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Oct. 15, 2012

Vol. 1 Issue 61


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Money Matters

Story by MC3 Linda Swearingen Sailors ready a rigid-hull inflatable boat while simulating a man overboard drill aboard USS Nimitz. (U.S. Navy Photo by MC2 Benjamin Crossley)

“It is crucial that Sailors understand the importance of these drills because somebody’s life could be at stake,” said Chief Boatswain’s Mate (SW/SCW) Kevin Smith, Deck’s 1st division leading chief petty officer. The drill ensures Sailors develop timely and safe training in the event of a real scenario. “For all the people who don’t take this seriously or take forever to muster,

With the upcoming pre operation movement (POM) period, Sailors on board the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) may find themselves a little short on funds. Many Sailors will be traveling home for the holidays and will want to purchase gifts for family and friends. How can Nimitz Sailors ensure they are financially ready for the holidays? Nimitz has a command financial specialist (CFS) and each department has its own

see Overboard pg. 7

see Money pg. 3

It’s Not Just A Man Overboard Story by MC3 (SW) Carla Ocampo

After five whistles “man overboard, man overboard,” can be heard all throughout the ship and in seconds a wave of Sailors race to muster with their respective departments. During a man overboard drill, all departments are required to have an accurate muster of their personnel within a 12-minute timeframe allowing leadership to decide if deploying further measures will be necessary.

Commanding Officer CAPT Jeff S. Ruth Executive Officer CAPT Buzz Donnelly Command Master Chief CMDCM Teri McIntyre Public Affairs Officer LCDR Karin Burzynski Editor MC2 Benjamin Crossley Lead Designer MC3 Renee L. Candelario

The space shuttle Endeavour is transported to The Forum arena for a stopover and celebration on its way to the California Science Center from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on October 12, 2012 in Inglewood, California. The space shuttle Endeavour is on 12-mile journey from Los Angeles International Airport to the California Science Center to go on permanent public display. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Making History Nimitz News accepts submissions in writing. All submissions are subject to review and screening. “Nimitz News� is an authorized publication for the members of the military services and their families. Its content does not necessarily reflect the official views of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Navy, or the Marine Corps and does not imply endorsement thereby.

Spectators take pictures as the Endeavour is towed through Inglewood, California, on October 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Patrick T. Fallon)

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Money: Financial Management for the Holidays continued from Pg. 1

departmental financial specialist (DFS) that can help provide financial planning and help Sailors set up financial budgets. There are currently 76 DFSs on board Nimitz who can provide financial guidance and help Sailors with troubled financial history learn how to budget their money more effectively. “As the holiday season approaches, Sailors should only purchase gifts or travel if they can afford it rather than paying off debt accumulated during the holidays for the rest of the year,” said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman (FMF/SW/AW) Scott Thrasher. Sailors can make appointments to meet with Thrasher daily at 1300, but are encouraged to go to their DFS first. Each department on board Nimitz has at least one person who is trained to help Sailors with all of their financial needs and answer any questions they may have regarding finances. DFSs can help Sailors identify potential financial issues they may have before they become a potential problem. Having bad credit and a large debt-toincome ratio can eventually have an impact on a Sailor’s career and reaching more than 30 percent could cause a Sailor to lose their security clearance. Sailors such as Yeoman Seaman Ebony L. Fulcher are looking forward to the upcoming POM period and are already working with their DFS to ensure they will be prepared financially for the upcoming holidays. Our departmental financial specialist has already set up a time next week to have a meeting with us to talk about saving for the upcoming POM period, said Fulcher. Saving money underway is very easy if you make a budget. In addition to consulting with the CFS and DFSs, Sailors can also go to the Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) on base. The FFSC can provide Sailors with financial help on everything from buying a car to giving Sailors information on debt consolidation.

Further information on managing finances can be found at or by calling 1-800540-4123. For more information regarding financial planning, Sailors can also visit:

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Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 2nd Class Daniel Diaz demonstrates a multi-use survival light.

How to Save a Life

Story and photos by MC3 Ryan Mayes

“A lot of rates require you to pay attention to detail, but in this job if you don’t you could kill somebody,” said Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 2nd Class Daniel Diaz. Diaz was going over all the pieces of survival gear that go into one pilot’s vest… I realized I was way in over my head as I lost count about half way through the explanation of all the intricacies.

When I dropped into his shop looking for a couple of good photos, I didn’t know I was going to get a lesson in aircrew survival equipment. Diaz told me he has been working as an aircrew survival equipmentman, or PR, for about seven years now. He is currently with Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75, which is embarked on the aircraft carrier

USS Nimitz (CVN 68) while they complete their composite training unit exercise. He seemed like one of those guys who honestly understood the importance of their job. It was refreshing to see. Some of the greatest people to find on Nimitz are the Sailors who enjoy what they do. The evidence of their work is everywhere. “A high level of pride and

professionalism is essential for a PR,” Diaz told me. “In school they would say, ‘Every time you pack a parachute, pack it like you were going to use it yourself.’ That’s what I like to keep in mind as I do my job.” As with many jobs in the Navy, that acute attention to detail can literally be the deciding factor in someone coming home to their loved ones alive and well. Diaz explained that as a PR someone is always counting on you. “This equipment is absolutely vital. If a helicopter goes down, they have to know it works and I have to know I did my job right,” explained Diaz. “If I don’t update the pilots GPS device properly they won’t have the right waypoints to get home safely. If the proper checks haven’t been done on their floatation device or their strobe, we may not be able to find them as quickly.” It was quickly apparent to me that everything a PR touches can mean the difference in saving someone’s life. Diaz told me about all the variety

