www.ﬂagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 1 | Thursday, November 17, 2022 1
IN THIS ISSUE
At Vietnam Wall, Austin Remembers Veterans Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III recalled the service of some of the veterans of that war and how their service both served the nation, and in one case, his own call to serve. Page A4 VOL. 29, NO. 43, Norfolk, VA | ﬂagshipnews.com
November 17-November 23, 2022
Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Two holds change of command ceremony
By Lt. Brittany Stephens
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group Two
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Cmdr. Nicholas Quihuis relieved Cmdr. Daniel Bailey as commander, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) Two during a change of command ceremony at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek- Fort Story, Nov 9. The ceremony comprised of a presentation of award to Bailey, followed by a reading of orders, and Quihuis’s assumption of command, and concluded with remarks from both leaders in front of family, friends and the Sailors of EODMU Two. During the ceremony, outgoing commander Bailey remarked on the EODMU Two’s accomplishments and readiness. “In a few moments, you will hear an award citation which will recount the impact EODMU Two has made on various Fleets and Special Operations Commands,” Bailey stated. “Though it is my privilege to receive this award on behalf of the crew, it is the crew… who provided uninterrupted expeditionary impact. They are the ones standing the watch, and they are the ones operating with extreme precision.” The change of command ceremony is a unique Naval tradition; it transfers total responsibility and authority from one individual to another. “To the Sailors of EODMU Two, I look forward to serving you in this capacity and to support you in your pursuits of professional and personal success” said Quihuis, following the reading of orders and assumption of command of EODMU Two. “You provide our Navy and this Nation a unique capability to ensure the maneuver of the force, and together, we will be ready for that tasking.” Prior to assuming command of EODMU Two, Quihuis served as the Navy EOD Assignments and Placements Officer in Millington, TN. He also served as the Executive Officer of EODMU Eight in Rota, Spain. EODMU Two provides combat ready deployable Navy EOD forces capable of deploying anytime, anywhere in support of the Fleet and national interests.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Nov. 9, 2022)- Cmdr. Nicholas Quihuis, commanding officer of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobil Unit (EODMU) Two salutes sidesboys after he assumed command in a change of command ceremony. EODMU Two provides combat ready deployable Navy EOD forces capable of deploying anytime, anywhere in support of the Fleet and national interests. (U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY LT. BRITTANY STEPHENS/ RELEASED)
Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s Veterans Employee Readiness Group leads annual celebration of our veterans during Fall-In for Colors By Kristi R Britt
Norfolk Naval Shipyard
Each year on November 11, the nation comes together to honor veterans of the armed services and celebrate their responsibilities and achievements in protecting the freedoms of the American people. This coincides with the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 marking the end of World War I — when a truce was declared between the Allied nations and Germany. In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson then proclaimed Nov. 11 as the ﬁrst commemoration of Armistice Day — a day to honor the service members who fought in that war. Today, this day is now known as Veterans Day — a celebration of the men and women who’ve served and sacriﬁced in the name of freedom. The Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) Veterans Employee Readiness Group (VET-ERG) kicked off this year’s celebration with the annual Veterans Day Fall-In for Colors Nov. 8, inviting the workforce and Sailors of America’s Shipyard to come together and celebrate our veterans for their contributions to our nation. The celebration included an invocation and benediction by Navy Region Mid-Atlantic (NRMA) Chap-
lain Capt. Steve Shaw, and performances from the U.S. Fleet Forces Band Brass Quintet and bagpiper Lt. Col. (Ret.) Thomas Metz. “Whenever I meet a veteran, it’s important for me to thank you for the legacy you left with me. Your hard work and legacy inspires us all and we can’t thank you enough for your service,” said presiding officer and Code 1200 Business and Strategic Planning Officer Capt. Scott Tracey at the event. Col. Tavi Brunson of 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) was the guest speaker for the event, sharing his thoughts on the importance of Veterans Day as well as celebrating veterans and their families. “Today we recognize those who demonstrate patriotism, love their country, and are willing to sacriﬁce and serve for the common good,” he said. “Given the historical perspective of the day, you may ask what is a veteran? What qualiﬁes someone to assume the mantle and moniker of a veteran of the United States Armed Forces? U.S. Code identiﬁes them as a person who served in active service. I would submit to you that being a veteran is more than that. To me it’s indicative of the wellspring of pride amongst our veteran populace — such as those that wear their caps Turn to Fall-In for Colors, Page 7
Norfolk Naval Shipyard Veterans Employee Readiness Group President Josh Wannemacher thanks guest speaker Col. Tavi Brunson of 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) for participating in the annual Veterans Day Fall-In for Colors Nov. 8.
SCSTC ATRC hosts local Navy Junior ROTC students
$400 Million Security Package Headed to Ukraine
NEXCOM’s NEXT gen Scholars Program
NJROTC cadets and their instructors visited SCSTC ATRC as part of an overall effort to help potential future warﬁghters learn more about careers and opportunities in the Navy. PAGE A3
HAWK air defense system missiles, Avenger air defense systems and Stinger missiles are headed to Ukraine as part of a presidential drawdown authority security assistance package. PAGE A5
Enter now! Since 1997, this Program has been rewarding qualiﬁed students with cash prizes for getting good grades. The next drawing is in December. PAGE A7
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The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 1 | Thursday, November 17, 2022
Newest IWCs are heading to the Fleet! Courtesy Story
Naval Information Warfare Center
Naval Information Warﬁghting Development Center (NIWDC) held a graduation ceremony Nov. 4 for seven new Information Warfare Commanders (IWC) in its fourth iteration of the Prospective-IWC class. This is the ﬁrst class to graduate under Capt. Bryan Braswell, commander, NIWDC, who forged a place in IW history as the ﬁrst aﬂoat IWC. A signiﬁcant milestone, Braswell served on board USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group as the IWC from 2015 until 2017. These IWCs successfully completed the rigorous three-week course, and are now equipped with more in-depth knowledge of Battle Space Awareness (BA), Assured Command and Control (AC2), as well as Integrated Fires (IF); and a network of resources to aid in the accomplishment of the IW mission at large. “This course helped solidify and operationalize concepts and practices of integrating IW at the level of a CSG,” said Capt. Zachary Mckeehan, one of the graduates who will report to Carrier Strike Group Nine as the IWC. The objective of the IWC course is to educate selected P-IWC candidates to integrate within the Composite Warfare Commander (CWC) construct, and to plan, integrate, and synchronize IW into CSG, Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG)
operations, and Fleet Maritime Operations Centers (MOCs). Capt. Danielle Williams, CSG Four, stated the class provided, “A foundation in which to build upon as I integrate and work with other Warfare Commanders.” This foundation is accomplished throughout the course with class presentations, guest lectures, table top scenarios, and practical exercises. In addition, site visits to United States Fleet Forces Command / Commander 2nd Fleet, Naval Information Forces, Information Warfare Training Group Norfolk, and various local commands give students a practical look at how IW is employed and supported throughout the ﬂeet. “There is importance and complexity of integrating IW in all levels of Carrier Strike Group operations. It is critical in everything we do!” Capt. Mitchell H. Finke concluded. “I appreciate the opportunity to train and educate these key Fleet IW leaders to help prepare them for high-end competition,” stated Braswell. NIWDC is the U.S. Navy’s IW tactical center of excellence, which enhances fleet high-end warfighting capabilities and readiness across the operational and tactical levels of war. For more information on NIWDC, visit https://www.navifor. usff.navy.mil/Organization/Operational-Forces/NIWDC/ or NIWDC’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/NIWDC .
Capt. Bryan Braswell, commander, Naval Information Warﬁghting Development Center (center, front row) stands in front of NIWDC’s Headquarters building with the ﬁrst class of graduated Information Warfare Commanders (IWC) since he assumed command in June. Also in the bottom row (from left to right) are Mr. Melvin Alston, Instructor, Mr. Franklin Crowley, Instructor, Capt. Laumann Errol, commanding officer, Navy Information Operations Command Texas / commander, Task Force 1040, and Mr. Daniel Kenda, Instructor. In the top row (from left to right) are the graduates of the fourth IWCs class: Capt. Mitch Finke, 10th Fleet Navy Intelligence Program, Capt. Chris Kopach, Tactical Training Group Atlantic, Capt. Adam Johnson, 7th Fleet, Capt. Zach Mckeehan, Carrier Strike Group Nine, Capt. Dave Sobba, Carrier Strike Group One, and Capt. Danielle Williams, Carrier Strike Group Four. (U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY LT. J.G. JENNIFER MARKS / RELEASED)
Marine Corps 247th birthday ‘Relay Run’ makes strides on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story VIRGINIA BEACH, Va (November 9, 2021) Colonel Christopher A. Browning, Commanding Officer, Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Atlantic, Captain Darren W. Nelson, Executive Officer, Master Gunnery Sergeant David Menusa, Senior Enlisted Leader, and Aviation Electronics Technician Senior Chief William R. Liddle, Senior Enlisted Advisor, lead the command in a Marine Corps birthday formation run. In celebration of the United States Marine Corps’ 247th birthday, Marines, Sailors, and Civilians of Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Atlantic (EWTGLANT) participate in a 247 mile run. This USMC birthday celebration run began the afternoon of Monday, November 7th with individual runners running in 10 minute continuous increments, over two nights, for the initial 246 miles and ﬁnished the 247th mile with a formation run on Wednesday, November 9th. (U.S. MARINE CORPS PHOTO BY BRANDON E. HOLMES/ RELEASED)
From Carrier Strike Group 4 Public Affairs VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Marines, Sailors and civilians assigned to Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Atlantic (EWTGLANT) celebrated the 247th Marine Corps Birthday with a relay run on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story from Nov. 7-9. The relay run commenced at 3 p.m. on Nov. 7 and ended at 8:05 a.m. on Nov. 9. The event comprised of 247 time slots, scheduling participants every 10 minutes to run a mile, and continued through all hours of the day and night until 247 miles were complete. Col. Christopher Browning, commanding officer, EWTGLANT, emphasized how impressed he was of the junior EWTGLANT Marines and Sailors who worked together and took it upon themselves to organize the second relay run of its kind on the base. “Last year, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly everybody signed up for the run and they wanted to try it again, so, we added one more mile this year,” said Browning. “The whole goal was not just to cele-
brate the Marine Corps Birthday, but, at the same time, bring our Navy brothers and sisters in and to show that we are an ‘EWTGLANT family.’ Most civilians who ran are retired military or former military, both Navy and Marine Corps, so that’s what makes this run so awesome.” The ﬁnal mile of the relay was a formation run consisting of Marines, Sailors and civilians carrying the American ﬂag, U.S. Marine Corps ﬂag and U.S. Navy ﬂag. A cadence was projected proudly as the formation made its ﬁnal lap to end 247 miles just after morning colors. Master Gunnery Sgt. David Menusa, senior enlisted leader, EWTGLANT, stressed that the run will most likely become a tradition because there has been such strong participation and interest. “The motivation to come out and do this event shows the love for the Corps and the Navy,” said Menusa. “The blue-green team is a family. We were all proud to do this together.” Aviation Electronics Technician Senior Chief Petty Officer (AW/SW) William Liddle, senior enlisted advisor, EWTGLANT, highlighted how unique this relay run is when it comes to demonstrating the bond
between the Navy and Marine Corps team. “This run represents 247 years of combined service,” said Liddle. “Sailors and Marines are one team, one ﬁght.” Capt. Darren Nelson, executive officer, EWTGLANT, reiterated the signiﬁcance of this run, especially in order to represent naval integration. “The run is all about teamwork … and gives us a mutual purpose for a little physical training and allows us to illustrate naval integration,” said Nelson. “The Navy and Marine Corps have been working together for 247 years. We are always together, always working together, we are family. When the time counts, we have each other’s back on land, at sea, or wherever our nation requires our versatile capabilities.” Yeoman Petty Officer 2nd Class William Simpson participated in the 246th birthday run last year and decided to join the run again this year to show support and teamwork. “This year I completed six miles, but last year I ran 37 miles,” said Simpson. “The Marines have a great culture of physical ﬁtness and I relate to that a lot. I’m motivated by their standards.” Expeditionary Warfare Training Group Atlantic (EWTGL) is a subordinate
Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic (CNRMA): Rear Adm Christopher“Scotty”Gray
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command of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 4 and is located on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach, Va. The command conducts world-class expeditionary warrior training, instruction, and assessment in the doctrine, tactics and techniques of naval expeditionary warfare with a focus on amphibious operations, in order to support operational commanders in maintaining forces ready to project military power from the sea. CSG 4 is a team that consists of experienced Sailors, Marines, government civilians and reservists, who mentor, train and assess U.S. 2nd Fleet combat forces to forward-deploy in support and defense of national interests. CSG 4’s experts shape the readiness of U.S. 2nd Fleet Carrier Strike Groups (CSG), Expeditionary Strike Groups (ESG), Amphibious Readiness Groups (ARG) and independent deploying ships through live, at-sea and synthetic training, as well as academic instruction. Along with its subordinate commands, Tactical Training Group Atlantic (TTGL) and EWTGLANT, CSG 4 prepares every Atlantic-based CSG, ARG and independent deployer for sustained forward-deployed high-tempo operations.
