Christian Lopez

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Rambalac shows a different side of Japan with ‘Videowalks’

As most people’s daily routines continue in a semi-isolated pandemic lifestyle, going on a virtual adventure around Japan via the internet has never been easier.

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NAF Atsugi bids farewell to Capt. Lloyd B. 'Chili' Mack, welcomes new commander

Capt. John M. Montagnet assumed command of the installation 22 miles southwest of Tokyo from Capt. Lloyd B. “Chili” Mack.

Navy, allied forces conduct four-nation exercise Pacific Vanguard near Guam

Pacific Vanguard involves naval forces from the United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia that steamed together to Guam after the scaled-down multinational RIMPAC exercise that concluded Aug. 31.

Austal USA delivers 12th fast transport to the Navy from Alabama shipyard

The USNS Newport is the third Austal delivery to the fleet this year. Earlier, it handed over two Independence-class littoral combat ships — USS Kansas City and USS Oakland.

USS George H. W. Bush leaves Norfolk dry dock on time during its first major overhaul

Work on the USS George H. W. Bush began in 2006; it was commissioned in January 2009. Its overhaul was the most complex undertaken at the shipyard to date, according to the Navy.

Coast Guard calls off Arctic operations after icebreaker catches fire near Alaska

An electrical fire on the Coast Guard cutter Healy left it unable to operate in ice.

USS Carl Vinson leaves Washington state for sea trials, F-35s and San Diego

The third oldest carrier in the Navy is out for sea trials after 17 months and $34.4 million in upgrades and maintenance.

Godzilla oversees visitors to Kurihama Flower World near Yokosuka

Hiding south of Tokyo, in the eastern part of Kanagawa prefecture near Yokosuka, Godzilla oversees millions of blooming flowers year-round.

Reagan strike group trains with Japanese and Australian warships in Philippine Sea

The demonstration of allied sea power occurred as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking in London at a meeting of British members of Parliament, said Australia should play a leading role in a new coalition to counter Chinese expansion.

USO back in business in Japan after three-month pandemic lull

As the U.S. military eases travel and activity restrictions across Japan, the USO is opening again, too — but with some safeguards.

‘Pinks and greens’-inspired uniforms will be issued to new soldiers in 2021, Army says

The uniform, which officials said would be “cost-neutral” to enlisted soldiers and would not come at an added cost to taxpayers, was originally expected to be fielded to soldiers reporting to their first units beginning this summer.

Army colonel pulls Japanese man from overturned van near Sagami General Depot

Col. Patrick Costello worked with another American from Sagami General Depot and a Japanese civilian to pull a man out of a smoking vehicle.

USS Zumwalt fires first rounds from onboard gun in test off California

Sailors aboard the USS Zumwalt fired the first rounds recently from the destroyer’s high-velocity cannon, another waypoint on the ship’s segue into naval service.

Chinese ships chase Japanese fishing boat near disputed islands between Taiwan and Okinawa

Chinese coast guard vessels lingered near the disputed Senkaku Islands over the weekend.

Space Force prepares to launch reusable X-37B spaceplane carrying Air Force Academy satellite

The FalconSat-8 satellite developed by Air Force Academy cadets is an educational platform which will will conduct multiple experiments on advanced propulsion technologies and payloads while in orbit.

Online sales boom for US military exchange stores amid coronavirus restrictions

“April’s [online] sales are currently 157% higher than this time last year,” Army and Air Force Exchange Service spokesman Chris Ward said in an email Tuesday.

Budding Space Force will accept transfer applications starting May 1

Currently, 16,000 military and civilians from Air Force Space Command are assigned to the Space Force. The impending transfer process will officially commence the commissioning and enlisting of its prospecting members.

Navy commissions latest nuclear-powered attack submarine, the USS Vermont

The Navy commissioned the 19th Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine, the USS Vermont, on Saturday with an unconventional, low-key ceremony due to coronavirus restrictions.

Navy deploys medical teams aboard ships at sea to batch-test for coronavirus

So far, no one aboard a 7th Fleet vessel has tested positive for coronavirus, according to a Navy statement.

Another Navy warship sails near islands militarized by Beijing in South China Sea

The guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell steamed through disputed waters in the South China Sea in the second freedom of navigation operation by the U.S. Navy this year.

Navy Exchange says lodges can be used to quarantine those infected with coronavirus

The Navy Lodge Program is prepared for any of its 39 facilities worldwide to be used as an official isolation or quarantine site, according to the Naval Exchange Service Command CEO.

Navy christens littoral combat ship honoring veterans among Baseball Hall of Fame

The Navy christened its newest littoral combat ship over the weekend, the USS Cooperstown, even as it looks to downsize its inventory of vessels in the same class.

Home theater, gaming stations, new kitchen await Yokosuka sailors at renovated USO

The Yokosuka branch of the USO closed its doors in late 2019 and reopened Friday with newly installed, dark-brown hardwood floors, banks of televisions with gaming chairs, two new bathrooms for a total four and a full-size kitchen with accompanying island.

