Greetings to the JOHN PAUL JONES family,
August has been
another great month for the ship. We accomplished a lot,
and if you look
at your calendar, you’ll see we have now completed 75% of the deployment. Before you know it, your Sailors
will be greeting you on the pier in San Diego. Some of you may even be lucky
enough to join us in the last week for the Tiger Cruise. The entire crew is excited
for our impending return, and are busy training and preparing for the remaining deployment milestones. Throughout the month, your Sailors have continued to build JOHN PAUL JONES’ outstanding reputation. You can be proud of their hard work and accomplishments.
Upon Leaving Guam
in late July, we headed west to re join the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group for what would be an exciting exercise with the Kitty
Hawk and John C
Stennis Carrier Strike Groups. Enroute we conducted a great deal of Unit level Training in preparation for an upcoming Assessment. Valiant Shield 07 commenced on 07 August with Navy and Air Force participants numbering
over 30,000 Naval and Air Force personnel. This joint exercise focused on the
command and control elements of a multi carrier strike group and joint operations, air defense and under sea warfare. John Paul Jones performed in a superior manner earning many accolades for her performance
as an Anti Submarine Platform.
As Valiant Shield wrapped up mid-month, our focus
shifted again to Unit Level Training. We conducted drills across every warfare
area; testing the crew’s ability to fight against air, surface, and subsurface threats, and to respond to damage control,
engineering, and personnel casualties that might occur. Your Sailors handled
each and every scenario with true professionalism. They are ready to meet the
challenges of the Unit Level Training and Readiness Assessment – Sustainment that will occur in September, on the way
After skirting a super typhoon in the South China
Sea, the ship enjoyed back to back liberty ports in Hong Kong and Singapore, where the crew enjoyed some much-deserved liberty
and participated in a number of Community Relations projects. As always your
Sailors represented the Navy and the United States well, getting out to see the sites, taste the local cuisine, do some shopping,
and learn something about the local cultures.
We ended up the month with preparations for an
upcoming multi-Carrier Strike Group Exercise with the Indian Navy. This will
be an extremely high-profile event; the first of its kind. I know your Sailors
will continue to demonstrate the skill and professionalism that JOHN PAUL JONES is known for.
As always, you are in our thoughts and prayers. Keep the home fires burning as we finish our last few
Christopher K. Barnes
Hello JOHN PAUL JONES Family and Friends,
August was a very busy month with exercise Valiant Shield. As always, JPJ Sailors shined
throughout the exercises. This month also marked our last two port visits. First it was off to Hong Kong where
the weather wasn’t very nice to us but you wouldn’t know it by all the events the crew took part in. The
main attraction was Hong Kong Disneyland, while others went on the Hong Kong Tour, Kowloon and New Territories Tour, Ocean
Park, Harbor Night Cruise, Shopping Tour and Macau Day Tour.
Then it was off to Singapore for our final port visit where we said “Fair winds and
following seas” to LCDR Stengel and welcomed aboard our new Executive Officer, LCDR Kochendorfer.
By the time you read this newsletter we’ll be less than a month from being home with
family and friends. We will be stopping in Hawaii to pick up Tigers for Tiger Cruise 2007. Looking forward to
seeing a lot of you on the Tiger Cruise, and if not there then on the pier when we are finally in our favorite port of San
All are looking forward to our return home and seeing family and friends again. I would
like to personally recognize some outstanding JPJ Sailors on their recent achievements. Good job shipmates and keep
up the great work!
STGC(SEL) Salisbury GMC(SEL) Cruz
Meritorious Service Medal:
Navy Commendation Medal:
Navy Achievement Medal:
SH2(SW) Balusek ET2(SW)
Bandasalinas STG2(SW) Bizjak
STG2(SW) Poole CS2(SW) Smith
Flag Letter of Commendation:
Good Conduct Medal:
GSM2(SW) Mello ET2(SW)
Stoudemire IT2(SW) Toussaint
STG3(SW) Davis EN3(SW) Gibbs IC3 Ochsner
Enlisted Surface Warfare Qualification:
OS2(SW) Lopez EN3(SW) Daniels EN3(SW) Gibbs
GSM2(SW) Cross OS2(SW) Rogers
Surface Warfare Officer Qualification:
Engineering Officer of the Watch:
CMDCM(SW) Karol M. Kramer
Hello JPJ Families and Friends!
Well, we are almost there! All of the hard work, emotions, and tiredness
are coming to an end and we can look forward to seeing our sailors once more. Both
you and your sailor have worked hard at a lot of things. You have worked hard
at dealing with your jobs,
communication, family, and the separation but
the hard work doesn’t end there. Now you will be working hard at making
sure that everything is just perfect for your homecoming. Something to remember
is that the sailors probably won’t stress over whether or not the TV was dusted this week or when the last time you
cleaned out the garage. They are looking forward to see you. They have missed you and want to enjoy their time with you.
