Dahlgren Vol. 25, No. 4, Mid-april 2014
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Richmond — A 48 star U.S. flag crafted by Richmond native and WWII POW James “Denny”
Attendees marvel at the precision with which each star on the Omori Flag was hand sketched.
Landrum came home to Virginia on April 9. The red, white, and blue stars and stripes hand sketched on a bed sheet at the Omori Prison Camp was unveiled in a ceremony with all the pomp and circumstance befitting our national emblem at the Virginia War Memorial. Deputy Secretary of Virginia Veterans and Defense Affairs John Newby shared words from President Barack Obama’s Proclamation in honor of National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day. Obama’s proclamation stated in part, “Today, we are solemnly reminded of our responsibility to care for those who have borne these burdens for us. We recommit to honoring that sacred obligation -- to serving our former prisoners of war, our veterans, and their families as well as they have served us.” See FLAG, page 5
©Marty van Duyne/News Net News
Virginia’s first official K-9 Veterans Day celebrated Dog teams honored at Virginia War Memorial News Net News
Denny Landrum waves the American Flag when Omori Prison Camp was liberated in 1945. (US Navy Photo)
RICHMOND — Canine teams had their day in the sun at the first official Virginia K-9 Veterans Day. Military K-9 teams from Fort Lee joined Richmond City Police, Virginia Capital Police, and Hanover Hounds K9 Search & Rescue for a ceremony at the Virginia War Memorial (www.VaWarMemorial. org).
March 13 is designated K-9 Veterans Day, but since it fell on Thursday this year, officials decided to host the event on Saturday, March 15 so more families and children could attend. Vi r g i n i a Wa r Me m o r i a l See HONOREES, page 2
Marty van Duyne
Captains Praise Four Navy—Mentored STEM Students Slated to Compete at SeaPerch National Competition
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Omori POW Flag unveiled at Virginia War Memorial First time flag has been unfurled since WWII News Net News
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Omori POW Flag unveiled at Va War Memorial Marty van Duyne
Dick Marcinko discusses SEALs: Past, present, and future
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Hanover Hounds K9 Search & Rescue Bloodhound Hobbes searches through the amphitheatre crowd as he tracks the scent of a lost person.
©Marty van Duyne/News Net News
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HONOREES: VA K-9 Teams Foundation Executive Director Adm. John Hekman welcomed the crowd and introduced keynote speaker Del. Hyland “Buddy” Fowler (R-55). Fowler told the crowd that Virginia played a key role in the establishment of the War Dog program. On March 13, 1942 then Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson authorized the inclusion of dogs in the war effort and in August of 1942 the first War Dog Reception and Training Center was established at Front Royal. Fowler told the story of Chips, a German Shepherd trained at Front Royal who despite being shot when he attacked an enemy machine gun nest, continued his attack until the enemy surrendered saving countless American lives. “These dogs have served on the battlefield in time of war and also here at home assisting police and law enforcement, performing search and rescue missions, and even providing companionship to our wounded warriors,” said Fowler. Ha n ov e r Ho u n d s ( w w w. HanoverHounds.org) co-hosted the event and Teresa Parrish provided an introduction. Thesearchandrescueorganization was instrumental in getting the Virginia Legislature to pass HJ 552 designating March 13, 2013 and each succeeding year thereafter as Virginia K-9 Veterans Day during their 2013 session. Hanover Hounds training officer Lt. Brian Parrish explained how their Bloodhounds are taught to track a missing person by their scent before demonstrating the process with 5-year-old Hobbes. Virginia Capital Police K-9 Officer Sean Chaulkin explained the process used to train their dogs to sniff out explosives. K-9 Officer Laura Taylor led Spike past seven cases on the ground until the 5-year-old Black Labrador Retriever sat to indicate he located the explosives. Richmond Police K-9 Handler Kevin Mills had audience volunteers
join the lineup as 3-year-old Czech Shepherd Sarik searched for drugs. Army K-9 Teams from Fort Lee enlisted audience volunteers for their patrol dog demonstration. Numerous attendees stepped forward to don the full body protective suit and face a patrol dog’s jaws that can elicit a bite force ranging anywhere from 13 to more than 1300 Newtons, or a mean of 238 psi pressure. The Fort Lee teams use Shepherds and Belgian Malinois’ for patrol and Labrador Retrievers for detection. Regardless of the organization for whom they work, most K-9 Handlers would not want any other assignment. Army Spec. Matthew Wallace who handles explosive detection dog Bailey said, “Some guys don’t understand, but this is the most fun I’ve had in the military.” S o u t h e r n S t a t e s ( w w w. SouthernStates.com) sponsored the event at the Virginia War
“These dogs have served on the battlefield in time of war and also here at home ...”