working as a PR can offer, from aviation life support systems dealing with liquid oxygen to working with the Special Forces and their jump equipment, PRs are a small yet extremely vital community within naval aviation. “I’ve worked with fixed wing squadrons and helicopter squadrons,” he said. “I would say that the helo squadrons are the most challenging. In HSM 75 alone, we have about 67 pilots and aircrew. We have to maintain every piece of survival gear that the pilots use as well as the aircrew and rescue swimmers.” “There was a lot of pressure when I got here,” he told me. “I was pulled from my shore command early to come here as the LPO (leading petty officer) of my shop, but I’m still a second class. I think people weren’t sure I could do it. The first thing I did when I got here was personally check every piece of survival gear. I wanted to make sure that these guys flying had working gear that I had checked myself.”

Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 2nd Class Daniel Diaz checks equipment in the HSM 75 PR shop.

Listening to Diaz made me think of all the Hollywood movies I have watched where a pilot has had to rely on survival equipment to get them out of a pretty bad situation and I realized whether on land or at sea, all the flares, floats, compasses and radios that kept them alive were all maintained by a PR. So I had to ask Diaz if he has ever had to find out if his equipment works in a real emergency situation. “So far no one has had to rely on the survival gear I give them,” he said. “It’s funny, I have one of those jobs where you have to do all the checks to make sure everything is in working shape but at the same time you hope no one ever has to use the gear you pack. Knowing that what I give them is going to save their life, that’s my favorite part of the job.” Diaz isn’t the first Sailor I’ve had the pleasure of talking to about their job and I hope he isn’t the last. Knowing there are others like him will keep me from staring at a blinking cursor on a blank page. I wonder if Ernie Pyle ever had writer’s block?

Sailors ready a rigid-hull inflatable boat while simulating a man overboard Sailors assigned to the Wallbangers of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 117 clean an E-2C Hawkeye in the drill aboard USS Nimitz. (U.S. Navy Photo by MC2 Benjamin Crossley) hanger bay of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). (Photo by MC3 Raul Moreno)

Aviation Structural AirmanofJesus Escamilla an MH 60R Sea(VAW) Hawk helicopter the Wolfpack Sailors assigned to Mechanic the Wallbangers Airborne Earlysecures Warning Squadron 117 clean assigned an E-2C to Hawkeye in the of Helicopter Squadron (HSM) 75. 68). (Photo by MCSN Vanessa David) hanger bay of Maritime the aircraftStrike carrier USS Nimitz (CVN (Photo by MC3 Raul Moreno) Page 6

Overboard: Ensuring the Crew’s Safety continued from Pg. 1

it could be them out there,” said Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class (SW) Angel Anton, Deck’s 1st division, leading petty officer. “I’m sure they’d want everybody to hurry up and take it seriously.” While Sailors make their way through the ladderwells and passageways, the Deck Department is called to launch a rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB) for a search and rescue operation. “The whole purpose of man overboard is for us to put the boat in the water as fast as possible and as safe as possible,” said Anton. “The faster we muster, the faster we get the boat in the water, and the faster we can recover the person overboard.” There are multiple roles to fill to ensure the RHIB is safely launched. The crew consists of the coxswain, who drives the RHIB; the boat officer, who is in charge of communicating with the ship; the boat engineer, who ensures the RHIB is functioning properly; the bow hook, who searches for the victim, and a search and rescue swimmer, who is in charge of saving the person in the water. Anton explained that the RHIB cannot go into the water until everyone has mustered and they are sure that someone is overboard because they could put the RHIB crew at risk. “A lot of times it’s dark and we can’t see the sea state,” said Anton. “If we just put the boat in the water it can

Sailors ready a rigid-hull inflatable boat while simulating a man overboard drill aboard USS Nimitz. (U.S. Navy Photo by MC2 Benjamin Crossley)

be really dangerous. Instead of going out there to save somebody we may be the ones needing rescuing.” The RHIB has to be ready to go in less than 12 minutes. “Every time we go over a certain amount of time, depending on the water temperature, that’s time we’re taking away from the person in the water trying to survive,” said Anton. “Sometimes all you have is minutes.” Once the announcement is made, Sailors have to be prepared to respond at a moments notice because, whether it’s mustering or preparing the RHIB for rescue operations, every minute can be the difference between life and death.

1917 USS Cassin (DD 43) is torpedoed by German submarine U-61 off the coast of Ireland. In trying to save the ship, Gunner’s Mate Osmond Kelly Ingram becomes first American Sailor killed in World War I and later is awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism. He becomes the first enlisted man to have a ship named for him, in 1919. 1948 First women officers on active duty are sworn in as commissioned officers in regular Navy under Women’s Service Integration Act of June 1948 by Secretary of the Navy John L. Sullivan. 1957 USS Lake Champlain (CV 39) reaches Valencia, Spain, to assist in flood rescue work. 1960 USS Patrick Henry (SSBN 599) begins successful firing of four Polaris test vehicles under operational rather than test conditions. Tests are completed Oct. 18. 1965 U.S. Naval Support Activity Danang Vietnam established. Page 7


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Aviation Machinist’s Mate 1st Class (AW) Kim Ha installs tail rotor paddles to an MH-60S Nighthawk. (Photo by MCSN Vanessa David)

Nimitz News Daily Digest - Oct. 15, 2012  
Nimitz News Daily Digest - Oct. 15, 2012  

Daily underway publication of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68).