www.ﬂagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 1 | Thursday, November 17, 2022 3
DAHLGREN, Va. (Nov. 9, 2022) Surface Combat Systems Training Command (SCSTC) AEGIS Training and Readiness Center’s (ATRC) Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Shaun Dennis, talks with students and instructors from King George High School’s Navy Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (NJROTC). Over thirty NJROTC cadets visited SCSTC ATRC, onboard Naval Support Facility (NSF) Dahlgren, as part of an overall SCSTC effort to help potential future warﬁghters learn more about different careers and opportunities in the U.S. Navy. (U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MICHAEL BOVA)
SCSTC ATRC hosts local Navy Junior ROTC students By Kimberly Lansdale
Surface Combat Systems Training Command
DAHLGREN, Va. — Surface Combat Systems Training Command (SCSTC) AEGIS Training and Readiness Center (ATRC), onboard Naval Support Facility (NSF) Dahlgren, hosted students and instructors from King George High School’s Navy Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (NJROTC) on Nov. 9, 2022. Over thirty NJROTC cadets and their instructors visited SCSTC ATRC as part of an overall SCSTC effort to help potential future warﬁghters learn more about different careers and opportunities in the U.S. Navy. The group, freshman to senior high school students, were able to see ﬁrst-hand the equipment ﬁre controlman Aegis (FCA) Sailors work on and employ. “My team and I had a fantastic time hosting the cadets,” said Cmdr. Shaun Dennis, SCSTC ATRC’s commanding officer. “We provided a FCA rating presentation and then a tour of our tactical training equipment and combat information center lab. They were able to ask questions, interact with Sailors,
and have hands-on time in the labs.” While visiting Dahlgren, the cadets also had an opportunity to learn about the daily life of a base police officer and enjoy lunch at the base galley, Gray’s Landing. “This is an ongoing effort within the SCSTC domain and ATRC is looking forward to fostering more relationships with our local school communities,” explained Dennis. “It is essential we share our knowledge, experience, and expertise with students who could be the future generation of our warﬁghting force.” Surface Combat Systems Training Command (SCSTC) AEGIS Training and Readiness Center (ATRC) provides Sailors with the knowledge, ability, and skill to operate and maintain the AEGIS Combat System through timely, effective, and integrated training delivered across Sailors’ careers. SCSTC ATRC also provides Officers the knowledge, ability, and skill to operate, employ, and assess the readiness of the AEGIS combat system aboard surface warships. For information on the NJROTC program, visit: https://www.netc.navy.mil/ nstc/njrotc
DAHLGREN, Va. (Nov. 9, 2022) Surface Combat Systems Training Command (SCSTC) AEGIS Training and Readiness Center’s (ATRC) Director of Officer Training, Lt. Cmdr. Adam Galazka, shows students from King George High School’s Navy Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (NJROTC) how to use equipment ﬁre controlman Aegis (FCA) Sailors work on and employ. Over thirty NJROTC cadets visited SCSTC ATRC, onboard Naval Support Facility (NSF) Dahlgren, as part of an overall SCSTC effort to help potential future warﬁghters learn more about different careers and opportunities in the U.S. Navy. (U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MICHAEL BOVA)
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4 The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 1 | Thursday, November 17, 2022
At Vietnam wall, Austin remembers veterans’ past, present By C. Todd Lopez DoD News
In front of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall today, during a Veterans Day commemoration, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III recalled the service of some of the veterans of that war and how their service both served the nation, and in one case, his own call to serve. “For 40 years, this granite wall has never been just about history,” Austin said. “This solemn place has beckoned visitors to feel the profound connection between the past and the present in the simplest of ways — by reaching out a hand and touching a name. Standing at the wall, hand outstretched, we feel that the sacriﬁces of these 58,281 fallen Americans remain with us. They shape who we are today, and they urge us to live up to America’s full promise.” Every veteran who has served or who still does, Austin said, has made the United States safer and stronger. “That is the lasting legacy of your service,” Austin said. “And it demands our lasting gratitude.” The secretary recalled Vietnam veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Alfred V. Rascon. Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, Rascon served in the war but didn’t become a naturalized American citizen until after his initial service ended. “In Vietnam in 1966, [Spc. Rascon] found his platoon under assault,” Austin said. “Defying orders, he ran towards the ﬁreﬁght to help, and surrounded by teammates and severely injured himself, he threw his body in front of a comrade to shield him from enemy ﬁre. Incredibly, Spc. Rascon repeated this act of bravery two more times, covering two other teammates with his own body to absorb the explosions.” After becoming a U.S. citizen, Rascon became an Army officer and returned to serve again in Vietnam. In 2000, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions as an enlisted service member during a ceremony at the White House, and in 2002, he was conﬁrmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as the 10th director of the Selective Service System. Austin also remembered Army officer, and nurse, Lola Olsmith, who he said joined the military after seeing a recruiting ad for Army nurses on television. Olsmith later found herself in a hospital in Vietnam, working 12-hours shifts, and treating both American and Vietnamese personnel. “They would travel into villages and treat anyone who needed it,” Austin said. “One night during the Tet Offensive, when an explosion tore through their building, the young nurse lifted up a pregnant Vietnamese woman by herself and sheltered her under a bed for protection. So Lola Olsmith had found her calling.” After her time in Vietnam, Austin said, Olsmith remained an Army nurse and treated patients around the country, eventually progressing in rank to colonel as a nurse recruiter. “During Operation Desert Storm in 1991, Col. Olsmith found herself treating the war wounded overseas once again, a quarter century after she went to Vietnam,” Austin said. “And years later, reﬂecting on her military career, Col. Olsmith simply said, ‘I’m just very proud to be a part of it.’ ” Finally, Austin remembered one other Vietnam veteran — his own uncle. “I come from a family with a proud history of military service, and one of my uncles served in Vietnam as a communicator,” Austin said. “He was the very ﬁrst African-American Green Beret that I ever saw. He came home wearing ... his jump boots and that green beret ... those jump wings ... he was very impressive. My uncle was deeply and quietly proud of what he had contributed. And his pride helped to inspire me to serve as well. My uncle showed me how meaningful service could be. And he showed me the way that one act of service can lead to many, many more.” Austin himself went on to serve in the U.S. Army, graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1975. During his time in uniform, he served as both the vice chief of staff of the Army and as the commander of United States Central Command. After his military service, he was nominated to serve as the 28th Secretary of Defense, a position he still holds. “Let us never underestimate what service can mean,” Austin said. “Never forget the ripples set in motion by the Americans who fought in Vietnam, including veterans who may never have fully realized what a difference they made to those around them. Because service lifts up others, it enriches your own life, and it makes you part of a proud American story.” The Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall has stood in place for 40 years now, and in that time a new crop of veterans has both deployed to combat in a war overseas and returned home. Those veterans have also contributed to the story of the United States, Austin said — and contributed to the freedom Americans today continue to enjoy. The secretary also highlighted the service of U.S. military veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, tying their service to the heroism of those memorialized on the wall. “In 2008, one of my fellow Iraq vets came to this sacred place and he left a pair of his combat boots at this wall — size 12. And along with the boots he left a note on Marine Corps stationery,” Austin said. “He wrote, ‘brothers, these are my lucky boots. They got me through two wars on the ground in Iraq. I ﬁgured you would appreciate them more than the garbage man.’ And his note continued: ‘The truth of the matter is that we owe you an awful lot. If
ABOVE: A bugler from The US Army Band ‘Pershing’s Own’ plays Taps at the Veterans Day Observance at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., on the 40th anniversary of the memorial’s dedication, Nov. 11, 2022. BELOW: Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, the 24th Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel and Secretary of the Veterans Administration, Denis McDonough at the Veterans Day Observance at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., on the 40th anniversary of the memorial’s dedication, Nov. 11, 2022. (PHOTOS BY CHAD J. MCNEELEY, DOD)
your generation of Marines had not come home to jeers and insults and protests, my generation would not have come home to thanks, and handshakes and hugs.’ ” American service members have made a commitment to the American people to protect the nation, Austin said, and to
always defend this democracy. “These aren’t just words, these are vows, and we can make them real because of the long unbroken tradition of sacriﬁce that joins those who served to those who serve now and those who will step up to serve in the years to come,” he said. “For that,
we owe our veterans not only our deepest gratitude, but also our unwavering commitment to the democratic values that you have been so proud to defend. Thank you to all of our veterans for answering your country’s call. We will never forget what you have given us.”
www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 1 | Thursday, November 17, 2022 5
A Romanian MIM-23 HAWK missile is fired from Capu Midia Training Area, Romania, July 19, 2017. As part of the latest security assistance package for Ukraine, the United States has pledged to provide missiles for the HAWK air defense system. (ARMY PFC. NICHOLAS VIDRO)
$400 Million security package headed to Ukraine
By C. Todd Lopez DoD News
Missiles for the HAWK air defense system, along with four Avenger air defense systems and Stinger missiles are headed to Ukraine as part of a presidential drawdown authority security assistance package worth up to $400 million, the Defense Department announced today. Due to Russia’s continuing air attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure, additional air defense capabilities are critical, said Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh during a briefing today. “The HAWK missiles, which will be refurbished using Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funds, will complement Spain’s recent commitment of HAWK launchers to help Ukraine meet this threat,” she said. “The Avenger short-range air defense systems will also provide Ukraine with capability to protect Ukrainian troops and critical infrastructure against unmanned aerial systems and helicopters.” As part of this drawdown, Singh said, the U.S. will provide Ukraine with an unspecified number of HAWK missiles from its own inventory, but that those missiles would first need to be refurbished. That refurbishment will be done using funds from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. Once those missiles are refurbished, they will then be paired with HAWK system launchers that have been provided by Spain. The Avenger air defense systems, which use Stinger missiles, is a capability the U.S. has not previously provided to the Ukrainians. “These are mobile, short-range air defense systems that can ... protect against cruise missiles, helicopters [and] unmanned aerial systems,” she said. “They’re shorter in range, but with some of the additional capabilities that we and Spain and others have provided, like the HAWK missiles. This is something [that] I think fits in well with some of the capabilities that [the Ukrainians] are already using on the battlefield.” The addition of the Avenger system to what the U.S. is providing to Ukraine comes after consultation with the Ukrainians on what they need in their fight against the
Russians, Singh said. “We discuss with them what they need in this fight. We assess what we can provide and what makes the most sense. This was a request that fulfilled a need ... that they wanted,” she said. “I think this is an air defense system that’s going to complement the other air defense systems that not just the U.S. has provided, but other countries as well.” The total list of equipment in the latest security assistance package also includes: Ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System 21,000 155 mm artillery rounds 500 precision-guided 155 mm artillery rounds 10,000 120 mm mortar rounds 100 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, or Humvees 400 grenade launchers Small arms, optics and more than 20,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition Demolition equipment for obstacle clearing Cold weather protective gear Singh also told reporters that next week, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III will host the seventh meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group. “This meeting will be hosted virtually, here at the Pentagon, and will allow for the secretary and ministers of defense from nearly 50 countries to discuss efforts to supply Ukraine with the means to defend its sovereignty from further Russian aggression,” Singh said. Since the beginning of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the United States has committed more than $18.6 billion in security assistance.
