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VOL. 27, No. 06, Norfolk, VA | flagshipnews.com

SUBLANT RECOGNIZES CIVILIAN OF THE YEAR ACommander,Submarine ForceAtlantic(SUBLANT) civilianwasrecognizedasthe command’s2020Civilianofthe Yearduringanawardceremony,Feb.2.  See A4

02.11.2021_02.17.2021

Navy cancels in-person Fleet Week New York events, will hold Virtual Fleet Week New York 2021 in its place From Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Public Affairs NORFOLK

Courtesy photo

VAW-120 Sailor saves three-month old infant From Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic Public Affairs NORFOLK

A Sailor assigned to Airborne Command & Control Squadron (VAW) 120 was at the right place and the right time to save a threemonth-old infant in Norfolk, Feb. 3. Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Devyn Drake, who has been in the Navy since 2017, left the night-shift assignment at her Norfolk-based squadron in the early morning hours on Feb. 3 and returned to the apartment complex she shares with her husband and five-month-old child. “On my way home, I pulled into my apartment complex and decided to check my mail,” said Drake, who noticed something outside of her apartment along the way that did not look quite right. “I was in shock to see the baby outside in the cold, I didn’t know what to think.” Quick-acting, Drake brought the infant into her home. “She was the sweetest baby,”

said Drake, who was thankful that she was reunited with her family. “I would pray to God that someone would do the same for my child, if in a similar situation, as I had done for this sweet baby.” After the baby was safe in Drake’s apartment, the young petty officer contacted law enforcement to report finding an abandoned infant. Drake had found the infant at 6:50 a.m. on Feb. 3, just about 20 minutes earlier the infant’s mother had reported her vehicle stolen from a Chesapeake convenience store. During the eventful morning, Drake had not looked at the Amber Alert, which was released around 8:00 a.m. on the same day. When she had time to read over the alert, she realized that she played a significant role in saving this infant’s life and ensured that law enforcement knew. “Fantastic work by LS3 to identify the baby and promptly call authorities, it is a sad case, but ended on a good note thanks to the timely intervention of an awesome Sailor,” said Capt. Chris Hulitt, deputy commander,

Airborne Command & Control and Logistics Wing. Interviewed by Chesapeake law enforcement, Drake said one of the detectives handling the case referred to her as a “true hero”. “It was the right thing to do,” said Drake, who believed that divine intervention was involved to place her at the time to play a role in helping the infant. “My mom is very proud and thankful that the Lord intervened.” Cmdr. Aaron Rybar, who has served as the commanding officer of VAW-120 since February 2020, appreciated Drake’s involvement and her caring spirit. “We are extremely proud of LS3’s swift response assisting a family in a difficult situation. Her actions absolutely personify the Navy’s Core Values and we are grateful that this story has such a positive ending with a family being reunited,” said Rybar. VAW-120 is the training site for all E-2 and C-2A pilots, naval flight officers, and naval aircrewmen. The squadron can also be tasked operationally in support of defense and disaster operations.

The Navy announced the cancelation of in-person events associated with Fleet Week New York 2021 due to ongoing concerns with COVID-19. For the second year, the Navy will host Fleet Week New York in a virtual environment on social media May 26-31. Videos posted on social media as part of Virtual Fleet Week New York 2020 were viewed by more than 170,000 people, allowing the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps to show off their capabilities to at least 66,000 more people than they were able to through in-person ship tours and aircraft demonstrations the previous year. In 2019, about 103,000 people took tours of ships moored throughout the city or saw aircraft displays at various parks and schools. “The Navy is committed to doing everything it can to defeat the coronavirus. Keeping our Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen at home is the best way to ensure we protect the health and safety of New York and our force so we can return to normal as soon as possible,” said Rear Adm. Charles W. Rock, commander, Navy Region MidAtlantic. Virtual Fleet Week New York content 

See FLEET WEEK | A7

USS Toledo holds change of command By MC1 Alfred Coffield

Submarine Force Atlantic Public Affairs

NORFOLK

The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Toledo (SSN 769) conducted a change of command at Naval Station Norfolk, Feb. 5. Cmdr. Joel Holwitt relieved Cmdr. Philip Castellano as commanding officer of Toledo. Capt. Jeffrey Juergens, commodore, Submarine Squadron 6, spoke on Castellano’s performance during his time as the boat’s commanding officer. “Phil, you knocked your command tour out of the park. You’ve done a great job getting through what a lot of people have told me was one of the most successful deployments that we’ve seen in recent memory,” Juergens said. “You’ve done a phenomenal 

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See USS TOLEDO | A7

Houston native reflects on Navy Supply Corps service AfricanAmericanmen andwomenhavealong historyofdistinguished service.TheNavyhonors theirlegacyofservice. See A2

Apprentice Program NorfolkNaval Shipyard (NNSY)isaccepting applications foritsApprenticeProgram fromFeb.1–Mar.1.The program seeks torecruitenthusiastic individuals looking to startarewardingcareer with theFederal Government. See A5

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African American/Black History Month: Houston native reflects on Navy Supply Corps service By Thomas Zimmerman

NAVSUP Business Systems Center Public Affairs

MECHANICSBURG, Pa.

