Sunday, April 26, 2009

Last Word on Somali Pirate Rescue

Hat tip: A JJP Reader



Nope, this is one you SURE DIDN'T HEAR on the news. The ship that rescued the Maersk-Alabama's captain was skippered by a BLACK FEMALE REAR ADMIRAL?

Rear Admiral Michelle Howard.

Rear Admiral Michelle Howard recently took command of several US 5th Fleet task forces, including CTF 151, the multi-national task force that conducts counter piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.

Black Women are doing things everywhere in the world.

Michelle J. Howard
From Wikipedia:

Michelle Janine Howard (born 1960) is an American Rear Admiral in the United States Navy. She is the first African-American woman to command a US Navy ship. In 2006, she was selected for the rank of Rear Admiral lower half, making her the first admiral selected from the United States Naval Academy class of 1982 and the first woman graduate of the United States Naval Academy selected for Admiral. In 2009, Howard was nominated for the rank of Rear Admiral upper half, and is being assigned as commander of Expeditionary Strike Group Two in Norfolk, Virginia.

Early years
Howard was born to retired Air Force master sergeant, Nick and Phillipa Howard. She is a 1978 graduate of Gateway High School in Aurora, Colorado. She graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1982 and from the Army’s Command and General Staff College in 1998, with a Masters in Military Arts and Sciences.

Howard’s initial sea tours were aboard USS Hunley and USS Lexington (AVT-16). While serving on board Lexington, she received the Secretary of the Navy/Navy League Captain Winifred Collins award in May 1987. This award is given to one woman officer a year for outstanding leadership. She reported to USS Mount Hood (AE-29) as Chief Engineer in 1990 and served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. She assumed duties as First Lieutenant on board the USS Flint (AE-32) in July 1992. In January 1996, she became the Executive Officer of USS Tortuga (LSD-46) and deployed to the Adriatic in support of Operation Joint Endeavor, a peacekeeping effort in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. Sixty days after returning from the Mediterranean deployment, Tortuga departed on a West African Training Cruise, where the ship’s Sailors, with embarked Marines and US Coast Guard detachment, operated with the naval services of seven African nations.

Howard took command of USS Rushmore (LSD-47) on March 12, 1999, becoming the first African American woman to command a ship in the U.S. Navy. Howard commanded Amphibious Squadron 7 from May 2004 to September 2005. Deploying with Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 5, operations included tsunami relief efforts in Indonesia and maritime security operations in the North Persian Gulf.



Read a great article on Rear Adm. Howard

Another article... She's currently in charge of Combined Task Force 151 as well as other Anti-piracy forces.

Additional Article from the U.S. Navy

Hear an interview with Rear Adm. Howard from NPR.

The USS Boxer was her official flagship. Her command of the Multinational part of the operation is temporary...but she is still in charge of many of the U.S. forces.

I have been planning a post about piracy...and will finally have the time to post this week.

--Angry Independent


The Angry Independent said...

Great post...

Leave it to the mainstream media to keep you informed about details.

They have flooded us with images and stories about the USS Bainbridge's Captain Frank Castellano and his XO/Executive Officer (2nd in Command). But they forgot to tell us who the Flag officer was... The commander of the entire taskforce. I'm not sure if she was using the Bainbridge as the Flagship or not... but I assume so.

Perhaps she didn't want the attention or the cameras. But still... it just seems odd that the media would pass up the opportunity to tell us about such a trailblazer....especially in this season of firsts.... Obama, etc. A Hell of a thing to overlook.

There aren't many female Flag officers in the Navy period.

The Angry Independent said...

BTW... The mainstream media kept giving all the credit to the Bainbridge captain.

He might have made some decisions...absolutely. But all of the major strategic decisions go through the Flag Officer.... (dropping Seals in from the air.... preventing other pirates from getting to the area.... getting that rescue boat tied to the ship....) She was calling many of those shots...if not most of them.