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SECNAV Visits Southern California

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS091023-27
Release Date: 10/23/2009 5:33:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O'Brien

Southern California (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus made a visit to Southern California this week, including San Diego, Camp Pendleton and Los Angeles.

During his trip, Mabus observed operational training while visiting with Marines at Camp Pendleton, met with medical professionals and wounded warriors, and discussed current operations, shipbuilding, environmental concerns, and future issues facing the Navy and Marine Corps with civilian, military and industry leadership.

Mabus began his trip with a meeting with Rear Adm. William French, commander, Navy Region Southwest to get an update on current operations and issues in the Southwest Region.

Later, Mabus met with health professionals, Sailors, and wounded service members during a tour of the Comprehensive Combat and Complex Casualty Care Unit at Naval Medical Hospital Balboa. Mabus remarked on the quality of care and the positive attitudes of both the patients and the medical staff.

"This has been such an informative and inspiring tour here at your medical facility," said Mabus. "Since becoming your Secretary, I am continually amazed at the quality of treatment and professionalism of your medical team and how you affect the lives of our wounded warriors, Sailors and Marines. You all are a true inspiration to everyone."

Following his tour of the medical center, Mabus visited with Sailors aboard USS Green Bay (LPD 20) and toured General Dynamic's NASSCO shipyard, including a walk through of USNS Wally Schirra. Following the tour Mabus commented on NASSCO's ability to accomplish the task of building ships on time and on budget.

"What you're doing here in San Diego for the Navy is a perfect example of how the Navy will achieve its goal of 313 ships," said Mabus. "If we continue to make our ships ever more expensive and ever more exotic, we will unilaterally disarm ourselves. You [NASSCO] have proven that we can build ships on time and on cost."

Mabus spent the following day with Marines as he toured the training facilities at Camp Pendleton. During his visit, Mabus received an aerial familiarization flight of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Camp Pendleton onboard an UH-1Y Huey helicopter, witnessed the highly intense environment of the Infantry Immersion Trainer, participated in a weapons familiarization exercise at one of Camp Pendleton's firing ranges, and received a ride onboard a landing craft air cushion (LCAC) and an amphibious assault vehicle.

After his tour, Mabus addressed Marines inside a hangar and expressed his gratitude for their service.

"I have seen some extraordinary things today. I have seen Marines doing everything from intense infantry training to performing duties on amphibious vehicles," said Mabus. "What you do everyday for our Navy and Marine Corps, and what you do for country is truly astounding. Thank you for your dedication and service."

While in California, Secretary Mabus also addressed members of the San Diego Military Advisory Council during a San Diego Fleet Week breakfast, and addressed members of the Santa Barbara Navy League during a luncheon. At both events, he thanked the members and community leaders for their continued support of our Sailors, Marines and their families.

Secretary Mabus also made a trip to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles to visit with medical professionals and wounded warriors who are undergoing facial reconstruction. During his visit, Mabus witnessed the excellent care that the service members are undergoing and met with the compassionate surgeons, nurses, and volunteers who care for the wounded warriors and their families.

"Thank you for what you are doing for our Nation's wounded warriors," said Mabus. "They have sacrificed so much and your compassion and care is truly extraordinary. Thank you for answering the needs of our Nation's heroes."

For more news from Secretary of the Navy, visit www.navy.mil/local/secnav/.

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