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FREE Vol. 25, No. 7, Mid-JULY 2014

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Family fun abounds

Dahlgren employees celebrate Independence Day Marty van Duyne

Locals run 2014 Historic Half Marathon


Stafford 350th: Celebration Stage dedicated at Pratt Park


News Net News Falmouth — Independence Day dawned sunny and mild providing just the right weather for outdoor activities. And a gentle river current proved ideal for Dahlgren employees entered in the annual Fredericksburg Jaycees Rappahannock River Raft Race. Eight King George kids were seated upon a long sprawling sea serpent balanced upon oilcans to provide buoyancy. The Rap-Ness Monster was piloted by Emma, Cannon, and Mason Parker; Jackson, Hayes, and Laine Edwards; and Travis and Max Erickson. According to Brian Parker they participated in the race several years ago and decided to give it another try. “Parents came up with the modular design and we gave the kids an option of a train or sea-serpent,” said Parker. “The kids chose the serpent and they drew the design for head and tail.” The long serpentine raft proved to

be a bit unwieldy to navigate so the watercraft was reconfigured before they set sail. It floated down river with it’s head chasing its tail, but the Rap-Ness Monster crossed the finish line with everyone safely aboard. Brian Parker and Kurt Erickson escorted the sea serpent on its river journey from Falmouth Waterfront Park to the Fredericksburg City Dock in kayaks. Stafford residents and eight-year veterans of the race Klaudia Lipford and Brian Cloud had a more simplified design for their twoperson raft. Although they have never finished first, they always have a good time. “We have won a few awards during the years including the ‘We Didn’t Think You Would Make It’ prize,” laughed Cloud. The Fredericksburg Jaycees award prizes in multiple categories including Fastest Down the River, Huck Finn, Commercial Huck Finn, Inflatable, and Most Patriotic Raft. The City of Fredericksburg (www. See 4th, page 5

©Marty van Duyne/News Net News

Old Glory is bathed in sunlight as she waves in the breeze to celebrate our independence.

AEGIS Training and Readiness Center changes leadership Kimberly M. Lansdale Racers compete in Soap Box Derby


Center for Surface Combat Systems Dahlgren — During a change of command ceremony at the AEGIS Training and Readiness Center (ATRC), on board Naval Support Facility Dahlgren, Va., Jun. 27, Capt. Ian Hall turned over command to Capt. Pete Galluch. Capt. Bill McKinley, command-

ing officer for the Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS), was the guest speaker at the event. “Under Capt. Hall’s command, ATRC has been very successful in executing its mission,” said McKinley. “His legacy is the culture of Navy and the Sailorization that occurs while junior enlisted Sailors are here at ATRC. ATRC has a superb reputation of providing Sailors to the fleet that are professionally trained

and have extremely high military standards. Not every school house can say that, but Capt. Ian Hall can take great pride in this legacy.” Hall said his tour of duty at ATRC was very rewarding. “In the past three years, this team of military, government civilians, and industry partners trained over 4,200 Aegis technicians so that they could deploy to the four corners of the globe and support the U.S.

Navy’s mission; these highly-trained Sailors have raised readiness level across the cruiser and destroyer force so that the ships are capable of deterring aggression, winning wars, and maintaining freedom of the seas,” Hall said. “This schoolhouse continues to advance Navy’s training mission by utilizing a blended learning solution that includes

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july 2014 • THE SOURCE

Jonathan Reyna of San Antonio, Tx. gives Matthew Bradford of Nicholasville, Ky. a hand at the starting line.

Rep. Rob Wittman (R-1) and Matthew J. Kelly are shrouded in gun smoke as they fire the starting shots. Photos ©Marty van Duyne/News Net News

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Locals run 2014 Historic Half Marathon Marty van Duyne News Net News Fredericksburg — More than 150 area residents were among the 7,545 finishers in 2014 Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon events on May 18. Runners from Montross, Dahlgren, Colonial Beach, and King George accounted for 16 competitors in the Semper Fred 5K, 18 comHHM Leaderboard Historic Half Runners Tim Young, 27 - Fredericksburg 1:05:08.19 Stephanie Fulmer, 24 - Arlington 1:25:16.17 Historic Half Wheelchair Team Porter - Fredericksburg 1:41:51 Historic Half Hand Crank David Swaim, 68 - Strasburg 44:50 Historic 10K Aaron Naraine, 15 - Fredericksburg 40:31.25 Erika Weidman, 23 - Alexandria 44:27.54 Semper Fred 5K Philip Lambert, 14 - Fredericksburg 19:31.75 Yuko Whitestone, 42 Springfield 22:25.92 Individual results for all Historic Half Marathon events can be found at www.