ABOVE: Soldiers fire the Avenger air defense system mounted M3P .50 caliber machine gun at ground targets during an Avenger ground gunnery range, Aug. 19, 2015, at Fort Campbell, Ky. (ARMY SPC. JOSEPH GREEN)
BELOW: Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers perform crew service and pre-fire drills, Nov. 17, 2012, at McGregor Range Complex, N.M. as part of the latest security assistance package for Ukraine. (ARMY SPC. ADAM GARLINGTON)
RIGHT: Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers perform crew service and pre-fire drills, Nov. 17, 2012, at McGregor Range Complex, N.M. As part of the latest security assistance package for Ukraine, the United States has pledged to provide missiles for the HAWK air defense system. (ARMY SPC. ADAM GARLINGTON)
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6 The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 1 | Thursday, November 17, 2022
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www.ﬂagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 1 | Thursday, November 17, 2022 7
NEXCOM’s NEXT gen Scholars Program support students By Kristine Sturkie
Navy Exchange Service Command
Since 1997, the Navy Exchange Service Command’s (NEXCOM) NEXT gen Scholars Program has been rewarding students for getting good grades. The NEXT gen Scholars Program awards $2,500, $1,500, $1,000 or $500 to qualiﬁed students each quarter. The next drawing is in December 2022. To enter the drawing, students must be
Fall-In for Colors from Page 1
or vests that show the units they served or the wars they fought. Many veterans have lined faces, creased by an unforgiving sun of a distant shore, etched by hours of toil to do the work of democracy, and carved in stone by the unrelenting and harsh crucible of combat. These lines are badges of honor, marks of patriots who’ve served and sacriﬁced. Veterans are individuals with courage and dedication to serve our country in whatever capacity they can.” He added, “If I may be so bold, I have a charge for our veterans and those who hold our veterans in high regard. Fight for and champion causes, programs, and initiatives
full-time with a “B” grade point average equivalent or better, as determined by their school system. Homeschooled students can also qualify with acknowledgement that the student has a “B” average or equivalent record of accomplishment. Students must bring their current report card or other performance document to any NEX, ﬁll out an entry card and have any documentation validated by an NEX associate. Once entered, the students will be given a coupon good for $10 off a one-time NEX
purchase of $20 or more. Eligible students include dependent children of active duty members, reservists and military retirees as well as U.S. civilian Department of Defense employees stationed outside the continental United States and U.S. civilian employees of ﬁrms under contract to the Department of Defense outside the continental United States. Students must be enrolled in 1st through 12th grade. Dependent children without an individual Dependent Identiﬁ-
cation Card must be accompanied by their sponsor to submit their entry. Each student may enter only once each grading period and must re-enter with each qualifying report card. NEXCOM, along with its vendors, has awarded a total of $848,500 in savings bonds and monetary awards to students since the program’s inception. For more information on the NEXT gen Scholars Program visit myNavyExchange. com/NEXTgen.
that serve and care for our veterans and their families. Any effort anywhere that has a tangible beneﬁt for our veterans must be our imperative. We enjoy our freedoms today due in part to the sacriﬁces of our veterans — we must do our part to serve them in their time of need.” Col. Brunson concluded. “Those brave and intrepid souls who place service over self, who dare to place the needs of our nation over their own comfort and safety — we thank you. Thank you for being exactly what was needed to ensure the blessings of liberty. For the generations that follow, we will always be indebted to you for your service and sacriﬁce.” Following the ceremony, Capt. Tracey hosted a cake cutting ceremony with shipyard employees Oscar Thorpe and Peter
Parker, paying tribute to all veterans spanning generations. The cake cutting ceremony is a time-honored tradition in the military celebrating the past, present, and future of our Nation and those who serve to protect it — with the known oldest and youngest veterans of the command taking part. The NNSY Chapter of the Naval Civilian Managers Association (NCMA) provided the cake and the representatives cut it with a naval cutlass sword symbolizing bridging the gap between veteran eras and ensuring continuous service of the nation’s defense at America’s Shipyard. The NNSY VET-ERG is comprised of nearly 300 NNSY employees that are either veterans, service members currently serving, or those who support the military. At NNSY alone, there are more than 3,000 veterans
employed with more than 650 considered Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Wounded Warriors. “The VET-ERG is committed to supporting the NNSY workforce as a whole to include our military veterans,” said VET-ERG President Josh Wannemacher. “Two of our leading initiatives include bringing value to each monthly meeting and increasing awareness access to veteran resources. We achieve this by inviting guest speakers to provide information to our membership on a diverse range of topics and we are focused on communicating these opportunities from the cubicles to the deckplate.” For more information regarding the VET-ERG, email the VET-ERG Officer group at NNSY_VET-ERG_Officers@ us.navy.mil.
8 The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 1 | Thursday, November 17, 2022
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www.ﬂagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 2 | Thursday, November 17, 2022 1
Blue Angels hold change of command ceremony
The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, held a change of command ceremony Nov. 13 at the National Naval Aviation Museum at Naval Air Station, Pensacola. Page B8
SAN DIEGO (Nov. 11, 2022) Gonzaga Bulldogs Guard Rasir Bolton, left, number 45, drives past Michigan State Spartan Guard Tyson Walker, number 2, during the 2022 ESPN Armed Forces ClassicCarrier Edition, held on the ﬂight deck of the Nimitz Class Aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) while in port at Naval Air Station North island, Calif., Nov. 11, 2022. The ESPN Armed Forces Classic is an annual series of college basketball games held near Veterans Day on military bases as a tribute to U.S. service members (U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS JOEL MUNDO)
USS Abraham Lincoln hosts 2022 Armed Forces Classic — Carrier Edition By Petty Officer 3rd Class Caitlin Coyle USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN72)
SAN DIEGO — More than 3,500 service members, spectators, media and ESPN staff assembled on the ﬂight deck of the Nimitzclass aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) as the Gonzaga University Bulldogs defeated the Michigan State Spartans 64-63 in an NCAA men’s basketball showdown. The game was held on Abraham Lincoln while in port at Naval Air Station North Island for the 2022 Armed Forces Classic — Carrier Edition — the ﬁrst time the event has been held on an active U.S. Navy ship since 2011. “It is truly an honor that, on Veterans Day in the centennial year of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, we hosted the Armed Forces classic basketball game on the ﬂight deck of one of our most renowned aircraft carriers, USS Abraham Lincoln,” said Vice Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, commander, Naval Air Forces. “Those who serve, and those who have served, know that the military is the ultimate team sport, and I can think of no better way to salute our men and women in uniform than to celebrate this all-American pastime together on one of our nation’s capital warships.” Eleven years ago, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) held the inaugural Armed Forces Classic — Carrier Edition. Wearing special, camouﬂage-patterned uniforms, the University of North Carolina Tarheels beat the Michigan State Spartans 67-55 in front of more than 8,000 fans, to include former President Barack Obama and his family. The game paused at sundown to retire the colors. After canceling the 2012 Carrier Classic planned onboard the USS Yorktown (CV 10), due to condensation on the court, ESPN established an annual Armed Forces Classic as part of their week long programming event America’s Heroes: Salute to Veterans, which is held every year around Veterans Day. The inaugural Armed Forces Classic was held in a C-5 Galaxy transport aircraft hangar on Ramstein Air Force Base. Since then, this annual NCAA Division I basketball game has been hosted at Camp Humphreys in the Republic of Korea, U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Puerto Rico, Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler in Japan, the Stan Sherriff Center in Honolulu,
SAN DIEGO (Nov. 11, 2022) Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) 3rd Class Charitee Swift-Day sings the national anthem during the 2022 ESPN Armed Forces Classic-Carrie Edition (U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS JOEL MUNDO)
Hawaii, Fort Bliss in Texas, and the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage, Alaska. “What an honor and privilege it was to host Armed Forces Classic 2022 aboard Abraham Lincoln,” said Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, USS Abraham Lincoln’s commanding officer. “There are a lot of similarities between the talented Sailors I am fortunate enough to lead every day and what I saw in the players on the court — they are all young, hard-working and highly-skilled professionals that take pride in contributing to their team. It’s their hard work that makes the difference. This unique, premier basketball event is certainly a memory Lincoln Nation will treasure for years to come.” ESPN and Abraham Lincoln closely coordinated to put together the event, beginning with ESPN’s ﬁrst visit aboard following Lincoln’s return from deployment in August. The collaboration culminated with Sailors from engineering department assembling the basketball court, bleachers for spectators and lighting on
the ﬂight deck. The work completed allowed for 3,500 fans in attendance, in addition to space along vulture’s row and the observation decks on the island forAbraham Lincoln Sailors to watch the game. “For me and my team it’s pretty powerful to get this unique opportunity to bring a piece of civilian life to service members on their bases,” said Scott Pomeroy, Associate Director of Events and Sales Operations for ESPN Events. “The Navy has been great, very hospitable and gracious in helping us to make this event a reality.” With the competitors arriving onboard, fans lined the stands before the game began on a crisp, partly-cloudy afternoon on Naval Air Station North Island with a full view of the San Diego skyline. The unranked Michigan State Spartans tipped off against number 2 in the nation Gonzaga University Bulldogs at 3:45. Play was paused during the game to retire the colors. “This opportunity to play on an aircraft
carrier in front of men and women who willingly put their lives on the line will be an experience that is going to mean something to the young men who will play in the game for a long, long time,” said Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo. “I said it the time we played North Carolina on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson — one of the most humbling experiences of my career, and I’ll say it again, we’re going to play one of the top teams in the country and we’re going to be hosted by the No. 1 team in the world.” The Gonzaga Bulldogs beat the Michigan State Spartans 64-63. Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt presented a trophy to Gonzaga and an MVP award to Drew Timme. The ESPN Armed Forces Classic is an annual series of college basketball games held near Veterans Day on military bases as a tribute to U.S. service members. Scheduling for future Armed Forces Classic remains tentative due to military operational commitments.
Sailor comes home to New York on Veterans Day — to honor his father By Chief Petty Officer Roger Duncan & Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Hanchar Navy Office of Information East
QUEENS, New York — U.S. Navy Lt. j.g. Christopher Gardner remembers playing in the upstairs of the ﬁrehouse before his father died on Sept 11, 2001. Today he came back to the ﬁrehouse and helped honor his father’s legacy as part of the USS Arlington crew - here in New York for Veterans Week. Although Gardner is a local New Yorker, this trip home has a different meaning and impact. As a part of the USS Arlington’s visit to the city to honor Veterans Day, Gardner and the Senior Enlisted from the ship visited his father’s ﬁrehouse in Queens on Wednesday. “The house hasn’t changed much from what I remember,” said Gardner.
Chris Gardner’s family came out as well. His aunt, Michelle Gardner, said, “It’s very emotional to be here today. Chris enlisted to give back.” Gardner’s father, Thomas A. Gardner, was killed along with 18 other ﬁremen from the Queens ﬁrehouse known as Squad 288 / Hazmat 1 on Sept 11, 2001. Afterwards, young Chris visited Pearl Harbor with his family. He met other service members and Veterans and considered to himself if enlisting in the military was a good way to serve. He remembers thinking, “Is this for me?“ Gardner’s grandfather served in the Navy during WWII as a landing craft driver during D-Day. As he grew up, Gardner came to the conclusion that the place for him to serve was the Navy. Gardner and USS Arlington returned from deployment recently, where he worked alongside other NATO forces on exercises
and demonstrations. Traveling around the Mediterranean and North Seas gave him time to reﬂect, make connections with his shipmates and see what matters most. Deployment helped Gardner understand the bond his father had with his fellow ﬁreﬁghters - many of whom he has grown up knowing. “This deployment gave me an opportunity to see so many different parts of the world,” said Gardner. “Going from the Baltic states all the way to Greece is an amazing experience that I will not forget. This time gave me an opportunity to get to know my guys.” Chris remembers something his father said when he was a child, “I like ﬁre ﬁghting but don’t like ﬁres.” Gardner now has a different understanding of this quote along with the importance of his role as a Sailor. During the Veterans week festivities, Gardner plans to see his family and friends.
“I am excited to be home. My family is from here and I am looking forward to quality time with them as well as showing my shipmates around the city. I’m also looking forward to doing some activities like the Hockey and football games this weekend.” Sailors and Marines from USS Arlington, as well as personnel from US Coast Guard Cutter Lawson, will participate in a variety of events in and around the city to honor the service and sacriﬁce of the nation’s veterans. Events include the annual NYC Veterans Day Parade, a wreath laying ceremony, participating in the New York Giants Salute to Service game and volunteering at the NY State Veterans Home in Queens. Additionally, Marines from USS Arlington are celebrating the Marine Corps 247th Birthday. Celebrations and observances are being planned on the ship and in the community to commemorate the birthday.
