Newport Combat Training Pool Dedicated to MOH Recipient

Story Number: NNS090717-04Release Date: 7/17/2009 12:32:00 AM
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By Scott A. Thornbloom, Naval Service Training Command Public Affairs Office

NAVAL STATION NEWPORT, R. I., (NNS) -- Numerous buildings on Naval Station (NAVSTA) Newport are named in honor of Navy heroes - Nimitz, King, Callahan and Ripley to name a few; on July 9 another Navy hero received that distinction as the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Combat Training Pool was dedicated here.

The newest facility in the Officer Training Command (OTC) area of the base was named in honor of Murphy, a 2001 graduate of Officer Candidate School (OCS). The Navy SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) was killed in action while conducting counterterrorism operations in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, June 28, 2005.

Murphy's parents accepted the Medal of Honor from President George W. Bush in a White House ceremony held October 27, 2007.

Many members of the Murphy family, including his father and mother, Daniel and Maureen, and brother, John, friends and fellow service members attended the celebration of Murphy's life,

"Thank you all for honoring Mike and us," said Daniel Murphy. "I think Mike would have thought it appropriate to have this pool named for him in that it will train future Navy officers."

Murphy also recognized another Medal of Honor recipient - retired Navy Capt. Thomas G. Kelley - who was in the crowd of more than 100 guests.

Special guest speakers included Rear Adm. Mark Boensel, commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, and Rear Adm. Garry Bonelli, deputy commander, Naval Special Warfare Command.

"It's great the Navy decided to name this facility after Lieutenant Murphy. It's very well deserved," Bonelli said.

"He is one of our very special Naval Special Warfare heroes. SEAL stands for Sea, Air, Land, and when you look at his career and what he did, when he did it and how he did it, he worked and trained in all three of those environments. It's great to see his name on this training facility."

Boensel called the pool the completion of a great deal of hard work by a great deal of great people to honor a Navy hero.

"The definition of hero in the dictionary, and there is a whole bunch of them, that best exemplifies this facility and the name it bears is 'nobility known for military achievement.' I think that definition is certainly appropriate in describing Lieutenant Murphy, and it's also certainly appropriate that this facility will be used by many generations of young Americans," Boensel said.

The $4.5 million Sustainable Project Rating Tool Certified combat training pool was built by Consigli Construction of Milford, Mass. The 11,280-square-foot pool is located in the heart of "Training Country" on the naval station and will be used for combat and survival training, including basic swim instruction, qualifications and man-over-board exercises. The pool will be primarily used by the students attending one of the five programs overseen by OTC Newport. OTC has experienced a nearly three-fold increase in students since August 2007 and the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) 2005 recommended return of OCS to Newport from Pensacola, Fla. OTC is directly overseen by Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) headquartered at Naval Station Great Lakes, Ill.

The new training pool opened April 20, 2009 for use by the students at OTC. Along with the July 9 dedication, a large block of granite with the SEAL Trident logo etched in the front and a brass plaque with Murphy's Medal of Honor citation fastened to the top was unveiled.

"This is what he would have been most proud of - this etched trident (on the front of the granite block)," said Murphy's father. "He was proud to be a Sailor and an officer, but he was most proud being a SEAL and defending his country."

"It's an honor for me personally to be the commanding officer of this command where our candidates will be able to use this facility," said Capt. Joseph A. McBrearty, OTC commanding officer.

"The citation (on this block granite) is also on the second deck of the officer candidate hall that all officer candidates pass each day. It is there to give them the inspiration and dedication to fulfill their service to the United States Navy and service to their country."

The pool is an L-shaped, 8-lane pool which holds approximately 347,000 gallons of chlorinated water. The training pool also has a training platform three meters above the water which is used only for military training, abandon ship drills, etc.

"Today Lieutenant Murphy joins the ranks of the other heroes that have their names on buildings surrounding this pool," said Capt. Michel Poirier, commanding officer of NAVSTA Newport.

"The Navy is an institution steeped in history, and I hope the thousands of young men and women that pass through this facility will reflect on the sacrifice given by Lieutenant Murphy and the other heroes' names that adorn the buildings on Naval Station Newport."

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Guests tour the new Lt. Michael Murphy Combat Training Pool during a dedication ceremony at Officer Training Command, Newport
090709-N-8848T-471 NEWPORT, R. I., (July 9, 2009) Guests tour the new Lt. Michael Murphy Combat Training Pool during a dedication ceremony at Officer Training Command, Newport. The pool will be used by officer candidates and students at Officer Training Command Newport for swim qualifications. Murphy, a Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient, was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005. Murphy was awarded the nation's highest military honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty for trying to call for help from an exposed location for his wounded four-man team against superior odds of between 30 to 40 enemy fighters. (U.S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom/Released)
July 15, 2009
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