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region standard

February 2013

Essential Comms: Living Pattern Survey Completed in Italy Feature: Sigonella Students Featured in Kids’ Inaugural Concert Big Navy News: Navy Increases Alcohol Education, Awareness Efforts Around the Region: CNIC Releases New Online Navy Spouse Orientation Course

Issue 26





E s s e n t i a l C o m m s Living Pattern Survey Completed in Italy Commander Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia Public Affairs

NAPLES, Italy - More than 4,000 service members with dependents participated in the Living Pattern Survey (LPS) at seven locations across Italy from Jan.1 to Jan. 31 concluding the first step in determining new Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) rates in the country. Service members’ participation in LPS helped identify the local economy outlets they use when purchasing items and services like food, clothing, hair care services, auto repair, etc. and paved the way for the Retail Price Schedule (RPS) set for February. “We had great participation with LPS so I want to thank all our service members and leadership for their help,” said Country Allowance Coordinator Lt. Cmdr. Robert Davis. “Such high participation gives us a clearer picture of spending patterns when conducting RPS.” The RPS is the final process that provides a check and balance for computing COLA rates. Local military and dependent volunteers will collect pricing information on 120 goods and services at local off-base and on-base outlets. “The RPS has volunteers at each of

our seven locations and they go out and test the prices of goods and services at outlets identified in the LPS,” said Davis. The prices collected during the RPS are then averaged with prices for similar products and services provided by merchants in the U.S. to determine the COLA index. This final index represents the cost difference between COLA types of goods and services in an overseas location compared to similar goods and services in the U.S. “COLA is not an entitlement. It is the way we offset our spending overseas so that those serving overseas can have the same standard of living as they would in the U.S.,” said Davis. Davis expects updated COLA rates to be determined around mid-April. Any increase to COLA will be effective immediately while any decrease will be applied incrementally. For more information about how COLA rates are determined and to calculate your current COLA, please visit colaIndexCalc.cfm.

The Region Standard will be suspended until further notice due to

Public Affairs personnel.

the transfer of


J a n u a r y Daily News Clips

Daily news clips help keep you informed about significant events occuring within Navy Region EURAFSWA. News clips are available every morning by 8:30 a.m. on the G2. You can navigate to news clips on the G2 by following this link HERE.

Naval Station Rota, Spain Sunday


































2013 Region Calendar New Year’s Day

Epiphany (Italy)

E7 Advancement Exam


Download HERE Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday (US)








Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28 conducts rope suspension training with Explosive Ordenance Disposal Mobile Unit 8.

Fleet Forces Explores Protective Clothing Solutions

Defense Media Activity, Navy

WASHINGTON - Commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command reached out to fleet leaders in a Navy message Dec. 12 to ensure Sailors understand the minimal flame resistant qualities of the Navy Working Uniform Type I.

 Adm. Bill Gortney explained the current requirement for working uniforms and organizational clothing and discussed recent uniform testing results. 

 “In coordination with the uniform board, Adm. Haney, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and I will continue to review the requirements for, and flame-resistant qualities of, working uniforms including the Type I NWUs,” Gortney explained in his message. 

 The latest push for awareness stems from an impromptu test the Navy Clothing Textile Research Facility conducted Oct. 15, in Natick, Mass. The test reinforced the fact that the NWU Type I is not flame-resistant. 

 “We will explore long-term solutions that afford our Sailors the right protective clothing, aligned with the tasks they are required to perform in various operating environments,” said Gortney

FAREWELL LCDR Hester, CREDO ICC Teneyck, N00 MC1 Georges, N00 Frances Henessey, N9 Cover: SOUDA BAY, Greece The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Alexandria (SSN 757) arrives in Souda Bay, Jan. 23. Photo by Paul Farley.













Star-powered Kids’ Inaugural Concert Salutes Military Families American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON - From the opening notes of Grammy winner and multiplatinum recording star Usher to the final thanks of singer Katy Perry, military families all over the world were treated to a special thanks here last night. First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, hosted a star-studded tribute to military families at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center as a part of the presidential inauguration weekend and national day of service. “We had a wonderful day of service today, and hundreds of thousands of people come from all 50 states to join in the celebration,” Obama said. “And let me tell you, I love every single minute of it. But I have to tell you that my very favorite part of this entire weekend is being right here with all of you -- because for me, this is what inauguration is all about. It’s about celebrating who we are as Americans and all the things that make this country so great.” The first lady told the audience that when she thinks about what America great, she thinks of the men and women in uniform, military spouses and “amazing” military kids. In addition to the thousands of children watching the show live, children of military families from Fort Hood, Texas; Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii; Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; Camp Pendleton, Calif.; and Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., watched via satellite broadcasts. A special group of kids from Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, also watched excitedly from afar, as their eighthgrade classmates, visiting the nation’s capital for the inauguration, kicked off the show by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Throughout the show, hosted by Nick Cannon, and which included performances from Far East Movement and Mindless Behavior, a variety of celebrities thanked military families for their