“When I joined the Navy, I barely saw African American officers. I believe that African Americans are now making positive strides in the officer ranks,” said Lt. Nana Bonsu, a Navy Supply Corps officer assigned to Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Business Systems Center (BSC) in Mechanicsburg. “We’re still growing and breaking down barriers, but I feel lucky to be part of a group that is inspiring the next generation of Sailors.” African American and Black men and women have a long history of distinguished service, dating back to the colonial days before the establishment of the Navy. Each February, the Navy honors their legacy of service, while recognizing the men andwomenwhowillsecurethefutureforthenextgenerationof African American and Black Sailors. Bonsu, a Houston native, enlisted in the Navy to pay for college and see the world. From working the deck plates as a seamantoleadingSailorsasacommissionedofficer,hecontinues to lead logistics information technology (IT) solutions as a NAVSUP BSC Project Officer and promote positive command moraleandqualityoflifeasCommandManagedEqualOpportunity Manager. “This position has allowed me to come full circle and leverage my supply chain and logistics experience,” said Bonsu. “ThediverseteamatNAVSUPBSCisalwaysworkingtowards a common goal, and that makes it fun to come to work.” Bonsu’sjourneytoNAVSUPBSCbeganwithhisenlistment as a Storekeeper. Following basic and “A” school training, he served aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Hue City (CG-66) and later aboard Military Sealift Command’s dry cargo/ammunition ship, USNS Robert E. Peary (T-AKE-5). Aboard Peary, Bonsu was promoted to chief petty officer and reassigned to guided-missile frigate USS Hawes (FFG-53). There, he applied for the Seaman to Admiral-21(STA-21) program, a highly-competitive full-time undergraduate education and commissioning program for enlisted personnel. “My selection for STA-21was very humbling. Asan African American, it felt as if I was opening the door wider for more people like me,” said Bonsu. After Bonsu’s STA-21 selection, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Prairie View A&M University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). According to the U.S. Department of Education, an HBCU is a higher learning institution established before1964 with the mission of meeting the educational needs of Black students. Many of these were established after the Civil War to meet the educational needs of Black students who were unable to attend themajorityofhighereducationinstitutionsduetosegregation. “I could have gone to any college, but it was important to me to attend an HBCU,” he said. “I learned a lot from those educators and their life experiences that I wouldn’t have anywhere else.” After earning his bachelor’s degree and Navy commission,

Courtesy photo Lt. Nana Bonsu, project officer, Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Business Systems Center (BSC) in Mechanicsburg, Pa.

he completed his Division Officer tour aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3); and served as Aviation Support Detachment Officer at Naval Air Station Oceana, where he provided aviation support to Super Hornet squadrons and 64 Fleet Readiness Center work centers before arriving at NAVSUP BSC. As diversity and inclusion issues came to the forefront of our nation in 2020, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday asked Sailors to listen, and established Task Force One Navy to address issues of racism, sexism, destructive biases, and their impact on naval readiness. “We must demand of each other that we treat everyone with dignity and respect. If you won’t do that, then our Navy is not the best place for you,” said Gilday in a June 2020 press release. “We are one team, and we are one Navy.” “NAVSUP is committed to the principles of diversity, inclusiveness, and respect; these principles are integral elements of our command culture,” said Rear Adm. Peter Stamatopoulos, commander, NAVSUP. “We must constantly renew our commitment to foster an environment that appreciates individual perspectives and enhances our ability to develop effective solutions to today’s challenges. From senior leaders to frontline employees, we collectively share the responsibility to ensure diversity and inclusion are ingrained into the NAVSUP culture.” “It means a lot to me to see that Navy leadership is taking diversity and inclusion so seriously,” said Bonsu. “They are sending a clear message that if you’re not on board with this, you are going to get left behind. "There was a time when seeing a Black officer on a ship, earlier in my career, was a wow moment for me because it

Naval Station Great Lakes participates in Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain 2021 By MC2 Brigitte Johnston

Naval Station Great Lakes Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill.