—Del. Hyland “Buddy” Fowler
Memorial. Details about the history of K-9 Veterans Day can be found at http:// K9VeteransDay.Org.
From page 1
Right: Capital Police K-9 Officer Laura Taylor rewards Spike with his toy after the 5-year-old Black Labrador Retriever located the hidden explosives. Below:An audience volunteer reacts to the force of the patrol dog’s bite during the Fort Lee military K-9 demonstration. ©Marty van Duyne/News Net News
War Dogs Marty van Duyne News Net News Following WWII war dogs returned to the United States and reunited with their donor families or were adopted by new families. But during the Vietnam War dogs were considered expendable equipment and were either euthanized or turned over to allied forces at the end of the war. In 2000 President Bill Clinton signed legislation allowing military dogs to be adopted following the end of their service. In 2012 Rep. Walter Jones (R - NC) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D - CT) both introduced legislation to provide additional end of career benefits and services to military working dogs (H.R. 4103 and S. 2134, respectively). Those laws were not enacted, but the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 included an amendment to Title 10 USC Chapter 50 to provide additional support for military working dogs.
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THE SOURCE • april 2014
What Do You Want To Be…?
Career Day helps students find an answer Steven Moore JWAC Public Affairs King George Middle School held its annual Career Day April 1st, providing more than 600 7th and 8th graders the opportunity to learn about everything from the Air National Guard to the Virginia State Police, from cake design to veterinary medicine. “Career Day ties education to careers,” said Allison P. Daughtridge, a counselor at the school. “It exposes the students to things they normally wouldn’t be exposed to and provides the students an opportunity to begin career exploration.” “I heard students say, ‘That was fun,’ ‘I want to be an FBI agent,’ ‘I want to join DECA,’” Daughtridge said. “They asked appropriate questions and learned interesting facts.” More than 30 local and regional businesses and government agencies were on hand to meet with students and answer their questions.
Learn the history of DAHLGREN
The book “DAHLGREN” a series of interviews with people who helped shaped this history of the base is available at The Journal 10250 Kings Hwy., The Journal Complex $19.95 plus tax
John D. Rehrer, an analyst at the Joint Warfare Analysis Center in Dahlgren, speaks to students at King George Middle School about satellite imagery at Career Day.
april 2014 • THE SOURCE
Rogue Warrior insights Part II:
Dick Marcinko discusses SEALs: Past, present, and future Marty van Duyne News Net News (Editors note: This is part two of Rogue Warrior Insights. Read Rogue Warrior insights Part I: Dick Marcinko discusses “Curse of the Infidel” in the March 2014 Dahlgren Source) Fredericksburg — Richard Marcinko took time to provide his perspective on the past, present, and future of Navy SEAL Teams on March 8. Marcinko said, “The traditional strategy of the Navy was to keep sea lanes open and to fly the flag off the coast of trouble spots.” Though the strategy of naval forward sea presence has remained constant, he feels our national diplomacy leaves something to be desired. Marcinko would prefer that the United States take a more forthright stance when employing diplomatic policy. Past President John F. Kennedy’s support of Special Forces for unconventional warfare elevated not just the SEALs mission, but also their status. Marcinko, who created SEAL Team Six, discussed the evolution of the teams. Prior to the establishment of SEALs Navy Frogmen were assigned to Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) and were not trained in the combatant skills required of today’s SEALs. Frogmen didn’t go in as gun totters and had minimal training and patrolling skills. Their turf
©Marty van Duyne/News Net News
was the “inter-land” in support of amphibious operations. According to Marcinko SEALs spent their first year just going to school and it’s never stopped in terms of expanding mission profile. However the training sequence has changed. “I did my sixteen weeks and then I was no longer a stinking trainee. I was a team member and I went to jump school at the Army as a team member and I did diving training as a team member,” said Marcinko. “SEALs now get all the training in the same block. So you’re a stinking trainee for six months. If you get hurt in any of those evolutions you get recycled so the psychological aspect is certainly a lot different,” said Marcinko. “Now they graduate BUDS (Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL training) and they get a bonus,” said Marcinko. “But they still have to wait and go to an operational unit for six months before they get their NEC (Naval Enlistment Classification Code) and put on the BUDWISER (SEAL Trident Special Warfare Insignia).” The organization has grown from one east coast and one west coast
