The Bloggers’ Embarks to the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier during May and early June christened a new journey of research and development on using social media to reach audiences of all kinds and ages. I had nominated Guy Kawasaki for a Distinguished Visitor Program embark to an aircraft carrier. Commander Charlie Brown, Public Affairs Officer for the Commander-Naval Air Forces-Pacific, selected Guy to participate, so I coordinated with Commander Brown and Guy to get him squared away to embark … paperwork, you know. Guy embarked to the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier during late September 2008 with a group of 16 distinguished visitors from various professional disciplines.
Upon return to shore, Guy wrote the longest blog in history. I try to meet up with people whom I’ve nominated and get selected, so I visited Guy at his offices of Garage Technology Ventures in Palo Alto, CA. It was a reunion of sorts, as I’ve been acquainted with Guy since June of 2001 through the Asia Silicon Valley Connection (ASVC.org). Bill Reichert, also a Managing Director, was there, too, that day, and we go back a few years, so we had a bit of a reunion roundtable. Guy discussed with me his idea of a bloggers’ embark to an aircraft carrier. He said, ‘what if the Navy loaded 16 bloggers into a Navy C-2 Greyhound transport and embarked them to sea.’ My gut reaction was that the Navy would love his idea. So, I wrote the proposal, submitted it to Commander Charlie Brown, and as forecast … he immediately supported Guy Kawasaki’s vision. He arranged for such an endeavor to-from an aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz (CVN-68). Guy and I orchestrated the nomination process with the Navy during the latter part of 2008. We embarked out with a total 16 bloggers, podcasters, experts, and authors during spring 2009. I have that blog and links to the others here at my Avere Group blog.
Having achieved embarkations to-from an aircraft carriers with scores of blog and podcasts reaching hundreds of thousands of readers worldwide, it was time to explore other areas of the Navy.
To advance further understanding, Lieutenant junior grade Jan Shultis, a Public Affairs Officer (PAO) for the Commander, Naval Surface Forces – Pacific, coordinated with me to create a Bloggers’ Embark by Navy helicopter for September 10, 2009 to the very recently commissioned USS Green Bay underway in the Pacific Ocean. Embarking via SH-60 Seahawk helicopter to and from the vessel were bloggers Deborah Keyek-Franssen, Jennifer Leo, Jennifer Van Grove, Gina Hughes , Adam Brown, Jake McKee, and Ponzi Pirillo, a most eclectic band of bloggers-podcasters.
Jennifer Van Grove and Jen Leo are Bloggers’ Embark veterans, as both embarked as part of a Bloggers’ Embark to the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier via fixed-wing aircraft, the Navy C-2 Greyhound, during May 20-30, 2009. We arrived to the USS Nimitz abruptly via the tailhook of the C-2 snagging the arresting cable of the flightdeck. The following day we departed via catapult launch aboard the C-2 off the bow.
Working closely with Navy Lieutenant Jan Shultis, I contacted bloggers-podcasters who embarked with me during May 29-30, 2009 to the USS Nimitz to see if they would like to participate in Leaders to Sea, the program implemented by the Commander-Naval Surface Forces. While all wanted to do so, schedules were too packed except for Jennifer Van Grove and Jennifer Leo. Assisting me in finding high-profile bloggers-podcasters were Guy Kawasaki, Andy Sernovitz, Jennifer Jones, Beth Blecherman, and Robert Scoble in making referrals to other bloggers-podcasters. Their referrals lead to instant success! For example, Beth Blecherman referred me to Gina Hughes. She accepted the opportunity for me to nominate her, and she in turn recommended several bloggers, e.g. Ponzi Purillo and Jake McKee.
The embark began early in the morning at 7:00 a.m. PST (o700 hours). All arrived to Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, the Headquarters for the Commander-Naval Surface Forces-Pacific, and incidentally, the home, too, of our Navy SEALs (Sea Air Land warriors). Video of Boarding the UH-60 Seahawk shot by Jennifer Van Grove. The sky was filled with dark cumulous clouds, but winds were light. Following take-off, the cameras came out. Here is video shot by Jennifer Van Grove. Writes Gina Hughes in her Facebook posting, “We took a helicopter ride to the USS Green Bay in San Diego. What an experience!” (turn down volume)
Per Navy Lieutenant Jan Shultis, and the bloggers, the Bloggers’ Embark was an immense success. You may immediately see posts for on Facebook for Gina Hughes (TechieDiva.com) and Jennifer Van Grove, and Ponzi Pirillo.
Lieutenant (j.g.) Jan Shultis, Public Affairs Officer, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, Pacific
It’s not just a blog; it’s an adventure.