Urban Outfitters sells out of ‘US Navy’ coveralls that were criticized online

Navy uniform guidance indicates coveralls are worn at the commander’s discretion and to avoid soiling other uniforms — but retailer Urban Outfitters decided to re-brand the utilitarian staple into a piece of hip "vintage" clothing.

USS America holds first training exercise with Japanese forces since arriving in Japan

“We are extremely pleased with this first opportunity for USS America to operate side-by-side with our JMSDF allies,” said Rear Adm. Fred Kacher, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 7.

Eggcellent in Tokyo serves American-style breakfast favorites all day long

Down on the first basement floor of Mori Tower in Roppongi, the familiar scent of a staple ingredient offers a hint of a unique breakfast experience.

Nintendo Tokyo is a paradise for gamers and anime fans

Fans of anime and video games — especially franchises that fall under the Nintendo umbrella — are making pilgrimages to the sixth floor of the newly opened Shibuya Parco building, site of Nintendo Tokyo.

Navy beefs up its Japan-based amphibious fleet with arrival of USS New Orleans in Sasebo

USS New Orleans is expected to be joined soon by the USS America, which left San Diego last month.

McCain skipper says ship performed ‘exceptionally well’ in first sea trials since 2017 collision

Last week, the repaired McCain departed its homeport for six days of sea trials to ensure all systems meet or exceed Navy specifications.

Navy wraps up 10 days of training with Brunei in South China Sea

Part of the 2018 U.S. National Defense Strategy calls for countering China’s claims in the western Pacific, a move that includes the U.S. working with countries like Brunei.

Good food, even better views greet guests at Acquamare di Acqua Pazza in Yokosuka

Atop a hill, Acquamare di Acqua Pazza overlooks Tokyo Bay from behind glass walls that give its patrons the feeling of a luxurious dining experience without the extravagant check.

Rapper Gnash, sing-songwriter Marc E. Bassy set to tour US bases in Japan this month

Gnash — whose 2016 song “I Hate U, I Love U” peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 — will join forces with singer-songwriter Marc E. Bassy for a series of free shows at military installations in Japan sponsored by Armed Forces Entertainment, a Defense Department agency.

Games to Grunts program offers free video game downloads to active-duty troops, veterans

Games to Grunts is offering digital download codes for several titles, including the most recent additions to the fighting-game franchise titans Tekken 7 and SoulCalibur 6.

Navy slated to commission the USS Cincinnati, its 20th littoral combat ship

Former Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, the USS Cincinnati’s sponsor, is slated to follow naval tradition by shattering a bottle of sparkling wine across the ship’s bow and giving the order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”

Army, Navy identify two servicemembers killed in separate incidents

Seaman Juan Jose Garcia-Herrera and Maj. Trevor Joseph died in separate incidents last week in San Diego and Fort Polk, La.

Japan takes lead on Malabar exercise with US and India for first time

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force for the first time will be leading Malabar through a series of on-shore and at-sea training events, according to the U.S. 7th Fleet.

Like AAFES shops, Navy Exchange concessionaires will stop selling vape products Oct. 1

The Navy made the decision Sept. 12, the same day the Army Public Health Center warned servicemembers to avoid vape products after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said vaping may be linked to hundreds of cases of severe lung disease and at least six deaths in dozens of states.

Navy asks Congress for three new Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in 2020 budget

The Navy is asking Congress for more than $5 billion next fiscal year to build three more Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, according to a Congressional Research Service report published Tuesday.

video, gallery

Creators from 40 different countries showcase their games at Tokyo Game Show 2019

The show has 655 exhibitors in 2,417 booths scattered across 11 halls within the Makuhari Messe convention center.

Global video-gaming, 5G technology among highlights of this year’s Tokyo Game Show in Chiba

When people think Japan, many people immediately think of anime and ramen — but for some, Japan conjures up visions of video games and the annual Tokyo Game Show.

US, Malaysia wrap up five days of training near Strait of Malacca

Maritime Training Activity Malaysia 2019 involved drills to improve maritime security and law enforcement skills, and includes training in counter-piracy, counter-smuggling, port security and maritime interceptions.

China rejects request for two US Navy ships to visit Hong Kong amid civil unrest

The amphibious dock ship USS Green Bay intended to make a visit on Saturday and the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie planned to stop there later in September, Cmdr. Nate Christensen, deputy spokesman for U.S. Pacific Fleet, told Stars and Stripes Wednesday.

Navy concludes its 25th year of CARAT drills with Indonesia in Java Sea

CARAT’s Indonesian leg — which began Aug. 1 and covered seven days of activities at sea and on shore — took place in the Java Sea, just south of the contested South China Sea, where Beijing has built up shallow reefs and islets into militarized outposts.

Navy ships and military aircraft draw tens of thousands to Yokosuka’s ‘friendship’ event

An annual fest at Yokosuka drew thousands to the base pier, where they waited in a massive line to tour the 7th Fleet’s flagship, USS Blue Ridge, and the Japanese destroyer JS Yugiri.

