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Archive for the ‘Navy’ Category

Royal Thai Navy Special Warfare Command, Naval Special Warfare Conduct Joint Combined Training Exchange

Monday, April 1st, 2024

SATTAHIP, Thailand — A West Coast-based U.S. Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Unit conducted joint combined exchange training (JCET) with members of the Royal Thai Navy Special Warfare Command (RTN SWC) from Jan. 28 – Feb. 29, 2024.

The joint training took place in Sattahip, Thailand, and included visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) tactics, close-quarters combat, tactical combat casualty care, live weapons ranges and training, airborne water entry training, and mission planning.

While JCET events inherently focus on U.S. military readiness and training, they also mutually enhance bilateral relations, contribute to regional stability and improve interoperability among partners and allies.

“Working with the Thai special warfare unit has given us a chance to share knowledge and expand our working relationships with a partner nation,” said a U.S. Naval Special Warfare operator. “JCETs like this enhances our integrated special warfare capabilities and fosters growth as partners and allies.”

During the JCET, the RTN SWC also hosted a cultural day for NSW operators.

“The opportunity to take a day to learn and share in our Thai partners’ rich culture only deepened our partnership,” said the NSW operator. “While warfighting and mutual capabilities are always our shared focus, the opportunity to learn more about our cultures together is invaluable.”

The United States and Thailand have enjoyed nearly two centuries of diplomatic relations and have been security treaty allies for over 65 years. The enduring relationship covers political, security, and economic cooperation, as well as a shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Naval Special Warfare is the nation’s elite maritime special operations force, uniquely positioned to extend the Fleet’s reach and ensure readiness for future security challenges.

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chelsea D. Meiller

Navy Pins First Robotics Warfare Specialist

Thursday, February 29th, 2024

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Adm. Rick Cheeseman, and the Navy’s Personnel Plans and Policy Division (N13) Director, Rear Adm. Jim Waters, pinned Master Chief Christopher Rambert as the Navy’s first Robotics Warfare Specialist during an office call at Naval Support Facility Arlington, Virginia, Feb. 27, 2024.

The rating insignia reveal followed the U.S. Navy’s announcement in NAVADMIN 036/24, establishing the branch’s enlisted career field for operators, maintainers, and managers of robotic and autonomous systems.

The establishment of the RW rating underpins the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lisa Franchetti’s plans for building and developing “a team who has the reps and sets in sensors, platform autonomy, and mission autonomy programs, and can provide input in machine-learning feedback processes,” a priority she discussed in her keynote address at the WEST 2024 naval conference.

Although Rambert is the first Sailor to don the new RW uniform rating badge, the development of the Navy robotics warfare community represents years of effort.

“It’s a proud moment to see all the hard work that’s gone into developing this badge, and just seeing it finally get codified and brought to life – to me, it signifies the hard work of the people around me,” Rambert said.

From research and analysis to organizing working groups and designating individual subject matter experts, Sailors and Navy civilian employees have been working behind the scenes on creating the Robotics Warfare Specialist career field for more than three years.

Its founding has distinguished the Navy as the first Department of Defense branch to establish a dedicated enlisted workforce specialized in unmanned and autonomous technology.

“The RW rating is a major milestone in our Navy’s relentless march to achieve a truly hybrid Fleet,” Cheeseman penned in NAVADMIN 036/24.

According to Rambert, the DoD’s hybrid force framework is a force multiplier, allowing Sailors to develop seasoned experience across the rating’s multiple domains – subsurface, surface, air, and ground platforms.

With a background as an aviation electrician’s mate, Rambert spoke to the tactical advantages that will come with the new rating’s initial cadre – and the growing opportunity for future RW Sailors.

“You get the opportunity to go to so many different places,” Rambert said. “If you look across the spectrum of the entire Navy, you’ve got Sailors that have the potential to really touch every single domain out there and that’s very rare.”

Rambert has served as the Navy’s sole Robotics Enlisted Community Manager at the Bureau of Naval Personnel since October 2023.