petitors in the Historic 10K, and 123 competitors in the Historic Half. Twenty seven year old Tim Young of Fredericksburg crossed the Historic Half finish in 1:05:09, breaking his own record of 1:06:57. Stephanie Fulmer, 24 of Arlington was the first woman to cross the Historic Half finish with a time of 1:25:16. Fulmer waited at the finish line to give a congratulatory hug to her closest competitor Kate Dochelli, 26 of Richmond whom she edged out by only 45 seconds. Erika Weidman, 23 of Alexandria broke the women’s Historic 10K course record by six seconds completing the run in 44:28. King George’s 15-year-old Jacob Watson wearing Bib 7140 led local area runners across the Historic Half finish in 1:22:09. Joseph Hunt finished in 1:35:16 and HHM veteran runner Andy Gotchel finished in 1:44:11. Alice Pallotti of King George led the local area women finishing the HHM in 1:38:33. Susan Broad followed about 10 minutes later in 1:49:31 with Donna German close behind at 1:51:01. Twenty-eight of the 123 local runners beat the HHM 2 hour clock. The Historic 10K attracted 18 local runners and 16 ran the Semper Fred 5K. The Marine Corps Marathon is slated for Sunday, Oct. 26 in Arlington. Registration information for all MCM events can be found at www.

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Navy civilians engage in “Flash Mentoring” to overcome career challenges as Asian American & Pacific Islanders By John Joyce

NSWC Dahlgren Division Corporate Communications Dahlgren — An engineer’s quest to boost the careers of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Navy civilian professionals and increase their representation in “high grade” government positions is becoming reality. Navy engineer Gaurang Dävé’s vision is to achieve the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) AAPI mission – create and sustain an environment that attracts, assists, promotes, and invigorates the careers of command AAPI personnel. Dävé, the NSWCDD AAPI Special Emphasis Program manager, didn’t have to look far. He heard about recent “flash mentoring” success stories and quickly made the connection. “Once I learned about flash mentoring events, I saw its ability to make our Asian American and Pacific Islander program’s vision and mission a reality,” said Dävé. “Where else can the AAPI community find an opportunity to network with eight mentors in two hours?” Dävé – who is also the NSWCDD Chemical, Biological and

Radiological Analysis, Testing, and Systems Engineering Branch head – contacted the command’s mentoring program coordinator Audrey Lohr to discuss their mutual goals. “It was an exciting opportunity to support the objectives of both the NSWCDD AAPI special emphasis program and the mentoring program, weaving together event topics that were of particular interest and significance to the AAPI community, while also pertinent to non-AAPI employees throughout the NSWCDD workforce,” recounted Lohr, NSWCDD’s New Employee Development manager. Lohr and Dävé scheduled an AAPI-sponsored ”flash mentoring” event in the wake of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month held throughout May with a national theme of “I Am Beyond,” capturing the aspirations of the American spirit and how Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander decent have sought to excel beyond the challenges they have faced over the years. Jim Yee, the command’s AAPI senior leader champion, collaborated with Dävé to create and develop this unique human resources initiative. Together, they briefed

the benefits of flash mentoring to 40 Navy civilian mentees at the event held on the University of Mary Washington Dahlgren campus June 9. “The event presented a unique opportunity to bring together both AAPI and non-AAPI senior leaders and workforce personnel to discuss topics essential to professional development and career enhancement,” said Yee, NSWCDD Engagement Systems Deputy Department head. “It’s the first in a series of events we are planning that will focus on building community and enhancing communication among our AAPI workforce.” NSWCDD mentors led discussions in small group settings on four topics: increasing success in your current position; development opportunities; mentoring; and career planning. The eight mentors – including six leaders with AAPI heritage – shared their experiences and perspectives with mentees while guiding the conversations. “I personally enjoyed learning more about the AAPI community and culture and employee feedback indicates participants benefited from the opportunity to network and share lessons learned,” said

Lohr. “Many mentioned it motivated them to pursue further mentoring opportunities and many indicated it helped them generate ideas for developmental opportunities to achieve career goals.” The mentees networked with other employees in similar roles to learn about best practices and success stories. They engaged in discussions about the challenges they face as well as the development opportunities within and outside of their positions. “We are seeking to cultivate a sense of community and vision within the NSWCDD Asian American and Pacific Islander population,” said Yee. “We informed employees about the special emphasis program and associated challenges faced by our community.” Yee, Dävé and their NSWCDD AAPI Special Emphasis Program team are looking into various venues, such as the flash mentoring event, that will promote understanding and help overcome barriers to the recruitment and advancement of Asian and Pacific Islanders. “Our desire is that those in attendance (at the flash mentoring event) will spread the word within their respective organizations that

Gaurang Dävé - mentors Navy civilians at an NSWCDD “flash mentoring” event. our AAPI leadership is very interested in helping the AAPI community come together, providing much needed support for professional development and growth,” said Yee. “Based on feedback, the event was a resounding success, both among AAPI and non-AAPI alike.” This was the fifth in a series of NSWCDD flash mentoring events since November 2012, with the next event likely taking place this fall. For more information about the history of Asian and Pacific Islanders and their numerous contributions to the Navy, visit http:// highlights/asian/asian-index.htm.

