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2019 Year in Review

Dec. 31, 2019 | By Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division.

History is made everyday, especially in the Navy! Once again the Navy made a ton of history in 2019. Read the following blog; click on some of the links for more information; and take a look at some of the moments and events that helped make this year another historic one for the Navy.


Photo By: Lockheed Martin
VIRIN: 191231-N-ZV259-1927

USS Michael Monsoor Commissioning Ceremony Honors Legacy of Navy SEAL
The Navy's newest Zumwalt-class destroyer, USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), was commissioned Jan. 26 at Naval Air Station North Island, California. Twenty Gold Star families and four Medal of Honor recipients witnessed the second Zumwalt-class destroyer enter the fleet.

Exercise Sea Dragon Concludes 
U.S. and Australian forces conclude 2019 Exercise Sea Dragon Jan. 2. Exercise Sea Dragon is an annual, multilateral exercise that stresses anti-submarine warfare (ASW) prosecution. This year's exercise was conducted out of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

Maritime Warfare Exercise Conducted by France, United Kingdom, Australia, US in C5F 
Maritime forces from France, the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States participated in the maritime warfare exercise Intrepid Sentinel in the Arabian Gulf, Jan. 15-17.

Navy to Commission Littoral Combat Ship Wichita
The Navy will commission its newest Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Wichita (LCS 13), during a 10 a.m. ceremony Saturday, Jan. 12, at Naval Station Mayport, Fla., near Jacksonville, where the ship will be homeported.


Photo By: MC3 Kaleb Sarten
VIRIN: 190219-N-QD512-0022

Navy Returns to Flying Union Jack
The Navy on Feb. 21 released a NAVADMIN 039/19 directing the display of the union jack instead of the first Navy jack aboard Navy ships and craft. U.S. Navy ships and craft will return to flying the union jack effective June 4, 2019. The date for reintroduction of the union jack commemorates the greatest naval battle in history: the Battle of Midway, which began June 4, 1942.

Final Resting Place of USS Hornet CV-8 Located in South Pacific
Wreckage of the World War II aircraft carrier USS Hornet rests on the floor of the South Pacific Ocean around the Solomon Islands, 5,400 meters (nearly 17,500 feet) below the surface as discovered last month by the expedition crew of Paul G. Allen's Research Vessel (R/V) Petrel.

Navy to Commission Littoral Combat Ship Tulsa
The Navy will commission its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship, the future USS Tulsa (LCS 16), during a 10 a.m. (PST) ceremony Saturday, Feb. 16, at Pier 30/32 in San Francisco.

U.S. Navy Successfully Conducts AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar Ballistic Missile Test
The U.S. Navy's AN/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) successfully tracked a ballistic missile target, Jan. 31.

USS South Dakota (SSN 790) Commissioned
USS South Dakota (SSN 790) became the newest and 17th Virginia-class fast-attack submarine in the U.S. Navy during her commissioning ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London, Feb. 2, 2019.


Photo By: U.S. Navy Photo
VIRIN: 191231-N-ZV259-1929

Navy Celebrates 100th Anniversary of the Board of Decorations and Medals
The Navy celebrates the centennial of the Board of Decorations and Medals. Founded March 6, 1919, the board was established by order of then-Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels to standardize the awarding of medals to service members for extraordinary acts of heroism or distinguished service.

Wreckage of USS Wasp CV-7 discovered in Coral Sea 
The expedition crew aboard the late Paul G. Allen's research vessel (R/V) Petrel discovered wreckage from USS Wasp (CV 7), which was sunk in 1942.

Pacific Partnership 2019 Opens in Marshall Islands  
Pacific Partnership 2019 kicks off with an opening ceremony and reception aboard the expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Brunswick March 11.

Brazil Riverine Medical Mission 2019-1 Concludes  
Four U.S. Navy physicians embarked aboard Brazilian Navy hospital ship NAsH Carlos Chagas (U 19) completed a month-long mission with their Brazilian Navy counterparts to exchange medical expertise and to bring medical care to isolated communities along the Amazon River, March 3.


Bluetails Take to the Skies of 6th Fleet 
The "Bluetails" of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121 conducted the first aircraft launch from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) in U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.


Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12 and Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) conduct combined operations.
Photo By: MCSN Tristan Kyle Labuguen
VIRIN: 190517-N-PW030-1221

U.S. 6th Fleet Units Participate in Exercise Argonaut 2019 
The Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Yuma (T-EPF 8) and a P-8A Poseidon, attached to Patrol Squadron VP-9, began participation in exercise Argonaut in Limassol, Cyprus with the Cyprus Air Force and British Royal Navy, May 27.