“It’s really an awesome feeling to be the first one to represent the rating,” Rambert said. “And to see this rating finally come to fruition, you can see the level of excitement, and passion from the other Sailors that are out there.”

Eligibility and Application

The initial selection of Sailors for RW conversions will consist primarily of active-duty Sailors currently holding robotics-related Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) codes. Sailors currently or previously assigned to billets in unmanned vehicle divisions are primed for selection.

Active-duty E-4 to E-9 Sailors who meet the above criteria can apply by submitting a NAVPERS 1306/7 Electronic Personnel Action Request (EPAR) form to BUPERS-328 or BUPERS-352 (SELRES).

The Navy’s Fact Sheet focused on RW Conversion Opportunity provides further details on the specific NECs, ASVAB scores, and background requirements for applicants: www.mynavyhr.navy.mil/Portals/55

Rambert described the sought-after characteristics of RW candidates as being driven, adaptable, and motivated to become masters of the craft.

“They have to have [the] drive to want to be a part of something that might not be entirely defined by policy,” Rambert said. “They need to be passionate about what they do because what they’re learning now and the lessons learned that we take to the table later can have huge effects on the success of the rating as we progress into the future.”

Rating Symbol Design

Originally designed by Chief Aviation Electrician’s Mate McLean Monaghan, the RW rating symbol comprises an airplane propeller and lightning bolt crossed over a treaded wheel, all layered over a single wave. Each element represents a domain that U.S. Navy Robotics Warfare Specialists are expected to operate in to support the mission of the DoD:
· Airplane Propeller – Aerial Systems
· Lightning Bolt – The Electromagnetic Spectrum
· Treaded Wheel – Ground Systems
· Wave – Surface and Subsurface Systems

For information regarding the application process, visit the RW enlisted community management page on the MyNavy HR website at: www.mynavyhr.navy.mil/Career-Management/Community-Management/Enlisted/Robotics-Warfare

For more news from the Chief of Naval Personnel, follow MyNavy HR on Facebook, Instagram, X (Twitter), and YouTube, or visit www.navy.mil/cnp

Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Jeanette Mullinax 

Chief of Naval Personnel

Saab Receives Support Order for Norway’s Combat Training Centre

Sunday, February 25th, 2024

Saab has received an order from the Norwegian Defence Materiel Organisation regarding support, service and maintenance for the Combat Training Centre in Rena. The order value is approximately SEK 190 million and the contract period is 2024-2027.

The contract also includes on-site support for four additional training and simulation locations in Norway, as well as at Rena. 

“We are pleased to continue our long-term support to the Norwegian Armed Forces’ training systems. With this contract, we ensure that the Norwegian Armed Forces have the required interoperable training capabilities today and in the future,” says Joakim Alhbin, head of business unit Training & Simulation within Saab’s business area Dynamics.

The Norwegian Armed Forces have been using Saab’s training and simulation systems since 2004 and this contract contributes to the Armed Forces’ retaining the capability to train units up to brigade size, in-country as well as abroad. The systems are fully interoperable with NATO and other allied countries, which is crucial in multinational live exercises with simulators. Norway’s training partners include, among many others, the US, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands.

Through innovative use of technology and a well-proven training philosophy, Saab offers world leading training solutions and capabilities enabling interoperability and true realism for land forces. Saab offers solutions for live training, live fire training, virtual training and training services. 

US Navy Updates Uniform Policy, Authorizes Hands In Pockets

Thursday, February 15th, 2024

According to recently released GENADMIN message, the US Navy has updated several u form and appearance policies, including reversing course on hand in the pockets. Sailors are now authorized to have hands in their pockets when doing so does not compromise safety nor prohibit the proper rendering of honors and courtesies

Another change is the authorization of the wear Coyote backpacks with the NWU Type II and III.

The message also authorizes two new warfare pins, the Surface Chaplain Officer Qualification (SCO) Insignia and Aerial Vehicle Pilot (AVP) Warfare Qualification Insignia (Officer).

Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Mikal Chapman

Chaplains began receiving their new pin late last year while the first AVP wings were awarded last May in Pensacola.