USS Green Bay cap for Every Blogger
Boarding the Navy SH-60 Seahawk Helicopter
USS Green Bay Leadership with Jennifer Van Grove (www.Mashable.com)
Adam Brown (www.Coca-ColaConversations.com)
Gina Hughes (www.TechieDiva.com, GadgetSpin.com) with Command Master Chief Cecilio Macias
Deborah Keyek-Franssen (Colorado.edu)
Chaplain & Jen Leo (www.JenLeoLive.com, latimes.com)
Jake McKee (www.antseyeview.com, www.communityguy.com) listens to briefing
Ponzi Pirillo (www.GadgetSpin.com)
Jennifer Van Grove (www.Mashable.com, http://www.JenniferVanGrove.com)
Greeting by Commander Randy Zamora, Executive Officer
Onboard Virtual Shooting Range Simulator
Gina Hughes with High Caliber Weapon
Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) Hovercraft Approaching for Boarding
Landing Craft Air Cushion Hovercraft Holding Pen
Womens’ Berthing Area
Adam Brown in Men’s Berth
Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) Tour
Bow view of USS Green Bay (Note Green Bay logos)
Aerial View of USS Green Bay flightdeck
Aerial View of Naval Air Station North Island, Coronado, CA
Upon return to shore, Gina Hughes wrote me via Facebook, “Best experience ever! Just got off a Seahawk , being briefed by Admiral Curtis talking about their mission and robotics.”
Jen Leo wrote, “Dennis – it was a lovely day out! Very different from the Nimitz experience. I really felt the emphasis of the Navy as a family and how they try to be connected to and provide for the entire family – not just the sailor was communicated and appreciated. Obviously this was a much smaller ship. I think we were only the 3rd DV group to go be flown out there. It was sparkling clean, we were toured by the XO and the Master Chief the entire day. And Jan [Lt. Jan Shultis, USN] was amazing. Extremely well spoken, passionate and knew her stuff. She was truly excited about us. Thank you for this. It was a nice group too.”
Ponzi Pirillo recounted her day, “Hi Dennis, I had a wonderful time! Jan and EVERYONE was so caring and attentive.The whole group on the USS Greenbay were amazing! It was an experience I feel really fortunate to be able to say I’ve had and I’m looking forward to writing about it. 🙂 Jan [Lt. Jan Shultis, USN] was simply amazing as was everyone literally from the top Admiral to the youngest seaman, I’m totally impressed with how things were handled. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity to be able to join in The Leaders to Sea program. I feel honored be able to help shed some light on the amazing efforts of our Navy.”
USS Green Bay
Commander Joseph R. Olson, Commanding Officer
Commander Randy Zamora, Executive Officer
CMDCM (SW) Cecilio I. Macias, Command Master Chief
The USS Green Bay (LPD 20)
Amphibious Transport Dock – LPD
Amphibious transport dock ships are warships that embark, transport, and land elements of a landing force for a variety of expeditionary warfare missions.
The ships are used to transport, and land Marines, their equipment and supplies by embarked air cushion or conventional landing craft or amphibious vehicles, augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft in amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions.
LPD 20 USS Green Bay is the fourth of the San Antonio Class of amphibious transport dock ships.
Namesake – The city of approximately 100,000 residents was founded in 1634 by French explorer, Jean Nicolet. The oldest community in Wisconsin , Green Bay is well known for its commitment to team efforts, and particularly for its support of its football teams. As Packers’ Coach Vince Lombardi put it, “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”
When the former Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig announced the name of LPD 20, he noted, “Green Bay may be modest in size, but it is enormous in spirit. The city is well known for its commitment to team efforts and the LPD 20 will be home to another team – the Navy-Marine Corps team- that is no stranger to the hard work and sacrifice necessary to be the best in the world.” This will be the second ship named Green Bay. The first, a patrol gunboat, was in service during the 1970s.
The USS Green Bay transports and lands Marines, their equipment and supplies,by embarked air-cushion (Landing Craft Air-Cushion Vehicle – LCAC) or conventional landing craft or Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles, augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft. USS Green Bay will support amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions throughout the first half of the 21st Century.
Length 684 feet (208.5 meters)
Beam 105 feet (31.9 meters)
Displacement Approximately 24,900 tons full load
Speed In excess of 22 knots (24.2 mph)
Aircraft Four CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters or two MV-22 tilt rotor aircraft may be launched or recovered simultaneously. The ship’s hangar can store 1-2 aircraft.
Armament Two 30 mm Close-in-Guns, for surface threat defense; two Rolling Airframe Missile launchers for air defense
Landing Craft Two LCACs (air cushion) or one LCU (conventional)
EFVs 14 Marine Corps Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles
Power plant Four Colt-Pielstick diesel engines, two shafts, 40,000 Hp
Crew 360 (28 officers, 332 enlisted), three Marines
Troops 699 (66 officers, 633 enlisted); surge to 800 total.
For more information on Bloggers’ Embarks contactDennisHall@gmail.com, AvereGroup.WordPress.com
The word “Contact” is part of my e-mail address. Anchors Aweigh! Dennis