Surf’s up at Point Mugu

Ventura County, CA - The public is invited to attend the 4th annual NBVC Point Mugu Surf Contest Presented by Quiksilver at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC), Point Mugu. The contest, held Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 20-21, is an exciting opportunity for the surfing community access of the best waves Southern California has to offer, and for NBVC to showcase our award-winning environmental stewardship of our sensitive beach, wetlands and endangered species.

The event itself is free to attend and open to the public starting at 6 a.m. Opening ceremonies on Saturday begin at 7 a.m. There will be live music throughout the day. A variety of vendor booths will be open during the event and food will be on sale.

There are five different divisions: Men’s Open, Young Guns, body board, Women’s and Active Duty Military Men’s.
The public is to enter the Las Posas road gate at NBVC Point Mugu, both Saturday and Sunday. All guests are directed to a parking lot and then shuttled to and from the event. The public is allowed to bring cameras, however the maximum focal length is not to exceed 100 mm.

150 surfing contestants are expected to compete along with a Quiksilver Expression Session featuring pro surfers, at one of Southern California’s best surfing locations. This particular surfing area off the coast of Point Mugu faces in a south direction which gives it a unique wave. The South swell, submarine canyon, and sandbars cause waves to break differently and bigger than at other beaches.

For more information, please call Vance Vasquez, NBVC Public Affairs Office at 805-989-8095 or Teri Reid, NBVC Public Affairs Officer at 805-989-9234, or visit our Facebook page, “NBVC Point Mugu, Port Hueneme, San Nicolas Island.”


Open to the General Public

Ventura County, CA - Registration is now open to the public for Naval Base Ventura County’s Wounded Warrior Half Marathon, Sept. 17 at the Point Mugu Navy base.

The half marathon event also includes a 5K run and a Military Mile. Register for all three races online at All ages are welcome. Prices are: civilians: $20 for 5K, $10 for the Military Mile and $35 for the Half Marathon. For military: $10 for the 5K, $5 for the Military Mile and $20 for the half marathon. All proceeds benefit the NBVC Wounded Warrior Training Camp, where U.S. Navy/Coast Guard Wounded Warrior athletes train to compete in the annual Warrior Games in Colorado Springs.

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 12.

This unique half marathon is held at NBVC Point Mugu and offers a fast, flat course. The course is certified and perfect for setting new personal records or for the first time runner. The Military Mile is family and stroller friendly. All participants will receive a T-shirt and sponsored goodies. Half Marathon participants will also receive a collector Finisher Medal. Race participants must send in all spectator names upon registration for gate access. All racers, spectators, and volunteers 18 years or older must have a photo ID to enter the base.
For more information call 805-989-7378 or 805-982-3007.



Written by Buck Sexton

Speed, agility, and a weapons system designed to destroy much larger ships define the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) triple-hull Type 022 missile boat.
Wired is reporting that China has already built a fleet of these missile ships, which are designed to dominate shallow water, shore-hugging maritime missions, and function as an inexpensive anti-ship platform compared to traditional frigates and destroyers.

But what is perhaps most distressing is...



Staff Sgt. Christopher Fessenden is on duty in Afghanistan now after tours with the Army in Iraq. He has traveled with standard-issue equipment -- weapons, helmet, uniform, boots and so forth -- plus a radio-controlled model truck his brother Ernie sent.

The truck is not a toy to him. He says it just saved six soldiers' lives.

"We cannot thank you enough," said Sgt. Fessenden in an email from the front that Ernie, a software engineer in Rochester, Minn., shared with ABC News.

The little truck was used by...

The nineteenth annual VenturaCounty Stand Down will take place July 29, 30 & 31, 2011, and will be heldat the California Army National Guard Armory in Ventura. The purpose of thiseffort is to assist veterans break out of the cycle of homelessness. Veterans in the Counties of Ventura, SantaBarbara, San Luis Obispo, and Los Angeles will participate this year.

Stand Down refers to agrassroots, community-based intervention program designed to help the veteranswho are homeless “combat” life on the streets. The hand up philosophy of Stand Down is carried out through the work ofhundreds of volunteers and organizations who truly demonstrate the Americanspirit of volunteerism on behalf of veterans who are homeless. They demonstratethat ordinary people can do extraordinary things in assisting veterans becomeproductive citizens of the community. Elton Gallegly, Congressman, 24th District,has been honorary co-chair of this event for 19 consecutive years.