Photo by Ensign Elias Kaser

Below is the entire message:

CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED//

ROUTINE

R 141633Z FEB 24 MID600117190288U

FM CNO WASHINGTON DC

TO NAVADMIN

INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC

BT

UNCLASS

NAVADMIN 031/24

PASS TO OFFICE CODES:

FM CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1//

INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1//

MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/N1/FEB//

SUBJ/NAVY UNIFORM POLICY AND UNIFORM INITIATIVE UPDATE FEBRUARY 2024//

REF/A/DOC/COMNAVPERSCOM/23AUG21//

AMPN/REF A IS NAVPERS 15665J, U.S. NAVY UNIFORM REGULATIONS.

RMKS/1. This NAVADMIN announces updates to Navy uniform policies for calendar year 2024. These policy updates are the result of Sailor feedback, command sponsored requests and direction from Navy leadership.

2. The following Navy uniform policy changes are effective immediately:

a. Female Combination Cover. The female combination cover, also referred to as the bucket cover, is reinstated as an optional Navy uniform component for female Sailors (E-1 through O-10) when wearing Service Dress and Dinner Dress Uniforms. The bucket cover is now also optional for female officers and chief petty officers (CPOs) when wearing Service Khaki and Summer White Uniforms. Note: the bucket cover will not be available for personal purchase at Navy Exchange Uniform Centers and will need to be privately obtained if desired for wear.

b. Tiara. The tiara is reinstated as an optional Navy uniform component for all female Sailors (E-1 through O-10) when wearing Dinner Dress Blue and White Jacket Uniforms. Note: the tiara will be available for personal purchase as a special order item via Navy Exchange Online Customer Service with a lead time of approximately four weeks.

c. Physical Training Uniform. Black or navy-blue leggings/tights are authorized for optional wear with the Physical Training Uniform shorts and fitness suit pants.

d. Grooming, False Eyelashes. Female Sailors are authorized to wear false eyelashes or eyelash extensions that project a natural appearance and are no longer than 14 millimeters in length as measured from the eyelid to the tip of the eyelash. False eyelash color will match the color of the natural eyelash. Eyelash extensions cannot hinder wear of protective eyewear.

e. Officer Headgear Cap Insignia. Warrant Officer One Officers (W-1) will no longer wear the unique W-1 cap device. All officers (W-1 through O-10) will wear the same officer cap insignia consisting of two gold crossed fouled anchors with burnished silver shield surmounted by a burnished silver eagle facing to wearer’s right and may be embroidered or made of metal. While allowed immediately, in order to allow time for W-1 officers to transition this new policy becomes mandatory on 1 October 2024.

f. Chaplain Religious Faith Emblem (Chaplain Staff Corps Insignia). Navy Chaplains are authorized to wear religious faith emblems above their grade insignia on uniform components with rank tabs. The religious faith emblem is a 1 1/2-inch by 1 1/2-inch black patch with gold embroidered chaplain corps insignia centered on the fabric and positioned upright. When worn, the religious faith emblem will be sewn or affixed to the uniform using a velcro fastener directly above the rank tab.

g. Surface Chaplain Officer Qualification (SCO) Insignia. Navy Chaplains assigned to qualifying afloat units who meet qualification criteria are authorized wear of the SCO breast insignia on Navy uniforms. Wear of the SCO will be in accordance with reference (a).

The SCO may be metal or embroidered. The SCO insignia design consists of the bow-on aspect of a warship on a background of ocean swells and scroll banner underneath displaying the Navy Chaplain motto, Vocati Ad Servitium.

h. Aerial Vehicle Pilot (AVP) Warfare Qualification Insignia (Officer). Chief Warrant Officers and Warrant Officers (737X) successfully completing prescribed training requirements are authorized to wear the AVP breast insignia on Navy uniforms in accordance with reference (a). The AVP insignia consists of a silver bordered gold shield, a delta pointing downward, crossed fouled anchors and stylized wings.