Sengakuji: Tokyo temple serves as final resting place of the 47 Ronin

Nestled away in the bustling capital of Japan, a temple memorializes an avenging story of loyalty by the fabled Loyal Retainers of Lord Ako, better known as the 47 Ronin.

Navy cop convicted of raping child after Super Bowl party

Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam Pyron was sentenced to 39 years in prison after his conviction Friday of seven child sex crimes involving an acquaintance’s 6- and 8-year-old children.

New commander for Naval Forces Japan led inquiry into Fitzgerald collision

U.S. Naval Forces Japan bid farewell to a retiring commander and welcomed a new one Wednesday at a ceremony in Yokosuka’s theater.

Yokosuka, home of 7th Fleet, welcomes new commander

Capt. Rich Jarrett took charge of the installation from Capt. Jeffrey Kim, who held the post for three years, at a change-of-command ceremony on Commander Hill.

USS Stethem returning stateside after concluding 14-year deployment with 7th Fleet

After 14 years with the Indo-Pacific with the 7th Fleet, the USS Stethem is returning to San Diego to operate under 3rd Fleet once more.

Navy’s newest littoral combat ship is second vessel to honor Twin Cities

The Navy plans to christen its newest littoral combat ship, the USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul, during a ceremony Saturday at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wis.

Navy wraps up its 25th year of CARAT drills with Thailand

The United States recently concluded its 25th year of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training, or CARAT, drills with the Royal Thai Navy.

Roast Beef Abura Soba Beefst offers an edible adventure in Tokyo

The party’s over, the bars are closed, the lights have gone up, and you have a hangover hunger to satisfy. If you’re in Shinjuku, you’re in luck; that’s the home of Roast Beef Abura Soba Beefst, a “build your own” soba noodle restaurant that unlocks its doors just in time for lunch and stays open deep into the night.

USS Blue Ridge, the 7th Fleet’s flagship, is back home after four months at sea

The Navy’s oldest operational ship left Yokosuka Feb. 4 and since then has covered more than 22,000 nautical miles to make port calls.

Annual disaster-preparedness mission brought Navy to seven nations in three months

This year’s largest annual, multilateral disaster-response and preparedness mission in the Indo-Pacific region featured two expeditionary fast-transport ships for the first time, the Fall River and USNS Brunswick.

Coast Guard visits Philippines for first time in seven years after training in South China Sea

The Coast Guard cutter Bertholf, on loan to the Navy’s 7th Fleet, joined Philippine coast guard vessels to practice search-and-rescue scenarios and other procedures.

Measles case at airport near Tokyo spurs warning from US Forces Japan

Children older than 4 and adults who are up-to-date with their two documented measles, mumps and rubella, or MRR, vaccinations are protected from any potential threat, according to U.S. Forces Japan.

Tens of thousands flock to Navy base in Japan for annual Spring Fest

The main draw for this year’s open-base Spring Festival — held this past weekend at the installation about 25 miles southwest of Tokyo — was a series of static aircraft displays that included the P-8A Poseidon.

Navy to christen final Zumwalt-class destroyer and newest high-speed transport vessel Saturday

The USS Lyndon B. Johnson and the USNS Guam will be christened in two separate ceremonies — in Maine and in Okinawa, respectively — Saturday.

US destroyer joins Australian frigate for training in Philippine Sea

The destroyer USS Preble and frigate HMAS Melbourne conducted 10 separate drills Friday, the second training operation for both ships in several days, according to a Navy statement.

Navy ends exercise with Sri Lanka early in wake of bombings

The USS Spruance and USNS Millinocket arrived Thursday at Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port, about 160 miles southeast of the country’s capital of Colombo, for what was planned as a weeklong exercise.

US, Indian navies practice hunting submarines together in Indian Ocean

The drill, which began April 15, was the first U.S. anti-submarine warfare exercise with India since the countries agreed in September to closer cooperation between their militaries.

Navy helicopter crew rescues two stranded fishermen near Guam

A Navy helicopter rescued two spearfishermen stranded on a cliff on Guam’s east side recently after their boat sank.

US, Thailand navies conduct anti-submarine drills at exercise Guardian Sea 2019

The U.S. Navy commenced Guardian Sea, its annual training exercise with the Royal Thai Navy, with a ceremony Sunday aboard the Thai frigate HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Navy shows off Poseidon anti-submarine warfare plane at Malaysian airshow

The Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition, held every two years since 1991, brings together government and military leaders from dozens of nations.

Navy exchange stores worldwide recognize Vietnam veterans for their service

Nearly 44 years after the last U.S. action of the Vietnam War, veterans of the era celebrated their service at exchanges around the globe, including at the home of the Navy’s 7th Fleet.

Coast Guard cutter keeps eye on North Korea during patrol of East China Sea

The cutter Bertholf returned to Sasebo Naval Base after completing a patrol of the East China Sea earlier this month.

US, UK and Japan scheduled to conduct submarine hunting exercise

The three maritime forces have trained together in multilateral exercises such as Rim of the Pacific, but this is only the second time for this kind of trilateral exercise in the region.