Secretary of the Navy Names His Safety Excellence Award Winners

NSWCDD Commended for “Safety Integration in Acquisition” Washington — Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that the System Safety Engineering Division team at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) is one of his 2014 Safety Excellence Award recipients. The NSWCDD team – among 18 winners spanning seven categories – represented the Safety Integration in Acquisition Award category, according to a July 1 press release issued by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Safety Public Affairs. “This award recognizes many years of hard work, dedication, and innovation in the field of system safety,” said Andy Knott, acting deputy NSWCDD Engagement Systems Department head. The Secretary of the Navy’s Safety Excellence Awards - created to showcase Navy and Marine Corps commands that exemplify exceptional and sustained safety excellence – recognizes commands and programs that have gone above and beyond normal duties to ensure the safety of Sailors, Marines, civilians, and resources. The Safety Integration in Acqui-

sition Award category commends teams with an acquisition mission that made a significant impact by integrating safety into their programs, projects or systems. “The Systems Safety Engineering Division at NSWCDD has been on the cutting edge for developing and advancing system safety engineering practices, processes and methodologies for decades,” said Melissa Lederer, NSWCDD Systems Safety Engineering Division head. “As an organization we have been forward focused in developing new and innovative approaches to system safety engineering for systems of systems and new and emergent technologies.” On the horizon at NSWC Dahlgren Division are integration and interoperability safety, and the application of system safety within a mission engineering approach. “The strategic planning and innovative approaches implemented within the organization are expected to facilitate new methods as we engage in these advanced disciplinary concepts,” said Lederer. “It is this See Safety, page 4

WASHINGTON - An artist’s rendering shows the Office of Naval Research-funded electromagnetic railgun installed aboard the joint high-speed vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3). The railgun - a long-range weapon that launches projectiles using electricity instead of chemical propellants - is undergoing testing at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD). (U.S. Navy photo illustration/Released)


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july 2014 • THE SOURCE

Health and Wellness Expo Empowers NSWCDD Employees Dahlgren — Students from the Dahlgren School figuratively - and literally - kicked off a new partnership promoting health and wellness at an exposition here June 4. It began as Joe Plato, the DoD education activity’s physical education instructor, and more than 100 students inspired the event’s vendors and visitors to exercise. “Mr. Plato and the students led our vendors and attendees in their daily warm-up routine to prepare us for a full day of fun, sun and education on a variety of topics related to health and wellness,” said Debbie Bardine, from the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Human Resources Policy and Programs Branch. “The expo highlighted various aspects of health and wellness and introduced attendees to goods and services available locally to support them in reaching their health and wellness goals.” NSWCDD partnered with Naval Support Facility (NSF) Dahlgren

Morale Welfare and Recreation to conduct the event, enabling about 500 civilian personnel and service members the opportunity to assess their health status and become knowledgeable in healthy lifestyle habits. Visitors received firsthand advice about self-assessment from a cadre of professionals in the areas ranging

from physical wellness to mental and emotional well-being to family and community wellness. The event hosted more than 30 vendors - including local health and fitness organizations - that provided information, demonstrations, visual aids, and health screenings on location.

Safety: Integration in Acquisition From page 3 forward looking approach and proactivity in advancing the discipline which distinguishes the Systems Safety Engineering Division as the premier U.S. Navy safety organization for acquisition programs and demonstrates our strong practice of advancing the culture of robust system safety engineering practices and their In addition to NSWCDD, the Secretary of the Navy’s Safety Excellence Awards winners for 2014 are: For the Industrial Awards category, which includes shipyards, shore intermediate maintenance activities, regional maintenance centers, ordnance stations, public works centers, depots, and logistics bases: • For a working population of less than 1,000: Marine Corps Support Facility Blount Island, Blount Island Command, Florida • For a working population of 3,001 or greater: Norfolk Naval Shipyard,Virginia • For the Non-Industrial Awards category, which includes stations, bases, training facilities, research and development laboratories, and Navy medicine facilities: • For a working population of less than 1,000: Naval Support Activity Monterey, California • For a working population of 1,001 to 3,000: Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, California • For a working population of 3,001 or greater: Marine Corps Installations-East Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina For the Fleet Operational and Fleet Support Award category, which includes deployable units located ashore not eligible for ship or aviation safety awards: • Marine Corps Engineer School, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina • For the Afloat Awards category, which includes commissioned afloat Navy units and civil ser-