team to the current ten. The joint, or purple, force has expanded to include not just military branches, but also all other agencies. Marcinko reflected on the failed Iranian Embassy Raid (Operation Eagle Claw, Apr. 24, 1980) and the mentality of the armed services of that era which was “I need to be involved to protect my budget.” “So you had Navy helicopter pilots flying across mountains that they weren’t comfortable in doing. And Army helicopters were landing on ships, which one they weren’t comfortable with and two they had to modify their helicopter propellers to fold because they were going to have to be stowed down below,” said Marcinko. He likened the efforts to fighting a war by committee. “There was no unit integrity and when the birds went down the pilots automatically went to their own service’s standard operational procedures vice maintaining joint operation procedure,” said Marcinko. The failed operation resulted in the Adm. (James L. III) Holloway White Paper (www.History.Navy. Mil/Library/Online/HollowayRpt. htm). The paper led to establishment of a standing force for counterterrorism and eliminated the “by committee” approach to operations. SEAL Team Six was founded following the failed hostage rescue mission. The teams officially became part of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG or DEVGRU) that was formed in 1987, but the public still refers to the units
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KEY WEST, Fla. (Aug.12, 2010) A Navy SEAL climbs a ladder during a ship assault training scenario. Navy SEALs are a part of a continuous training cycle to improve and further specialize there skills. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William S. Parker/Released)
as SEAL Teams. Today’s SEALs are capable of undertaking combat missions on sea, on land, and in the air.
Present Marcinko said the SEALs and See Marcinko, page 6
The Dahlgren Source, an independent monthly newspaper oriented toward the Dahlgren community, is published by The Journal Press, Inc., a woman-owned business located in King George County, at 10250 Kings Hwy. The Dahlgren Source is not published under government contract. Mailing Address: P. O. Box 409 King George, Va. 22485 Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 540-775-2024 Fax: 540-775-4099
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Left: Petty Officer First Class electricians mate Denny Landrum. (Courtesy of Landrum Family); Below: A 1944 telegram informs Denny Landrum’s family that he is a Prisoner of War. ©Marty van Duyne/News Net News For more information about the Omori Flag exhibit at the Virginia War Memorial, please visit www. VaWarMemorial.org.
Above: The late Denny Landrum’s family gathers around the Omori Flag at the Virginia War Memorial. Above left: Air Force Capt. Kelly Niedzwiecki drove in from Langley Air Force Base after flying through the night from Florida to meet Jerry Landrum and see the Omori Flag. Norm Albertson, Jr., whose father Norm Albertson was interned with Denny Landrum pinned on her Lieutenant’s bars. ©Marty van Duyne/News Net News
Flag: Omori From page 1 U.S. Navy Veteran “Denny” Landrum and his fellow prisoners secretly hand crafted the flag during more than 28 months of captivity at the Omori Prison Camp on an island located in Tokyo Harbor. In the late 1970s Landrum searched for the flag to no avail. After his death in 1980, his son Jerry took up the cause for his late father. That search ended last year when the flag was located in a warehouse at the Washington Navy Yard. A fellow Omori POW whose sheet was used to make the flag donated it to the Naval History and Heritage Command in 1973 and it remained in storage for more than four decades. Jerry enlisted the assistance of Sen. Mark Warner (D - Va.) to help
gain permission from the Navy to allow the flag to be displayed at the memorial. Warner was not able to attend the ceremony, but sent a video message in which he stated, “When I heard about this decades old quest, I was inspired by the tale of Virginia’s own Denny Landrum, a World War II POW. I was also struck by the determination of Denny’s family to find this flag, which meant so much to their dad.” Warner said, “Despite the brutal conditions and threat of execution Denny and several other American POWs defiantly crafted this American Flag and I just love the photo of Denny waving it defiantly on the day their POW camp was liberated.” “The flag is a reminder that we should never forget the sacrifices of our American heroes that they made in the past and continue to make to protect our freedom and
liberty here at a home and around the world,” said Warner. Petty Of f icer First Class electrician’s mate Landrum was serving on the submarine U.S.S. Grenadier during WWII. The submarine was sunk in April 1943 and the Japanese captured him and most of his shipmates. Duringtheirinternment,Landrum used colored pencils to precisely sketch the stars and stripes. Denny Landrum experienced residual effects of mistreatment received at the hands of his captors while in Omori and died at the age of 56. After unveiling the 74 by 44 inch flag, Jerry Landrum said, “Unlike a lot of flags today, this one wasn’t made in China. It was made in Japan.” For more information about the Omori Flag exhibit at the Virginia War Memorial, please visit www. VaWarMemorial.org.
