Hendrick Simoes

‘She has never quit, and that is what we admire most about her’

On most days, a combat photographer’s main responsibility is to shoot images. However, during a patrol in Iraq on Aug. 13, 2006, then-Petty Officer 1st Class Jackey Bratt was forced to put down her camera and pick up her weapon to defend fellow servicemembers and Iraqi soldiers from an insurgent attack.

Recent photography

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AFN to offer overseas audience live streaming, video-on-demand

The American Forces Network plans to offer its overseas audience cloud-based Internet video streaming and video-on-demand services starting next year.


Islamic State tactics and lack of intel strain US strategy

In hindsight, conflicting comments by U.S. military officials laid bare the deficiencies in the battle against the Islamic State, including the lack of timely intelligence and the need to rely exclusively on Iraqis for “boots on the ground.”

Navy warships accompany 4 US-flagged vessels in Strait of Hormuz

Navy warships have started accompanying U.S.-flagged vessels through the Strait of Hormuz in the latest move to reassure maritime traffic after Iranian ships seized a ship flying the flag of a U.S.-protected island nation.

US patrols Strait of Hormuz after Iran seizes cargo ship

U.S. warships and aircraft stepped up patrols Wednesday in the Strait of Hormuz after Iranian vessels seized a foreign cargo ship there in a move that could raise tension between the two countries as they prepare for final talks on a nuclear deal.

Annual war games in Jordan to start next week

About 5,000 U.S. military personnel will participate in a two-week multinational exercise in Jordan next month along with key allies.

5th Fleet mission has USS New York showing off its ‘amphibiosity’

“The only solid plan was yesterday’s plan.” That’s what some sailors aboard the USS New York like to say. Their mission is being ready to respond. On any given day a downed pilot in a hostile area, an embassy in distress or any other crisis may send Marines off the deck in as little as six hours to execute a mission.

CENTCOM exercise aims to strengthen military ties with Kuwait

As some 700 Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit wrapped up a month of training in Kuwait and returned to ship Sunday, Kuwaiti and U.S. officials were finalizing a large-scale U.S. Central Command exercise later this month in the Persian Gulf state.


USS New York chaplain honors 9/11 firefighters each night

Aboard the USS New York, the ship’s chaplain, Lt. Justin Bernard, is forging a new tradition specific to the ship’s namesake.

US, French carriers begin combined airstrikes against Islamic State

A U.S and French carrier strike group have teamed up to conduct operations against the Islamic State group.

Barracks under construction in Bahrain to house junior servicemembers

Barracks being built on Naval Support Activity Bahrain should give the U.S. Navy here the capacity to house most of its unaccompanied E-4 and below servicemembers on base.

US officials in Bahrain take precautions ahead of uprising anniversary

The Department of Defense-operated Bahrain School will be closed as a precaution Thursday, ahead of the Feb. 14 anniversary of protests that threatened to topple the kingdom’s Sunni monarchy in 2011.


Servicemembers teach self defense as part of sex assault prevention training in Bahrain

U.S. Marines from the Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team based here have designed a curriculum that teaches defensive techniques as a last resort to prevent a sexual assault.

Navy encouraged by performance of laser system on USS Ponce

The U.S. Navy is one step closer to outfitting ships with lasers that officials say can hit air and surface targets with precision.


Budget turmoil a threat to Navy’s plan to shorten deployments

The biggest challenge for the 4,900 sailors here isn’t the mission of supporting airstrikes against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria; it’s coping with an unusually long deployment.

Thanksgiving on the Carl Vinson: Birds flown topside, feasted on below deck

Below decks on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, culinary specialists were hard at work preparing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner including 112 turkeys and all the common fixings. Above decks it was business as usual for flight deck personnel on a ship focused on the mission of patrolling the skies over Iraq and Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve.

CNO spends Thanksgiving with USS Carl Vinson sailors

Even as the U.S. Navy’s top officer was serving cake to enlisted sailors on the mess decks during a special Thanksgiving Day meal, flight deck crews were launching aircraft in support of the ongoing strikes against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria.

Navy stresses importance of anti-mine training

This year’s U.S.-led international mine countermeasures exercise was the largest in the three years it has been conducted.


Meet the Navy’s ‘seals’: Defenders against mines, enemy swimmers

Beyond their cute faces and adorable demeanor, the Navy’s Marine Mammal Program California sea lions are highly trained military assets, skilled in detecting and defending against mines and enemy swimmers.

Largest international mine countermeasures exercise underway in Middle East

A total of 6,500 personnel and 38 warships from 44 navies are taking part in a U.S.-led mine countermeasures exercise in the Middle East, officials said Sunday.