WASHINGTON - 8th grade students from Sigonella Middle School lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of the “Kids’ Inaugural: Our Children. Our Future” concert, Jan. 19. The event was in advance of President Obama’s inauguration, Jan. 20. Photo by C. Todd Lopez.

sacrifices. Talk show hosts David Letterman and Ellen DeGeneres, military veteran and “Dancing With the Stars” winner J.R. Martinez, actress Kerry Washington, producer Ryan Seacrest and the Washington Wizards and Washington Nationals also paid tribute. The first lady talked about what it means to be a military child and noted some of the hardships these children face. “Think about how hard it is for military kids to be apart from the people they love most -- how they miss their moms and dads every day and would do anything to have them back home,” Obama said. “And that’s just a glimpse of what it means to be a military kid. It means always thinking about things that are so much bigger than yourself. “It means growing up just a little faster and working just a little harder than other kids,” she continued. “And it means doing the greatest thing you can ever do with your life at such a young age, and that is to serve our country.” Obama said America’s military kids all are an important part of the greatest military on Earth. “By supporting your families, you all are

helping to protect this country and keep every single one of us safe,” she said. “You’re doing that. And Dr. Biden and I are so incredibly proud of you all.” Biden noted she and the first lady planned from the beginning to make military families a priority. “The first lady and I knew from the start that we wanted to celebrate the strength and service of our military families,” she said. “[This] is why we started Joining Forces -- our effort to encourage all Americans to find ways to honor and support our troops, veterans and military families.” After the show, two young concertgoers from Bethesda, Md., shared their appreciation for an “awesome” show. “I personally liked the introduction of Usher,” 13-year old Parker Swensrud said. “I thought it was really awesome.” He added that he thought it was “really good” for Joining Forces to put a show like this together. Swensrud’s younger brother, 9-year old Blake, agreed and said his favorite part of the show was also Usher’s introduction.. “It’s pretty cool, and it makes the military kids feel special,” Blake said.





A r o u n d T h e R e g i o n USS Mahan Sailors Volunteer at Naples-Area Orphanage

C6F Visits Sailors Aboard USS Robert G. Bradley U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/ U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

NAPLES, Italy - The commander of U.S. 6th Fleet visited Sailors aboard guidedmissile frigate USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG 49) Jan. 5. During the visit, Vice Adm. Frank C. Pandolfe toured the ship, held an allhands call on the ship’s forecastle, met with the ship’s senior leadership, and recognized several Sailors’ accomplishments in an awards ceremony. “The admiral’s visit today reiterates the importance of the mission and how important their time away from home is to our national interests,” said Cmdr. Peter Ehlers, Robert G. Bradley’s commanding officer. Pandolfe thanked the Sailors for their contributions and spoke about the importance of their deployment. “This is a great ship with a proud legacy and you’re adding to it today by operating in this theater,” said Pandolfe. “Thank you so much for what you’re doing. Your mission is very important.” Members of the crew felt honored that the fleet commander took time to visit. “I felt like it was a good visit,” said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Dana Plummer. “It’s reassuring that he would take the time out of his busy schedule to come and see us and talk to us about the great job we’re doing. It felt really good to know we’re out here making a difference.”

NAPLES, Italy - Vice Adm. Frank C. Pandolfe, commander of U.S. 6th Fleet, speaks with the crew of the guided-missile frigate USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG 49) during an all-hands call, Jan. 5. Photo by MC1 Christopher Stoltz.

Navy Public Affairs Support Element-East Detachment Europe

SOUDA BAY, Greece - The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Alexandria (SSN 757) arrives in Souda Bay, Jan. 23. Alexandria is on a scheduled deployment supporting maritime security operations. Photo by Paul Farley.

CNIC Releases New Online Navy Spouse Orientation Course

Commander, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON - Commander Navy Installations Command’s (CNIC), Work and Family Life Department released an online training course for new Navy spouses called New Spouse Orientation (NSO), officials announced Jan. 16. The course is designed to support new Navy spouses that may be geographically isolated or unable to attend this Fleet and Family Support Center workshop in person. The NSO course is available on demand 24/7. The online training provides information on benefits, support services, military culture and resources to help Navy spouses adapt to the military lifestyle. According to Dede O’Rourke, CNIC Relocation Assistance Program Analyst, “the NSO course should be at the top of any new Navy spouse’s to do list.” For direct access to the course, visit course/view.php?id=4502 or http://tinyurl. com/NewSpouseOrientation.