Carney Completes Formidable Shield 19 
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) completed support of the U.S.-led multinational integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) exercise Formidable Shield (FS) 19, May 17, 2019.

Osprey Aviation Tilts from Green to Blue 
Since 1990, the Navy has used the C-2A Greyhound, known as the carrier onboard delivery (COD), for transportation of personnel and cargo from shore to at-sea aircraft carriers. But the aircraft's inactive production line and other limitations had the Navy looking for a more versatile option.

Southern Partnership Station 2019 Begins  
The U.S. Navy has deployed adaptive force packages (AFPs) in support of Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2019 to the Caribbean, Central and South America to conduct subject matter expert exchanges from May to October 2019.

USS Theodore Roosevelt Participates in Exercise Northern Edge 2019  
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and select ships from Carrier Strike Group Nine (CSG-9) joined U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, and Marine Corps service members for Exercise Northern Edge 2019 (NE19) in the Gulf of Alaska, May 13.

NRL Tests Sensor On-orbit ISS to Protect Space-Based Assets  
Developed by NRL's Plasma Physics Division and the Spacecraft Engineering Department, the SPADE experiment is designed to monitor background space plasma conditions on-orbit the International Space Station and provide early warning of the onset of hazardous levels of spacecraft charging.


Photo By: U.S. Navy photo/USPS
VIRIN: 191231-N-ZV259-1931

Fort McHenry Concludes BALTOPS Operations  
The Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry concluded exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2019, June 21.

CARAT 2019: Building Security Through Maritime Domain Awareness  
U.S. and Royal Thai navies work together to enhance maritime domain awareness interoperability.

USS Missouri Honored With Forever Stamp on 75th Anniversary 
On the 75th anniversary of its commissioning, the U.S. Navy battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) set sail again with the issuance of the USS Missouri Forever stamp. The U.S. Postal Service dedicated the stamps today during a pierside ceremony on her deck in Pearl Harbor.

Navy test pilot instructor earns Navy's first-ever Army Broken Wing  
U.S. Naval Test Pilot School rotary instructor Barb Gordon was the Navy's first to receive the Army's Broken Wing Award during a ceremony June 6 in Patuxent River.

SPAWAR Changes Name to Naval Information Warfare Systems Command -- Aligns Identity with Mission   
Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWARSYSCOM) changed its name to Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWARSYSCOM) reaffirming the command's commitment to outpacing adversaries in the information warfare domain to enable a competitive edge in all other warfare domains.


Photo By: NHHC
VIRIN: 190705-N-PC620-0018

Normandy Kicks Off COMPTUEX
The Sailors aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) departed Naval Station Norfolk to have their mettle tested before their scheduled deployment July 5.

Navy to Commission USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul in Duluth  
Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy Jodi Greene announced Duluth as the commissioning location for the future USS Minneapolis/Saint Paul (LCS 21) in a joint press conference with Duluth Mayor Emily Larson.

Sea Breeze 2019 concludes in Odesa, Ukraine 
Exercise Sea Breeze 2019 ended with a closing ceremony in Odesa Ukraine, July 12, after two weeks of intense, multinational training.

Navy Accepts Continuous Applications for Enlisted Women in Submarines  
The Navy is now continuously accepting applications for female enlisted Sailors in pay grades E1-E8 to convert to Submarine Force non-nuclear trained ratings, as announced in NAVADMIN 159/19, July 15.

US 4th Fleet & Partner Nations Complete the Pacific Phase of UNITAS LX  
Since arriving in Chile, more than 1,700 personnel from 13 nations have collaborated and participated in UNITAS, the world's longest running multinational maritime exercise, from June 24 - July 3.


Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson is relieved by Adm. Mike Gilday at a change of office ceremony.
Photo By: MC1 Ray Diaz
VIRIN: 190822-N-BB269-0139

Gilday Relieves Richardson as CNO
Adm. Mike Gilday relieved Adm. John Richardson as the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) in a ceremony, Aug. 22, at the Washington Navy Yard. Gilday became the 32nd CNO, the U.S. Navy's most senior officer. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CNO acts as an advisor to the President of the United States, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense. Under direction of the Secretary of the Navy, the CNO is responsible for the command, utilization of resources, and operating efficiency of naval forces and shore activities assigned by the Secretary.