During the three-day,two-night effort, veterans will live on campus in military-style tents erectedby the Seabees and have access to shower facilities, toiletries, new and used cleanclothing, hot meals, etc. each day. Working in conjunction with dozens of public and private agencies StandDown 2011 will provide homeless veterans with a myriad of services such asmedical treatment, legal services, prescription lenses, employment counselingand referrals, VA benefits, drug and alcohol counseling, general reliefinformation, transitional housing information, along with a range of othergovernment and social services. Inaddition, a Superior Court will be held on Friday afternoon, July 29, whereveterans will be given an opportunity to adjudicate their pending legal casesbefore a volunteer judge who, in lieu of fine or jail time, order veterans toparticipate in community service at the Stand Down site. One of the many success stories of Stand Downare those veterans who were homeless return year after year as volunteers toassist other fellow veterans.

Claire Hope, Founder &Chairperson for 19 consecutive years, is a 17-year resident of Camarillo whosefather was a WWII veteran, husband is a WWII and Korean veteran, and her son isa Persian Gulf Veteran.

Those veterans whopre-register at various social service agencies facilitate their entrance intothe Stand Down event.



It is with great sadness that the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) joins the family of Joe Morris, Sr., Dine (Navajo), in mourning his passing. Morris was 85 years old.

“On behalf of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, I offer my sincere condolences and prayers to the family and friends of Joe Morris, Sr., Navajo Code Talker, who passed away July 17th,” said Peter J. Gravett, Secretary, California Department of Veterans Affairs. “Morris was one of the few remaining World War II Navajo Code Talkers who played a pivotal role in helping the U.S. win that war. He served in the United States Marine Corp. as a Navajo Code Talker from 1944-46 in Guadalcanal, Guam, Saipan, Okinawa, and Tinstao, China. We are saddened by his passing, but are thankful for his service to our Nation. May he forever rest in peace.”

DATE: Monday, July 25, 2011
TIME: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. - Viewing
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. - Service
PLACE: East Hills Community Church
20660 Orange Terrace Parkway
Riverside, CA 92508
Riverside National Cemetery
22495 Van Buren Boulevard
Riverside, CA 92518

In lieu of sending flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to the following Bank Of America account #2454773221 in care of Christopher Morris.

BACKGROUND: The Navajo code talkers took part in every assault the U.S. Marines conducted in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945. They served in all six Marine divisions, Marine Raider battalions and Marine parachute units, transmitting messages by telephone and radio in their native language — a code that the Japanese never broke.


SACRAMENTO, CA – On behalf of all Californians, Governor Brown and First Lady Anne Gust Brown honor Lance Cpl. Norberto Mendez Hernandez, who bravely gave his life in service to our state and nation. The Governor and First Lady extend their deepest condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.

In memorial, Governor Brown ordered that flags be flown at half-staff over the State Capitol today. Lance Cpl. Hernandez’s family will receive a letter of condolence from the Governor.

Lance Cpl. Norberto Mendez Hernandez, 22, of Logan, UT, died July 10 in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, CA. Hernandez was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.


Sacramento, CA — A new program initiated by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) will help connect veterans in California with the services and benefits they have earned through their prior or current service in the U.S. Military.

When a Californian applies for a new driver’s license or renewal, or if they apply for an identification card, they will notice on the new application forms a check-off box that will permit the DMV to share the applicants contact information with CalVet. The veterans will then be sent information that gives a brief outline of services and benefits and includes a postage-paid reply card that the veteran fills out and returns to CalVet. Once the card is received the veteran will automatically begin receiving information about services like education benefits, employment assistance, disability and compensation payments, health care benefits and much more.

“The most challenging thing we have to do in this department is to ensure that veterans in California are educated about the benefits and services that they have earned through their honorable service in the military,” said CalVet Secretary Peter J. Gravett. “This partnership has the potential to help our department connect with nearly every one of the nearly 2 million veterans living in this state.”

Under the program initiated on July 1, U.S. veterans residing in California can simply check a box on the form to approve having benefit information sent to them by CalVet. Once the customer affirms their military service on the driver license application, the DMV will send the mailing address of the customer to CalVet for distribution of information relative to important services and benefits available to all veterans who served honorably in the military.

CalVet Services, through its “CalVet Connect” initiative has as its guiding philosophy that programs of benefits to veterans fulfill necessary, proper, and valid public purposes by promoting patriotism, by recognizing and rewarding sacrifice and service to country and by providing needed readjustment assistance to returning veterans and their families, whose lives were interrupted when they responded to their country’s call to military service.

The CalVet Services initiative has as its goal to help returning service members and their families with the sometimes difficult task of reentering civilian life. By utilizing online tools like its Reintegration form, the Department links returning veterans with service providers and resources. This program offers CalVet the opportunity to inform veterans and their dependents about veterans benefits and how to obtain these benefits through the process of application and representations of claims. CalVet’s partnership with DMV augments this program by allowing many military and service members who may not have been reached before, with the opportunity to share their contact information with CalVet so that appropriate benefits information can be provided to them.