i. Female T-Shirts. All female Sailors are authorized to optionally wear T-shirts specifically designed for female bodies with Navy uniforms. Female t-shirts will conform to Navy’s requirement for color, fabric, and neck configuration (e.g., crew neck, v-neck) per reference (a). The intent of this policy update is to address expressed dissatisfaction regarding the required wear of male or unisex t-shirts that are not designed to fit female bodies.

j. Personal Appearance. The restriction on placing hands in pockets while in uniform is rescinded. Sailors are authorized to have hands in their pockets when doing so does not compromise safety nor prohibit the proper rendering of honors and courtesies.

k. Backpacks. Commercially procured coyote brown backpacks are authorized for optional wear with the NWU Type II and III. Coyote brown backpacks will be worn in accordance with reference (a).

3. Ongoing Navy uniform initiatives:

a. Maternity Pilot Program (MPP). The MPP is successfully entering its third year of providing participating Sailors free uniforms ready for wear at their doorstep. Since the program commenced in 2022, over 1300 Sailors have participated in the program. During 2024, the program will continue to provide pregnant

Sailors the option to choose from four maternity sea bag variations encompassing all maternity uniforms and a cardigan sweater with alterations and applicable accoutrements attached. For more information about the program visit https://www.mynavyhr.navy.mil/References/US-Navy-Uniforms/Maternity-Pilot-Program/.

b. Size Modernization Program (SMP). The SMP is a multiphase, five-year uniform improvement program with an initial focus on female uniform improvements. The objective of the SMP is to deliver Navy Sailors with a modernized and consistent uniform fit and sizing system.

c. Female Officer/CPO Summer White Uniform. A white overblouse is being added to the list of authorized optional uniforms for the female officer and CPO Summer White Uniform. The new overblouse is the first line of components delivered by the SMP. Availability of the Summer White Uniform overblouse is planned for early fall 2024.

A dress white overblouse is also being developed as an optional component for the female officer and CPO Service Dress Blue Uniform with estimated introduction after calendar year 2024.

d. Female Service Uniform Slacks. The Navy is currently evaluating service uniform slacks with back pockets for females.

The focus of the evaluation is to determine the functionality and acceptability of female uniform slacks with back pockets. If the evaluation to include Sailor feedback is determined to be positive, the future design of female slacks will include back pockets.

e. Uniform Surveys. Uniform surveys will be distributed throughout 2024 to continue to capture Fleet-wide input. Surveys have been determined as the best method for the Uniform Matters Office to capture diverse and unbridled Sailor feedback that is crucial to planning, research and execution of uniform improvements and uniform and grooming policy updates. Surveys will be announced on the Uniform Matters and MyNavy HR websites. Access to surveys will be via QR codes or hyperlinks posted on the Uniform Matters and MyNavy HR websites.

f. Hat Liners. The Navy Exchange Service Command is adding synthetic liners to their list of uniform accessories for the Navy Working Uniform (NWU) eight-point cover. The purpose of synthetic hat liners is to address Sailors’ expressed concerns regarding unwanted hair removal or loss resulting from donning and doffing the NWU eight-point cover. The liner will be sold separately and must be sewn into the cover for proper placement and wear. Availability is expected to commence mid-February 2024 at most major Fleet concentration areas and online via https://www.mynavyexchange.com/.

4. Questions regarding this NAVADMIN should be addressed via e-mail to Mr. Robert B. Carroll, Navy Uniform Matters and Emerging Issues Branch (OPNAV N13X), at robert.b.carroll3.civ@us.navy.mil, or ETCM Richard Baumert (OPNAV N13X) via richard.a.baumert2.mil@us.navy.mil or PSC Sache Hagans (OPNAV N13X) at sache.m.hagans.mil@us.navy.mil.

5. Questions regarding the MPP should be addressed to the Uniform Matters Office (OPNAV N13X) at Navy_MPP.fct@navy.mil or LS1 Meagan Cobia, Uniform Matters Special Assistant, meagan.l.cobia.mil@us.navy.mil.