While Homecoming is often an exciting and happy time, it can be quite stressful and tiring. Help is available if you need it. Fleet and Family Support
have confidential counselors available or you can contact Tricare to make arrangements for counseling. Take your time and ease back into your routine, although we all have great expectations they don’t
always come to fruition. And if Homecoming wasn’t enough excitement for
you many parents have children who are starting or have started school.
I would also like to say welcome to LCDR Kochendorfer, the new Executive Officer and his family. To LCDR Stengel and her family, we wish you the best and I have enjoyed working with you.
The beginning of the school year is exciting. New teachers, friends and adventures lie ahead for the children and parents alike. One of the most important tools as a parent is communication, with both your child
and his/her teacher(s). Below is a list of suggestions from www.kidssource.com.
- Place a notebook in your child's book bag. Use this as a communication
vehicle between you and your child's teacher.
- Contact your child's teacher during the first two weeks of school
to determine the homework policy, best communication methods -- let them know the best way to reach you, expectations and
opportunities regarding parental involvement in classroom activities, and recommendations for learning activities at home.
- Generate a list of questions to ask your child's teacher at the
first parent/teacher conference. Include questions regarding what your child should be learning, what are his/her best subjects,
what do their test scores indicate about their learning, and whether he/she is completing assignments regularly.
- Ask your child how she thinks she is doing in school. If possible,
suggest a three-way conference with you, your child and the teacher.
- Find out how your child's school accommodates differences in learning
styles; what types of programs are available if extra help is required.
Source: “Back to
School: Communication is a Key to Success”. KidSource Online. 23 August 2007.
Once again I want to say thank you to VFW Post 1512. They played host
to the FSG by opening their hearts and pocketbooks to the FSG. We couldn’t
ask for a better Post to work with and I hope they know just how much their support means to the sailors and families of JPJ
and to me.
Keep an eye out for more information about the Homecoming
events that are coming up later this month. Check in with the Careline and if
you have any questions please feel free to email or call me. I hope you have
a good month and a great Homecoming!
USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53)
(619) 743-5416 OMB line
TRICARE Coverage for College Students
How does Tricare work for college-age children?Children remain eligible for TRICARE benefits until they reach age 23 or graduate from college, whichever comes first.
Some TRICARE options work better than others if your child is away at college, so make sure you review them all carefully!
Choosing the best health care option depends mainly on where the school is located and the student’s transportation
options at the school. For example, TRICARE Prime is only offered in designated Prime Service Areas. Military families should
call their regional TRICARE contractor to find out if their child’s college is in one of these designated areas. If
the school is in a Prime Service Area, but not where the family is registered, then a split enrollment under TRICARE Prime
would be the best option—the student would be dis-enrolled from Prime at their home location and re-enrolled at the
new location. If you wish your child to receive care at a military treatment facility (MTF) near the college, check to see
if the facility is accepting new Prime enrollees before making any decision. Check with your TRICARE contractor about how
to enroll the student at their college location and to transfer the enrollment back home for summer break.
A child enrolled in TRICARE Prime will be assigned a primary care manager. All appointments
must be made with the primary care manager to avoid point of service fees, which could result in higher out-of-pocket costs.
Because patients in TRICARE Prime need to access care through their primary care manager to avoid point of service fees, it
is unwise to allow the student to stay enrolled at their home location or to choose Prime if it will be difficult for the
student to get to the provider’s location.
If it is not convenient for a college student to get to an assigned primary care manager
or MTF, military families may want to consider disenrolling their child from TRICARE Prime at their home location and having
the student use TRICARE Standard or Extra. Again, this action would create a split enrollment: some family members in Prime
and the college student in Standard. Using TRICARE Standard or Extra will give their student the flexibility to receive care
from any TRICARE authorized provider; however, your child will have higher costs than in TRICARE Prime. When using a TRICARE
network provider under TRICARE Extra, however, your child will have a lower cost share than using a non-network provider.
Also, network doctors will file the claim for the patient. Some doctors who accept TRICARE Standard may require payment up
front. A claim would then need to be filed with TRICARE for reimbursement. Your student will need to save the receipts and,
if over age 18, sign the claim forms. Be aware that your student may be subject to a one-year lock-out if disenrolling from
Prime—you will not be able to re-enroll them in Prime at your home location when they come home for the summer. Check
with your TRICARE contractor for details before disenrolling the student from Prime.
Another avenue military families may opt to use is the student health plan offered by many
colleges and universities. Be aware these plans are considered other health insurance, so TRICARE acts as the secondary payer
to any student health plan. If a family decides to use the student health plan, TRICARE Standard or Extra is the best TRICARE
option. For more information about TRICARE and college students and contact information for the TRICARE contractors.