Navy installations across the country are participating in an annual two-week force protection exercise, Feb.1-12. Exercise Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain 2020 is conducted by Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Commander, Navy Installations Command on all Navy installations in the continental U.S., including Naval Station Great Lakes. On Feb. 2, the NSGL installation training team, led by Installation Training Officer Mark Wegge, conducted an active shooter

drill that evaluated information dissemination, individual response plans, security force response, and the ability to coordinate with local emergency responders and the community. A simulated gate runner charged the gate to Bldg. 1 wherein a simulated hostage situation involving the commanding officer, Capt. Ray Leung, took place. Naval Security Forces and Great Lakes Police used negotiation techniques to bring the simulated suspect to surrender. “This scenario was a good opportunity for our security team to practice how to respond to an active shooter situation,” said Leung. “Our security forces responded exactly as they were trained. Our goal is to be ready for

wasn’t that common. It motivated me,” he said. “Now it’s much more common. They helped open the door for me, and I hope that I’m able to do that and be an example for others. “In today’s Navy, no one is going to come out and say they’re not going to promote you or put you in a certain position because you’re African American. They’ll say things like, ‘that’s how we’ve always done it’, or ‘that’s not how we do it here.’ “I let my work speak for itself and not concern myself with what someone may think of me based on a stereotype. At the end of the day, you want the best person in the job. No matter their skin color, religion, or sexual orientation. Diversity and inclusion are key to establishing an environment of dignity and respect. We all play an important role in that. “As a Navy officer, it’s my responsibility to ensure everyone is treated fairly and represented equally. To retain our best and brightest Sailors and maintain our competitive edge, we must afford the same promotion and advancement opportunities to the best-qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin,” said Bonsu. To learn more about the legacy of African American and Black men and women in the Navy, visit https://www.history.navy.mil/browse-by-topic/diversity/african-americans.html. To learn more about Task Force One Navy, visit https:// media.defense.gov/2021/Jan/26/2002570959/-1/-1/1/ TASK%20FORCE%20ONE%20NAVY%20FINAL%20REPORT.PDF. For more information about NAVSUP BSC, visit https:// www.navsup.navy.mil/public/navsup/bsc/.

anything.” The local community was informed prior to the exercise, warning of traffic, sirens, and other possible minor disturbances that could affect the area. The use of outdoor warning sirens is used in lockdown procedures to inform the base to lock down or shelter in place. “We used all the tools for warning the base that we have at our disposal,” said Willie Ramsey, NSGL’s emergency management officer. “Using AtHoc messaging and Giant Voice prepares Great Lakes and the surrounding community for a real world situation.” During the exercise, the training team and participants exercised COVID-19 protection measures such as masks and limiting to people in each space to only those necessary. “Training opportunities throughout the pandemic have been challenging, but not impossible to execute,” said Wegge. “Through thorough planning, Great Lakes was able to

create a safe training environment despite the challenges caused by COVID-19.” Exercise Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain 2021 is a regularly scheduled exercise that reinforces the need for everyone to maintain a force protection mindset and a readiness to respond to threats. We encourage personnel to remain aware of their surroundings throughout the exercise and to not assume that any suspicious activity is part of the exercise. Community members are asked to report any suspicious activity to Great Lakes Police at (847) 688-5555 for non-emergencies and to call 911for emergencies. For updates during the exercise, visit the base’s Facebook account at www.facebook.com/NavalStationGreatLakes, and the base’s Twitter account at twitter.com/ navstaglakes. For imagery from the exercise, please visit https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/cssc21

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MC2 Cameron Stoner Robert Tayman, middle, ordnance logistics management specialist at Submarine Forces Atlantic (SUBLANT), and his wife, Anne, listen as Vice Adm. Daryl Caudle, commander, Submarine Forces, talks during a civilian of the year award ceremony, Feb. 2.

SUBLANT recognizes Civilian of the Year By MC2 Cameron Stoner

Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic Public Affairs

NORFOLK

A Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic (SUBLANT) civilian was recognized as the command’s 2020 Civilian of the Year during an award ceremony, Feb. 2. Robert Tayman, ordnance logistics management specialist of SUBLANT’s training, tactical development, doctrine and knowledge management department, received the award for the superior performance of his duties throughout 2020. Vice Adm. Daryl Caudle, commander, Submarine Forces (SUBFOR), spoke on Tayman’s accomplishments during the award ceremony. “Mr. Tayman served 21 years as a chief torpedoman’s mate before retiring from

active duty,” said Caudle. “If that wasn’t impressive enough, he has spent another 31 years here at SUBLANT. It is important today to recognize the scope and breadth of what he has accomplished.” Tayman oversees the Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes, tomahawk cruise missiles and countermeasure program. “He successfully manages the forcewide program, ensuring the distribution of torpedoes between the east and west coasts is properly conducted and that our submarines are optimized for the number they carry, adding to our Force’s lethality and combat readiness,” Caudle went on to add. Paul Snodgrass, deputy director of SUBLANT’s training, tactical development and operational safety spoke on Tayman’s work optimizing torpedo part supply flow. “Tayman’s performance in 2020 particu-