6. Questions regarding the SMP, Service Uniform Slacks and Summer White Overblouse initiatives, should be addressed to Ms. Louise Caulfield (Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility) at louise.a.caulfield.civ@us.navy.mil or Dr. Brianna Plummer (Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility) at brianna.l.plummer2.civ@us.navy.mil.

7. Questions regarding the Hat Liners should be addressed to Ms. Angela Brown (Navy Exchange Service Command) at angela.brown@nexweb.org.

8. Feedback and recommendations regarding uniform policy, uniform components and uniform availability are welcomed and can be provided via e-mail at UMO_CMC@navy.mil, via the MyNavy UNIFORMS App, or via

MyNavy Portal at https://www.mnp.navy.mil/, select Professional Resources, U.S. Navy Uniforms and *Ask The Chiefs*.

9. Retain this NAVADMIN until policy changes are incorporated in reference (a), superseded or cancelled, whichever occurs first.

10. Released by Vice Admiral Richard J. Cheeseman, Jr., N1.//

BT

#0001

NNNN

CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED//

Glow Sticks – Not Just for Parties Anymore

Wednesday, January 10th, 2024

UH Researcher Using Popular Party Favor to Detect Biothreats for U.S. Navy
Houston, Jan. 9 — Remember that party where you were swinging glow sticks above your head or wearing them as necklaces? Fun times, right? Science times, too. Turns out those fun party favors are now being used by a University of Houston researcher to identify emerging biothreats for the United States Navy.

It’s not the odd combination it may seem at first glance. Largely due to climate change, the environmental niches that can be occupied by threat-producing species are expanding. As environmental biothreats increase, so does their accessibility and potential concern from a biodefense perspective. Currently, there is a need to detect and diagnose certain emerging biothreats, especially in far-forward settings.

“We are for the first time applying the shelf-stable, low-toxicity, low-cost chemistry of common glow sticks to develop bright and rapid diagnostic tests called lateral flow immunoassays (LFIs) like fluorescent-dyed nanoparticles that, when exposed to glow stick activation chemicals, emit bright visible light that can be readily imaged using a smartphone or simple camera,” said Richard Willson, Huffington-Woestemeyer Professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Houston. “We will adapt the technology of glow sticks widely used in military signaling applications to excite fluorescent LFI particles to increase their detectability.”

The humble glow stick

Here’s how they work: When you bend a common glow stick, it breaks a small glass container inside holding a mix of 3% hydrogen peroxide and another substance. This mix reacts with a chemical stored outside the glass, creating a new substance that is quite reactive. When it collides with special colorful dyes, it gives them energy and makes them light up.


Richard Willson, Huffington-Woestemeyer Professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, is adapting technology of glow sticks to excite fluorescent particles to increase their detectability for the U.S. Navy.

That’s usually the time you lose interest in them and toss them away – but not so for Willson, who has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Navy, with the future potential to receive task orders of $1.3 million, to develop improved rapid detection technology for emerging biothreats to support forward deployable testing efforts and develop high affinity reagents for the new technology. High affinity reagents are substances or molecules that exhibit a strong and specific attraction or binding to a particular target.

Accessibility of technology

The COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the need for rapid, inexpensive and ultrasensitive immunoassays for point-of-care diagnostic applications. Lateral flow immunoassays such as the home pregnancy test and COVID-19 rapid antigen test are successfully used by untrained persons to detect medically important chemicals but have limited analytical sensitivity and typically detect only a single chemical.

“Our novel Glow LFIs are very sensitive; preliminary results for Glow LFI detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein spiked in nasal swab extract show an unoptimized limit of detection of 100 picograms per milliliter, already better than typical LFIs,” said Willson, whose research with the glow stick method also shows detection of other known biothreats.

As part of the ongoing research Willson will also develop a pipeline to produce new high-affinity reagents to be employed in these new detection assays.

University of Houston

Navy Assessing New Aircrew Survival Vests Improving Safety, Readiness

Sunday, December 17th, 2023

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md.