The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 2 | Thursday, November 17, 2022
Q: What types of family housing are available? A: There are three types of housing available to families:
PHOENIX (Nov. 10, 2022) Cmdr. Kevin Kahl, Commanding Officer of Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Phoenix, delivers his remarks during a change of command at the Steele Indian School Park Memorial Hall. NTAG Phoenix’s area of responsibility includes more than 37 Navy Recruiting Stations and Navy Officer Recruiting Stations spread throughout 250,000 square miles of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado. (U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 1ST CLASS JASEN MORENO-GARCIA/ RELEASED)
NTAG Phoenix holds change of command By Petty Officer 1st Class Jasen Morenogarcia
Navy Talent Acquisition Group Phoenix
PHOENIX — Cmdr. Kevin M. Kahl relieved Cmdr. Justin C. Collins as commanding officer for Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Phoenix during a change of command ceremony held November 10, 2022. The time-honored naval tradition of the official passing of authority between officers is a reﬂection of the spirit and integrity of all Navy men and women, past, present, and future. The ceremony was presided over by Capt. Dave Webber, Commodore, Navy Recruiting Command Region West. Webber showcased the numerous accomplishments of the command, while paying special tribute to the challenges Collins faced as a commanding officer and his leadership. “Under Commander Collin’s leadership, NTAG Phoenix shipped nearly 4000 enlisted Sailors and naval officers to the fleet,” said Webber. “To put that accomplishment in perspective, NTAG Phoenix
manned the equivalent of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, despite facing the challenges of a global pandemic, a diminishing recruitable market, and historic civic unrest. JC [CDR Justin Collins] is, without question, the most passionate, driven, mission-focused, no-excuses Commanding Officer I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Thank you for your exceptional focus and support, JC.” Webber also spoke highly of the oncoming commanding officer. “Commander Kevin “KK” Kahl brings over 22 years of dedicated service to his country to this command,” said Webber. “As the new commanding officer, I look forward to seeing him bring his own brand of leadership, commitment, and teamwork to the Region West recruiting organization. He has already shown himself to be a brilliant, engaged, and vociferous professional. I have full conﬁdence in his abilities to continue NTAG Phoenix’s success.” During the ceremony, Collins credited the command accomplishments to his Sailors and encouraged the team to continue to strive for excellence as the new commanding officer
takes charge. “I couldn’t have asked for a better team, you are the best in the nation,” said Collins. “Through the many times of uncertainty, I was moved by your personal accountability to persevere and ensure our command made its mission so we could man the ﬂeet. As I turn over this command to Cmdr. Kahl, we need our leaders at all levels within NTAG Phoenix to align themselves with his vision and guiding principles to navigate the myriad of challenges that you will face. Your willingness to operate in excellence with an insatiable appetite to be better has made a personal impact on me, and I ask that every one of you never stop trying to be better.” NTAG Phoenix’s area of responsibility includes more than 37 Navy Recruiting Stations and Navy Officer Recruiting Stations spread throughout 250,000 square miles of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado. Navy Recruiting Command consists of a command headquarters, three Navy Recruiting Regions, 26 NTAGs, and 64 Talent Acquisition Onboarding Centers (TAOCs) serving over 1,000 recruiting stations worldwide. Their mission is to attract the highest quality candidates to assure the ongoing success of America’s Navy. For more news from Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, go to http://www.cnrc. navy.mil. Follow Navy Recruiting on Facebook (www.facebook.com/NavyRecruiting), Twitter (@USNRecruiter) and Instagram (@ USNRecruiter). PHOENIX (Nov. 10, 2022) Cmdr. Kevin Kahl, Commanding Officer of Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Phoenix, is “piped ashore” during a change of command at the Steele Indian School Park Memorial Hall. (U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 1ST CLASS JASEN MORENO-GARCIA/ RELEASED)
Littoral Combat Ship Training Facility Paciﬁc Established By Kimberly Lansdale
Surface Combat Systems Training Command
SAN DIEGO — Marking a signiﬁcant milestone event for the waterfront community, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Training Facility (LTF) Paciﬁc (PAC) was established during an official ceremony onboard Naval Base San Diego, Nov. 1. Capt. Justin Long, commanding officer for Surface Combat Systems Training Command (SCSTC) San Diego, turned over duties to Capt. Dustin Lonero as the ﬁrst commanding officer for LTF PAC. Lonero is well-known in the LCS community. He previously served as commanding officer for USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) Blue Crew during the ship’s maiden deployment to western paciﬁc, commanding officer for USS Coronado (LCS 4) and most recently, USS Montgomery (LCS 8). “It is an honor to stand here today as your first commanding officer,” said Lonero. “I know this command is in great shape because of Capt. Long’s outstanding leadership and I look forward to leading an incredible team of subject matter experts in training future LCS warﬁghters.” The establishment of LTF PAC is part of SCSTC’s large internal realignment effort that begun in 2021 with the changing of its name, formerly the Center for Surface Combat Systems. The name change and realignment deﬁne the command’s criti-
cal mission of training surface warﬁghters. SCSTC, with their surface community partners and force development counterparts, provides system and platform specific combat systems training to a growing surface Navy. Capt. George A. Kessler, Jr., commodore of SCSTC, presided over the ceremony and delivered remarks as the keynote speaker. “LTF PAC is part of the domain’s overall realignment effort but the signiﬁcance of LTF PAC is about the mission,” explained Kessler. “A mission that is growing in importance each day. Strategic competition at sea is not an amorphous concept but an everyday reality and it demands that our Sailors have the tactical competence and proﬁciency needed to execute the mission across the spectrum of operations in today’s challenging environment. Our warﬁghters must be ready to execute the mission — whenever, and wherever called. LTF PAC provides the high-end tactical training needed to ensure warﬁghting readiness, which leads to security for our country and our allies and maintains the freedom of the seas we so richly enjoy.” The LTF PAC is located onboard Naval Base San Diego. It commenced LCS training operations in May 2007 and was the ﬁrst surface warfare shore-based training facility to provide high-ﬁdelity integrated bridge, combat systems, and engineering tactical scenario training for Sailors serving aboard
LCS combatants. Today, it facilitates the training concepts of Train-to-Qualify (T2Q) and Train-to-Certify (T2C) for LCS-2 USS Independence ship variants and provides an integrated command and control environment to support training in both navigation and combat systems mission areas. Its training systems, Surface Training Advanced Virtual Environment (STAVE) — LCS, is a networked virtual training environment coupled with Part Task Trainers (PTT) and Virtual Operations Trainers (VOTs) that provides the ability to visualize, communicate, and simulate system operations for individual watchstander and watchteam training events. STAVE LCS also contains a multi-purpose multi-media display component, consisting of Virtual Reality Labs (VRLs) which are designed to support the Immersive Virtual Ship Environment (IVSE). IVSE introduces the depiction of actual LCS shipboard spaces presented within a state-of-the-art gaming engine. The tasks completed within STAVE-LCS fulﬁll many qualiﬁcation requirements for system fundamentals, operations, and maintenance. For information about Surface Combat Systems Training Command, visit https:// www.netc.navy.mil/SCSTC Visit SCSTC on Facebook at https:// www.facebook.com/Surface - Com b a t - S y s t e m s -Tr a i n i n g - C o m mand-1480366868885239
Public/Private Venture (PPV) Housing is also referred to as privatized housing in the Navy. The Navy partnered with different private management companies to provide housing to Service Members. These companies are responsible for the construction, renovation, maintenance and day-to-day management of the housing. PPV housing may be located on or off government property and in most cases will be former military housing. Government Owned (also known as Military Housing or Navy Managed Housing is what was formerly called on-base housing. While only available in limited quantities CONUS, Government Owned Housing is still widely available OCONUS. Community Housing is any housing that a Service Member may choose that is not PPV or government operated. This is housing outside of the base that is privately owned and operated.
NAVY HOUSING Norfolk: 757.445.2832 JEBLCFS: 757.462.2792 Oceana/Dam Neck: 757.433.3268 Yorktown: 757.847.7806
Mid-Atlantic Fleet and Family Support Centers (FFSC) programs and services are designed to help you make the most of your military experience, and they’re all available to you at no cost. FUNCTIONS AND/OR SERVICES FFSC PROVIDES: ClinicalCounseling – Individual, Couples and Child Counseling Personal Financial Management Information & Referral Family Employment Assistance Transition Assistance Family Advocacy Program Deployment and Mobilization Support Ombudsman Support Relocation Assistance Parenting Programs Stress and Anger Management Command Support Crisis Support Suicide Prevention SAPR Support
www.ﬂagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 2 | Thursday, November 17, 2022 3
NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain (November 8, 2022) - Rota Elementary School faculty and students participate in a parade during their Blue Ribbon Award ceremony at the track on Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota, Nov. 8, 2022. Rota Elementary School was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2022 for its exemplary high performance. (U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY COURTNEY POLLOCK)
Rota Elementary School recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School By Courtney Pollock Naval Station Rota, Spain
Rota Elementary School was recently recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2022. The school celebrated this accomplishment with an assembly and parade on the school campus, Nov. 8, 2022. The students and faculty gathered in the courtyard where they were met with Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota leadership, Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) leadership, and community members. With live music in the background, the elementary students lapped the track while being cheered on by the middle/high school students, teachers and community members, before returning to the courtyard. Kenneth Kirk, principal of the school, kicked off the assembly by explaining to the children the importance of this award. “In the 40 years of the National Blue Ribbon program, less than 1% of the 90,000+ schools in the U.S. — public, private or charter — have ever received this award,” said Kirk. “We are honored to join this special group of schools.” Kirk recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend the presentation ceremony and received the award on behalf of Rota Elementary School, Nov. 4. He explained that the school received the award for
its exemplary high performance despite current challenges. “It represents our response to a challenge in a moment of time — which was the Covid pandemic,” explained Kirk. “And our ability to deliver on our promise of providing excellent education to every student, every day, everywhere.” Dr. Michelle Howard-Brahaney, DoDEA Europe Director for Student Excellence, presented Kirk with a certiﬁcate of exceptional achievement for the leadership, teachers, and staff of Rota Elementary School. Closing out the assembly, NAVSTA Rota Commanding Officer, Capt. Teague Suarez, thanked and congratulated the students, staff, and faculty on this accomplishment. “It’s hard to overstate how important the teachers and all the support they provide to this amazing collection of kids just how important it is to the base, to the Sailors, the Marines, and the Airmen who live and work here every day,” he said. “So from the bottom of my heart I would like to thank you for everything you do for these students.” Rota Elementary School was one of three DoDEA schools — the others are Naples Elementary School in Naples, Italy and Shirley Lanham School in Kanagawa, Japan — to be recognized with the National Blue Ribbon Award for 2022. Rota Elementary School and David Glasgow Farragut (DGF) Middle/High School share a school campus in the housing area of NAVSTA Rota.
ABOVE: Capt. Teague J. Suarez, commanding officer of Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota, congratulates Rota Elementary School students and faculty for their hard work during the Blue Ribbon Award ceremony.(U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS HUTCH JOHNSON)
BELOW: Rota Elementary School Principal, Kenneth Kirk, left, and Department of Defense Education Activity Europe Director for Student Excellence, Dr. Michelle Howard-Brahaney, right, cheer along with students and faculty of Rota Elementary School during their National Blue Ribbon Award celebration. (U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY COURTNEY POLLOCK)
4 The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 2 | Thursday, November 17, 2022
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NSA Souda Bay breaks ground on new communications center By Nicholas Tenorio
U.S. Naval Support Activity Souda Bay
NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY SOUDA BAY, Greece — Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Greece, broke ground on a $34 million military construction project on Nov. 14, 2022 that will result in a new communications center. The project consists of a multistory communications facility that will house Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Atlantic Detachment Souda Bay and NSA Souda Bay’s N6 Communications Department. “This project is a $34 million investment that the United States government has put here in this facility for the future,” said Odin J. Klug, commanding officer, NSA Souda Bay. “Not just for the next ﬁve minutes, or the next ﬁve years; this is something that’s going to be enduring for the next ten to twenty years.” The new communications center will consist of a telephone exchange, electronics maintenance shops, electronic key management system vault, and storage for electronics spares and equipment for use by NSA Souda Bay, NCTAMS, and N6 personnel. “The impact of this building will be tremendous for the supported commands here on base and for our communications operations,” said Michael Rooney, the technical director for NCTAMS LANT Detachment Souda Bay. “It will greatly enhance what we can do.” The project duration will be 900 days with an anticipated completion date of Sep. 23, 2024. The contract for the project was awarded to MVL. “NSA Souda Bay started from humble beginnings in 1959 when Naval Detachment Souda Bay was just a simple pier,” said Klug. “This new facility is going to help bring us further into the 21st century, and I would argue, is going to be the foundation for stepping into the 22nd century.” NSA Souda Bay is an operational ashore installation which enables and supports U.S., Allied, Coalition, and Partner nation forces to preserve security and stability in the European, African, and Central Command areas of responsibility.
NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY SOUDA BAY, Greece (Nov. 14, 2022) Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Riege (from left), public works officer, Naval Support Activity (NSA) Souda Bay, Michael Rooney, technical director, Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Atlantic (NCTAMS LANT) Detachment Souda Bay, Capt. Odin J. Klug, commanding officer, NSA Souda Bay, and Hani Khawaja, chief operating officer, MVL, break ground on a military construction project for a new communications center on board NSA Souda Bay. The new communications center will consist of a telephone exchange, electronics maintenance shops, EKMS vault, and storage for electronics spares and equipment for use by NSA Souda Bay, NCTAMS, and N6 personnel. NSA Souda Bay is an operational ashore installation which enables and supports U.S., Allied, Coalition, and Partner nation forces to preserve security and stability in the European, African, and Central Command areas of responsibility. (U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY NICHOLAS S. TENORIO/RELEASED)
COLUMBUS, Ohio (NOV. 9, 2022) Rear Adm. Alexis Walker, Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, presents Gunner’s Mate Second Class Zachary Smith, from West Unity, Ohio, with Navy Talent Acquisition Group Ohio River Valley’s (NTAG ORV) E-talent recruiter of the year award, Wednesday during his barnstorming tour of all Navy recruiting. NTAG ORV covers Ohio, West Virginia Kentucky and parts of Indiana for recruiting and Navy outreach for nonﬂeet concentration areas. (U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST FIRST CLASS THERON GODBOLD)
Admiral Alexis Walker visits NTAGS across nation as part of barnstorming tour By Petty Officer 1st Class Theron Godbold
Commander, Navy Recruiting Command
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Rear Adm. Alexis Walker, Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, is working his way through the 26 different recruiting districts for America’s Navy, meeting with Sailors and giving guidance for the path forward in ﬁscal year 2023. “Recruiting is a face to face business, said Walker. “That concept doesn’t just apply to recruiters and applicants, but internally as well. It is important to meet people where they are, and to look them in the eyes and hear their stories. I do not want to be just a photo on the leadership wall or a name in an email or a signature block. I want my team to see me on their turf and know that I always have their interests at heart.” For the past month Adm. Walker has visited 11 commands and delivered, personally, his objectives for the year ahead. Wednesday he was at Navy Talent Acquisition Group Ohio River Valley where he spoke to Sailors, recruiters and the chain of command answering questions and peeling back the curtain of his command. “I know the next couple of years are going to be even more challenging than the last,” said Walker. “The Navy is counting on recruiting to bring in quality applicants and I need
to be as transparent as possible with what is being expected of my recruiters and with how proud I am of their efforts to get us there. This is something I want to do in person.” During his “Barnstorming” tour of recruiting Admiral Walker has presented many awards but has also discussed what he called the “bear” that is recruiting in a historically challenging environment. In 2020 35% of the nation’s youth had spoken with a recruiter, down from 54% in 1990. Additionally, the propensity to enlist for Americas’ youth is nearly half of what it was in the 1980’s, currently around nine to ten percent, according to the office of people analytics and the Admiral’s brieﬁng to the NTAGs. After talking about the current recruiting challenges, the Admiral also brought in some good news. His office is working on expanded waivers to help with eligibility for applicants, more ﬁnancial incentives like enlistment bonuses and college loan repayments, as well as a national marketing campaign to increase awareness, drive interest, and capture leads. Other improvements he is working toward are more community outreach, IT improvements, and more training for recruiters. These visits have been short, on average talking less than a day per district, but very advantageous for the commands.
Rear Adm. Alexis Walker, Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, speaks with Navy Talent Acquisition Group Ohio River Valley (NTAG ORV) Wednesday during his barnstorming tour of all Navy recruiting. (U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST FIRST CLASS THERON GODBOLD)
“It was great to receive a high-level overview of our organization, showcase the great work our team does, and have a forum to discuss issues we face at a local level,”
Cmdr. Erik Moss, Commanding Officer of NTAG ORV said after the Admirals visit. “NTAG Ohio River Valley was honored to host Admiral Walker.”
6 The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 2 | Thursday, November 17, 2022
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Nov. 11, 2022) The U.S. and the Colombian ﬂags ﬂy on the yard arm of the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), as Comfort arrives in Cartagena, Colombia, Nov. 11, 2022. Comfort is deployed to U.S. 4th Fleet in support of Continuing Promise 2022, a humanitarian assistance and goodwill mission conducting direct medical care, expeditionary veterinary care, and subject matter expert exchanges with ﬁve partner nations in the Caribbean, Central and South America. (U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS JUEL FOSTER)
USNS Comfort arrives in Colombia
By Petty Officer 3rd Class Sophia Simons
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command / U.S. 4th Fleet
CARTAGENA, Colombia — Hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrived in Cartagena, Colombia, in support of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet’s Continuing Promise 2022 (CP22) mission, Nov. 11. This visit marks the third of ﬁve mission stops as part of CP22 and the eleventh visit to Colombia since 2007. “The impact Continuing Promise 2022 has showcased so far in both Guatemala and Honduras has surpassed mission expectations,” said Capt. Kathryn Elliott, commanding officer of Medical Training Facility (MTF) aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20). “From exceeding the number of planned patients seen, to repairing important medical equipment, our team has expressed a passion for this mission, these countries, and building relationships. We are looking forward to continuing this work in Colombia.” For the duration of this stop, Comfort will provide medical services at two different medical sites, one at Coliseo de Deportes and the other at Institucion Antonia Santos. Dental, optometry, adult care, pediatric care, women’s health and various ancillary support services will be available at these two sites. Additionally, surgeries will be taking place aboard the ship. The Comfort will also be supporting through Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief (HADR) training and demonstrations, Women, Peace and Security (WPS) seminars with the host nation, veterinary subject matter expert exchanges, as well as community relations projects to include musical performances, ship tours, and the refurbishing of Tierra Bomba school. The Continuing Promise 2022 Team in Colombia will include U.S. and partner nation medical and veterinary personnel, as well as the U.S. National Guard personnel from South Carolina, Colombia’s State Partnership Program (SPP) partner. Medical personnel from Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, the Netherlands and United Kingdom will also be a part of the team at this mission stop. Since its inaugural mission in 2007, Continuing Promise missions have treated more than 582,000 patients and conducted over 7,000 surgeries in the region. Comfort’s current mission will be the 12th Continuing Promise mission conducted in the Caribbean, Central and South America. Comfort is also scheduled to visit Dominican Republic and Haiti during CP22. U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet supports U.S. Southern Command’s joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American region. Learn more about CP22 and USNAVSO/4th Fleet at https://www. facebook.com/continuingpromise22 and @NAVSOUS4THFLT
ABOVE: Eryk Michalowski, third officer of the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), makes a log entry during an inbound sea and anchor evolution as Comfort arrives in Cartagena, Colombia, Nov. 11, 2022. BELOW: Masterat-Arms 1st Class Matthew Lowery, assigned to the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), looks at the skyline through binoculars during an inbound sea and anchor evolution. (U.S. NAVY PHOTOS BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS JUEL FOSTER)
www.ﬂagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 2 | Thursday, November 17, 2022 7
NRSE Works to strengthen women’s ability to combat sexual assaults By Jay Cope
Commander, Navy Region Southeast
Navy Region Southeast initiated a test program at Naval Air Station Pensacola in October that works to provide better tools for women to avoid and defend against sexual assaults. The program, called Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act (EAAA), is a 12-hour training program that endeavors to provide a positive environment for young women while teaching them how to be more assertive and helping them recognize risky situations as well as the actions to help reduce that risk. “We actively practice and role play what assertiveness can look like within the realm of their comfort, so it becomes very personalized,” said Tina Vaughn-Wardle, NRSE’s Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. “In recognizing risk, we explore this both for situational and environmental risk, but also behavior risk in coercive men.” The individualized aspect of the training hits at the heart of how this program differs from previous Navy training efforts. Bystander intervention training is taught ﬂeet-wide, and while it has shown to help change attitudes, intentions and behaviors to a small degree, they have not altered outcomes. Sexual assaults and victimization of women still occur at persistent and
concerning rates. The Department of Defense 2021 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military showed that over 8% of active-duty women indicated some form of unwanted sexual contact in the year before the survey was conducted. Additionally, the number of sexual assault reports increased by 13 percent (the Navy increase was 9.2%), while the rate of people experiencing a sexual assault and reporting it has decreased. “Statistically, the most vulnerable Sailors and the ones who are most often the victims of sexual assault in the Navy are ﬁrst-tour females,” said Matt Straughan, the Region Family Support Program Director. “The EAAA program is different in that the program is targeted at a speciﬁc demographic. Rather than a one size ﬁts all, it is designed to teach young women how to be more assertive and gives them the skills to recognize risky situations and the conﬁdence to take actions to reduce their risk.” The EAAA program has previously been used in the U.S. Air Force Academy as well as at a number of colleges and universities and has an evidence-based record of success. This is the ﬁrst effort to adapt the program for the Navy, and NAS Pensacola was chosen because of the large number of women within the targeted age group (17-24) going through A-schools at Naval Air Technical Training Command, and
the presence of Naval Aviation Schools Command where junior officers awaiting ﬂight training might be available to serve as facilitators. Both commands were enthusiastic in their support for the program. The 12 hours of classroom instruction is currently broken down into two six hour sessions held every other weekend to a class of no more than 20 Sailors. The junior officers serving as facilitators were trained by Vaughn-Wardle and the NAS Pensacola Civilian Victim Advocate Lauren Portal. The training seeks to empower the women to: recognize risk clues (Assess); identify and overcome personal obstacles to prioritizing their own sexual rights in acquaintance situations (Acknowledge); develop a toolbox of strategies to defend their bodies and boundaries (Act). The strategies are both verbal as well as physical. Given that the program focuses on helping women avoid and defend against sexual assaults, ensuring that blame is never ascribed to the victim is a concern. The training diligently works to ensure that the Sailors refute internal and external victim-blaming. “It could be all too easy to blame themselves for what happened to them,” VaughnWardle said. “It is something we see all too often in this ﬁeld, so we reinforce that anyone who is sexually assaulted did the best they could with the resources they had
at the time. The only person who can ever really, with 100% consistency, stop a sexual assault, is the person sexually assaulting. We can role play and practice and have an arsenal of tools, but when all of that is not enough to stop someone committed to using violence against us, we have to remember where the true responsibility lies—with the person committed to using violence.” As a pilot program, there is not a timeline for expansion to other installations currently. Vaughn-Wardle and Portal oversee the program and will eventually collect data from participants as well as a control group to ultimately generate statements of effectiveness on incidence of sexual assault, reduction of internalized victim blaming, and increased levels of conﬁdence. If the region team can validate the effectiveness of the program, then it might be implemented at other CNRSE installations with A-schools, however, that is a long-term goal. For the time being, though, the goals are more individualized. “I want to see women, especially young women, move more conﬁdently through the world, embodying strength beyond their wildest imagination — physical, emotional, and mental — who are also empowered to talk about sex openly and honestly with their partners,” Vaughn-Wardle said.
8 The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 2 | Thursday, November 17, 2022
The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, held a change of command ceremony Nov. 13 at the National Naval Aviation Museum at Naval Air Station, Pensacola. Cmdr. Alex Armatas relieved Capt. Brian Kesselring as the commanding officer of the Blue Angels. (U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS CODY DECCIO)
Blue Angels hold change of command ceremony
By Petty Officer 2nd Class Cody Hendrix
Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron
NAS PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) — The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, held a change of command ceremony Nov. 13 at the National Naval Aviation Museum at Naval Air Station, Pensacola. Cmdr. Alex Armatas relieved Capt. Brian Kesselring as the commanding officer of the Blue Angels. Capt. Kesselring assumed command of the Blue Angels Nov. 10, 2019. As the Blue Angels’ commanding officer, Kesselring led a squadron of 154 personnel and served as the demonstration ﬂight leader, ﬂying the #1 jet. In Kesselring’s next assignment, he
will serve as Deputy, Carrier Air Wing 5 at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. “Serving alongside the phenomenal Sailors and Marines of the Blue Angels has been one of the greatest honors of my career,” said Kesselring. “Over the past three years, this team paid tribute to healthcare workers around the Nation during Operation America Strong, successfully transitioned two new aircraft platforms, and celebrated 75 years of Blue Angel history and heritage with millions of spectators throughout the country. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Cmdr. Armatas.” Armatas, a native of Skaneateles, New York, joins the Blue Angels after serving as the commanding officer of the “Gunslingers” of VFA-105, where he deployed aboard USS
Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) in support of Operation FREEDOM’s SENTINEL. His previous assignments include multiple squadron tours. Armatas graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. He has accumulated more than 4,100 ﬂight hours and has 911 carrier-arrested landings. His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, four Strike/Flight Air Medals, ﬁve Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, one Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various personal, unit and service awards. “I look forward to learning from returning team members these next few months,” said Armatas. “It’s truly an honor to have the
opportunity to continue the legacy of leaders that have has shaped this squadron into what it is today. and I am excited to see what the 2023 show season will hold.” The mission of the Blue Angels is to showcase the teamwork and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country through ﬂight demonstrations and community outreach. Since 1946, the Blue Angels have performed for more than 496 million fans. For more information about the Blue Angels, including the 2023 and 2024 air show schedules, visit www.blueangels.navy.mil. For more information about the U.S. Navy, visit www.navy.mil and the U.S. Marine Corps at www.usmc.mil.