NAPLES, Italy - Sailors stationed aboard guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72) participated in a community service project at a Naples-area orphanage during their port visit, Jan. 14. The Sailors took a break from enjoying the local history and cuisine to give back to the community that has hosted them by visiting the Centro Laila Center in Mondragone, an orphanage housing more than 40 disadvantaged children. “It brought joy to my heart that we could bridge the gap between different cultures and put a smile on these children’s faces,” said the event’s organizer, Chief Gas Turbine Specialist (Electrical) Quintince Harper. The Sailors and children spent the day enjoying a number of activities including coloring, reading, and playing games such as musical chairs. Later in the evening, the Sailors helped prepare and serve a pasta dinner for the group. “It means so much to me and the children for not just anybody, but American Sailors to show such support,” said Giselle Luciani, manager of the familyrun orphanage. “They care for the welfare of these children miles away from where they are from.” “It was hard to say goodbye to such wonderful children,” said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Antoine Dunklin. USS Mahan, homeported out of Norfolk, Va., is currently on a scheduled deployment.

SIGONELLA, Sicily - ABAN Ernesto Calibuyot assists a Firefighter during training at the Marinai Housing Complex, Jan. 14. Photo by MC3 Cameron Bramham.





B i g N a v y N e w s New Requirements for Letter Mail to Overseas Bases

Navy Public Affairs Support Element-East Detachment Europe

BOSTON - Members of the USS Constitution honor guard present the colors during the singing of the national anthem before the Boston Celtics basketball game, Jan. 24. Photo by MC3 John Benson.

Navy Increases Alcohol Education, Awareness Efforts U.S. Fleet Forces Command Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. - The Navy announced plans Jan. 23 to promote safety and provide education and awareness on the dangers of irresponsible alcohol use and the negative impact it has on mission accomplishment, by introducing the use of alcohol detection devices (ADD) across the fleet. U.S. Fleet Forces conducted a “pilot test” on ADDs with 13 sea and shore commands during the 100 days of summer from May 24 through Sept. 30, 2012. The data collected fleet-wide was used to develop the processes and policy for how best to implement a program Navy-wide. The office of the Chief of Naval Operations approved OPNAV Instruction 5350.8 Jan. 22, which established policies and procedures for the use of the hand-held devices Navy-wide. “Fleet feedback was instrumental in the development of this policy,” said Adm. Bill Gortney, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces. “The test verified that the majority of our service members, who choose to drink alcohol, do so responsibly. It also verified that our commanding officers need a flexible program that serves to increase the Navy’s awareness about the impacts of alcohol.”

NAPLES, Italy - The United States Postal Service (USPS) recently sent out a mandate that all letter mail being shipped to overseas military installations be addressed with a nine-digit zip code, starting January 2013. The policy change came with an upgrade to USPS’s mail sorting system and the opening of an additional centralized gateway for receiving and shipping all government mail. “The USPS is asking anyone sending letters to service members at overseas bases to label them with a nine-digit zip code,” said Chief Logistic Specialist (SW) Jimmy Jimenez, leading chief petty officer of the Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples Capodichino post office. The new mail sorting system will enable mail to be delivered and sorted quicker by giving the sorting machines another way to divide up the mail. The new address format will include the box number as a four digit number at the end of the zip code. For example: John Smith PSC 999 Box 82 FPO AE 09622-0082 “The new system will make it so that everything is already sorted when it gets here,” said Jimenez.

FARAH, Afghanistan - An employee of the Farah directorate of agriculture, irrigation and livestock lines up with members of Provincial Reconstruction Team Farah before boarding a helicopter for travel to a key leader engagement in Lash-e Juwayn, Jan. 24. Photo by HMC Josh Ives.

PATUXENT RIVER, Md. - Two F-35 Lightning II carrier variants completed an aerial refueling for the first time. The F-35C is undergoing flight test and evaluation before delivery to the fleet. Photo by Andy Wolfe.

Naval Air Station Jacksonville Sailor Earns Medal for Heroism NAS Jacksonville Public Affairs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The commander of Navy Region Southeast presented a chief the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for heroism during a ceremony Jan. 3. Chief Gas Turbine System Technician (Electrical) (SW) Bryain Williams of Transient Personnel Unit/Pre-Trial Confinement Facility (TPU/PCF) Jacksonville received the prestigious presidential award from Rear Adm. Jack Scorby Jr. Williams for rescuing 4-month-old Jimmy Knight from a burning house May 11, 2010 in Jacksonville, Fla. As Scorby presented the award in front of Williams’ and Knight’s family members and Sailors from his command, he stated, “It’s an absolute honor and privilege for me to be here today and present this award. You don’t see this award given very often. .” After receiving the award, Williams said, “I’m thrilled to be given this award. I just went to Jimmy’s third birthday party the other day and am just so happy that he is still here to celebrate it.” “Bryain definitely deserves this award. If it wasn’t for him saving my son, he probably would not be here today,” said Knight.

SECNAV Discusses his Four Focus Areas (VIDEO)

Region Standard Feb 2013  

LPS concludes in Italy, Sigonella students featured in Inauguratuion

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