stand up against terror and terrorism. We have the strength, honor
and fortitude to continue the fight as
long as it takes.”
Sasebo Council Marks
The Sasebo, Japan, Council hosted
members, guests and distinguished
leaders of the community at a 10th
anniversary celebration on Nov.
10. President David Freeman
welcomed more than 70 attendees
while introducing featured guests
Gerald Havens and Takehisa Seki.
Havens was the council’s organizing leader and charter president,
guiding the council in the early years.
Seki, the council’s charter executive
vice president, has been and is the invaluable link between the U.S. Naval
and Japanese communities for many
years, according to a report by
Council Member Frederick Graening.
Seki and Havens reminisced
about the trials and tribulations facing them in creating a Navy League
council in Sasebo in the aftermath of
9/11. Desiring support from the
Japanese and American communities, they worked tirelessly to establish membership parity from both.
Their comments reflected the difficulty, assistance and humor encountered on the path to council establishment, Graening said.
Distinguished guest at the event
was Norio Tomonaga, the mayor of
Sasebo City, who extended his congratulations to the council on its
decade of service and support.
Tomonaga highlighted the council’s
accomplishments, including its signature annual event, the Sailors of
the Year Banquet, as well as awards
received from Navy League National
Headquarters, which include two
Outstanding Council Awards, four
Meritorious Council Awards and an
Honorable Mention Award.
He also expressed his gratitude
for the activities and endeavors of
the council that help to not only
deepen the exchange between the
U.S. Navy at Commander, Fleet Ac-
tivities, Sasebo, and the local com-
munity, but also builds on the
friendly relationship between the
two countries while strengthening
On behalf of Navy League
National Headquarters, Freeman
presented the 2013 Admiral Ben
Moreell Award for Logistical Competence (Enlisted) to Marine GySgt
Christopher Pearo during the event.
Pearo, who is assigned as the assistant combat cargo officer for the
amphibious assault ship USS
Bonhomme Richard, was accompanied
by his supervisor, Capt Michael
Allen, the combat cargo officer of
Bonhomme Richard, and CWO Jose
Alvarez Jr., who was the 2006 recipient of the same award.
Recognition of council charter
members was accomplished by the
presentation of certificates for their
service. CAPT Charles Rock, commander, Fleet Activities, toasted the
accomplishments of the Sasebo
Council. His second toast was in
recognition of the 238th birthday of
the U.S. Marine Corps and the men
and women who have served and
are serving their country in difficult
times, Graening said.
San Diego Hears
Update on Namesake
CAPT John Menoni, executive officer of the amphibious transport
dock ship USS San Diego, was the
guest speaker for the San Diego
Council’s monthly breakfast meeting
at the Admiral Baker Clubhouse Jan.
10, and provided an update on the
status of its adopted ship and what
was to come in the months ahead.
The ship was commissioned in
May 2012 and the adoption papers
were signed with the council a few
weeks later. Since then, it has
become the ship of the hour as far
as the San Diego Council is concerned, according to a report from
Pamela Ammerman, vice president
of Council Communications.
Menoni, who was slated to take
command of the ship at sea on Feb.
7, declared that “the USS San Diego
is the best ship on the waterfront
and plans its maiden deployment
in June. … The ship has been grad-
ed as ‘Outstanding’ and the leader-
ship and pride of ownership are
The ship’s material readiness is
well above the fleet average, and it
has won many “excellent” awards
allowing the crew to received three
and a half weeks of leave at Christ-
mas time, he said.
The ship was declared fit for duty
after successfully completing Final
Contract Trials on Dec. 7. Most ships
require an additional maintenance
period, however, San Diego was able
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / MARCH 2014
Sasebo, Japan, Mayor Norio Tomonaga
addresses the Sasebo Council membership and guests during the council’s
10th anniversary celebration Nov. 10.
Sasebo Council President David Freeman, left, presents the 2013 Admiral
Ben Moreell Award for Logistical
Competence (Enlisted) to Marine
GySgt Christopher Pearo during the
council’s 10th anniversary celebration.