Navy harbor patrol boats keep bad guys at bay in Bahrain

As the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea was leaving port here last week, a nearby Navy patrol craft noticed something not quite right.

USS Carl Vinson set to take over airstrikes in Syria, Iraq

The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group reported for duty on Wednesday in the Middle East, where it will take over from the George H.W. Bush, which has been heavily engaged in the bombing campaign against Islamic militants.

Bridge joining Bahrain base and port hailed as timesaver

A much-anticipated bridge connecting the main base of the Naval Support Activity here to its port facility across a major roadway opened earlier this month.

Bataan group heading home after 8-month deployment

Navy officials said Friday that the Norfolk, Va.-based ready group — comprised of the USS Bataan, the USS Mesa Verde, the USS Gunston Hall and the embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit — has left the 5th Fleet area of responsibility, where its air combat element had been conducting strike missions against the Islamic State in Iraq, and flying intelligence-gathering missions over Iraq and Syria.

Navy IDs Marine lost in Persian Gulf; search called off

The U.S. Navy ended the search Thursday for Marine Cpl. Jordan L. Spears, 21, of Memphis, Ind., in the Persian Gulf. Spears bailed out of an MV-22 Osprey when it lost power after taking off from the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island.

5th Fleet amphibious forces get new commander

Marine Brig. Gen. Carl Mundy III has assumed command of Marine Corps Forces Central Command Forward and Commander, Task Force 51, which oversees the amphibious forces operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

Makin Island amphibious ready group arrives in Mideast

The Makin Island amphibious ready group with more than 4,000 Marines and sailors arrived in the Middle East on Friday.


2 more coastal patrol ships prepare for Persian Gulf patrols

The U.S. Navy has increased to 10 the number of Coastal Patrol ships permanently based in Bahrain, boosting the capacity of the 5th Fleet, which is based here, to conduct maritime security operations in the Persian Gulf.

All rescued in US helicopter crash in Gulf of Aden

All 25 personnel aboard a Marine helicopter survived after it crashed in the Gulf of Aden Monday while attempting to land aboard the USS Mesa Verde.

Bataan group extended in Mideast

The Bataan amphibious ready group will remain in the Middle East for three more weeks, Navy officials announced Saturday. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel ordered a 21-day extension for the ready group and its embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, the Navy said in a news release.


USS George H.W. Bush's primary weapon against Islamic State: The flight deck

The USS George H.W. Bush continues to support airstrikes against Islamic militants in Iraq with its primary weapon — the flight deck.

Coast Guard team fires shot at Iranian dhow in Persian Gulf

A U.S. Coast Guard small boat team fired a single shot at an Iranian flagged dhow in the Persian Gulf after the dhow’s crew aimed a .50-caliber machine gun at the approaching U.S. boat, which was conducting a routine query Tuesday.


Loud, dangerous and careful work for yellow shirts aboard USS George H.W. Bush

After hours, U.S. Navy aviation boatswain’s mate aircraft handlers, commonly known as yellow shirts, are responsible for re-positioning aircraft in preparation for the next day’s flight operations.


Iraq mission puts USS George H.W. Bush ‘at tip of the spear’

For sailors aboard this ship in the Persian Gulf, their focus on routing Islamic extremists in Iraq and stanching a humanitarian disaster there lends an excitement to their current mission that was absent during their last mission in Afghanistan.

Bataan group's long stretch at sea symptomatic of smaller amphibious fleet

The amphibious assault ship USS Bataan returned to open waters Friday after undergoing much-needed maintenance after its near-record 135 days at sea in an area of heightened tension, which put a strain on the amphibious ready group and the ship’s crew.

Bataan visits Bahrain after 135 days at sea

Sailors and Marines from the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan arrived in Bahrain Tuesday after an unusually lengthy 135 days at sea.

Hendrick Simoes is a multimedia journalist who joined Stars and Stripes in 2012.

While serving aboard the USS Kitty Hawk as an Interior Communications Technician during Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, Simoes started his transition into journalism by assisting the ship's Public Affairs by writing print articles and press releases.

In 2004 he went to American Forces Network Misawa, Japan, as a news broadcaster and radio DJ. There he quickly ascended to news director. His team produced news products that aired on multiple regional and worldwide television news programs as well as radio and on the web, winning several media awards.

In 2008 Simoes was chosen for the Defense Information School in Fort Meade, Maryland to teach Advanced Storytelling techniques and Broadcast Management. 

Simoes completed the Military Motion Media Program at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in May of 2012.

Simoes is originally from the San Francisco Bay area.

Email: simoes.hendrick@stripes.com