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Marcinko: SEAL Teams From page 4 all of our Armed Forces today “are the most trained and best equipped because of 11 to12 years of combat experience.” Though he acknowledges the benefit of modular platforms such as the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) he believes dependency on more automation leaves most crews unable to operate if their systems fail. “I don’t think the crews can navigate by the stars anymore,” said Marcinko. He said the Naval Academy was going to drop their Celestial Navigation course, but since there are no fixed reference points in desert terrain the Army needed to train troops involved in desert operations. Although valuable, Marcinko also believes technology can be an obstacle to survival. “You know they haven’t been counting ridgelines or how many creek beds they have crossed to get to their target,” he said. Marcinko said technology has everyone operating in high speed mode so if something breaks, like
GPS, they no longer carry maps and they don’t know how to read a lensatic compass anymore. The mission of today’s SEALs has expanded and personnel have more intense training in weaponry. When crews go on multiple deployments they come back and need to redefine their technical skills versus training to maintain their basic diving and jumping. Future Marcinko said the communications, weaponry, and delivery vehicles are phenomenal. “Even with the upcoming budget, Special Forces under Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is still growing,” said Marcinko. “They’re a fly-away unit that can do anything,” said Marcinko. “That’s the purple suit. They are like a fifth service,” he said. The teams now have their own integral Small Boat Units (SBU). “The support staff which I call the ‘Tail of the Dog’ is larger than the dog,” said Marcinko. “During fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq the SEAL Unit’s are part of a Task Force configuration.” According to Marcinko because
CORONADO, Calif. (Oct. 27, 2010) Students assigned to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) class 286 participate in a surf passage training exercise at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. Surf passage is one of many physically demanding evolutions that are part of First Phase training at BUD/S. The Navy SEALs are the maritime component of U.S. Special Operations Forces and are trained to conduct a variety of operations from the sea, air and land. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kyle D. Gahlau/Released) Frogmen/SEALS jump at high altitude and dive deep they’re used to atmospheric pressure changes, so when NASA was doing their prelaunch Frogmen served as guinea
pigs and went down in the tank. He believes that the SEAL Teams could feasibly have a role with the space station or possibly the Rover on Mars.
“When you look at people that are physically, emotionally, and psychologically skilled for that type of mission this is the same force that has taken on the periphery
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THE SOURCE • april 2014
challenge in Afghanistan and Iraq,” said Marcinko. The Rogue Warrior says there are three steps to success as a SEAL; be a survivalist, have a warrior spirit, and master adaptation of technology. To interact with Richard Marcinko online visit www.DickMarcinko. com The SEAL Code • • • •
• • •
Loyalty to Country, Team and Teammate Serve with Honor and Integrity On and Off the Battlefield Ready to Lead, Ready to Follow, Never Quit Take responsibility for your actions and the actions of your teammates Excel as Warriors through Discipline and Innovation Train for War, Fight to Win, Defeat our Nation’s Enemies Earn your Trident everyday
CORONADO, Calif. (Jan. 21, 2014) Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUDs) students participate in Surf Passage at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. Surf Passage is one of many physically demanding evolutions that are a part of the first phase of SEAL training. Navy SEALs are the maritime component of U.S. Special Forces and are trained to conduct a variety of operations from the sea, air and land. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael Russell/Released)
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National President of “Federally Employed Women” Joins Navy Women’s History Month Celebration John Joyce NSWC Dahlgren Division Corporate Communications Dahlgren —Clara Barton, Madeline Albright and Allie Latimer. Recalling each woman by name, Michelle Crockett – Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division’s (NSWCDD) National Women’s History Month Celebration 2014 keynote speaker – reminisced over their impact on the nation. “American history would not be complete without the recognition of women – they earned this right,” Crockett, National President of Federally Employed Women (FEW), told the military and civilian audience celebrating the contributions women made throughout history while working toward full equality in the United States. Barton founded the American Red Cross Society in 1881, an organization still helping people in need today. Serving as its first president, she directed relief work for the victims of disasters. Albright served as the first female U.S. Secretary of State. Nominated by President Bill Clinton and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she was sworn in as the 64th Secretary of State on Jan. 23, 1997. Albright also served as