Veterans wishing to contact CalVet’s reintegration program directly can do so by going to the following link:


Written by Father John Corapi

Another 4th of July is here, and we would do well to remember where we came from as we enjoy the day with family and friends. We’ve frequently heard that “freedom isn’t free” ever since the day of infamy we call 911. Freedom is a great thing. The Author and focal point of Christianity, Jesus Christ, said that “He came to set the captives free,” and that He willed that we live in the “glorious freedom of the children of God.” So, authentic freedom is a Godly thing. The oppression of peoples, the persecution of any group—whether religious, ethnic, political, social, etc. is almost always an ungodly thing. Even those charged with the responsibility of safeguarding others, whether in government, churches, or families, can fail.

Wherever justice is subverted in the name of expediency, or through abuse of authority truly freedom-loving people should raise their voices against it. There is no shortage of such causes today. In the future the Black Sheep Dog will be doing what he can to sound the alarm and exhort the troops.

When I chose the title of my autobiography, soon to be published, I chose the title “The Black Sheep Dog” as a contraction of the two realities of a black sheep and a sheep dog, hence the Black Sheep Dog. I felt that title best fit me. An article that had a great influence on me was one written by LTC (Ret) Dave Grossman, the author of “On Killing.” LTC Grossman is a retired Army Ranger who has trained many military and law enforcement personnel. He also has a PHD.

I’ve included LTC Grossman’s article, “On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs” and I hope that you can relate his words of wisdom to the broader fields of spiritual and social action.

So, please consider Colonel Grossman’s words from his article as you enter your weekend celebration of our nation’s birthday.


On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs

One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me:

“Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident.” This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another. Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.

Thus there is a paradox, and CONTINUED »


His Royal Highness Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Her Royal Highness Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge joined an estimated 1,500 veterans and their spouses, as well as government partners, at a “Hiring our Heroes” hiring fair in Los Angeles. The event highlighted a shared dedication to honoring our veterans by assisting them as they re-enter civilian life.

“The veterans today are dedicated hard working men and women who bring with them skills that make them outstanding employees and events like this one today show that employers recognize that fact,” said Peter J. Gravett, Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, who joined the Royal Couple at today’s event.

“We share a common goal with the royal couple – finding meaningful and good-paying jobs for the men and women who have volunteered to go in harm’s way in defense of liberty,” said Pam Harris, Chief Deputy Director of the California Employment Development Department. “For decades, the EDD has led the way in helping our veterans successfully transition from military life to successful careers in civilian life. It continues this long tradition today, with a special emphasis on the men and women coming home from combat zones in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

The “Hiring our Heroes Los Angeles” was held at Sony Pictures Studios and attracted 200 California employers. The event is one of 100 to be held by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce throughout the nation this year.

A foundation established by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and his brother, Prince Harry, focuses not only on British veterans but Americans who fought alongside them around the world, Foundation Chief Executive Nick Booth said. The job fair is “a great opportunity to explore ways we might also be able to work together to ensure veterans and military families have the best possible support as they re-enter civilian life,” Booth said.

The U.S and Los Angeles Chambers of Commerce partnered in “Hiring our Heroes Los Angeles” with the U.S Department of Labor Veterans Employment and Training Services, California Employment Development Department (EDD), ServiceNation: Mission Serve, the U.S. Defense Department, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, the Society for Human Resource Management, and United Way of Los Angeles.

California’s wide-ranging job assistance for veterans includes a series of nine “Honor a Hero, Hire a Vet” job fairs being held throughout the state this year. Now in its fifth year, this initiative has matched thousands of veterans with hundreds of employers. The fairs offer veterans a unique opportunity to meet with employers who have high-quality job openings and resource agencies that offer a wide range of employment services.

Joining EDD in sponsoring these fairs are the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Apprenticeship Standards, and California Community Colleges.

California is home to nearly 2 million veterans, the most in the nation.

Each year 30,000 men and women leave military service and return to civilian life in California. Military training provides them with technical skills and leadership experience and instills a commitment to teamwork, but many still struggle to find jobs. The “Honor a Hero, Hire a Vet” initiative helps match them with employers who value their skills. This year’s events build on the successes of fairs which matched thousands of veterans with employers and service providers over the past four years.


Joining other county sheriffs and city police chiefs, San Diego County Sheriff William D. Gore, has agreed to work with the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) to reach and assist local veterans.