The Naval Aircrew Systems Program Office (PMA-202) aircrew survival vest team is testing new rotary wing and tilt aircrew survival vest systems that will optimize aircrew performance with a lighter, less bulky and more ergonomically suitable solution.

The team is evaluating the new vest systems for their ability to reduce instances of overheating, increase overall comfort and reduce the potential for short and long term back and neck injury of pilots and aircrew due to the bulkiness and imbalanced weight of the legacy systems.

“As mission lengths continue to increase, it’s an imperative that we integrate new design features and provide vest systems that meet fleet requirements in a comfortable, lightweight solution,” said Capt. Carey Castelein, PMA-202 program manager.

A number of MH-60R, MH-60S, MH-53E and CMV-22 pilots, aircrew and maintainers are currently assessing the vests to ensure the solutions meet their needs and enhance operational capability. Pilots and aircrew are flying with the new vest systems and providing real-time user input on what features work and what needs improvement.

“Through research, test and fleet assessments, our team will determine the best possible solution to optimize aircrew performance with a lighter, less bulky and more buoyant system, taking into account performance and user feedback,” said Cindy Stead, PMA-202 Aircrew Survival Vest team lead.

Each operator needs a comfortable vest that can be worn for long periods of time, does not cause overheating, distributes weight evenly, fits well, and enables the wearer to be highly mobile for in-cockpit visual scanning and physical movement. Additionally, vests need to be buoyant in post-crash survival and evasion scenarios.

The fleet assessments began on the West coast this summer and continue on the East Coast over the next few months. The Navy may potentially field multiple survival vests depending on aircrew mission after completion of fleet assessments.

By PMA-202

Naval Special Warfare Initiates Random Performance Enhancing Drugs Testing For Health Of Force

Monday, October 2nd, 2023

CORONADO, Calif. — In a decisive move to underscore the health, safety, and readiness of its force, Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Command is set to introduce incremental, random force-wide urinalysis testing for Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs), commencing Nov. 1st of this year.

This initiative stems from the command’s continuous effort to eliminate unauthorized PED use, a matter that Rear Adm. Keith Davids, commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, stresses is of paramount importance.

“My intent is to ensure every NSW teammate operates at their innate best while preserving the distinguished standards of excellence that define NSW,” said Davids.

In strict alignment with Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Navy regulations, the use of unauthorized PEDs, including steroids, human growth hormone, and SARMs, without a military medical prescription following DoD protocols, remains dangerous and poses significant risks.

NSW’s new testing initiative will consist of incremental, random tests conducted in parallel with the Navy’s standard testing and following the mandated 15% of the unit’s population per month.

Defense Instruction (DoDI) 6130.06, Use of Dietary Supplements in the DoD, dated 9 March 2022, prohibits use of products on the DoD Prohibited Substance Ingredients List, found on the Operation Supplement Safety website, unless authorized by a DoD healthcare provider. 

“This incremental, random force-wide testing initiative is far more than a regulatory step—it’s a steadfast commitment to the health, safety, and operational readiness of every member of the NSW community,” Davids said. 

According to Davids, NSW leadership understands that there can be legitimate medical conditions that warrant treatment with prescription supplementation and medication – under military medical supervision.

“The unauthorized and unsupervised use of PEDs is what we are trying to identify and prevent,” said Davids. “Nevertheless, we realize that some of our teammates may have legitimate medical conditions that need to be treated with prescription supplementation. If that is the case, we encourage our teammates, who haven’t already, to speak with their medical providers to get diagnosed and properly treated.”

Learn more about DoD prohibited dietary supplement ingredients at www.opss.org.

By Naval Special Warfare Command Public Affairs

Purdue Delegation Embarks on USS Nimitz, Gains Insights into Naval Operations

Sunday, September 10th, 2023

Opportunity provides deeper understanding of at-sea operations and ideas on expanding online military educational offerings

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – It was the experience of a lifetime for members of a Purdue University delegation as they cruised the Pacific Ocean on the USS Nimitz with almost 5,000 sailors.