The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, held a change of command ceremony Nov. 13 at the National Naval Aviation Museum at Naval Air Station, Pensacola. Cmdr. Alex Armatas relieved Capt. Brian Kesselring as the commanding officer of the Blue Angels. (U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS CODY DECCIO)
www.ﬂagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 3 | Thursday, November 17, 2022 1
Seasonal desserts you & yours will gobble up! Fall is about football, sweaters and warm, delicious food. And with a chill in the air, there are few better places to be than the kitchen, whipping up something amazing for all who are gathered. Page C4
Tickets on sale now for the 2023 Patriotic Festival Country Weekend Press Release NORFOLK, Va. — Whisper Concerts and SevenVenues are delighted to announce the 2023 Patriotic Festival Country Weekend featuring performances by country artists Walker Hayes, Corey Kent, Sam Hunt, Jordan Davis, Cody Johnson, and Randy Houser. All performances will take place at Scope Arena in downtown Norfolk. Three day weekend tickets and single tickets for all performances are on sale now! Tickets are for Reserved Seats or PIT Tickets and are available for purchase at the Scope Arena box office, Ticketmaster.com and PatrioticFestival.com.
The 2023 Patriotic Festival Country Weekend schedule: Walker Hayes with special guest Corey Kent Friday, May 26, 2023 7 p.m. at Scope Arena Sam Hunt with special guest Jordan Davis Saturday, May 27, 2023 7 p.m. at Scope Arena Cody Johnson with special guest Randy Houser Sunday, May 28, 2022 7 p.m. at Scope Arena In addition to three nights of concerts, the Scope Arena Plaza and upper concourse will feature corporate sponsors and military displays, exhibits and activities by Monster Energy BMX tour, GruntStyle, Patriotic Apparel national mobile tour, Food Lion Farm Stand, US Air Force, Marines and Navy mobile tours. The Scope Arena Exhibition Hall will host patriotic corporate hospitality
chalet sponsors Port of Virginia, Hoffman Beverage, Franklin Johnson and more. The times for the military and corporate zone are as follows: Scope Arena Plaza: 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. | May 26-28, 2023 Scope Arena Upper Concourse: 6 p.m. — 9 p.m. | May 26-28, 2023 For more information on the military and corporate zone, visit patrioticfestival.com/ military-zone.html Monument Records recording artist and singer/songwriter Walker Hayes will kick off the 19th annual Patriotic Festival weekend on Friday, May 26. Originally from Mobile, Alabama, Hayes’ 2021 album Country Stuff The Album features new single “AA” and smash hit “Fancy Like.” The “Fancy Like” track went viral and has topped every sales and streaming chart since its release, spending a collective six months and counting at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Country Songs Chart, and hitting the top 5 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs. The irresistible tune was certiﬁed RIAA 3X Platinum within a year of release, and the track gave Hayes his ﬁrst GRAMMY Award nomination as an artist for Best Country Song. Performing as a special guest on Friday, May 26, Corey Kent has been poised for a career in music from the beginning. Taking the stage at age 11 as the lead singer for a touring Western Swing band, Corey hit early career milestones opening for legendary acts like Roy Clark and The Oak Ridge Boys. In 2020, Corey released his From the West LP which garnered 3.5+ million aggregate streams and set the stage for his next chapter. His song “Gold” and fan favorite “Ain’t My Day” have nearly 15 million streams combined. In December 2021, Corey released his sophomore album, 21, to an overwhelmingly positive reception and landed on multiple playlists
across streaming platforms with his single “There’s Always Next Year.” Both albums were released via Combustion Music. On March 4, 2022, Corey released his smash hit single “Wild As Her” and shortly after signed his deal with Sony Music Nashville and their RCA Nashville Imprint. Sam Hunt continues the weekend’s festivities when he takes the Scope Arena stage on Saturday, May 27. His debut studio album, Montevallo, was released in October 2014 and by November, the album had debuted at number one on the Top Country Albums chart and number three on the US Billboard 200. Hunt’s most recent album, Southside, features the hit “Body Like a Back Road,” which has gone on to become his biggest hit. Hunt’s work has garnered several awards including the Academy of Country Music Awards (Single Record of the Year), American Music Awards (New Artist of The Year), and Country Music Awards (Songwriter-artist of the Year), as well as numerous Grammy, Billboard, and People’s Choice Awards nominations. A special guest for the Saturday, May 27 concert, Jordan Davis ﬁrst broke through with his 2018 Gold-certiﬁed debut album, Home State, and three consecutive No. 1s-including the Platinum-Certiﬁed hits “Slow Dance In A Parking Lot,” “Take It From Me,” and the Double Platinum-Certiﬁed “Singles You Up.” Named Billboard’s Top New Country Artist of 2018 and Best New Country Artist at the iHeart Radio Music Awards, Davis continued to earn accolades and has garnered more than 2 billion streams and counting. Most recently, Davis wrote and released his 8-song EP Buy Dirt, whose title track became one of the Top streamed country songs of all time and earned the singer/ songwriter 4 ACM nominations, including Song of the Year, as well as a CMA nomination for Musical Event of the Year. Cody Johnson will close out the week-
end with a performance on Sunday, May 28. With eight studio albums under his belt, Johnson had one of the year’s biggest hits with “’Til You Can’t,” which stayed on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart for two weeks in March. Earlier his year, Johnson won two CMT Music Awards, including Male Video of the Year and Digital-First Performance. Performing at the Sunday, May 28 concert, Randy Houser racked up three consecutive No. 1 hits and more than four million in singles sales to date with his Stoney Creek Records album, How Country Feels. He topped the charts with the title track, “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight” and “Goodnight Kiss” (also his ﬁrst No. 1 as a songwriter) and earned critical acclaim for his powerful delivery of the Top 5 smash and CMA Song of the Year-nominated “Like A Cowboy.” Houser added a fourth No. 1 to his catalogue with “We Went” from his 2016 album, Fired Up. Following 2019’s critically acclaimed Magnolia, Houser’s “Note To Self,” is available now, with more new music on the horizon in 2022. The Patriotic Festival is an annual military celebration to honor our armed forces personnel and their families with three days of military displays, demonstrations and concerts by national touring artists. Founded in 2004, the event is one of the region’s largest military celebrations and Hampton Roads highest attended summer music festival. In 2022, the Patriotic Festival relocated to Norfolk, Virginia, which is also home to the world’s largest naval station, Naval Station Norfolk. The threeday festival Country Weekend has hosted some of the nation’s top entertainers including Morgan Wallen, Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown, Luke Combs and Kane Brown. For more information and a complete weekend schedule, visit PatrioticFestival.com.
Fostering the pets of our service members while on deployment is the mission of this national nonproﬁt Press Release/ GuardianAngelsForSoldiersPet.org “Our military service members sacriﬁce so much for our country,” said Linda SpurlinDominik, Co-Founder/CEO of Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet. “Through our programs, it is our hope that we can help cut down on the anxiety and uncertainty of deployment and, at the same time, say “thank you” for their service and sacriﬁce.” “Though the majority of those deploying will have family members or friends to care for their beloved pets, the organization will be there to assist those who don’t,” said Sally White, National President. “We believe safely reuniting the owner and pet when they return from overseas is an important part of reintegration and healing.” Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet has been supporting our military, veterans and their beloved pets since 2005. The all volunteer 501c3 Military and Veterans Support Organization provides programs to temporarily foster pets during a deployment (combat, peacekeeping or humanitarian mission), unforeseen medical hardship or homelessness. They also support service members and veterans diagnosed with PTSD needing a specially trained canine assistance to enhance their quality of life. Programs are available in all 50 states and across all branches of service including National Guard and Reserves. The foster organization usually has about a dozen pets being lovingly and safely cared for across the country at any given time. A team of coordinators screen pet owners and potential fosters before matching them up.
the Front Line, helps tell the story of this wonderful organization. Here is an excerpt from her recent trip here to Hampton Roads:
After being apart for over a year, Petty Officer 2nd Class Myesha Harris, who was deployed on the USS Harry S. Truman, and her 2.5 year-old male French Bulldog Nipsey are reunited in his foster family’s backyard Friday, October 14, 2022. (STEPHEN M. KATZ/THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT)
The pet owner is typically responsible for all pet care-related expenses including food and vet visits. The foster contract is for the length of deployment, which can ﬂuctuate in the event the deployment is extended. Marge Janiak is the Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet National Marketing & Communications Director. Her blog, Tails from
“Hello, Williamsburg! We made it to Williamsburg and I cannot wait to go to Colonial Williamsburg and do all the tourist-y stuff. But work is calling me and I have several appointments to speak to some of the Navy’s Fleet & Family people. I love telling them all about Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet and how I can help their sailors and because I NEED FOSTER HOMES IN VIRGINIA! The more that I can educate the public about the fact that deployments happen every day somewhere in America, and veterans go into the hospital every day somewhere in America, the more I hope to get more Foster Homes!! One of the reasons we are taking this trip from our home state of Tennessee is to deliver the delightful Maverick, a Husky that my husband and I have been fostering for the last month or so, back to his home in Hampton, Virginia. Maverick’s owner, Justen W., a Sailor in our Navy, is returning home from his 6 month deployment. I know it will be bittersweet because we have really grown fond of this Husky! The closer we got to Justen’s house, the more excited Maverick got!! He knew he was going home! When we got to Justen’s house, I texted him and told him we were there. When Justen came out, Maverick ran to him and just danced all around him. He was so happy to see his owner! That is exactly what makes my job so wonderful. Just seeing the excitement and happiness in both the owner and the pet is awesome! You can actually see the love they
have for each other shining in their eyes! I had tears in my eyes, but my heart was so ﬁlled with joy! After they got re-acquainted with each other, we talked for a while. Justen told us he’d probably be heading out again in about 4 months. I told him that if he wanted us to watch Maverick again to just let us know. We should be coming home from our “winter vacay” in Bonita Springs, Florida by that time. I have no doubt that Maverick and Justen will be part of our family from now on!” For more information on providing a foster home, becoming a volunteer, or making a donation to Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet, or to request help for you and your pet, please visit www.guardianangelsforsoldierspet.org. Maverick was lovingly fostered while his owner, a Sailor living in Hampton, Virginia, was on deployment. (COURTESY PHOTO)
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The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 3 | Thursday, November 17, 2022
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Pictured above and below, Actress and singer Kathleen Turner (PHOTOS COURTESY THE AMERICAN THEATRE)
Iconic star Kathleen Turner comes to The American Theatre this Saturday November 19th, talks about her show and her career Interview By Yiorgo The American Theatre, located right in the heart of the historic Phoebus area of Hampton, Virginia and celebrating its 35th Anniversary, is proud to present Hollywood legend Kathleen Turner in her incredible show, “Kathleen Turner: Finding My Voice.” The show is a beautiful combination of behind the scenes stories of her incredible career and a wonderful selection of songs such as: “Let’s Fall in Love,” “On the Street Where You Live,” and “Every Time We Say Goodbye,” just to mention a few, from the Great American Songbook. This show is guaranteed to make every Kathleen Turner fan happy. Individual performance tickets may be purchased in person at The American Theatre Box Office or the Hampton Coliseum Box Office or tickets may be ordered online at www.theamericantheatre.org Yiorgo: I had a chance to speak with Kathleen Turner the other day. Why should your fans come to your show Kathleen Turner: Finding My Voice? What will they expect to see and hear? Kathleen Turner: The show is a very enjoyable experience of stories with songs that kinda come out of the stories. I like to think that it’s about my life, my beliefs, my activism, my hope and my huge affection for the people throughout my life. It is fun and I’ve been told that it is uplifting and a very positive, happy experience. Come and enjoy it. Y: This is such a wonderful way for your fans to see you. When did you start doing this touring show and what has it been like for you? KT: We started several years ago, and it has gone through many transitions. That’s also the point of the show, in that I don’t want this show to ever be set in stone. As I have different life and work experiences, the show will change also. I’ll drop out some stories, pick up others, and change the songs as needed. I want to keep it present and ﬂuid and make it as interesting for me as it is for those attending my show. I had two performances recently. One was at a college near Atlantic City with a young, very aware audience and they were just a joy to perform in front of. When you get those laughs because you want to, oh there is just nothing better. Because of the two year hiatus that we all had to go through due to the pandemic, we all missed live performances so badly. There is an eagerness now on both sides for that live entertainment. Y: What prompted you to do this show? KT: It started because Molly Smith, who is the Artistic Director at the Arena Stage at the Mead Center of American Theater in Washington, DC asked me if I would do Mother Courage. It is not a musical obviously but it is a play with songs and numbers. Molly asked me if I could sing, and although I have not made a career of it, actually I really can sing, so she asked me to do Mother Courage. I enjoyed it so much that when I came back to New York, I called up the two men who