integration within acquisition.” NSWCDD systems safety engineers ensure naval guns, ammunition, and gun barrels headed for the fleet are safe and effective. Moreover, they oversee the safe development and testing of new weapons from the electromagnetic railgun to the laser weapons system in addition to testing of new types of ammunition, such as reactive materials. vice manned ships: • For Large Deck: USS Boxer (LHD 4) • For Surface Combatant: USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) • For Amphibious: USS San Antonio (LPD 17) • For Submarine: USS Texas (SSN 775) • For Auxiliary: USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) • For the Aviation Awards category, which includes active duty and reserve units operating under aircraft controlling custodians: • For Navy Active Duty: Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 49 (HSL-49) • For Marine Corps Active Duty: Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 (VMGR-252) • For Navy Reserve: Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 58 (VR-58) • For Marine Corps Reserve: Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 112 (VMFA-112) • For Training: Training Squadron Two One (VT21) For the Emerging Center of Excellence Award category, which recognizes exceptional promise for future safety excellence leadership:

Sailors assigned to the Branch Health Clinic Dahlgren were onsite to test participants’ blood pressure. Several vendors provided live demos to inspire and introduce attendees to group physical fitness classes that are available locally. In addition to information about products and services intended to promote a healthy lifestyle, the event featured a 5K race in honor of the Battle of Midway and a display by the King George Farmers Market. Staff from Dahlgren School talked about their initiative to enhance students’ physical health alongside academics. Instead of the usual three days of gym class per week, students at Dahlgren School participate in physical activities every day.

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: Phone: 540-775-2024 Fax: 540-775-4099

• Mishap Investigation Training and Support Implementation Team, Marine Corps Systems Command,Virginia The awards winners will receive a plaque, citation, and the Secretary of the Navy’s Safety Excellence flag, as well as the honor of flying the Safety Excellence flag for one year.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of Virginia’s policy for achieving equal housing opportunity throughout the Commonwealth. We encourage and support advertising and marketing programs in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, elderliness, familial status or handicap.

THE SOURCE • july 2014


©Marty van Duyne/News Net News

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Top left: Klaudia Lipford and Brian Cloud prepare their raft for the race. Above: Amber Mason chases down her daughter Skyden as the toddler chases bubbles. Left: The Rap-Ness Monster crew waits to launch the long sea serpent.

4th: A day full of celebrations From page 1 paddle wheel boat served as the awards platform and was open to the public for the race. Independence Day activities included a Heritage Festival Five Mile Run, Heritage Day Parade, and Festival of the Streets in Old Town Fredericksburg. A Fabulous 4th of July was held

all day at George Washington’s Ferry Farm. The July 4 celebrations culminated at Pratt Park. Amber and Bryan Mason of Caroline County brought their 19-month-old daughter Skyden to the park for the July 4th Spectacular. This was the first time they attended the family friendly event that offered games and activities for

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children and adults. And as kites flew and giant Frisbees were tossed in the air, the Mason’s chased Skyden as the toddler chased bubbles across the field. The Quantico Marine Corps Rock and Roll Band treated attendees to a concert. Patrick A’Hearn and Riverside Theater’s cast of West Side Story joined the Quantico Marine Corps Band on the main stage at 8 p.m. Their performance lasted through the firework display that capped off the Independence Day festivities. The annual July 4 events are sponsored by the City of Fredericksburg and Stafford County. Stafford County River Rescue teams patrolled the Rappahannock River during the Raft Race and EMT teams and Stafford Sheriff ’s deputies were stationed throughout Pratt Park during the July 4th Spectacular.

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NSWCDD Employees Honored for Impact on New Combat Systems Acquisition Process, Saving Navy $400M

Dahlgren — Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Technical Director Dennis McLaughlin (center, front row) joins NSWCDD members of the Aegis Combat Swap out of your old vehicle and intocompetition a new System Engineering Agent (CSEA) team honored with Aegis Excellence Awardsour at a Summer June 20 ceremony here.Sales Ford during Swap Out Rear Adm. (select) Jon Hill - Integrated Warfare Systems (IWS) Director of Cruiser & DeEvent, with DISCOUNTS stroyer Combat Systems - presented the Program Executive Office IWS Aegis Excellence

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Awards to the Dahlgren team for their impact in an unprecedented acquisition. The Aegis CSEA team completed the first full and open competition of the Aegis combat system in 40 years, saving the Navy an estimated $400 million. Pictured with McLaughlin and 18 award recipients is Kyle Jones (left, back row), head of the NSWCDDWarfare Systems Program Office. In all, 28 Dahlgren awardees helped establish a new process that will shape surface Navy combat systems acquisition for the next 10 years.