Recently-returned veterans often find themselves adrift or battling unemployment, homelessness, depression, marital problems, substance use disorders, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other challenges. Some veterans who have been out of the service for decades are still struggling. Tragically, a rising number of veterans who do not get the help they need commit suicide.

Fortunately, CalVet is here to help. CalVet reaches out to veterans of every era, assesses their needs, and gets them connected to the employment, education, housing, and health benefits they have earned through their military service.

“Law enforcement support of CalVet’s efforts is critical,” said CalVet Secretary Peter Gravett, “because PTSD, head injuries and mental illness often underlie veteran crime.” In fact, special veteran courts are being set up nationwide so those and other factors can be considered when a veteran engages in unlawful behavior. There are currently 11 veteran courts in California, with five more in development.

According to Ted Puntillo, Deputy Secretary for Veteran Services, “If we can reach veterans, CalVet can help them. But since we don’t have contact information for all veterans, we have to wait for them to request assistance. That’s why Sheriff Gore’s willingness to get involved is so helpful,” Puntillo said.

San Diego County Sheriff’s Officers will carry CalVet brochures in their patrol cars and give them to the veterans they encounter. These brochures contain a simple, postage-paid mail-in form veterans can use to request CalVet assistance. Veterans can also complete the form online at

There are other simple, no-cost ways government agencies, community organizations and private businesses can support CalVet’s efforts to reach and assist veterans. To learn more, contact Carolyn Ballou at 916-653-1355.


Ventura, CA – The Veterans Home of California in Ventura is partnering with the Oxnard Employment Development Department, governmental agencies and local community groups to host a JOB TRAINING FAIR for Veterans. Seventy-five Veterans have signed up to receive assistance with résumé writing, interviewing skills, classes on preparing for interviews and job searching in order to prepare them for upcoming Job Fairs in Southern California.

DATE: Wednesday, June 29, 2011
TIME: 8 a.m. to 12 noon
Veterans Home of California—Ventura
10900 Telephone Road
Ventura, CA 93004
Additional information: Please call 805-659-7540.

July 23-24, 2011

Naval Base Ventura County, Calif., June 16, 2011 . . . Join the U.S. Navy on Saturday and Sunday July 23-24 as they celebrate Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) Seabee Days 2011 at Port Hueneme. Admission and parking are free.

The 24th Seabee Days provides the public with an opportunity to learn about the Navy’s construction engineers and have a weekend of fun. The activities include hands-on displays and demonstrations of construction and disaster recovery skills and static displays of some of the latest in construction equipment. Also included are a carnival, music, food, a classic car and motorcycle show, a karaoke contest, 10 boxing matches, a softball tournament and a craft fair.

The boxing matches on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. are free to watch. The matches feature one women’s, two youth, two local boxers and five Navy boxers. For information on the boxing matches or the softball tournament call 805-982-4392.

The Pass and Review Parade, set for Saturday at 11 a.m., features as its guest speaker Rear Adm. Christopher J. Mossey, commander of the Naval Engineering Command, Chief of Civil Engineers. The parade will feature approximately 1,0000 Seabees marching and military vehicles driven by Seabees as blanks are fired from crew served weapons. An aircraft flyover will also be held.

Begin your visit to NBVC by entering the base at either the Patterson or Victoria Avenue gates. Gates open both days at 9 a.m. The carnival at NBVC Port Hueneme is open from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 23 and Sunday July 24, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The new Seabee Museum opens Friday, July 22. Hours that day and Saturday will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, July 24 noon to 4 p.m. Admission to the Museum is also free.

For more information visit NBVC Seabee Days 2011 Facebook page or the website at, or call the Seabee Days hotline at (805) 982-6000.

NBVC Port Hueneme has heightened security measures in place. All vehicles and personnel entering the base are subject to search. Prohibited items include, but are not limited to; skateboards, bicycles, pets, alcohol, and weapons. All vendors and staff must have a photo ID for access to the base. The cooperation and patience of guests is greatly appreciated.


Naval Base Ventura County, CA. - Are you star material? The Main stage at this year’s Seabee Days will feature the Seabee Star Karaoke Contest Sunday, July 24. The karaoke contest is part of a weekend of activities planned for Seabee Days 2011.

Pre-register no later than July 7 to reserve your chance to showcase your talent. Contest entry is free, open to anyone age 14 or older and limited to the first 40 people who enter. Entrants will select a primary song and two alternate songs. The top three performers from the morning and the top three from the afternoon preliminaries will compete in the finals immediately following the afternoon performances.

To enter, visit the Seabee Days website, and mail your entry to the address indicated. For more information about the karaoke contest, call (805) 982-4563 or call the information line at (805) 982-6000.