the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations and as a member of the President’s Cabinet and National Security Council. Latimer was the founder and a president of the Federally Employed Women – a private organization that works as an advocacy group to improve the status of women employed by the federal government. This includes contact with Congress to encourage progressive legislation. In his opening remarks at the March 20 event, NSWCDD Commander Capt. Brian Durant recounted the actions of Navy women, including those serving under his command. He also recalled each Navy uniformed and civilian woman by name – Adm. Michelle Howard, Capt. Stephanie Douglas, Michelle Bailey and Houra Rais. As a father of three daughters, Durant said the event’s recognition of women is very important to him and many who want their daughters to have good women role models in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Over his 21-year career, the NSWCDD commander saw women overcome obstacles preventing service aboard a combatant ship, submarine, and as a pilot. He recounted that Rais, an NSWCDDD scientist, was nationally recognized by the National Women’s History Project for her efforts in Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detection research,
Above left: Michelle Crockett, the Federally Employed Women program’s national president, reviews her “10 Principles for Brilliant Women” at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division’s National Women’s History Month Observance in March. Above right: Capt. Brian Durant, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division Commander, reflects on the actions of Navy women - including those serving under his command - before a military and civilian audience at the command’s National Women’s History Month Observance in March. Durant said the event’s recognition of women is very important to him and many who want their daughters to have good women role models in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Today, over 67,000 women serve in the Navy in the active and Reserve components, comprising 18 percent of the Total Force. There are currently 38 female flag officers, two female Fleet Master Chiefs, and one female Force Master Chief in the Navy. Additionally, nearly 50,000 women serve across the Navy in a wide range of specialties as civilian employees, with 67 female senior executive service members. (U.S. Navy photos by Jimmy Waits/Released)
benefitting warfighters and the nation. Durant spoke about Adm. Howard – currently the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy and the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. Navy – as a positive role model who opened doors and removed barriers for women. Howard became the first African American woman to command a ship in the U.S. Navy in 1999 when she assumed command of USS Rushmore (LSD 47). In 2009, she commanded Task Force 151, Multinational Counter-Piracy Operations and Task Force 51, Expeditionary Forces. Douglas and Bailey are among the women leaders Durant worked for and admired.
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Douglas was the first female executive officer of the U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility in Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan. She became the first female commanding officer of the U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility and the Japan Regional Maintenance Center in Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan. Bailey started out as a clerk-typist and became a member of the senior executive service as a Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command deputy chief engineer. Durant challenged all in the Aegis Training and Readiness Center auditorium to get involved in their communities or schools to inspire young women and become a mentor. Crocket reviewed her “10 Principles for
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THE SOURCE • april 2014
Flash Mentors share savvy insights to impact Navy civilian leaders John Joyce NSWC Dahlgren Division Corporate Communications Dahlgren — Like a flash camera, the flash mentors at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) emanated bursts of savviness to mentees at the University of Mary Washington campus here March 5. The mentors’ enlightenment – generated by years of experience, knowledge and wisdom in diverse Department of Defense professions – illuminated the minds of their junior counterparts, from scientists and engineers to human resource personnel and contract specialists. “ This e vent was a gre at opportunity to foster collaboration, communication and mentoring opportunities for Dahlgren’s future leaders,” said Camille Ward, Laser and Optic Systems branch head at the NSWCDD Electromagnetic and Sensor Systems Department. “We had great discussions with employees on how to lead teams and how developing relationships and mentors can build upon their own careers for years to come.” Mentees attending NSWCDD’s fourth Flash Mentoring event soaked in new insights through discussions held at two locations: Dahlgren and via teleconference, the Combat Systems Direction Activity Dam Neck in Virginia Beach, Va. Like pictures produced by cameras, NSWCDD leaders believe the instantaneous “flash mentoring” dialogues will have a long lasting effect as mentees continue to engage in the process of mentoring to achieve mutually defined goals well after the event. “Each time we have one of these events, I’m impressed by how many people in our organization are so passionate about helping others develop and find their way in their careers,” said Audrey Lohr, NSWCDD New Employee