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Left to right: Center for Surface Combat Systems Commanding Officer Capt. Bill McKinley, Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Petty Officer Nicholas Newman, and Naval Attaché to the United States for RAN Commodore Steve McDowall pose for a photo during the Fire Control System Operators (FCS) / Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) RAN graduation at the Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS), onboard Naval Support Facility Dahlgren.

The Fire Control System Operators (FCS) / Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Royal Australian Navy (RAN) students pose for a photo during their graduation ceremony at the Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS), onboard Naval Support Facility Dahlgren. These Sailors will be manning the new Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers (DDGs), which are equipped with the AEGIS Combat System.

(U.S. Navy photos by Joe Garry, CSCS International Programs)

International partner graduates at Dahlgren schoolhouse Dahlgren — 10 Fire Control System Operators (FCS) / Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Royal Australia Navy (RAN) students graduated during a ceremony at the Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS), onboard Naval Support Facility Dahlgren, Jul. 3. Commodore Steve McDowall, the Naval Attaché to the United States for RAN, and Capt. Bill McKinley, CSCS commanding officer, presided over the ceremony. “Well done on your hard work, application, teamwork, results, and representation of Australia,” McDowall said. “Now, you are ready to take your knowledge and experience and help our Navy learn, implement, and execute AEGIS. You are the leading force of our new navy.” McKinley discussed the importance of RAN and United States Navy’s partnership. “We have built a strong relationship with RAN and as we progress with the AWD program, it will only

get stronger,” McKinley said. “You are entering a new era - you will be the first Australian Sailors to work on Australian AEGIS equipment. You have worked very hard to stand where you are today. The RAN and USN are proud of your hard work and brilliant success.” These Sailors will be manning the new Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers (DDGs), which are equipped with the AEGIS Combat System. They first commenced training at the schoolhouse Jan. 13 and have gone through various courses, including AEGIS Radar System (SPY) AWD. Petty Officer Nicholas Newman, RAN’s AEGIS weapon system supervisor, has gone through the rigorous training since the beginning of the new year. “The instructors have a wealth of knowledge,” Newman said. “They have shared their experience with AEGIS and the FCS AWD course is the best maintenance and operating

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course I have gone through. This training has empowered us to do our best and meet the challenges of delivering this future capability.” The Center for Surface Combat Systems mission is to develop and deliver surface ship combat systems training to achieve surface warfare superiority. CSCS headquarters’ staff oversees 14 learning sites and

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ready teams capable of operations that maintain and expertly employ surface combatants. The directorate partners with U.S. training, readiness, and policy organizations, as well as other government agencies and industry to support international missions. —Story by Kimberly Lansdale, Center for Surface Combat Systems

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Hall: Change of Command From page 1 standard classrooms, hands-on labs, simulations, as well as computerbased and interactive courseware. Make no mistake, this highly talented staff is instrumental in maintaining the health and relevancy of the Aegis fleet.” Hall was presented his second Legion of Merit for many of his accomplishments at ATRC. Part of the award citation extoled the captain as, “expertly leading his staff of more than 260 military and civilian personnel, he championed computer-based solutions to reinforce student knowledge, retention, and performance through tools, such as the synthetic combat operator trainer, to develop near-term training solutions for Navy integrated fire control-counter air.” McKinley also commented on the future of ATRC under the new leadership. “Capt. Galluch’s background and experience make him a perfect fit for ATRC,” said McKinley. “I look forward to your brilliance and plan on working closely with you to continue the storied legacy of Aegis training.” Galluch said he looks forward to becoming part of the ATRC community. “I am impressed at the capabil-

“ATRC has a superb reputation of providing Sailors to the fleet that are professionally trained and have extremely high military standards. Not every school house can say that, but Capt. Ian Hall can take great pride in this legacy.” — Capt. Bill McKinley

ity and expertise this schoolhouse encompasses and we will continue to provide superior training support to the Fleet,” said Galluch. AEGIS Training and Readiness Center’s mission is to provide enlisted personnel with the knowledge, ability, and skill to operate and maintain the AEGIS Combat System through timely, effective, and integrated training delivered across the Sailors’ careers and provide officers the knowledge, ability, and skill to operate, employ, and assess the readiness of the AEGIS and SSDS combat systems aboard surface warships. ATRC trains the future Surface Force 24 hours a day, five days a week.


