NSL Update 06-20-2007

In this issue:
 1. CNO Announces Flag Officer Assignments
 2. USS Michigan Returns to Service
 3. Boise Comes Home After Trip ‘Round the World
 4. Eternal Patrol Report
     - Rusty Vogt, wife of RADM Larry G. Vogt, USN (Ret)
     - Chief Petty Officer (SS) John Boyd Cleere Jr, U.S. Navy (Retired)

1. CNO Announces Flag Officer Assignments
Special release From the Department of Defense

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Mullen announced on June 14 the following flag officer assignments:

Rear Adm. Frank M. Drennan is being assigned as commander, Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command, San Diego, Calif. Drennan is currently serving as commander, Submarine Group Nine/commander, Submarine Group Ten, Silverdale, Wash.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Timothy M. Giardina is being assigned as commander, Submarine Group Nine/commander, Submarine Group Ten, Silverdale, Wash. Giardina is currently serving as director, Information, Planning, Security Division, N3 IPS, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington.

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2. USS Michigan Returns to Service
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Scott Dagendesh, Fleet Public Affairs Center Det. Northwest

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- People and service members from throughout the Pacific Northwest gathered at Naval Base Kitsap Bremerton Delta Pier for USS Michigan's (SSGN 727) return to service ceremony June 12.

This was the first time for many to see the submarine after a more than two year overhaul as Michigan went through many changes during the period, including advancing the ship's warfighting capabilities.

"The ship has gone through an overhaul process and an extensive amount of time in the ship yard," said Electronics Technician 2nd Class (SS) Aaron Gale of Michigan. "It's better now than before because the Michigan has a different mission as a guided-missile submarine."

Michigan became the third of four ballistic-missile submarines to be converted to a guided-missile platform. With the change, the ship's mission capabilities are more sophisticated and will be able to perform more tasks than before.

"The difference between an SSBN ballistic missile submarine and an SSGN guided missile submarine is the SSBN goes out to patrol," said Gale. "One of the SSGN specialties is going out and dropping off special operation forces insertion and support."

For the return to service ceremony, the guest speaker for the event was Rear. Adm. Frank Drennan, Commander Submarine Group 9. He said Michigan's crew will embrace and keep her ready for whatever mission comes up.

"This ceremony of the Michigan symbolizes the greatness of our nation as well as our Navy," said Drennan. "The crew, while in port, will prepare and maintain readiness for her mission and we're excited about the technology and hardware of the ship. The hard work of thousands of people made this possible."

After Drennan gave his remarks, Capt. Kerry Ingalls, commodore Submarine Squadron 19, as well Michigan Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Terry Takats, proceeded with a few remarks.

"The USS Michigan has an impressive list of accomplishments and capabilities which include 67 completed strategic deterrent patrols prior to the conversion to an SSGN guided missile submarine," said Takats. "It is with great honor and deep appreciation that we commemorate her return to service."

Following the ceremony, the crew enjoyed a barbecue meal. Although the crew and the event participants enjoyed the gathering, there was an understanding that all of the work isn't done for Michigan. They now have to go through sea-trials and certifications, before it is fully reinstated back into the fleet.

"I've been stationed on board for two years and a few weeks," said Gale. "We will finally be able to actually get underway and perform the ship's mission as well as everything else they have talked about."

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3. Boise Comes Home After Trip ‘Round the World
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christina M. Shaw, Commander, Submarine Force Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The fast-attack submarine USS Boise (SSN 764), homeported in Norfolk, returned home May 30 from a seven-month deployment around the world.

The crew demonstrated the submarine force's ability to make full use of every asset they have in the most productive way possible.

Boise deployed Oct. 30 and transited under the Arctic ice to the Pacific to begin what became an almost 37,000-mile voyage. Boise completed a wide range of joint requirements supporting national security in the U.S. Pacific and Central Command areas of responsibility before passing through the Suez Canal and returning home via the Mediterranean and Atlantic to complete a nuclear-powered circumnavigation of the globe.

