms are furnished with either: one king, two queen or two double beds. You can also reserve one additional room for immediate family members.

Room amenities include central air conditioning, alarm clock/radio, phone answering service, complimentary bath soaps, shampoos, conditioners and lotions; hair dryer, ironing board and iron, color TV, pay-per-view movies, and high-speed Internet access ($9.95 per 24-hour period). For safekeeping valuables, the hotel offers registered guests safety deposit boxes with 24-hour access at no charge.

The Hale Koa Hotel is a first class resort hotel which offers a wide variety of facilities and services for the men and women of our Armed Forces.

Reservations: or
800-367-6027 Monday - Saturday 8:00am to 4:00pm HST (Closed on federal holidays)

Bellows Air Force Station Cabins & Campsites

Bellows AFS is located on the northern part of Waimanalo Bay on the island of O'ahu -- which includes a stretch of white sandy beach that curves around the bay. The beach offers users a resort-quality Hawaiian setting far from the confines of Waikiki. Whether you're camping, staying in a cabin, or just spending the day at the beach, Bellows AFS is the perfect getaway for families or couples.

The installation honors the memory of Army Air Corps Lieutenant Franklin Barney Bellows, a World War I hero. Once known as Bellows Field, it was a training area for Army infantry, coast artillery, and Air Corps. At one time, Bellows Field had a single asphalt runway 75 feet wide and 983 feet long. Since the end of World War II, the runway has been abandoned and overgrown, but remnants of the airfield can be found.

With it's laid back charm, perfect beach, warm water, sugary white sand, Bellows has so much to offer military families stationed in Hawaii (as well as those from out-of-state). Amenities include cabin and campsite rentals, a Beach Club, an AAFES gas station and Shoppette, and a plethora of outdoor activities both in and out of the water.

For those wanting their activites more on the dry side, there's horseback riding, paintball, mini golf, historical and nature hiking tours, and bike tours. You can also rent snorkle gear, Boogie boards, kayaks, beach chairs, ice chests and pedal carriages from the Equipment Rental hut.

During peak season (from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day), active duty Air Force have priority and can make reservations 90 days in advance. Bellows is a very popular military vacation spot and tends to fill up quickly, especially the cabins. Bellows takes reservations up to one year (365 days) during off-season. Campsites can accommodate two tents with a maximum of ten people per site.

Cabins will comfortably accommodate four people, but you are allowed a maximum of ten if you wish. Cabin amenities include kitchenettes, full size refrigerator, barbecue grill, daily housekeeping service, telephones and cable TV. Towels, linens and pillows are provided by housekeeping services.

Active duty military, military retirees, reservists, National Guardsmen, current and retired Department of Defense civilian employees are eligible to reserve cabins at Bellows. Reservations are limited to one cabin per authorized user.

Since Bellows AFS is also an operational Air Force facility with an installation commander and active units, safety and security is paramount. A USAF Security Forces flight is permanently attached to the air station providing law enforcement and security services to guests and the command.

There are two lifeguard stations along Bellows Beach, with lifeguards on duty every day from 10am to 5pm.

For a change of pace, and to get away from it all, Bellows AFS provides a great place to relax year-round!


800-437-2607 or 808-259-8080, 8:00am to 5:00pm HST
No reservations accepted by email or Internet

Kilauea Military Camp, Big Island
Surrounded by the dramatic beauty of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island is probably the best-kept military recreation center secret: Kilauea Military Camp, or KMC.

While Kilauea Miltary Camp, a Joint Services Recreation Center, only occupies about 50 acres of the national park's 300,000+ acres. Its history is as old as Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, having been established in the same year -- 1916.

Since then, the natural wonders and marvels of Kilauea Volcano have drawn millions of military members, their families and guests to KMC. In its 89 years of existence, KMC had served as an Army training facility, a Navy camp, hosted numerous dignitaries -- including General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the WWII allied commander who would later become President of the United States. KMC briefly served as an internment camp, and later as a prisoner-of-war camp during World War II.

Due to its close proximity to an active volcano, KMC has also experienced the power and destruction of Kilauea.