Top right: Capt. Ian Hall is “piped over the side” after he is relieved from his duties as AEGIS Training and Readiness Center commanding officer during the ATRC Change of Command Ceremony on board Naval Support Facility (U.S. Navy photo by Fire Controlman 1st Class Randy Palmer)

Bottom right: Capt. Pete Galluch, AEGIS Training and Readiness Center’s new commanding officer, Capt. Ian Hall, former ATRC commanding officer, and Capt. Bill McKinley, Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS) commanding officer, pose for a photo. Hall was relieved of his duties as commanding officer by Galluch at the ATRC Change of Command ceremony. (U.S. Navy photo by Fire Controlman 1st Class Randy Palmer)

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Top left: Maranatha Alpaca’s 2-year-old Hosanna gets up close and personal while yearling James continues to snack. Top: Blue Grass band The Believers are the first to perform on the newly dedicated stage. Below: Celebration Stage sits in a natural amphitheater in Pratt Park.

Stafford 350th: Celebration Stage dedicated at Pratt Park Marty van Duyne News Net News Falmouth — Stafford County continued the celebration of its 350th Anniversary by dedicating Celebration Stage at John Lee Pratt Park on June 25.

The stage is nestled near a cluster of tall trees in a natural amphitheater just inside the park’s River Rd. entrance. The permanent structure will provide a location for programs, events, and performing groups. “The 350th Anniversary Blue Ribbon Committee set out to leave

a lasting mark with our commemoration this year and Celebration Stage will help create that legacy in Stafford,” said Harry Crisp, chair of the committee and former Stafford Supervisor. The grand opening included a family festival in the park and performances on Celebration Stage by The Believers, Riverside Center Children’s Theatre, Winding Creek African Ensemble, Mt. Hope Baptist Choir, Stafford Dance Center, and Stage Door Productions. The dedication was the third major event slated for the county’s 350th Anniversary. Wings and Wheels will take place on Oct. 1 at Stafford Regional Airport. It will commemorate Stafford’s military heritage with flight dem-

onstrations, military exhibits, and a motorcycle and antique car show. Trail to Freedom Tour/Rowser African-American History Wall Opening is scheduled for Nov. 1. The tour commemorates the

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lives, strengths, personal stories, and struggles of Stafford’s African American citizens. 350th Anniversary activities are ongoing throughout the year. Details can be found at

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july 2014 • THE SOURCE

Downhill run

Racers compete in Soap Box Derby Marty van Duyne News Net News Fredericksburg — It was all downhill for 105 competitors in the 18th Annual Rappahannock Regional Soap Box Derby on June 14. Several area students participated, with three King George youngsters racking up some extra miles close to home before the downhill run on William Street Hill. Lucy, Oscar, and Frank Vendetti practiced for the Derby on the hill that runs from the Journal Press offices to the Community Care Clinic parking lot at the bottom of Journal Pkwy. Their dad, Vince Vendetti said he didn’t gauge the grade of the Journal Pkwy. hill, but noted that William St. is a lot longer and said, “It gave the kids a chance to practice handling the car.” Oscar Vendetti, 11 competed in the Stock Division in car 301 sponsored by Carroll’s Automotive and J’s Cars finishing in the top 8. Lucy Vendetti, 9 also raced in Stocks in car 206 sponsored by Simpson’s Lawn Care and placed in the top 16. Frank Vendetti, 13 raced in Super Stock division in Car 329 sponsored by Roxbury Mills and finished in the top 16.

The Vendetti boys have competed in the Fredericksburg race for four years. This was Lucy Vendetti’s first Soap Box Derby. According to Vince Vendetti all three plan to race next year. “Unless Oscar hits a major growth spurt, they will remain in the same divisions,” said Vince Vendetti. “Although the base of the car is the same as Stock Division the Super Stock shell is a little bigger which allows more room for bigger racers - mostly just bigger feet.” The Vendettis got involved in Soap Box Derby racing somewhat by accident. “My friend Marcus Tepaske who owns the house at the race starting gate found a car in his garage when he bought the house,” said Vince Vendetti. “The previous owner said he could have it and he asked if either of my boys wanted to race.” Oscar was immediately interested in racing and the Vendettis took the car to a clinic run by Race Director Alvin Staples. “You found car 156,” said Staples. “I’ve been looking for that one for six years!” The Vendettis found that many regulatory changes had been put into place since car 156 last raced and it needed significant up-