Throughout the cruise, Boise also completed national security missions along with global war on terrorism and maritime security operations missions.

“The original plan was to do a Western Pacific cruise and return through the Panama Canal, but we were reassigned to the Indian Ocean. The crew responded well to the change and I’m proud of them,” said Boise Commanding Officer Cmdr. Rod Mills. “They did a great job and we had a lot of fun doing it with no problems.”

While deployed, Boise’s crew members served as ambassadors for the United States Navy during port visits to Yokosuka, Japan; Guam; Singapore; Limassol, Cyprus; and Toulon, France.

For several of the crew this deployment was new in many ways.

“The crew in general does not have a lot of deployment experience. Some have served on other subs but we have a lot of younger crew members,” said Mills.

“It’s not my first deployment and I’m sure it won’t be my last. I’m just happy to be home and to see my family,” said Yeoman 1st Class (SS) Buddy Shiltz, Boise’s leading yeoman.

With stealth, persistence, agility and firepower, fast-attack submarines like Boise are multimission capable to deploy and support special forces operations, disrupt and destroy an adversary’s military and economic operations at sea, provide early strike from close proximity and ensure undersea superiority. Boise is 360 feet long, displaces 6,900 tons of water and can travel in excess of 25 knots.

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4. Eternal Patrol Report

Rusty Vogt, wife of RADM Larry G. Vogt, USN (Ret)
RADM Larry Vogt reports, "I am saddened to report the passing of Rusty last night, 19 June at 1857 at home in Lake Mary, Florida. She battled ovarian cancer for almost three years. She is survived by husband RADM Larry G. Vogt, USN (Ret.), daughter Kari Logan, sons CDR Timothy K. Vogt, USNR, and Robert Scott Vogt and their spouses Andrew, Diane and Gerie. Bill and Irene Lyons are "adopted" son and daughter. Four grandchildren, Chris, Ben, Meredith and Sydney Reagan.

A local service will be conducted in Lake Mary on Monday 25 August. An inurnment ceremony will be conducted at the Naval Academy Columbarium on 17 or 24 August.

Chief Petty Officer (SS) John Boyd Cleere Jr, U.S. Navy (Retired) (June 10, 1926 - April 27, 2007)
Chief Machinist Mate (SS) John Cleere died Friday morning (Apr 27) at the age of 80. Born in Richland, Texas, he grew up in Comanche, OK prior to enlisting in the Navy in October 1943. After boot camp, he served aboard logistic ships during the remainder of World War II. When his ship was attacked by enemy aircraft, Chief Cleere sought a transfer to submarines reasoning "it's harder to get shot at underwater"

He enjoyed a successful career in submarines advancing to the grade of Chief Petty Officer while serving in both diesel and then nuclear submarines. He was a key member of the crews of the USS Triton (SSN 586), USS Torsk (SS 423), USS Sablefish (SS 303) and USS Nautilus (SSN 571) the Navy's first nuclear submarine. Fifty years ago this year, he was aboard Nautilus when she made her historic first trip under the ice attempting to transit under the North Pole. Chief Cleere enjoyed reminiscing about that trip noting that as they approached the Pole, the compass failed, and "every direction was north." It was during that cruise that Nautilus became lost under the ice cap. He wrote in his diary, "We are lost … The Old Man has been trying for 24 hours to get out of here.… broke out whiskey and gave every man aboard a drink.” Later he wrote, “They reconstructed our course … and found we had been where no ship had been..."

Chief Cleere married Vera Casale in 1949 and had four children who survive him-- Gail, Jeanne, John III, and James. He is also survived by his brother Tommy of Tres Palacios, who was a great comfort to him in his last years, as well as his sisters Louise Pierce of Oklahoma and Betty Friedrich of Oregon. Subsequently divorced, he married Dorothy Marshall who predeceased him in 2002.

Chief Cleere will be interred with his second wife at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC in early June after a private memorial service.

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