Development Manager. “Bringing employees from many different br anche s and p e rsp e c t ive s together in an event like this is one way to share best practices and discuss similar challenges. We hope everyone continues those discussions – whether with colleagues, a supervisor or a mentor.” The event, geared for employees in leadership positions, featured discussions in small group settings. Various levels of leaders served as mentors and facilitated discussions within the tables. “I was excited to be a part of such an outstanding and rewarding event,” said Claudette Armstrong, NSWC C ardero ck Division Mentoring Program Coordinator, who observed the flash mentoring event to learn how to design a similar program. “I see flash mentoring as a useful tool to enhance awareness for our mentoring program. Successful mentoring relationships require commitment which was obvious from the level of participation I observed at Dahlgren. I’m sure everyone walked away asking, “what can I do to help foster mentoring?” The NSWCDD mentors led discussions on topics related to employee development, offering
their experiences and perspectives while guiding the conversations. The mentees were from the five technical departments within the command. In all, more than 70 employees – mentors and mentees – engaged in roles that included task lead, group lead, branch head, project manager and program manager. “Many of the mentors at both sites (Dahlgren and Dam Neck) discussed the impact that mentoring has had in their careers and the need for mentors at any point in your career,” said Lohr. After the mentor introductions, each of the participants rotated to four different tables to discuss each of the four topics: communication within the organization; increasing performance within the organization; developing yourself; and strategic planning and external communications. “Planning for the next flash mentoring event has already begun,” said Lohr, adding that it will be scheduled this summer. To learn more about mentoring, Lohr invites NSWCDD employees to visit the command’s human resources internal website. She recommends that employees work with their supervisors to identify a mentor.
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Top: A myriad of Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) leaders from the commands five technical departments engage in “flash mentoring” discussions at the University of Mary Washington campus here March 5. Above: Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Sensor Fusion Branch Information Technology Group Lead David Luck, left, and NSWCDD Laser and Optic Systems Branch Head Camille Ward, discuss their perspectives regarding communication, performance, professional development and strategic planning at the command’s flash mentoring event. Ward and Luck - both from the NSWCDD Electromagnetic and Sensor Systems Department - joined more than 70 civilian leaders at various levels to participate in discussions. NSWCDD officials believe the instantaneous “flash mentoring” dialogues will have a long lasting effect as mentees continue to engage in the process of mentoring to achieve goals throughout their careers.
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april 2014 • THE SOURCE
Captains Praise Four Navy—Mentored STEM Students Slated to Compete at SeaPerch National Competition John Joyce NSWC Dahlgren Division Corporate Communications Dahlgren — Four Dahlgren School students believe their plans to “courageously, calmly and coolly” maneuver their remotely operated vehicle (ROV) through underwater obstacles will succeed at the National Sea Perch competition next month. Two Navy captains believe the students have already succeeded. The students’ teachers and Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) scientist and engineer mentors feel the same way. Capt. Peter Nette, Naval Support Facility Dahlgren commanding officer, and Capt. Brian Durant, NSWCDD commander, praised the students for their Regional SeaPerch accomplishments at an April 10 event held in their honor at the DoD Education Activity Dahlgren School here. “It was great to see our own students at Dahlgren School excel in the SeaPerch regionals,” said Nette. “They’ve made their community very proud, and I wish them the best of luck as they advance to the national stage.” Durant commended the two Dahlgren School teams for their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) innovation and teamwork that won them the honor as the top two teams selected from among 18 competing Virginia student teams at the second annual Sea Perch Regional Competition held recently at the University of Mary Washington. The winning team names – B2S and 7Cs – reflect the students’ attitude as they faced the technical challenges of Sea Perch. B2S means “Believe to Succeed.” 7Cs is also known as “Cooperation, C ommunication, Creativity, Courageous, Calm, Cool, and Collected.” “SeaPerch is a great learning opportunity that pushes your brain to think more about a fix for any problem you may have,” explained Libbie Wells, from B2S. “Teamwork was a bigger part than we thought. The write-ups were valuable and helped with explaining things to the judges.” The student teams – from Colonial Beach High School, King George Middle School, and middle schools from Orange County, Locust Grove
