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    ATLANTIC OCEAN — Sailors and Marines aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), flagship of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), and 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), earned the Navy Artic Service Ribbon (NARCS) 6 May, 2022. The service members marked the accomplishment with an “Order of the Blue Nose” ceremony on 11 May, 2022.

    Created in May of 1986, the Navy Arctic Service Ribbon is awarded for U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps personnel, both officer and enlisted members, who serve above the Arctic Circle. Members must complete 28 days of service, consecutive or non-consecutive above the Arctic Circle to qualify for this one-time award.

    The “Order of The Blue Nose” is a special designation reserved for personnel who have crossed the Arctic Circle above 66°34'N, which Kearsarge did on April 7, 2022, while transiting the Northern Atlantic, operating for more than 28 days within the Arctic Circle and working side-by-side with NATO allies and partnered nations.
    “It’s a privilege to share in this Naval time-honored tradition and bring the crew together, giving them a once in a lifetime story to tell their loved ones back home," said Master Chief Michael Smith, Command Master Chief of USS Kearsarge (LHD 3). “My sincere congratulations goes to the Sailors and Marines of the Kearsarge ARGMEU team. This ceremony and the earning of the Artic Service Ribbon is a testament to long days and nights spent learning to fight in the cold elements, navigating the northern seas safely, and perform the mission required of us within the realm of Boreas Rex, King of the North.”

    The ceremony is 100% voluntary and all those who participate receive a certificate notating their crossing into the Arctic Circle. During the ceremony, Kearsarge Sailors and 22 MEU Marines completed an obstacle course laden with frigid tasks. An audience with Boreas Rex, the King of the North, is the culminating event. Once Boreas Rex deemed their frozen quest a success, Sailors are marked with a painted blue nose. Completing the ceremony and receiving the certificate is purely morale based and does not benefit the Sailor in any professional manner. The Navy has a similar line-crossing tradition at the equator, referred to as a “Shellback” ceremony.
    The ship’s presence in the High North is a demonstration of the U.S. Navy’s continued commitment to NATO Allies and Partners and the strong bond between the United States and Norway.

    The Kearsarge is currently on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations conducting global maritime and security operations in support of Allied and partner interests in Europe and Africa.

    The Kearsarge ARG and embarked 22nd MEU are under the command and control of Task Force 61/2. The ARG consists of USS Kearsarge; the San-Antonio class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24); and the Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44).

    Embarked commands with the Kearsarge ARG include Amphibious Squadron SIX, 22nd MEU, Fleet Surgical Team 2, Tactical Air Control Squadron 22, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28, Assault Craft Unit 2, Assault Craft Unit 4, Naval Beach Group 2, and Beach Master Unit 2.

    Amphibious ready groups and larger amphibious task forces provide military commanders a wide range of flexible capabilities including maritime security operations, expeditionary power projection, strike operations, forward naval presence, crisis response, sea control, deterrence, counter-terrorism, information operations, security cooperation and counter-proliferation, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

    U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with Allied and interagency partners, to advance U.S. national interests, security, and stability in Europe and Africa.



    Date Taken: 05.11.2022
    Date Posted: 05.13.2022 07:46
    Story ID: 420647
    Location: ATLANTIC OCEAN

    Web Views: 1,182
    Downloads: 1