Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Motorcycle Safety - CPO Call to Action

I want to take a minute and talk about motorcycle safety. As many of you know this has been on the forefront of all safety messages for several months now. However, we are still not doing our part as Sailors in ensuring we are adhering to the rules and regulations governing this extremely important safety matter. If you own a motorcycle of any sort, it is your responsibility to have the proper personal equipment (PPE) and the proper training to operate that bike. Whether you ride the bike on base or off, PPE and training are required.

This is my challenge to you … if you have not told your chain of command that you have a motorcycle, you’ve got to do it now! Your Chief or Chiefs will ensure you have the tools needed to be ready to ride that motorcycle. When I say tools, I mean training.

We continue to lose Sailors and Marines in what are preventable accidents. There is no coming back from a fatal miscalculation on a motor-bike, no matter how cool it felt while you were motoring down the road. Nobody thinks it’s going to be them. Tell that to your buddy who just bought a “crotch rocket” and can’t wait to get it on the highway.

On another note, the Navy and Marine Corps have teamed with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and developed a course tailored to sport bikes. Check out this promotional video and learn more about properly preparing yourself for sport bikes. http://www.safetycenter.navy.mil/ashore/motorvehicle/motorcycle/MSCRad.asp

Also, if you want more information on motorcycle safety, check out the Navy Safety Center Web site at www.safetycenter.navy.mil/ashore/motorvehicle/motorcycle/default.htm

Bottom line, Shipmates! Safety is everyone’s issue! So, let’s take a round turn and take care of this issue. Your life and the life of your Shipmate’s depend on it. Fleet Howard sends.

Field Training Exercise with the Bees!

Hey Shipmates,

Wanted to let you know I just had the opportunity to spend a couple of days with our "Can Do" warriors of NMCB 40, UCT 2, 30th NCR and 31st SRG during their FTX in Northern California.

It was great to see these "dirt Sailors" setting up camps, ensuring perimeters are maintained and simply doing what they do best, "They Build, and They Fight!"

On my last day, I had a chance to join a convoy as they prepared to move camp from one location to another. The JERRV ride was an incredible display of American technology and our Sailors who have been trained to drive, navigate and fight from them are inspirations to us all. Pictured here with me are CM1(SCW) Johnson (on the left), and UT3(SCW) Milne on the right. There were also a few other BEES in the vehicle I had the privelage to meet, who are not pictured.

Shipmates, your dedication and sacrifices make me proud to be among you and call us all Sailors! Fleet Howard

Concert On The Avenue

Hey Shipmates,

On August 12th, Fleet West (USFF Fleet Master Chief) and I had the opportunity to travel to our nations capital and represent MCPON during the Concert On The Avenue (COTA) event.

This event is conducted, I believe six times between Memorial Day and Labor Day and is performed by the National Capital Region Navy Band and our Navy Ceremonial Guard at the Navy Memorial with a pre-concert reception at the Naval Heritage Center Museum.

Because this particular concert is in August, it presents a great opportunity for the newly selected Chief Petty Officers from the surrounding area (Naval District Washington and OPNAV) to attend. There were approximately 65 of our soon to be newest Chiefs present and it was exciting to be in their company.

As I mentioned, the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard was part of the event and as they do wherever they go, they represent the Navy in a truly fantastic way. Sailor's coming straight from Boot Camp or maybe their first "A" school, they are the epitome of Navy Pride & Professionalism and Military Bearing! Along with the Navy Band, they are the highlight of the evening.

Our Navy band, regardless of which one we're talking about, is renowned for their ability to get the audience invloved and make passers-by stop to listen and ultimately dance to the tunes. This day was no different. I would guess, there may have been 300 hundred or more local residents and tourists to our nations capital in attendance, many getting their first impression of our Navy. I'm proud to say, there's no way they could have been disappointed.

Shipmates, ya'll make me proud to be a Sailor! Fleet Howard

Fallon, Nevada

Hey Shipmates,

Recently I had a chance to visit with the Sailors of the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, NAS Fallon, Nevada and the Pacific Strike Fighter home at Lemoore, California. It was great to walk passageways, hangar bays and command spaces and talk with America's heroes.