Libby Wells, Caroline Amos and Jade Rattanaay brief Naval Support Facility Dahlgren Commanding Officer Capt. Peter Nette on their SeaPerch projects at an DoD Educational Activity Dahlgren School event held in their honor April 10. The students - in addition to Melanie Brown (not pictured) - won the Regional SeaPerch Competition and will travel to the University of Mississippi to compete at the National SeaPerch Competition May 17. Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division scientists and engineers mentor the students who build remotely operated SeaPerch vehicles while learning about the science and engineering involved in their development and use. The program, developed by the Office of Naval Research, allows teachers to emphasize the importance of science, technology, engineering and math U.S. Navy photo by John Joyce (Released) 140410-N-DE005-001 subjects in school and in the working world. and Prospect Heights – competed for the fastest time. They navigated ROVs to move small hoops from a frame to an underwater storage area in the deep-water end of the pool. “When I first walked in (to the SeaPerch Regional Competition), there was a kind of buzz that made me feel like there were endless opportunities surrounding me,” said Jade Rattanaay, a 7Cs member (with team mate Melanie Brown). “I learned during the interview that good notes are important. They really helped me to answer some of the questions.” Judges chose winners based on the most hoops moved in the shortest time, fastest speed through an underwater obstacle course, and the best verbal presentations. “When we got the medals, everything was worth it: the blood, sweat, and some tears were also worth it,” Caroline Amos, a B2S team member, reflected. “The SeaPerch Program brought us together. By
far, the SeaPerch Program was the hardest thing I have done.” Naval Sea Systems Command adapted the innovative underwater robotics program as an inquiry— based learning tool that trains teachers to teach their students how to build an underwater ROV inside or outside the classroom. The program, developed by the Office of Naval Research, allows teachers to emphasize the importance of STEM subjects in school and in the working world. “SeaPerch was introduced to me as an educational program designed to teach and reinforce STEM concepts through hands on challenges and STEM curriculum,” said Dahlgren School science teacher Ann Doyle. “The SeaPerch journey is everything they described and more. Team work and problem solving were extremely important lessons to my students and are the foundation of each step of the journey.” Building a SeaPerch ROV teaches
basic skills in ship and submarine design and encourages students to explore naval architecture and marine and ocean engineering concepts through problem-based learning. It also teaches basic science and engineering concepts, tool safety and technical procedures. “Programs like SeaPerch are very important to the nation because they expose our young people to some of the exciting applications of STEM,” said Nette. “We want them to take the experience of SeaPerch through high school and college and hopefully, through employment as young scientists and engineers. We always hear that the U.S. is lagging in math, science and engineering. Programs like SeaPerch are turning that around, to our benefit in the future.” Students, teachers and volunteers spent 10 to 20 hours of classroom time building the ROVs and learning about the science and engineering involved in their development and use. The competition is the end point
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for a hands-on STEM program that students participated in throughout the school year. The students’ enthusiasm builds as they construct ROVs from a kit comprised of low-cost, easily accessible parts, following a curriculum that teaches basic engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering theme. “The program was well researched with excellent and effective technical training for teachers and mentors and supported by a website full of training modules that were extremely helpful,” said Doyle. “Another reason this program is so successful is that the steps involved closely follow the SeaPerch mission. Part of the mission includes teaching students that working in a STEM field can be interesting and fun. Through all of the hands-on challenges, my students definitely developed an appreciation for the possibilities open to them in a STEM career.”
THE SOURCE • april 2014
Naval Sea Systems Command Warfare Center Leadership Team Visits Dahlgren
Naval Surface Warfare Center Commander Rear Adm. Lawrence Creevy and members of the NSWC Leadership Team are pictured in front of the ground plane at the Electromagnetic Environmental Effects test site during their NSWC Dahlgren Division facility tour and demonstrations March 7. The Warfare Center Leadership Team is composed
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of the NSWC Commander, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Commander, representatives of their respective command staffs, and the commanding officers and technical directors from each Warfare Center
division. They have a unique perspective on the policies and operations of the Warfare Center corporately, and can address issues and opportunities that a single division could not. The team acts as an advisory board
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U.S. Navy photo by Brandy Plucker
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