Who Runs the World: Ronald Reagan Conducts RAS With All-Female Rig Team
Twenty-one female Sailors assigned to the Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan's (CVN 76) Deck Department formed the first all-female underway replenishment (UNREP) rig team during a replenishment-at-sea (RAS) detail with Military Sealift Command's dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Walter S. Diehl (T-AO 193) August 1.

UNITAS LX Exercise Strengthens Partnerships  
Brazil hosted over 3,100 personnel from 13 countries for the 60th anniversary of exercise UNITAS, the longest running multinational maritime exercise in the world, Aug. 18-30.

Operation Dragoon Marks 75th Anniversary  
The city of Saint-Raphal hosted three ceremonies honoring the sacrifices of the U.S., French, and Allied Soldiers and Sailors who participated in Operation Dragoon during WWII to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Southern France, Aug. 15.

First Marine to Begin F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter Training 
Marine 1st Lt. Catherine Stark earned her Wings of Gold as a Marine Corps aviator with Training Air Wing 2, Naval Air Station Kingsville, Aug. 2 and is now preparing to begin training on her assigned fleet aircraft: the F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

Comfort Starts Providing Medical Assistance in Panama Following Opening Ceremony  
Host nation government officials, partner nation representatives and senior leadership from the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) attended an opening ceremony to mark the beginning of the ship's medical mission in Colon, Panama Aug. 7.

The U.S. Navy Commissions USS Billings, Eighth Freedom-Variant Littoral Combat Ship  
The U.S. Navy commissioned the USS Billings (LCS 15), the eighth Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship, during a ceremony in Key West, Florida, Aug. 3.

Pilot Identified Following F/A-18E Super Hornet Crash 
The pilot of the F/A-18E Super Hornet that crashed approximately 40 miles north of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, on July 31 has been identified.


Navy Office of Information (CHINFO) change of office ceremony.
Photo By: MC1 Paul Archer
VIRIN: 190910-N-DM308-003

WWII Navy Vet Awarded Medals 75 Years After Service
Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer awarded a WWII Sailor two high-level combat decorations in recognition of his meritorious service as an aircrewman in the European theater, in a Sept. 10 Pentagon ceremony.

'Man the Torpedoes!' Navy Announces Re-establishment of Torpedoman's Mate Rating
Navy announced the re-establishment of the Torpedoman's Mate rating (TM) in NAVADMIN 225/19, released Sept. 30. According to the naval message, re-establishing the rating will renew the heritage and pride of the submarine TM.

CS-7: Ready for Combat 
Combat System's Anti-Ship Missile Defense (CS-7) division is ready for sea aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) after completing a successful Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launch, Sept. 11.

NATO Allies Finish Cutlass Fury 2019  
NATO Allies participating in Cutlass Fury 2019 pulled in to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Sept. 19 and St. John's, Newfoundland, Sept. 20 after the conclusion of the Royal Canadian Navy-led multi-national exercise Sept. 18.

USS James E. Williams Launches Missiles During SWATT  
The Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS James E. Williams (DDG 95) launched two Standard Missiles (SM) 2 during a Missile Exercise (MSLEX) as part of Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT), Sept. 10-12.

Unmanned Refueling Aircraft Passes First Test Flight  
The Navy and Boeing successfully completed the first test flight of the MQ-25, the first operational carrier-based unmanned refueling aircraft, Sept. 19 from MidAmerica Airport in Mascoutah, Illinois.

Naval Special Warfare Acquisition Corps Established
Navy announced the establishment of the Naval Special Warfare Unrestricted Line Officer Acquisition Corps and Major Program Manager career path in NAVADMIN 214/19, Sept.16.

USS Olympia Completes Around-the-World Deployment  
Friends and families of the crew gathered on the submarine pier at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Sept. 8 to welcome Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Olympia (SSN 717) home from a seven-month, around-the-world deployment, conducting operations to support national security.

Navy, Marine Corps Conduct Arctic Exercise in Alaska  
About 3,000 U.S. Navy and Marine Corps personnel are participating in Arctic Expeditionary Capabilities Exercise (AECE) 2019 in areas of the Aleutian Islands, South central Alaska and Southern California from Sept. 1-28.

U.S., Allied Forces Complete EOD Exercise HYDRACRAB 2019  
Expeditionary forces from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States completed Exercise HYDRACRAB 2019, Aug. 31, first-of-its-kind quadrilateral exercise with key partner nations, which began Aug. 19 and spanned two weeks.

ASEAN-US Maritime Exercise Begins in Thailand 
The U.S. Navy and maritime forces from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will begin the first ASEAN-U.S. Maritime Exercise (AUMX) with opening ceremonies at Sattahip Naval Base, Thailand Sept. 2.