Source: " TRICARE
Coverage for College Students." Fleet and Family Support Program. 23 August 2007. <
Family Support Group News
Hello JPJ Family and Friends,
Yet another month has flown by. We held our August meeting at
the Murphy Canyon Chapel and the Night Before and Homecoming Committees were able to meet and get things started for these
upcoming events. We are selling fabulous home-made pillows with “USS John Paul Jones” embroidered in gold thread
on a blue background. The sales of these pillows will help pay for the upcoming celebrations. We also held two fundraisers
at the Lemon Grove VFW Post 1512. We sold our cookbooks and had a 50/50 raffle. The Post is a great supporter of both the
FSG and the ship and I would like to thank the Post Commander, JJ Voight and the other post members for their generosity.
The ship has recently received the shoeboxes for the shoebox auction, so our sailors should have a great time bidding on them.
The next FSG meeting will be held September 6, 2007 at the Murphy Canyon Chapel at 1830. Very important information will be
given at this meeting and I encourage everyone to attend. Childcare is provided free of charge in the chapel nursery.
If you would like to order a pillow ($10 + $3 shipping) or cookbook
(same pricing) or would like more information on the FSG please feel free to contact me at the email address below.
Thanks and have a great month!!!!
Julie M. Gushlaw, FSG President
They’re almost home! As homecoming excitement builds and the program winds down, we want to extend a big thank you to the Coordinators
and volunteers who have made it possible for all of us to participate in United Through Reading® during this deployment. Having the opportunity to stay connected with our Sailors in this way has been a great
The folks who provided this wonderful quality
of life program would love to hear from you. Please go online and fill out a
Homefront Participant’s survey for United Through Reading® on the Family Literacy Foundation© website, www.read2kids.org to provide your feedback. (The
Direct Link For Those Who Email Newsletters is: http://read2kids.org/utr_homefrontsurvey.htm )
or False: The US Navy authorized gray uniforms for officers and chiefs.
USCIS Launches Citizenship Hotline:
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
(USCIS) launched a toll-free help line for military service members attempting to become U.S. citizens.
The help line,
1-877-CIS-4MIL (1-877-247-4645), is accessible both inside the United States and overseas. It is available
for service members and their families, with expedited service for service members set to deploy or for families applying
The help line will assist callers Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. with the following:
- Tracking their application for naturalization (Form N-400)
- Notifying USCIS of a new mailing address or duty station
- Checking the status of an application or petition
- Bringing a spouse, fiancée or adopted child to the United States
- Obtaining posthumous citizenship for a deceased member of the Armed
- Submitting an application for expedited processing
In addition to the help line, USCIS has developed a web page, USCIS.gov , providing information and links to services specifically for the military and their families.
(Source: Press release, office of Senator Barbara Mikulski’s (D-MD))
Save the Dates!
Night Before: For the traditional Night Before Party the FSG is planning an afternoon event so that our families have
a chance to finish up any last minute details and get a good night’s rest before meeting our sailors at the pier. As more information becomes available it will be passed out and made available to
you. We hope to see you all there!
Homecoming: Keep an
eye out for more information coming soon! A special newsletter will be going
out full of Homecoming information for you to go over. As always, check the Careline
or feel free to email or call your Ombudsman to get more information as you need it.
Navy Trivia Answer: True
Gray uniforms in the same style as khaki were first introduced on 16
April 1943 as an officers uniform. On 3 June 1943 the uniform was extended to include Chief Petty Officers. On 31 March 1944
cooks and stewards were permitted to wear the gray uniform. The Navy abolished use of "grays" on 15 October 1949.
Source: Smith Sr., Daniel. "Navy Historical
Facts and Trivia." State Guard Association of the United States. 25 July 2007. <http://www.sgaus.org/hist_fac.htm
Tips for Reunion
planning early. Who do you want to be a part of the celebration?
children in homecoming plans such as decorating and planning activities
letters/emails from your sailor can assist you as you begin to prepare for the reunion
homecoming day is also a duty day, plan to make it as special as possible anyway. Have
dinner together and talk about your homecoming plans for the next day.
realistic. Perfect reunion fantasies are just that-fantasies.
is common homecoming reaction for everyone after all of the preparations for the reunion.
planned activities to a minimum to avoid unnecessary stress.
time to get to know one another again. Intimacy is emotional as well as physical.
For the Loved One at Home
As a Couple:
at Sea is very structured. Your spouse may want to rest for a while. Go easy on the planned activities for a few days.
family rules and responsibilities during the days after your reunion.
spouse may have stories to tell about overseas ports. Realize that while port
calls can be a highlight, they are a very small part of deployments. Life at
sea can be difficult and challenging.
open. You have a lot of catching up to do.
Be careful not to get caught in the “Who Had It Worse” game.
As a Parent:
family time. Encourage your family to get reacquainted with one another.
slowly. Remember, your spouse has not been around energetic children for many
sensitive. The returning parent may feel like an outsider. Encourage kids to include them in discussions, requests, and problem solving.
tips are from the Fleet & Family Support Center
love snail mail! Although we have the convenience of email, don’t forget
to send letters and packages to your loved one at sea! Send mail to:
PAUL JONES (DDG-53)
FPO AP 96669-1271
Remember…sailors love snail mail!
Murphy Canyon Chapel
First Day of Autumn