NBVC Port Hueneme has heightened security measures in place. All vehicles and personnel entering the base are subject to search. Prohibited items include, but are not limited to; skateboards, bicycles, pets, alcohol, and weapons. All vendors and staff must have a photo ID for access to the base. The cooperation and patience of guests is greatly appreciated.


Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu, Calif., June 2, 2011 . . . The Seabee Days car show will be held Saturday, July 23 in the parking lot next to Dukes Place. From vintage to street rod, the car show is open to all 1900 to 1975 cars and trucks and to imports of any year. Muscle and race cars of any year are also welcome. Check-in for vehicles is from 8 a.m. to noon. First and second place trophies will be awarded in 20 categories including best of show, best paint and best sports car.

Pre-registration for vehicles is through July 14 at $20 per car and $15 for bicycles. Registration may also be made the day of show for those with authorized access to NBVC. To register, visit the Seabee Days website at and download the car show flyer. For questions on the car show, please call (805) 982-4392 or 805 982-4282 or visit the Seabee Days website.

NBVC Port Hueneme has heightened security measures in place. All vehicles and personnel entering the base are subject to search. Prohibited items include, but are not limited to; skateboards, bicycles, pets, alcohol, and weapons. All vendors and staff must have a photo ID for access to the base. The cooperation and patience of guests is greatly appreciated.


The threat from Chinese advanced weapons, including new stealth fighters and ballistic missiles, dominated concerns expressed by senior military officers at a Senate hearing this week on the military impact of delays and problems with the new fifth-generation F-35 jet.

Two senior officers in charge of U.S. air power voiced increasing worries that U.S. forces will not be prepared for a future conflict with China, during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services airland subcommittee on Tuesday.

Air ForceLt. Gen. Herbert J. Carlisle, deputy chief of staff for operations, said China’s rollout earlier this year of a new J-20 stealth fighter, which has made two or three test flights, is very troubling, along with another joint Russian-Indian stealth jet.

Both aircraft could be...


DATE: May 30, 2011
TIME: 1 p.m.
10900 Telephone Road (at Wells Road)
Ventura, CA 93004
WHO: Brenda Manke, Administrator, Veterans Home of California—Ventura
Guest Speaker: Robert C. “Bob” Pinkerton, United States Army (Ret.)
Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 56 Combined Rifle Squad
3 p.m. music program with soloist Ben Morris, United States Navy
This event is sponsored by Veterans of Foreign Wars Mercer-Prieto
Post 2043 and the Korean War Veterans Association.
CONTACT: For more information, please call (805) 659-7500

BACKGROUND: As an expression of gratitude toward California’s deserving Veterans, the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) has constructed the beautiful Veterans Homes of California in Ventura. CalVet’s goal is to provide the best long-term care and enhanced quality of life for all California Veterans Home residents. The Home provides California’s Veterans with a living environment that protects their dignity and contributes to their feeling of self-reliance and self-worth. The Home’s amenities are intended to provide residents excellent care in a homelike environment and foster a sense of community. Other locations currently in operation include Lancaster, Barstow, Yountville, Chula Vista, Lancaster and West Los Angeles.


Ventura County, CA. - An Omega 707 aircraft tanker plane crashed at approximately 5:30 PM on May 18, 2011 at Point Mugu, Naval Base Ventura County. The tanker crashed east of the runway into jurisdictional wetlands. The tanker was estimated to hold over 25,000 gallons of jet fuel. It is believed that the majority of the fuel burned during the resulting fire from the crash. Some Jet Petroleum 8 or JP8 jet fuel entered the waters within the wetlands. On May 19, 2011, to prevent JP8 from migrating further into the Point Mugu lagoon, a coordinated response by Naval Base Ventura County, the United States Coast Guard, and the California Department of Fish & Game was implemented.

Mitigation measures have been implemented to prevent further spreading of the JP8 within the Mugu Lagoon. The unified command is committed to ensuring that impacts to the wetlands are minimized. For further information, please contact Vance Vasquez at (805) 377-6250.


Robin Umberg, of Villa Park, has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Veterans Homes with the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet). Umberg retired from the United States Army in June 2010 after 36 years of active and reserve services.

With the Army Reserve, she served as chief of professional services for the 3rd Medical Command, commander for the 4211th and 6252nd United States Army Hospitals and chief nurse of the 18th Field Hospital.

During 13 years of active duty, Umberg served as a nurse and training officer and was inducted into the Order of Military Medical Merit and received a legion of merit medal. Umberg was appointed to the board of visitors for the United States Military Academy by President Bill Clinton, serving from 2002 to 2004.

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