grades. “However, there were a lot of ‘cars without drivers and Alvin (Staples) asked if Frank also wanted to race,” said Vince Vendetti. “We picked up two cars and got them set up for race day in 2011.” The Vendettis currently have three cars on loan from sponsors. “I haven’t bought a single car kit,” said Vince Vendetti. “We keep the cars year round and as long as we have a driver for them everyone is happy.” When his kids can no longer race or decide to give up the sport the cars will be returned to the sponsors or they will be passed on to another driver according to Vince Vendetti. He makes each of his kids work on their own car including tedious tasks like pulling 40 screws out of the shell to get to the weights and other mechanical parts of the racer. Other local area Stock drivers included Harli Ingram of Warsaw in the Rappahannock Motors car, Mason Long and Taylor Meadows of King George racing in Pizarro Grocery and Stine Chiropractic cars, respectively. Meadows finished the race in the top four. Super Stock drivers from King

Soap Box Derby Division Champions Stock - Caroline Coleman, 12 of Woodford Super Stock - Olivia Askew, 15 of Spotsylvania Masters - Michael Burgess, 13 of Stafford Super Kids - Tyler Fry, 15 of Stafford Super Kids - Oxlee Rodriquez, Jr., 12 of Quantico The division winners will

George were Haley Heflin in a Pizarro Grocery car and Madeline Johnson driving the WFLS car. No area residents raced in the Masters Division. Dahlgren employee and Stafford resident Troy Altizer purchased cars previously driven by King George residents Stephen and Christopher Klopp. His daughter Morgan, 11 drove in the Stock Division and his son Logan, 12 raced in Super Stock. The Fredericksburg “The Free Lance-Star Cox Classic Soap Box Derby” includes a Super Kids Division for special needs racers age 9 to 18. The entrants are paired with previous champion drivers in a two-seater car. Staples said champions Heather Burgess of Stafford and Barbour Ulrich of Spotsylvania were at the

participate in the All American Soap Box Derby (AASBD) in Akron, Ohio from July 20 to 26. AASBD Age Limit Raised The All American Soap Box Derby organization (www. increased the age limit this year to 18. However the participant must not be over age by Aug. 14, 2014.

wheel this year. Vince Vendetti thinks the Derby is an awesome program and said when the kids finish each race they say, “I can’t wait for next year!” “In an age where ‘everyone is a winner’ the Soap Box Derby brings much needed competition back into the lives of our children,” said Vince Vendetti. “It’s good for these kids to experience the rewards of their hard work and to deal with the fact that maybe someone is faster than them.” Friendships are forged on the spot and good sportsmanship is witnessed during participation in the event. “After Lucy was knocked out by Anna Kate, she waited at the finish line and cheered her on for the rest of the races and hugged her when she got out of her car!” said Vince See DERBY, page 11

Students compete in Navy-focused Grand Robotics Mission See their future in STEM John Joyce NSWC Dahlgren Division Corporate Communications King George — Middle school students who completed a Grand Robotics Mission Challenge at the Virginia Demonstration Project (VDP) Summer Academy are now looking forward to a future filled with more “STEM” challenges on a grand scale. In all, 93 students applied their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills to solve problems of Navy interest at the National Defense Education Program (NDEP) sponsored event from June 23-27. “It is exciting for me to experience students approaching you to share their eye-opening STEM understanding and their STEM career discoveries with a smile on their face,” said Jane Bachman, VDP STEM Dahlgren Academy Director. “This year, the student teams exhibited tenacity as they tried really hard to complete all ten of the Navy focused robotic missions.” Bachman – a Navy human per-

Above: Middle school students - mentored by Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division scientists and engineers - check a robot they designed and built at the Virginia Demonstration Project Summer Academy. (U.S. Navy Photo by Ryan DeShazo/released)

formance in simulation lead engineer – joined her Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) colleagues to work with 16 teachers from five Virginia

middle school systems to challenge students throughout the week with scenarios mimicking real engineering problems. “All week, we worked on 10 dif-

Left: Middle school students work on creating a map of underwater terrain using the ultrasonic sensor and data collection features of the robotic software for ships to navigate a dangerous area of the ocean. (U.S. Navy Photo by George Smith/released)

ferent robotics missions,” said Linda Lapp, a Spotsylvania Freedom Middle School physical science teacher

who worked with an NSWCDD See STEM, page 12

THE SOURCE • july 2014


Derby: Family project From page 10

If you live, work, worship, or attend school in King George



©Marty van Duyne/News Net News

Above: Harli Ingram picks up speed right out of the chute. Right: Madeline Johnson concentrates on the downhill course. Below: A Super Kids Division two-seater heads down William Street Hill.

