Thursday, 30 September 2010

Atlantic Crossing

30 Sept, 2010 - Hello Family and Friends of STOUT.  This past week was exciting for the crew as we traveled east from Norfolk to Faslane, Scotland.  We came to conduct a Joint Training Exercise. 

Departing Norfolk - Sept 2010
During the transit across the Atlantic we had time to train on exercise procedures, conduct flight operations, take on fuel, conduct engineering drills and test our weapons systems.  A few action pictures are attached.

Prepping the Guns

View from the Helo Control Tower

Taking on Fuel from the Oiler
The exercise will start in a couple of days and will test the crew in a challenging scenario.  In addition to working with several of our sister US Navy ships, we are looking forward to the chance to operate with our International Partners.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Family Day Cruise

12 August, 2010 - Frinds and Family Day Cruise.  We had a few extra passengers aboard today as we sailed off the coast of Virginia for a few hours.  About 230 frineds and family members were able to join us as we transited out to sea over the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel and the Chesepeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, and through Thimble Shoals Channel. 
     The Executive Officer provided a guided tour on the outbound transit and a short history lesson on Admiral Stout as we made the return transit.  The Gunners demonstrated the 5 inch gun and some small arms in a live firing demonstration and the Engineers showed off the main engines in a fast speed run. We had one rain shower that pushed the flight deck picnic inside.  Once we cleared the rain clouds the rest of the day was clear sailing.

     Master Chief arranged for a mini-Surface Warfare qualification for the children and we handed our certificates for all those who completed the requirements.  Thanks to all those who were able to spend the day with us.

Tug Boats returning us to the pier

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Boarding Team Training

11 August, 2010 - The past few days were filled with real time training for the boarding teams.  We worked with a training ship for three days to practice various situations that the boarding teams may see.  It was a long three days, especially for the members of the teams as well as the boat crews. 
RHIBs approaching the training ship

The Boarding Team prepares for action

Hard at work on the Boat Deck

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Surface Forces Atlantic Visit

5 August 2010 - STOUT had the pleasure of hosting RADM Thomas today for a short tour. RADM Thomas is the Commander, Naval Surface Forces, Atlantic. He is responsible for the readiness of all East Coast ships, including STOUT. While aboard he met with the Officers in the Wardroom for a short discussion and Chiefs in the Chief Petty Officer's Mess. He also talked with several Sailors during a tour of the ship and addressed the entire crew on the 1MC (The 1MC is the general announcing system for those not familiar with Navy lingo).

Admiral with Petty Officer Kniess
RADM Thomas inspecting VLS

It was a great opportunity to get information on current issues from our chain of command as well as provide direct feedback. The Admiral had great messages on setting standards, leadership and how we can assist him in solving problems. RADM Thomas was the former CO of USS ROSS, a sister ship to STOUT. He really understands things from a shipboard perspective. The advice and guidance he provided today was on the mark and well received by everyone.

Admiral addressing the CPO Mess


1 August 2010- Reenlistment.  As part of the all volunteer force crew members commit to serve a set number of years.  Once their enlistment is up they have the option to extend their service and re-enlist.  Recently Petty Officer Humbert signed up to serve a few more years and re-affirmed his oath in a short ceremony on the mess decks.  A couple of pictures from the day are posted along with the oath of re-enlistment at the bottom of the page.
Petty Officer Humbert with Re-Enlisting Officer
Petty Officer Humbert with a few friends

Oath of re-enlistment

I do solemnly swear
That I will support and defend
The Constitution of the United States
Against All enemies, foreign and domestic;
That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same,
That I will obey the orders
Of the President of the United States
And the orders of the Officers appointed over me,
According to the regulations
And the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
So help me God.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Underway Training

30 July, 2010 - We spent the last week underway conducting various training events off the coast of Virginia.  We had a couple of assessment teams aboard as well as 22 Midshipmen on summer cruise and four prospective Commanding Officers from the Surface Warfare School in Newport, RI.
Conducting Underway Replenishment with USNS ARCTIC

It was a full week and I know everyone kept busy.  We had a break from the recent summertime temperatures and were able to spend some time on-deck.

Sailors cleaning the decks topside
Damage Control Drills
Flight Quarters
Sunset at Sea

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Special Visit

Tim Allen - Last week we had the opportunity to give a tour to Mr. Tim Allen and several of his family members.  It was a great opportunity to talk about STOUT and also for the crew to meet Mr. Allen.

Tim Allen on the Bridge explaining how to get a few extra knots out of the main engines
There were several opportunities for autographs and to ask questions.  We wera able to tour the foc'sle, including the five inch gun and the VLS Launcher, the AEGIS Radar platform, the bridge, the wardroom, one of the main engine rooms, the mess decks, contral control station, the flight deck and the quarterdeck.  During the tour Mr. Allen was very engaged and had several suggestions on how we could tweak our systems to improve performance. 

Tim Allen taping an interview for AFN

Little more than an hour after he arrived it was time to wrap up the tour and get back to the dialy routine.   Several members of the crew were able to get a souvineer picture, ask a few questions or discuss one of the sceens in their favorite Tim Allen movie. 
Tim Allen with Petty Officer Spivey

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Admiral Stout's Birthday

16 June, 2010 - It was a special treat to welcome aboard two of Admiral Stout’s sons, Hal and Pete Stout, and their some of their family members. 15 June is Admiral Stout’s birthday and we held a belated birthday party for him today. Born on 15 June 1903, in Dover Ohio, he would have been 107 years old. We had cake and ice cream on the mess decks to celebrate. Hal also volunteered to speak to the crew about Admiral Stout and some of his adventures.

Hal Addressing the crew

Hal and Pete Cutting the cake
Hal told us about the values Admiral Stout tried to live up to every day; Honesty, Compassion and Curiosity. It was great to hear first hand stories about the ship’s namesake, especially from someone like Hal. After cutting the cake on the mess decks both Pete and Hal, as well as their spouses, were able to talk with the crew and answer questions. At one point I asked them both how often they saw their father during World War II. In total Admiral Stout was home for about two weeks during the entire war. It is hard to imagine that kind of commitment, but that is what countless WWII veterans did to win the war. It made me very grateful for the sacrifices of those who endured those times.

Interacting with the Crew (note Admiral Stout's portrait in the background)
The visit helped the crew see Rear Admiral Stout in the eyes of his family instead of just through the inspiring stories portraied in the history books. We hope to have the Stout brothers back again soon; it was a delight having them onboard.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

SEN Reed Visit

 11 June, 2010.   It's been a few weeks since I posted an article on the Blog.  STOUT has been moving from one event to the next as we make our way through several training events and maintenance periods.  The crew continues to do great things and I will highlight several of their accomplishments over the coming weeks.

Today we had the opportuinty to provide a tour to Senator Jack Reed, Rhode Island.
Senator Reed's visit to STOUT was part of a larger tour of several surface ships on the Norfolk waterfront.  He is taking over as the Chairman of the Sea Power Subcommittee on the Senate Armed Services Committee and came to Norfolk to see how things are going on the waterfront.  The crew worked hard to prepare for the tour and did a great job presenting the ship.  We were able to highlight all of the capabilities of STOUT and to provide a demonstration on Ballistic Missile Defense.  Below is a picture of Senator Reed in Combat Information Center.

It was a pleasure to host Sen Reed and several of his staff.  We wish him well as he continues his work in the Senate.