I have been working with, my pianist and my director and asked them if they would continue to work with me. I really had no plans for it but I wanted to keep exploring what I would do and learn. Y: What was that process like to get it off the ground and into the venues? KT: I love telling stories. Then Andy Gale, who is my director, would hear one of my stories and he would say that it reminded him of this or that song. Mark Janas who is the pianist would say, he knew exactly how he would arrange that, and before you know it, we had this whole group of stories and songs and I think it was Andy that said, “You know what? We have a show.” And I was like oh dear. We continued to develop it and we got two young producers from England and we took it to the other palace theater in London for a few months. We then brought it to New York City, we took it to San Francisco, Philadelphia, all before the pandemic. We are now just starting to perform again. Y: OK let’s talk about you. What was life like for you growing up? KT: I am one of four siblings and the only one born in the United States. My father was a foreign service officer with the Diplomatic Core so I grew up in Canada, Cuba, Venezuela, Columbia and then England all before college. I had not lived in the US at all. My father died very suddenly just before I turned 18 and we ended back in Springﬁeld, Missouri at my mother’s parents home. That was a culture shock. I learned a lot. Y: Your early love was theater and you graduated the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. KT: Yes indeed. I came to New York the second I graduated. That’s what I was always going to do. To me, New York was as close as I was going to get to the rest of the world and still be in the United States. So I see it as a doorway but it was always theater. You know, it’s very hard to deﬁne talent, especially acting. Sometimes I think that there is a communication gene and some people
have it. With a live performance there is just so much to give and take with an audience present. It’s so satisfying. Y: How did you get into the movies? KT: I was on Broadway my ﬁrst year in New York City. There were these three women who were the top casting directors at the time, who had a bet with each other, who would place me in my ﬁrst ﬁlm. They had seen me at auditions and on stage and I was put in the movie, Body Heat. I still believe that the best movie people come from the stage. Y: What was it like working on your ﬁrst Hollywood ﬁlm Body Heat? KT: It was thrilling, exciting, terrifying and I wasn’t alone. Larry Kasdan who wrote and directed and Bill Hurt, he had done one ﬁlm before but it had not come out and this was my ﬁrst. We were all of us in the same place learning. We felt as though we were creating a new kind of ﬁlm and we did in fact do that. Y: One of my all time favorites is Romancing the Stone. Can you share some memories with Michael Douglas and Danny DeVito? KT: Yes it was always the three of us. I love those guys very much, we had so much fun together. I had a ball doing Romancing the Stone. We were shooting in Mexico and because I spent most of my childhood in South America, I was bilingual but Michael did not realize that. He had one AD that was bilingual and some of the actors spoke no English, so Michael really, really needed me much more then he realized in hiring me. The ﬁlming was tough physically. We did that mudslide ﬁve times. Every time I get to work with Michael like in The Kominsky Method, it’s just so easy and so much fun. Y: When did you know you can have a career in the movie industry? KT: I always believed I would have a career as an actor. I believe that most people do believe that they will be a success. Acting is the most interdependent art form that we
have. I don’t get to go on that stage until the set has been designed and built, the lights, the sound and the costumes are made. Y: Speaking of theater, since that was your ﬁrst love, what was one of the plays that deﬁned you and made you want to be on that stage? KT: For me, the biggest, most important piece that has been through most of my life has been, Edward Albee’s, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf that I did on Broadway when I was 50. I did a national tour, also a run in London, it was thrilling and wonderful, a kind of role that uses everything in you. You have that extra ordinary feeling that you are completely used up, and that’s exactly right. What’s not right is the movie version. Actually, Edward was very angry about it. It’s not about a drunk couple screaming at each other. That is faaaar from the truth. I have always been angry about that and how they butchered it. Y: Another one of my favorites is Prizzi’s Honor. Can you share a memory or two? KT: That was a fun movie. Jack Nicholson would laugh when someone would ask him, “Jack, how are you enjoying yourself?” His response was, “What do you mean enjoying? I’m working with an ex-girlfriend and a blanking newlywed.” I was the newlywed. He would growl when he was frustrated. Another fun memory was that the wedding scene had dozens and dozens of extras and they had piled up all this beautiful food to make it all look right. So to keep people from eating it and to make sure it stayed fresh looking, they sprayed the whole thing with a kind of shellac. I would see extras reach for the cake or something and bite into it and I would say to them oh no, no don’t bite into that. Y: And of course you were the uncredited voice of Jessica Rabbit in the classic, Who Framed Roger Rabbit. KT: Bobby Zemeckis directed that. It’s an extraordinary work of art and there will never be another one like it. He also directed Romancing the Stone. For the Jessica role, I was very pregnant. As a matter of fact, I missed my last recording day because I went into labor. So I am in the hospital, telling people to call the studio, I’m not coming in today. For me it was perfect because I could waddle in and I could work from home. Y: How about a pinch me moment? KT: I can tell you one that comes to mind immediately. Standing at the top of the stairs with John Waters at the Palais Des Festivals at Cannes in Monte Carlo. Serial Mom written and directed by John was the closing night ﬁlm. We came out after the ﬁlm, we stood at the top of the stairs looking down into the crowd and the people were shouting, “Je t’aime, Kathlene, je t’aime.” I grabbed a hold of John’s hand and said, don’t ever, ever forget this moment. Yiorgo is an arts, entertainment and sports writer. A stage, TV and movie actor, he is also a sports entertainer, educator, motivational speaker, writer, storyteller and columnist.
www.ﬂagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 3 | Thursday, November 17, 2022 3
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4 The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 3 | Thursday, November 17, 2022
Brulee Pumpkin Pie
Seasonal desserts you and yours will gobble up! From Family Features/Culinary.net Fall is about cooler weather, football, sweaters and warm, delicious food. It’s about gathering around the table with loved ones to enjoy a snack or meal and making memories that will last a lifetime. As the weather changes, there are few better places to be than the kitchen, whipping up something amazing for all who are gathered. This season, when you’re craving something sweet, try this Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips. It’s rich with lots of semisweet chocolate chips but also has a prominent pumpkin ﬂavor that is hard to resist. This recipe is easy to make and provides an opportunity to get the little ones involved in the kitchen. For example, they can stir and pour those yummy chocolate chips into the batter. Made start to ﬁnish in less than an hour, it can be a perfect treat for get-togethers from parties and events to just a couple friends enjoying each other’s company. It’s light and moist with a crisp exterior. The signature pumpkin taste blends with the sweet chocolate to create a unique taste perfect for fall. In seasonal sweets like Brulee Pumpkin Pie and No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake, an option like Country Crock Plant Cream can be used as a dairyfree substitute for heavy whipping cream. With 29% less saturated fat than dairy heavy whipping cream, it’s an easy 1:1 swap and is also soy-free, certiﬁed plant-based and 100% vegan, making it ideal to have on hand during holiday baking season. It’s all of the deliciousness of heavy cream, with none of the heaviness of dairy. Find more seasonal dessert recipes at Culinary.net and CountryCrock.com .
Brulee Pumpkin Pie
Prep time: 45 minutes Cook time: 1 hour Servings: 8
Pie Crust: 1 ½ cups all-purpose ﬂour 1 teaspoon sugar ¼ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons Country Crock Plant Butter, cold and cut into cubes 2 tablespoons chilled vegetable shortening, cut into pieces 4 tablespoons ice water Pumpkin Filling: ½ cup maple syrup 1 tablespoon vanilla 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree ¼ cup coconut cream 1 cup Country Crock Plant Cream 1 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon ginger 1 teaspoon nutmeg ⅛ teaspoon ground clove ½ teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons cornstarch 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar Whipped Topping: 2 cups Country Crock Plant Cream, chilled ¼ cup powdered sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract To make pie crust: Preheat oven to 350 F. In bowl of food processor, add ﬂour, sugar and salt; pulse to combine. Add cold plant butter and shortening. Process about 10 seconds until it looks like coarse meal. With food processor running, add ice water. Process until mixture clumps together. On lightly ﬂoured surface, roll dough into 14-inch circle. Transfer to 9-inch pie dish. Lift edges and allow dough to drape into dish. Trim, leaving 1-inch overhang. Fold excess dough under and crimp edges. To make pumpkin ﬁlling: In medium saucepan over medium heat, add syrup and vanilla; warm about 2 minutes then remove from heat and set aside. In large bowl, combine syrup mixture, pumpkin, coconut cream, plant cream, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, salt and cornstarch; blend with hand mixer until smooth. Pour mixture into pie crust. Bake 1 hour. If crust starts to burn, cover edges with aluminum foil. The middle will still be jiggly. Cool at room temperature 30 minutes
No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
then cover and transfer to refrigerator to chill at least 5 hours or overnight. Before serving, sprinkle pie with white sugar and, using kitchen torch, brelee until sugar is melted and dark brown. To make whipped topping: Using electric hand mixer or stand mixer, whisk plant cream, powdered sugar and vanilla on high until mixture thickens and stiff peaks form. Slice and serve with whipped topping.
To make chocolate ganache: In pan over medium heat, add plant butter cubes and chocolate; stir continuously. Spread chocolate ganache evenly on top of chilled cheesecake. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.
No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 45-50 minutes Servings: 12
Prep time: 5-10 minutes Cook time: 5 minutes Total time: 6-7 hours Servings: 8
Nonstick cooking spray 1 ½ cups all-purpose ﬂour ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 1 cup canned pumpkin ⅓ cup brown sugar ⅓ cup granulated sugar ½ cup vegetable oil 3 eggs, at room temperature ½ tablespoon vanilla extract 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Crust: 1 ½cups graham cracker crumbs ½cup Country Crock Plant Butter, melted Filling: 2 packages (8 ounces each) dairy-free cream cheese, at room temperature 1 cup peanut butter 1 tablespoon vanilla extract ½cup Country Crock Plant Cream 1 cup powdered sugar Chocolate Ganache: 1 stick Country Crock Plant Butter, cubed 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips Grease 9-inch pie dish with Country Crock Plant Butter; set aside. Tomakecrust: In medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and melted plant butter; mix thoroughly. Add crust to greased pie dish and press ﬁrmly to bottom and sides; refrigerate. To make ﬁlling: In bowl of electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar; beat until fully incorporated. Add peanut butter, vanilla extract and plant cream; beat until smooth and creamy. Pour ﬁlling into prepared crust and refrigerate 5-6 hours or overnight.
Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside. In large bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and pumpkin spice. Set aside. In medium bowl, combine canned pumpkin, brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Stir together. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients; mix until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into loaf pan. Bake 45-50 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool at least 10 minutes in pan before removing to wire rack to ﬁnish cooling.
Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips
www.ﬂagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 3 | Thursday, November 17, 2022 5
U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman Lyda Kuoch, with the U.S. Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, works on upper body strength and mobility with a senior patient during a routine physical therapy session on Sept. 28. Small steps, such as changes in nutrition, avoiding risky behaviors, and exercising can prolong life and help you age healthily.