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Vendetti. “Really awesome to see.” He said parents get to participate in an event that is supported by nothing more than the generosity of the volunteers that run it. Vince Vendetti lauded the entire Staples family, Alvin, Michele, and their three kids for their efforts in running the entire annual event and said, “I only hope I am as selfless as them when I’m done moving cars for my own kids!” He noted that there are cars available for kids wanting to race and said, “I hope we get more racers from King George to participate.” The Fredericksburg race has

maintained a status quo on number of annual participants according to Staples and everyone from rookies to veterans are welcome to participate. “Caroline Coleman, this year’s Stock division winner is a first time racer,” said Staples. “I think it’s a wonderful unique opportunity for the kids and wish more parents would take advantage of the program,” he said. “They just need to give us a call.” Details on “The Free Lance-Star Cox Classic Soap Box Derby” and contact information for race directors Alvin and Michele Staples can be found at

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STEM: Summer Academy From page 3 mentor in guiding her team of six students. “The missions covered real life Navy experiences – things like mine sweeping, delivering the railgun to the ship, rescuing a swimmer, and rescuing a ship. We’re doing all these different types of robotics missions using our robots.” In the Grand Robotics Challenge, the student teams worked to demonstrate one non-stop mission of seven robotic Navy focused challenges. This activity emphasizes modular programming and component reuse skills. “The teams program their robots one time to see how many missions they could successfully complete during a little 15-minute window - and the team had two tries to accomplish the grand mission,” explained Lapp. “It applies to real world because you want to utilize the manpower and the ship power for more than one mission.” Navy officials anticipate the students may one day use their STEM skills at Navy warfare center laboratories to design future technologies supporting U.S. warfighters and America’s homeland defense and security personnel engaged in realworld missions. “The summer STEM academy is a one-of-a-kind experience,” said Jesse Blackburn, a Stafford County Dixon-Smith Middle School physical science teacher. “Students are afforded the unique opportunity to engage with scientists and engineers in a way that very few their age have been able to do. The academy allows students to create and problemsolve using the principles found in many STEM related careers. This is a program that builds excitement and will continue to push students toward STEM related degrees and careers.” The NDEP VDP goal is to increase the attraction of the Navy’s warfare centers and shipyards as an eventual place of employment for students participating in the program. The program teams up teachers like Lapp and Blackburn with practicing scientists and engineers from the mentor-rich environment at the Naval Warfare Centers. During the school year, science and math themes featuring robotics problems are integrated throughout the curriculum. “At the end of the summer academy, over half of the students raised their hands in response to a question regarding their interest in pursuing STEM careers – Wow!” said Jajuana Avery. “Sharing my story allowed me to give the students an opportunity to dream and set goals like I did once I was introduced to a science career.”

The students engaged 16 NSWCDD scientist and engineer mentors in career awareness discussions. The mentors included scientists and engineers who have mentored students in STEM for several years as well as first-time mentors such as Avery and Joey Wilson, from the NSWCDD Electromagnetic and Sensor Systems Department. “I was pleasantly surprised at both the positive attitudes and capabilities of the students in the team I mentored,” said Wilson, a Navy computer scientist. “I believe they are destined for very bright futures. At the end of STEM camp, one of the students thanked me for being a good mentor. That’s when it hit me that I connected with the students and maybe touched them in a way that will influence the rest of their life in a positive way. It is a very good feeling to know I may

have made a difference.” The summer academy was a week full of experiments and hands on science activities, said Diamond Chick, a Stafford County Student, adding that she enjoyed the opportunity to experience a variety of science and engineering areas from life science to civil engineering in addition to meeting other students from different schools and counties. “I like the tower test the best,” she said. “It was a chance to work with drafting and present all the stuff you would as an engineer in a real life situation, like a design brief.” NDEP VDP originated under the Office of Naval Research N-STAR (Naval Research - Science and Technology for America’s Readiness), a science and technology workforce development program launched in 2004. It was initiated to show a diversity of pre-teens and teens that math, science and engineering are fascinating, fun and rewarding. Moreover, the Dahlgren VDP

STEM Academy runs a parallel junior mentor program where eight high school students, an NSWCDD scientist or engineer mentor, and a middle school teacher who encourage and engage students in advanced robotic missions, leadership roles, and presentation skills. Since its inception, VDP’s ultimate goal has been to establish educational outreach programs at other Navy research and development centers throughout the country. The initiative could eventually

expand beyond the Navy and evolve into a national demonstration project encompassing all Department of Defense laboratories in a sustained effort to secure the longterm competitiveness of America’s science and technology workforce by hooking more kids on math and science at an earlier age. As a result, the number of students earning university degrees in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology is expected to exponentially increase.

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Dahlgren Source - July, 2014  

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Dahlgren Source - July, 2014  

We're all about Dahlgren, Virginia