NSWC Dahlgren Division Centennial Coins Symbolize 100 Years

December 5, 2018 – The tradition of issuing coins in the military is believed to have started in Vietnam. When an Army infantry-run bar tried to keep non-infantrymen away, they allegedly forced “outsiders” to buy drinks for the whole bar if they could not prove they had been in combat. Story iterations like this one have indicated that this proof started with enemy bullets and gradually became as extreme as grenades, rockets and unexploded ordnance. Eventually, a coin-sized item emblazoned with the unit’s insignia became the accepted form of proof,…

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USS Ponce Decommissioned after 46 Years of Service

Following more than 46 years of honorable naval service, the afloat forward staging base (interim) USS Ponce (AFSB(I) 15) was decommissioned during a time-honored ceremony, Oct. 14. Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic, Rear Adm. Jesse A. Wilson Jr., provided keynote remarks. Other notable speakers included Commander, Military Sealift Command, Rear Adm. Dee L. Mewbourne; Commander, Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Brig. Gen. Francis L. Donovan; Maritime Administration Associate Administrator for Strategic Sealift, Kevin M. Tokarski; and the ship’s commanding officer, Capt. Christopher Wells.  Wilson highlighted the…

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USS Ponce Returns to Homeport

Afloat forward staging base-interim USS Ponce (AFSB(I) 15) returned to Naval Station Norfolk Sept. 27, after being forward deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations for more than five years. Nicknamed “Proud Lion,” Ponce was reclassified from an amphibious transport dock ship to an interim afloat forward staging base with a hybrid crew of Navy and Military Sealift Command personnel. They deployed to the Navy’s U.S. 5th Fleet and had been forward-deployed there since July 2012. The reclassification was experimental and based on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty…

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U.S., U.K. and France began Exercise Alligator Dagger 17

April 7, 2017 – The two-week multilateral amphibious exercise is taking place in international waters off the coast of Djibouti and in the vicinity of Djibouti and Arta Beach, April 5 – April 20. Exercise Alligator Dagger 17, led by U.S. Naval Amphibious Forces, Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (51/5), is a multilateral amphibious exercise with the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) as part of the sustainment training for ARG/MEUs in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. The Alligator Dagger Exercise iterations…

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