larly stands out for his contribution to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations Perform to Plan (P2P) program,” said Snodgrass. “He personally developed key metrics related to SUBFOR’s P2P project that informed the Force Commander on submarine ordnance combat readiness. Mr. Tayman innovated an improved method of tracking force-wide critical torpedo parts that reduced the number of torpedoes that were down for parts, increasing overall advanced capability warshot ready-for-issue inventory.” After receiving his award, Tayman thanked those attending for recognizing him as civilian of the year and personally thanked Paul Snodgrass and Capt. Kevin Mooney, SUBLANT’s director for training and doctrine development. “I really appreciate this, and I appreciate the recognition,” said Tayman. “I’d really like to thank Capt. Mooney and Paul because I know they were able to make all this happen.” While Tayman is SUBLANT’s civilian of the year, he is only one of approximately 80 civilian employees who ensure SUB-

LANT’s goals and requirements are met on a daily basis. “We have an incredible team of civilians here at SUBLANT who do exceptional things every day to support our Submarine Force,” said SUBFOR Executive Director Don Hoffer. “Bob Tayman was selected for his outstanding achievements at SUBFOR in 2020, and in Bob’s case, those achievements have been sustained for many years. His work is key to keeping our submarines combat ready.” The mission of the Submarine Force is to execute the Department of the Navy’s mission in and from the undersea domain. In addition to lending added capacity to naval forces, the Submarine Force, in particular, is expected to leverage those special advantages that come with undersea concealment to permit operational, deterrent and combat effects that the Navy and the nation could not otherwise achieve. The Submarine Force and supporting organizations constitute the primary undersea arm of the Navy. Submarines and their crews remain the tip of the undersea spear.

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NNSY accepting applications for its Apprentice Program By Allison Conti

Norfolk Naval Shipyard Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH

Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) is accepting applications for its Apprentice Program from Feb. 1 – Mar. 1. The program seeks to recruit enthusiastic individuals looking to start a rewarding career with the Federal Government. The four-year program offers selected candidates a chance to earn a competitive salary while they learn a trade, gaining their Technician Career Studies Certificate from Tidewater Community College (TCC) at the same time. Graduates also have the option to advance their education upon completion of the program by pursuing an Associate of Applied Science Maritime Technologies: Trades Technician Degree. Apprentices have the option to choose from 24 different trades and become experts on their selected trade by taking TCC’s academic courses, NNSY’s trade theory training, and receiving on-the-job experience. NNSY’s Apprentice Director Colby Tynes said, “The apprenticeship is a great way to not just have a job, but to build a career in a trade that allows you to support your country.” To apply for the program, interested individuals need to complete an admission application for TCC, either online or at the college; take the Virginia Placement Test (VPT); and set up an account and complete an application on www.indeed.com. The job announcement for the 2022 apprenticeship program will be posted on Indeed beginning Feb. 1. All components of the application must be received by Mar. 1 to be considered for the program. After the application deadline passes, eligible candidates will be notified via email to schedule an interview. Candidates are encouraged to monitor

their email inboxes carefully, along with spam and junk folders. The interviews are expected to be held in the summer and fall of 2021. After the interviews are completed, selections will be made. Those selected will be notified via email. Any individual accepting a job with NNSY will be required to pass a pre-employment physical and security review. When asked what makes a great apprentice, Tynes said, “someone with a good attitude, a willingness to learn, and who is a team player.” Along with having their tuition and books paid for, apprentices receive a generous benefit package that includes 13 days of paid annual leave per year (increases to 20 days after 3 years), 13 days of paid

sick leave per year, a retirement plan, and health, dental, vision, and life insurance for employees and their family members. NNSY’s Apprentice Program Class of 2020 valedictorian, Evan Webb, a Shop 57 Insulator, said the benefits of the apprenticeship program expanded past employment benefits for him. “My experience in the apprenticeship has allowed me to grow as a person at work and at home. It helped me be disciplined in my every day job as well as motivating me to look toward the next goal and make it happen.” For more information on NNSY’s Apprenticeship Program, visit www.navsea.navy.mil/Home/Shipyards/Norfolk/Careers/Apprentice-Program/.

NUWC Division Newport contracts team wins PEO IWS Team Excellence Award From Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport Public Affairs NEWPORT, R.I.

A Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport contracts team recently won a Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) Team Excellence Award for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020. The award recognizes a group of individuals whose combined efforts have yielded significant benefits for PEO IWS. The team is comprised of Contracts Department employees Alison Wicks, head of the Procurement Branch, a resident of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and Kristina Michael, a resident of Pawtucket, Rhode Island; and Sensors and Sonar Systems Department employees Richard Fortgang, a resident of Warwick, Rhode Island, Louis Sansone a resident of Sterling, Connecticut, and Scott Laurin, technical project manager, who is a resident of Saunderstown, Rhode Island. The team is being recognized for their swift action and coordination to ensure seamless operation of the Naval Array Technical Support Center (NATSC) towed array facility. The team “demonstrated a high degree of

Evan Crawley A Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport contracts team comprised of (from left) Richard Fortgang, Kristina Michael, Louis Sansone, Alison Wicks and Scott Laurin won a Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems Team Excellence Award for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020 for swift actions to ensure seamless operation of the Naval Array Technical Support Center towed array facility.

proficiency and resourcefulness in responding to a protest of a support contract” awarded on Oct. 22, 2020. On Oct. 30, 2020, notification of the protest was received, resulting in the Government Accountability Office putting a stay on the contract until the protest was resolved. This presented a critical situation, in that the existing contract only had enough hours remaining to run through Nov. 6, 2020. To keep current work on schedule, the team first identified hours remaining on a very early contract line item number (CLIN) of the existing contract, then performed a de-obligation and re-obligation of hours to a new CLIN and extending operations through Nov. 13, 2020. This effort provided a short time to develop a plan to put a bridge contract in place. The bridge contract package was approved by Naval Sea Systems Command on Nov. 6, 2020, and a request for proposal was released the same day for a bridge contract with a base period of performance of approxi-

mately five months, with a three-month option, which would allow the facility to remain operational during the protest period. “This near-impossible task required unparalleled effort and diligence from the contracts team and will result in avoidance of a stop-work situation for personnel supporting Intermediate Maintenance Activity (IMA) capabilities at multiple fleet sites in the U.S. and overseas,” the award states. IMA capabilities supported by NATSC include: array shipboard on-loads/off-loads; worldwide casualty report response; intermediate level array/module testing, maintenance and replacement; spares and repair material procurement; and pierside handler refurbishments. “Not getting the bridge contract in place in a timely manner would have negatively impacted both surface and submarine towed array maintenance and repair efforts and subsequently, fleet operations,” the award notes. The team will be recognized virtually dur-

ing a future PEO IWS meeting. NUWC Division Newport is a shore command of the U.S. Navy within the Naval Sea Systems Command, which engineers, builds and supports America’s fleet of ships and combat systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures associated with undersea warfare. NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. Commanded by Capt. Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher’s Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.

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NNSY employee selected for NAVSEA NEXTGEN Program By Kristi R Britt

Norfolk Naval Shipyard Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH

When Emergency Management Specialist Alyx Riebeling was a gymnast growing up, she would hear her coach repeat the same words, ‘Can’t better not be a word your brain or body understands.’ Riebeling said, “This phrase holds true to me today. As Henry Ford once said, ‘Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right,’ so you must never let yourself think that you can’t do something. Don’t ever hold yourself back. Dream big and make it happen!” And dream big Riebeling has – her mentality and drive for success have spurred her into taking on roles in safety and security since 2013. She has certifications as a firefighter, fire instructor, fire inspector, and police officer – roles that eventually led her to join Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) in 2016. Currently, she is the Subject Matter Expert (SME) for On-Scene response, specifically Shipboard Fire and Flooding, and the Lead Drill Controller/Coordinator for Major Fire Drills; the Executive Support Department’s (Code 1100) DEOCS Team Lead, responsible for compiling survey results and conducting focus groups to get feedback on ways to improve the climate of the code; and part of the COVID War Room/ COVID Management Team (CMT) where she assists the shipyard in its ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of the workforce during the global pandemic. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Riebeling saw her next opportunity in the form of a notice released by NNSY’s Public Affairs Office. "The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Next Generation of Leadership (NEXTGEN) Program is a yearlong program and the first of three tiers of the leadership development program offered by NAVSEA,” said Riebeling. This program was initiated as part of NAVSEA’s campaign plan to Expand the Advantage through increased professional developmental and leadership training initiatives. NAVSEA selects about 50 participants from a sea of