Lifestyle changes could add 10-15 years to your life By Janet A. Aker
You can age healthily even with the clock ticking away. It just takes a little work. Even small steps to improving your health can mean a longer and better quality of life. And defense health officials are working to dispel the negative concept of aging. “There is a common misperception that it is normal in the aging process to have poor health, heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, dementia, and other chronic diseases. This couldn’t be further from the truth,” said U.S. Air Force Col. (Dr.) Mary Anne Kiel, who chairs the Defense Health Agency Primary Care Clinical Community. “When lifestyle changes are adopted by our patients using an evidence-based approach, chronic disease can be prevented or delayed by 10-15 years compared to the average. This leads to extra health and years that our patients can enjoy,” Kiel said.
Lifestyle Adjustments can Prolong Your Life Kiel also serves as chair of Air Force Lifestyle & Performance Medicine and emphasizes how lifestyle choices impact health well into advanced years. “Patients can make a personal choice at any age to optimize their health and extend their longevity by changing their nutrition
to a predominantly plant-based diet, minimizing processed foods, doing physical activity daily, pursuing restorative sleep, avoiding risky substances, managing stress, and cultivating positive social connections,” Kiel advised. In addition to avoiding risky behaviors, such as smoking and too much alcohol, lowering your stress levels and good sleep hygiene are crucial to staying healthy as you age. “Improved sleep can produce almost instantaneous results for improved mental health, pain levels, and risk for infectious disease,” in addition to reducing the risk of dementia and overall rates of death,” Kiel said. Similarly, “a revolutionized diet and physical activity regimen can produce rapid changes to the body’s risk for cardiovascular events, cancer, and diabetes,” she noted. If you want to lower your risk of diseases and take fewer medications, you may be able to do that through changes to your lifestyle. “Studies show that individuals who make intensive lifestyle changes can actually reverse hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, often with the ability to reduce or eliminate any medications they may have needed previously,” Kiel said. To live longer, we need to change how our DNA is affected. Chromosomes carry long pieces of DNA, which is the material that holds our genes. Telomeres, which are the ends of our chromosomes, typically
get shorter as we age. “Changing what we eat, and other lifestyle factors can reduce the speed at which the telomeres shorten, effectively extending the number of years that we live,” Kiel explained.
Keep Moving and Keep Your Bones Strong “Movement on a continuous basis is very important to keeping healthy as we age and to maintain our mobility,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Alexa Werner, a physical therapist at the U.S. Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. “The largest impairments that we see are a lack of strength, balance, or endurance as well as limited mobility,” she said. “One of the constant sayings I heard while going through physical therapy training school was ‘Motion is lotion,’ ” Werner said. “Basically, the more you move, the more you can move. This is true in resolving pain in younger patients, as well as helping to ensure healthy aging and independence in aging populations,” she added. One of the biggest changes Werner said she has seen in treating the senior population is “the emphasis on strengthening and functional activities.” “Once the thought was that elderly patients are fragile, but we have seen in recent research that elderly individuals
respond well to weight training and can increase their bone density resulting in decreased risk of fracture,” Werner said. Fall prevention is also important for older adults. “Falls are the leading cause of fatal accidents in older adults and the leading cause of trauma-related hospitalizations in older adults” Roberts said. One of the best ways to improve balance is to start a walking program, she suggested, or work your balance through such evidence-based community-based exercise programs. This could include: Tai Chi, a series of gentle physical exercises and stretches that each ﬂow into the next, ensuring constant motion. Otago, a series of 17 strength and balance exercises delivered by a physical therapist in the home that reduces falls between 35% and 40%. Stay Active, a series for endurance, strength, balance, and stretching. Independent for Life, a series that includes warm-up, aerobics, balance, strength training, and stretching exercises that can be done in a seated or standing position. Fitness checks track general mobility, arm strength and leg strength. “Studies have shown that no matter what our age, making nutrition and other lifestyle changes can have dramatic impacts by extending our lifespans and improving our quality of life,” Kiel said, adding: “You’re never too old to make a change.”
USS Ford’s Commitment to Women’s Health By Petty Officer 2nd Class Jackson Adkins USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)
ATLANTIC OCEAN — “My aunt passed away in 2008 from breast cancer,” said Lt. Nyasia Jenkins, from Unci, New York, assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) medical department. “It was detected late so there was really no chance for us to see her.” One in eight women will face cancer in their life. Additionally, breast cancer has a 99 percent survival rate if detected in early stages and a 29 percent survival rate if detected late. Lt. Cmdr. Samuel Douglas, Ford’s surgeon, offers a service in identifying breast cancer in the early stage for women aboard Ford. Douglas’ service is just one of many that Ford provides. “There are a number of resources available aboard Ford,” says Jenkins. “There are routine health screenings, which for women in particular include breast and cervical cancer screenings, as well as routine health visits.” Ford recognizes the importance of Women’s Health Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month and strives to keep its female crew members a healthy ﬁghting force. “Our surgeon is doing screenings for women who may have a higher risk of breast cancer,” said Jenkins. “They can reach out to him to get a more advanced high risk screening or any other information they may need.” “We are a force and must be taken care of,” added Lt. Sarah Alferos, from San Diego, assigned to Ford’s medical department. “Ford’s medical team is extremely equipped to navigate what you may need as a female.” Alferos notes that roughly 20 percent of
Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Cassandra Styles, from Oxford, Mississippi, assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) dental department, prepares sterile dressing during a mass casualty drill in the ship’s operating room, Sept. 20th, 2022. Ford is underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting carrier qualiﬁcations and workups for a scheduled deployment this fall. (U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS JACKSON ADKINS)
the Navy’s ﬁghting force is comprised of women, making this month not only important to the Ford but the Navy as a whole. “The month of October should be focused on certain areas women may not be thinking about too much, such as breast cancer, screenings, nutrition, mental health or ﬁtness standards,” said Alferos. “It’s a month when we can focus on the resources available.” Jenkins offers her advice to women regarding health, not only during this month but year-round.
“Take advantage of your opportunities for your own health,” said Jenkins. “Take control and accountability. If you think or notice something is wrong or out of the norm, come get seen. It’s extremely important to be your own advocate.” Women’s Health Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month are particularly important to the Ford namesake. Betty Ford, the United States First Lady from 1974-1977 and wife of USS Gerald R. Ford’s namesake, was diagnosed with breast cancer two months after President Gerald R. Ford
took office. After ﬁghting her battle, she advocated and inspired women around the United States to be aware of their health, just as USS Gerald R. Ford is doing during the month of October. “It’s nice to know this ship can provide the capabilities for individuals, even if we are underway, to be seen and maintain their health,” said Jenkins. The ship’s medical department has carried on Betty Ford’s legacy of advocating for women’s health, even while deployed.
6 The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 3 | Thursday, November 17, 2022
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www.ﬂagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 3 | Thursday, November 17, 2022 7 Autos for Sale
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8 The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 3 | Thursday, November 17, 2022
(PHOTOS COURTESY OF NAUTICUS)
WinterFest on the Wisconsin returns better and brighter, happening now through New Years Day Interview By Yiorgo One of the must see destinations on the east coast is Nauticus, featuring the Battleship Wisconsin. Located on the waterfront in downtown Norfolk, Virginia where every year (except during the pandemic), hundreds of thousands of people have visited and continue to visit year round this work of art, contemporary, maritime themed, science center and museum. How appropriate that Nauticus and the Battleship Wisconsin are located in Norfolk, the home of the world’s largest naval base. The holiday season at Nauticus also means the return of WinterFest on the Wisconsin with this year being better and brighter than ever before. It is a true celebration of the Battleship Wisconsin, decorated with more than one million Christmas lights. Once aboard the Battleship Wisconsin, be prepared to explore all-new interior spaces, enjoy two new shows nightly by everyone’s favorite green grump, have fun aboard a polar train journey while tasting sweets and treats and even shopping for last-minute gifts. New this season is The Santa Experience, available for an additional fee, during select times Fridays - Sundays and will be open Wednesdays - Sundays starting December 14th - 24th. You will go inside the Battleship Wisconsin’s historic Wardroom for a reserved meet-and-greet with Captain Claus himself. Feel free to take selﬁes, enjoy delicious hot chocolate and cookies and everyone young and old can write a letter to Santa and even post in the original mailbox of the Battleship Wisconsin. With this year marking the 400th anniversary of the classic poem, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,’ there is a special treat as a talking book and bookworm recount this magical poem. There is also the Mistletoe Marina, presented by The Perry Family Foundation with many adventures to keep you entertained throughout the night. You will be surrounded by thousands of dazzling lights, beautifully decorated boats, while indulging in hot and cold beverages and bites of sweet snacks by the ﬁreside while you take in nightly shows by the grump himself and the Holiday Hoobie-Whatty Show. It’s the Whoville circus, the tiniest little big top you’ve ever seen with the shows running nightly at 6 and 8 PM. Also at the Mistletoe Arena is the Elf Door Discovery, a seasonal scavenger hunt that takes you on a magic journey to unlock the mystery of Santa’s elves. There are 15 tiny entrances decked out for the holidays with 15 elves and your job is to ﬁnd them all. There is also a Tree Lighting Ceremony nightly Wednesdays - Sundays at the fantail of the Battleship Wisconsin that you can be a part of hosted by a grouchy green grump and his dog, Max. Also not to be missed is the Lighted Sailboat Parade to be held December 3rd and 10th from 6:00PM - 6:30PM hosted by Sail
Nauticus. The parade will take place along the Elizabeth River adjacent to the Battleship Wisconsin that is free and open to the public along the boardwalk. For tickets, times, dates and more info, go to https://www.winterfestonthewisconsin. com/ Yiorgo: To tell us more about it, is proud local Maury High School Alumni Rehn West, Development Director at Nauticus. What is WinterFest on the Wisconsin at Nauticus and what will the people who attend experience when they come to see it? Rehn West: WinterFest on the Wisconsin is a holiday celebration. We deck out the Battleship with over a million holiday lights and guests are able to walk our Battleship, enjoy our live entertainment, holiday music, a tree lighting ceremony, as well as a very special one-on-one experience with Santa. We also have great food and drinks and the grouchy green grump who is here walking our decks, meeting the guests and making it both unique and different. We also have a lighted sailboat parade on December 3rd and 10th. Nauticus is home to Sail Nauticus, established for at-risk youth in Norfolk Public Schools. We have a ﬂeet of 20 sailboats and we deck them out in Christmas lights and on December 3rd and 10th at six pm they leave our harbor and head down to the Whiskey Basin next to the Battleship Wisconsin on the other side by the Pogoda. At the very end of the parade, Santa is brought in by the Norfolk Police Chief boat. It is super exciting and brings our community together. It brings a lot of new people downtown. It is also a fundraiser for our Nauticus Foundation which is a non-proﬁt with all proceeds going directly back into the
Battleship Wisconsin. We are able to restore her to her glory and provide interpretations throughout her deck for many students and visitors year round. Y: How long has the WinterFest on the Wisconsin been in existence? RW: This is our third year. Pre-Covid we hosted Christmas Town. It was all indoors, a great event, very popular with the public. With Covid, we knew we couldn’t bring our usual 25,000 people indoors, so we decided to try something new and use this great vessel that we have. The Battleship was a silver lining during the pandemic. You can walk outside on the deck, spread out, so what better way to have her serve during the holidays than by decorating her with lights and help to bring joy to people and revenue to our foundation. Y: Marie Osmond was in town last year with her Marie Osmond A Symphonic Christmas concert and she visited Battleship Wisconsin. She mentioned that Bob Hope called her and asked her to do his very last USO tour with him. She remembered fondly performing on the Wisconsin. She said she sang right before the last shells were shot in Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia. RW: Whenever celebrities visited the Wisconsin when she was out to sea or wherever they were stationed, the celebrities signed the ship. We actually still have Marie Osmond’s signature very near the bow of the ship. One of our staff members, Keith Nitka is the Battleship Manager. He served during Desert Storm on the Battleship Wisconsin and was one of the crew members that was there for her performance. Y: How would you describe Nauticus and what can people expect to see and do when
they visit throughout the year? RW: Nauticus is a Maritime Discovery Center and we are home to our Nauticus museum, which focuses on a fun and engaging stem to stern curriculum for all ages. We are also home to our pride and joy, the Battleship Wisconsin. She is a great teaching tool for everyone and a great representative of our navy. We are home to the Nauticus Sailing Center that supports local students and an adult membership program. Uniquely, we are the home to the Half Moon Cruise Terminal, Virginia’s only cruise terminal. Our campus is very big and we offer something for everyone here. Yiorgo is an arts, entertainment and sports writer. A stage, TV and movie actor, he is also a sports entertainer, educator, motivational speaker, writer, storyteller and columnist.
Rehn West, Development Director at Nauticus (COURTESY OF NAUTICUS)