Photo By: NHHC
VIRIN: 190930-N-UA653-014

Huan Nguyen First Vietnamese American Navy Rear Admiral
Huan Nguyen became the first Vietnamese American promoted to the rank of rear admiral during a ceremony at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C., Oct. 10. Nguyen, 60, will serve as the Deputy Commander for Cyber Engineering at the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) on the Washington Navy Yard. NAVSEA Commander Vice Adm. Tom Moore served as the presiding officer.

New Retail Services Specialist Rating Supports Sailor 2025 Rating Modernization  
The new Retail Services Specialist (RS) rating, which replaced the Ship's Serviceman (SH) rating Oct. 1, is "a great example of Sailor 2025 and rating modernization" said Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Command Master Chief (CMDCM) (SW/AW) Thaddeus T. Wright.

USS McCampbell Conducts All Female Navigation Evolution  
Female sailors assigned to the Navy's forward-deployedArleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85) executed their first all-female "Sea and Anchor" detail, while pulling into Sembawang, Singapore, Oct. 17.

Navy Commissions Newest Littoral Combat Ship - USS Cincinnati (LCS 20)  
The U.S. Navy commissioned the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Cincinnati (LCS 20) during a ceremony Saturday, Oct. 5, in Gulfport, Miss. More than 1,400 guests attended the ceremony for the fifth ship in naval service named for Cincinnati, the third-largest city in Ohio.

NMCP Bids Farewell to the NWU Type I   
Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) Sailors wear the blue camouflage Navy Working Uniform (NWU) for the last time, observing colors out front of the historic Building 1 at NMCP.


Photo By: MC2 Thomas Gooley
VIRIN: 191106-N-EA818-0060

First Warrant Officer 1 Grads in Decades Hailed at LDO/CWO Academy
The first eight Navy warrant officer 1 (WO1) Sailors in decades graduated from the Limited Duty Officer/Chief Warrant Officer (LDO/CWO) Academy at Officer Training Command, Newport (OTCN), Nov. 1.

Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group Supports Operation Inherent Resolve  
The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group (ABECSG) began air operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), Nov. 22.

Exercise Cutlass Express Concludes
Maritime forces from 17 East African, European, North American, and West Indian Ocean nations joined several international organizations in celebrating the successful conclusion of multinational maritime exercise Cutlass Express.

Preparing for Native Fury 2020  
Sailors from Navy Cargo Handling Battalion (NCHB) 1, 8, 11 and 13, Assault Craft Unit 1 and Amphibious Construction Battalion 1 participated in the Improved Navy Lighterage System training exercise on Diego Garcia Nov. 11-16.

The 10th Triennial Pacific Reach Exercise Kicks off in Australia 
The 10th iteration of Exercise Pacific Reach (PACREACH) kicked off with a welcoming ceremony at the Fleet West Base in Western Australia, Nov. 4. PACREACH is a triennial, multi-lateral submarine rescue exercise, sponsored by the Asian Pacific Submarine Conference.


Photo By: NHHC
VIRIN: 181105-N-NO204-256

Reserve Component Adds New Command Senior Enlisted Ratings   
Reserve Sailors are getting a big boost in leadership opportunities as the Navy announced today three new command senior enlisted ratings that are now available to Reserve Forces.

Navy Officials Break Ground for New Cyber Warfare Engineering Laboratory  
NAVSEA and NSWC Dahlgren Division leaders broke ground for a new Cyber Warfare Engineering Laboratory, Dec. 12. Navy cyber scientists and engineers will develop, build, test, accredit, deploy to the Fleet, and sustain cyber resilient systems from this facility.

NRL-Camera Aboard NASA Spacecraft Confirms Asteroid Phenomenon   
A U.S. Naval Research Laboratory-built camera mounted on the NASA Parker Solar Probe revealed an asteroid dust trail that has eluded astronomers for decades.

First Navy Accession Osprey Pilot Earns Wings of Gold at NAS Corpus Christi  
The U.S. Navy's first new accession CMV-22B Osprey pilot graduated from flight school after earning his naval aviator designation at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi Dec. 6.

Navy Identifies Three Sailors Killed in NAS Pensacola Shooting
Three Sailors died during an active shooter incident at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Dec. 6. The identities of the Sailors are: Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters.

Navy Announces Three Deaths in Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard Shooting
Two Department of Defense civilians died following a shooting at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam on Dec. 4. The shooter, a Navy Sailor assigned to USS Columbia (SSN 771), died from self-inflicted gunshot wound.