applicants from across the enterprise. Once accepted into the program, members of the cadre learn about leadership through several different initiatives for the next year. “As soon as I saw the opportunity, I knew I had to take it. I applied and was excited to learn that I had been accepted!” The program lasts one year and provides participants with the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills through readings, exercises, mentoring, and shadowing leaders at their activity. In addition, they also get to participate in activities that spur innovation throughout the NAVSEA enterprise. “While I am disappointed that we are not able to go to D.C. for the typical weeklong orientation, I am very excited to dive into the portions of the program we are able to do while following COVID regulations,” said Riebeling. During her time in the program, Riebeling will be able to meet with the incoming SES as well as the CO of NNSY and hear about their experiences, shadow her department head and other senior leaders, and gain a better understanding of how the shipyard departments work together to keep NNSY moving forward. In addition, she’ll also be working with her fellow NEXTGEN Program participants in group projects, readings, mentoring sessions, and more. “I am excited about the NEXTGEN Program because of the opportunity to shadow and learn from established leaders within the organization. I also hope to establish myself as a leader within the workforce and use the tools and skills I learn in this program to develop an impactful legacy in all that I do,” said Riebeling. “This portion of the program will provide a unique insight into the attitude and commitment that define successful leaders. This exceptional experience will also provide perspective and understanding on how to lead effective meetings and provide impactful presentations. I imagine this could have an incredible impact on my journey to hopefully becoming a future manager and successful leader in the NAVSEA enterprise.” She continued, “I am also eager for the mentoring component, to learn to identify

Aldo Anderson Norfolk Naval Shipyard's Emergency Management Specialist Alyx Riebeling was recently selected for the NAVSEA NextGen Program.

and work through weakness and improve upon personal strengths. I hope to absorb strategies to improve effectiveness in communications, problem solving, and decision-making. I look forward to being able to bring these experiences back to the team, spreading a passion for what I learned and utilizing this experience to influence teams to get results that support the mission.” As Riebeling steps into the program ready to learn, she hopes to inspire others to take the next step in their careers and follow their dreams. “This is an incredible opportunity for shipyard personnel looking to make the next big move in their career,” she said. “I would definitely recommend starting the application process early. It is essential that

you put your best foot forward so it is crucial that you have your application reviewed by a member of management or a leader in your department. Sometimes it is helpful to have someone who has already gotten to your next career milestone look at your resume to help you highlight areas where you are already showing leadership potential and also point out areas you could work on. I know it can be difficult to talk about yourself, but take this opportunity to be your own best advocate and showcase your biggest successes.” Riebeling also wants to encourage others to look for whatever opportunities they can to succeed. “Life is far too short to wait for opportunity and success to find you.”

Norfolk Naval Shipyard launches America’s Shipyard Videos to celebrate achievements By Kristi R Britt

Norfolk Naval Shipyard Public Affairs

NORFOLK

As Capt. Dianna Wolfson took the helm at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) Jan. 15, one of her goals was to celebrate the hard work and achievements that met the mission and provided service to the fleet. “One of my most important priorities as your shipyard commander is recognizing all of the great work being done by our shipyard as one team supporting one mission,” said Capt. Wolfson. “Recognizing each of you, and celebrating all the work you do for our Navy and country, is so important to me. It is each of you who have the ideas and innovations to keep our Navy the strongest Navy in the world. You are the ones who drive the results delivering combat-ready warships. Because of this, I will be prioritizing getting out to meet with you, both for talking about my priorities, but most importantly, thanking you for all you do and recognizing all your great efforts.” As part of her ongoing efforts, Capt. Wolfson launched her Bravo Zulu (BZ)100 awards to present to those whose efforts helped drive success in safety, cost-effectiveness, and teamwork. She also spearheaded the new flagship video series for the command – entitled America’s Shipyard. This series is dedicated to highlighting the amazing employees and NNSY

Shipbuilding Specialist Chad Johnson receives his BZ 100 award from Capt. Dianna Wolfson.

achievements. “Our first episode recognizes our Contracts Department (Code 400), Operations Department (Code 300) and Business Office (Code 1200) who saw an urgency when a contract fell through to clean the sanitary tanks for USS Pasadena (SSN 752),” said Capt. Wolfson. She surprised the awardees on site at the Pasadena to recognize them for their efforts and to hear from them personally about what drives them each day as they serve America’s Shipyard. “They came together as a team and executed a new contract that will span the entire availability. It’s because of each of your outstanding efforts that we were

Daniel DeAngelis

able to keep everything running smoothly. Great job!” Episode One of America’s Shipyard can be viewed on the NNSY Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NorfolkNavalShipyard1/posts/10158209513232799, the NNSY YouTube page at https://youtu.be/ufP88jCL_Bo, and Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) at https://www.dvidshub.net/video/782515/americas-shipyard-episode-one. This series will be an ongoing effort and new episodes will be premiering soon. Stay tuned to NNSY’s social media platforms to see when the next episode will drop.

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A7 | www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | 2.11.2021

From left to right : Captains Joshua Tomson, Rodger Hill, Jonathan Harvey, Troy Ellis and Jeremy Brown stand for a photograph with their new captain fire helmets.

Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Fire, Emergency Services firefighters promoted to captain in ceremony By Jason Scarborough

Norfolk Naval Shipyard Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH

Five new captains assigned to Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) and Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, Fire District 2, were pinned in a ceremony at NNSY’s Trophy Park, Feb. 1. The five officers are part of a class of 25 Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Fire & Emergency Services Firefighters who were promoted to Captain. Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Fire & Emergency Services is the Department of Defense (DoD) fire department that supports Navy operations on the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast coasts of the United States.