From left to right, Dimitrios Peroulis, senior vice president for Purdue University Online; Frank Dooley, chancellor of Purdue Global; and Kelvin Gumbs, executive director for educational partnerships in Purdue’s Office of Industry Partnerships, were members of a Purdue delegation that visited the USS Nimitz in August.

Frank Dooley, chancellor of Purdue Global; Dimitrios Peroulis, senior vice president for Purdue University Online; and Kelvin Gumbs, executive director for educational partnerships in Purdue’s Office of Industry Partnerships, participated in this firsthand experience, which offered a unique view into the training-rich environment of sailors at sea, learning about ways to strengthen educational opportunities for officers and enlisted personnel.

“It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Dooley said of his weekend at sea. Approximately 300 dignitaries a year visit the Nimitz (CVN 68), a supercarrier and the lead ship of the U.S. Navy’s Nimitz class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

The trio started their visit receiving briefs at the Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet headquarters and then took off from Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, California, on a C-2 Greyhound aircraft, which made an arrested landing on the Nimitz.

“The arrested landing forces the aircraft to stop completely within a second or two. The deceleration that you feel is immense — going from 160 miles per hour to zero,” Peroulis said. “By the time you realize what is going on, it has ended. It’s only a few hundred feet and the plane has stopped.”


Dimitrios Peroulis, senior vice president for Purdue University Online; and Frank Dooley, chancellor of Purdue Global, on the flight deck of the USS Nimitz.

Once on board, the Purdue delegation began meeting with the admiral, commanding officer, executive officer, command master chief, and other officers and enlisted personnel, touring most areas of the ship.

A highlight of the Purdue delegation was watching the crew perform about 180 daytime and nighttime flight maneuvers, in some instances observing from just 30 feet away as F/A-18 Super Hornets launched from the flight deck.

“All of these men and women serving on the USS Nimitz have received training and are constantly training,” Dooley said. “It is incredible, and it shows how the team all knows how to work together in their areas. Everyone knows what they are supposed to do. It’s a well-organized and -operating machine.”

Purdue Global serves approximately 10,000 military-affiliated students, a population that includes uniformed personnel, veterans and eligible dependents. Purdue University Online serves about 200 military-affiliated students through its online master’s programs.

As the trio toured the ship, they were continually greeted with “Boiler Up!”

“There were people who shared stories of relatives and friends who had come to Purdue; some people had themselves been to Purdue. There was a Purdue connection almost everywhere, which was impressive,” Peroulis said.

Dooley, Peroulis and Gumbs learned of the need for continuing education for sailors of all ranks, especially after their time in the service, and saw firsthand not only where they work but also where they live and would study. The group plans to further develop programs and procedures to make online learning programs more innovative for Navy and other armed forces personnel and more aligned with sailors’ professional development needs.

“The fact that we can serve both officers and enlisted personnel at the same time through the virtual campuses of Purdue was intriguing to them, as they are aware of Purdue’s quality education and commitment to the military. This is where Purdue is positioned so differently than other schools,” Dooley said.


Frank Dooley, chancellor of Purdue Global (left), and Dimitrios Peroulis, senior vice president for Purdue University Online (middle), learn about naval operations while on the bridge of the USS Nimitz.

Gumbs, himself a Purdue Global grad and a Navy veteran who previously served on the Nimitz, said the visit allowed everyone to understand and witness the training and learning that takes place on board.

“America’s Navy provides a tremendous opportunity for young people to receive highly technical training and learn countless skills, develop themselves as leaders, thinkers, communicators and innovators, all things that also translate smoothly into success as adult learners and our military students,” Gumbs said.

The visit also renewed a commitment to improve access to the various programs offered through Purdue Global and Purdue University Online.

“I appreciate the dedication, professionalism and skill that the Navy has. You really get to understand how much they sacrifice to accomplish their missions,” Peroulis said. “We want to further improve the quality of the opportunities we offer those crew members in their next career steps.

“Getting to know the people behind that and understanding the challenges they face, the sacrifices they make and the dedication to our country really increased my appreciation for them and my desire to serve them as best we can,” Peroulis said.