One particular Sailor I had the pleasure of meeting was AW1 (AW/NAC) Michael Pilarski,
NAS Fallon SAR Team LPO. He was one of the many heroes during the recent major flooding which took place outside of Fallon. AW1, er, my apologies, Chief select Pilarski, I was honored to spend some time with you. You're the consumate professional and your efforts that day as well as those of your squadron undoubtedly saved many lives (and cats!). BZ and it's a pleasure to call you Shipmate! Fleet Howard

Friday, August 15, 2008

Yokosuka Japan and PT with the Chiefs

On 17 and 18 July I was back in Yokosuka. It had been just over a year since I left Japan and it was great to be back amongst the heart of the Navy’s Forward Deployed Naval Forces in Japan. Here I had another chance to PT with well over 100 Chiefs on the new Yokosuka artificial turf field. We had a great session followed by a short run and then an opportunity to talk briefly with the gathered mess.

I visited with Sailors from the USS PROVIDENCE, STETHEM, MUSTIN, COWPENS, SHILOH and BLUE RIDGE before meeting with the advance party of the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON.

While talking with the local Japanese outside the fence line, they are very excited about the arrival of the GEORGE WASHINGTON later this summer early fall.

Walked through the “Honch” one evening and met a Sailor from the MUSTIN who was there with his new bride and actually had his parents visiting from Boston. I spoke briefly with he and his folks and told them how proud we were to have their son stationed at the tip of the spear there in Japan. Can not state it enough, how incredibly proud I am of all our Sailors and service members who volunteer to defend this great country and then ship-out and serve far from home. So many of our Shipmates sacrifice much being forward deployed that others may never know unless you’ve been there and done that. P.O. Finn, thanks for your service Shipmate and doing what you’re doing! I’m proud of you.

Sail safe Shipmates! Fleet sends.

Okinawa Japan

16 July had me visiting with our warrior Sailors down in Okinawa. I had a chance to have breakfast and a discussion with the CMC’s and CSEL’s followed by all hands calls with a deployed VP squadron from AIRLANT (Florida), Sailors from Camp Shields and a lunch with the Chiefs Mess. Finished the visit on White Beach at a re-enlistment and Sailor of the Quarter awards ceremony for Port Operations. Great job Shipmates!

Sasebo Japan and USS HARPERS FERRY

On 14 and 15 July, I had the chance to visit Sasebo Japan for the first time since being assigned as the Fleet Master Chief. During the trip I was able to PT with many of the CPO’s at Nimitz field and visited the Sailors of USS PATRIOT, the deployed detachment of NMCB 133, the USS HARPERS FERRY, USS DENVER, USS ESSEX, Navy Munitions Command East Asia Division and ACU 5.
While on HARPERS FERRY I had the chance to meet and talk with a Sailor who was working as an FSA (Food Service Attendant) in the scullery. BMSN Farmer is a perfect example of what I talk about all the time with Sailors. What makes a champion prize fighter a champion prize fighter? His ability to get up off the canvass one more time than he’s been knocked down. BMSN Farmer had made some mistakes early on and if she didn’t turn herself around (get back off the canvass), she would have undoubtedly been kicked out of the Navy. The Shipmate I saw was a squared away, happy Sailor who simply decided, through counsel and engagement from her chain of command, to make the best out of every situation and she is being recognized as a top performer. She may make additional future mistakes and have challenges, but her character and heart as well as her respect for our Core Values of Honor, Courage and Commitment will certainly support her as she “gets back off the canvass!” Shipmates, you WILL make mistakes and have challenges, but every one of us will be known by how we face the adversity and whether or not we decide to get back up.
I’m proud of you BMSN Farmer, great job Shipmate.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Congratulations new Chief Petty Officers


NAVADMIN 177/08 (FY09 Navy Reserve Component E7 CPO selectees) and NAVADMIN 213/08 (FY09 Navy Active Component E7 CPO Selectees) was recently released and has listed our newly selected Chief Petty Officers.

Congratulations to each of you selected and I look forward to meeting you throughout my travels both in the Pacific Fleet AOR as well as the rest of our Navy.

Your selection means you are indeed ready to lead our Sailors at the next level and we have the expectancy of this leadership 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in uniform or civilian clothes.

As MCPON Campa stated in his recent To The Deckplates, "One clear indicator of the difference between a Chief and an E7, is Induction participation." Look at these next six weeks as an extended Career Development Board and understand that on September 16th, you will be joining the ranks of Chief Petty Officers who have for 115 years before you, had anchors pinned on their collar.

Once again, congratulations Shipmates and we look forward to you joining our mess!

Sail safe,