Firefighter-Paramedic Roger Hill, Firefighter-EMT Jeremy Brown, Firefighter-EMT Josh Toman, FirefighterEMT Jonathan Harvey, and FirefighterParamedic Troy Ellis were pinned with their new captain badges by family members and fire department mentors, a fire department tradition that has accompanied promotions for decades. The Fire District 2 Fire Chief, Christopher Payne, said, “The responsibility trusted to officers should weigh heavy upon each one. Officers owe it to their company members, their members’ families and the Sailors and citizens they protect, to be the best at what they do. An officer’s job can be summed up in a few words, but the job is far from simple. Before all other duties, the officers must

bring their company home at the end of each shift. Training the members, maintaining accountability, and looking out for hazards is key to this success.” These five new fire department officers have a collective total of more than 70 years of experience with Navy Region Mid-Atlantic and this recent promotion process has been the largest ever conducted in the department. These promotions provide new Captains at nearly every Navy installation in the Hampton Roads area as well as Naval Station Newport (RI), Submarine Base New London (CT), Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (Kittery, ME), and Naval Station Great Lakes (IL). In the Hampton Roads area, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic provides fire and

USS TOLEDO | USS Toledo cancels holds change of command in-person Fleet Week New York events, will hold Virtual ContinuedfromA1 job as Toledo’s commanding officer!” Fleet Week New York 2021 Castellano offered parting remarks to the crew of Toledo as he reflected back on his time as the in its place commanding officer. FLEET WEEK | Navy

ContinuedfromA1 posted across all platforms, including photos, graphics, videos, Instagram stories and text, reached more than 2 million people in 2020 and resulted in more than 4.4 million impressions. “We’re excited to once again connect with people online in New York and around the world,” Rock said. “No matter where you are, people will be able to find us on social media and watch whenever it is convenient for them so they can see how the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard safeguard our nation and how incredible the men and women who serve in uniform are.” This year’s schedule of events is still under development, but will occur on Fleet Week New York’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. For up-to-date information on all FWNY events, “Like” FleetWeekNewYork on Facebook, and “Follow” @FleetWeekNYC on Twitter and Instagram.

"Serving the Toledo family has been the most rewarding, most humbling and most exciting experience of my life,” Castellano said. “I am proud to have had the honor to serve as commanding officer of the best frontline SSN in the fleet.” Castellano will transition to a role as Prospective Commanding Officer Instructor to teach the next generation of submarine commanding officers. Juergens spoke about the leadership qualities Holwitt will bring to Toledo after assuming command. “Joel, welcome to the squadron,” Juergens said. “You have a very challenging task taking Toledo from the shipyard to being an operational submarine, but I know you’re the right guy for the job.” Holwitt spoke on his excitement to join the crew, and said he is prepared to lead the way as commanding officer. “To my new shipmates of USS Toledo – thank you for welcoming me into your great team. It is the honor of a lifetime to be one of you,” Holwitt said. “Together, we are going to get our ship back to sea on time, in superb material condition, and ready for

Shelby West

emergency services to Eastern Virginia naval installations with over 350 personnel, operating from 16 fire stations from North Carolina to Maine and as far west as Indiana and Illinois. Commander Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, Fire Chief, Kevin Janney said, “All of these young men have demonstrated highly skilled technical proficiency in their various specialties, whether paramedicine, hazardous materials, or technical rescue. They have also demonstrated sound leadership abilities and are well-respected by their peers, and will serve the Navy community well as our next generation of fire officers.” Beginning in their new roles, the five newly promoted Captains will lead a single engine or ladder company, serve as the initial incident commander of emergency responses and some will also be responsible for ambulance personnel. With new duties and responsibilities, all five newly promoted Captains left the ceremony with a renewed sense of pride as a part of Navy Region Mid-Atlantic’s largest promotion process ever conducted in the department.

combat.” Holwitt earned his commission upon graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2003. Prior to assuming the role of Toledo’s commanding officer, he served four previous tours on fast-attack submarines, including an assignment as the executive officer of USS North Dakota (SSN 784). He served as Tactical Development Department Head and Capability Development Department Head at Undersea Warfighting Development Center Tactical Analysis Group, in Groton, Connecticut. He also previously served as an assistant nuclear officer program manager at the Nuclear Propulsion Program Branch (OPNAV N133), as well as the Navy Fellow in the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Strategic Studies Group, in Washington, DC. Fast-attack submarines are multi-mission platforms enabling five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities - sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence. They are designed to excel in anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare. Fast-attack submarines project power ashore with special operations forces and Tomahawk cruise missiles in the prevention or preparation of regional crises. Toledo is the third U.S. naval vessel to be named after the city of Toledo, Ohio. Los Angeles-class submarines form the backbone of the Navy’s Submarine Force.