While the camp still maintains its historical charm, renovations to the camp in the last decade have enhanced KMC's facilities and services making it one of the military's favorite -- yet little-known -- vacation resorts.

KMC offers 90 one-, two- and three-bedroom cottages and apartments with all the comforts of home. Each unit includes a mini-refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, and even an umbrella for those unexpected showers.

As KMC is in a cool, upcountry setting 4,000 feet above sea level, every cottage and apartment is also comfortably equipped with electric heat and a fireplace. It is suggested that guests dress for fluctuating weather; layers and rain jackets are recommended. For guests with special needs, there are ADA-compliant units.

Besides touring the national park, KMC guests can relax in the Recreation Lodge, or enjoy great meals and drinks in the Crater Rim Cafe, 10-Pin Grille or Lava Lounge. As KMC is an operational Army post, there's also a movie theater, bowling center, tennis courts, fitness center, chapel, AAFES gas station and general store, and a meeting/conference center. Wireless internet access is available to all guests and there's a Starbuck's on the camp to soothe your latte cravings.

KMC is open to all active and retired military, Reserve and National Guard members, current and retired Department of Defense civilian employees, dependents and sponsored guests.

From O'ahu: call 438-6707 (direct dial); all other locations: 808-967-8333 or 808-967-7315.

PMRF Barking Sands Beach Cottages, Kaua'i
Located on the scenic "Garden Island" of Kaua'i, and far from the hustle and bustle of urbanized O'ahu, the Beach Cottages at the Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands is the Navy's best-kept vacation secret for all service members serving or visiting the Aloha State.

Located 36 miles from Lihue Airport, it's just a 25-minute inter-island commercial flight from Honolulu International Airport and a 45-minute drive to the base. Forget Waikiki and the other touristy spots. PMRF's beach cottages will let you really get-away from it all!

Nineteen beach cottages and two VIP units sit just back from the breakers at PMRF Barking Sands. These modern two-bedroom bungalows sleep six and include washer and dryer, cable television, videocassette recorder, and full kitchen facilities.

Barking Sands is perfect for kicking back, and you can settle in for up to two weeks. At rates starting at $70 and up a night, the cottages and their sunset views are among the best military vacation deals ever, yet vacancies abound during late spring and early fall.

Caution: The surf can get high here, rip tides are common, and there are NO LIFEGUARDS. The best time to get in the water is early morning (be sure to bring a buddy).

PMRF's combination NEX/commissary is a bit larger than a convenience store and carries all things needed for cooking and snacking. Why cook, though, when a mile away there's an all-ranks Galley (which is also open to retirees)? At about $3 for lunch, including an all-you-can-eat salad bar, with entree, veggies, drink, and dessert, we're talking 1950s prices and oversized servings!

If you tire of taking-in the sights and sounds of breaking surf day after day, you can sip a cold one while sampling the menu at PMRF's Shenanigans beach club, or stop by the MWR on base to look over their well-organized booklets filled with island adventures. The folks there will point out the best deals, provide a military discount on activities on and off base, and arrange reservations and payment.

Options include canoeing or kayaking up the Wailua River to a waterfall, catamaran cruising the Na Pali north shore, backcountry horseback riding near Poipu Beach, hiking to Hanakapiai Falls, golfing at Princeville's championship course, helicopter touring in Waimea Canyon, deep sea fishing for ahi, and ocean snorkeling and scuba diving complete with gourmet sunset dinners.

808-335-4752 Monday - Friday, 8:30am to 5:30pm HST
Beach cottage eligibility policy & rates
Beach cottage application form

So, if a Hawaiian vacation is just what the good doctor ordered, it doesn't have to bust your wallet or sanity...provided you plan in-advance and take advantage of the recreation resorts for the military in the Aloha State!

Most Navy MWR/ITT offices can assist you in booking your reservations or you can do it yourself.

Once that's done, start packing your board shorts, swimsuit, sunscreen and buy a new pair of cool shades. You're off on a well-deserved vacation in the dead of winter!

As we say in my home state: "E Komo Mai...Nou Ka Hale!" -- Come inside...The house is yours!

The NTWS Administration Team

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