For more military news visit FlagshipNews.com


A8 | www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | 2.11.2021

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USS Rafael Peraltaarrives in Yokosuka TheArleigh Burke-classguided missile destroyer,USS Rafael Peralta (DDG115)arrived Feb.4,to its newforwarddeployedlocation inYokosuka, Japan.

SeeB5

SECTION B | FLAGSHIPNEWS.COM | 2.11.2021

MC2 Nicholas Bauer Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 3rd Class Benjamin Loell, deployed with Expeditionary Mine Countermeasures Company 1-1, attaches explosives to a training mine during Mine Warfare Exercise (MINEX) 1JA 2021, Feb. 3.

U.S. naval forces, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces conduct bilateral mine warfare exercise From Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7 Public Affairs PACIFIC OCEAN

The U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), began Mine Warfare Exercise (MIWEX) 1JA 2021 off the coast of southwestern Japan, Jan. 28. MIWEX 1JA is part of an annual series of exercises between the U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) designed to increase proficiency in mine countermeasure operations between the two forces. Capt. Derek Brady, the commodore of Mine Countermeasures Squadron Seven, always looks forward to working with the JMSDF. “While it is always good any time we are able to practice interoperability with our allies, the true benefit of this exercise is the opportunity to employ new techniques and equipment like the Expeditionary Mine Countermeasures (ExMCM) Company,

alongside more traditional methods,” he said. “The experience gained helps us better map the future for mine warfare in the Pacific.” During the nine-day exercise, participants work together to clear a route for ships through a simulated minefield using unit-level mine warfare tactics to include mine hunting, detection, and neutralization. “Mine Warfare Exercises like 1JA reinforce our partnership and interoperability with the highly skilled Japan Maritime SelfDefenseForce,”saidLt.Nick Woods, theofficer in charge of Expeditionary Mine Countermeasures Company 1-1. “Simultaneously, they allow our ExMCM forces to hone the edge by rapidly deploying a scaled force package to a vessel of opportunity and conductingfull-spectrum,detect-to-engagemine warfare. The exercise also affords us an excellent opportunity to employ our platform-agnostic unmanned systems throughout the region, ensuring we’re prepared to operate in any environment. In all, it is truly a pleasure to work with our Japanese hosts to remain pre-

pared to clear waterways for freedom of navigation and maritime maneuvers.” JMSDF Mine Warfare Force and Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7 commanders work together throughout the exercise to direct mine hunting tasks for U.S. and JMSDF units. This training allows all the units to practice communicating and operating in a combined environment and learn to maximize their cumulative mine hunting capability. “This is our second bilateral mine sweeping exercise conducted in Ise Bay. We are pleased to conduct this exercise by taking sufficient countermeasures against COVID-19 despite the state of emergency in Japan. This exercise follows the ones held in Mutsu Bay and Hyuga-nada Sea last year,” said Rear Adm. Fukuda Tatsuya, Commander, Mine WarfareForce.“Thepurposeoftheexerciseis to further strengthen collaboration with the U.S. Navy and increase proficiency in mine countermeasure operations of the JMSDF. Cooperation between the JMSDF and the U.S. Navy in the field of mine warfare is es-

sential to ensure the safety of shipping, and I am confident that the improved mine warfare capabilities and enhanced cooperation between us through this exercise will contribute to the stability of the Indo-Pacific region. I hope that participants from the JMSDF and the U.S. Navy will achieve desired results in this exercise.” U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)technicians,assignedtoexpeditionary mine countermeasures capability of Task Force 75 are embarked on JMSDF Uragaclass mine warfare command ship JS Uraga (MST 463), working alongside members of the JMSDF to increase interoperability and proficiency in mine warfare operations. Mine Countermeasure Squadron (COMCMRON) 7 is forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan, and consists of USS Patriot (MCM 7), USS Pioneer (MCM 9), USS Warrior (MCM 10), and USS Chief (MCM14) in Sasebo, and Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 14, Detachment 2A. CTF 75 is U.S. 7th Fleet’s primary expeditionary task force and is responsible for the planning and execution of maritime security operations, explosive ordnance disposal, diving, engineering and construction, and underwater construction throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

POTUS calls Nimitz during Super Bowl By Lt. Charity Edgar

USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Public Affairs

SOUTH CHINA SEA

Cpl. Destiny Dempsey Marines from Force Reconnaissance Company, III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), utilize combat rubber raiding crafts to approach the Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726) during an integration exercise off the coast of Okinawa, Japan.

USS Ohio conducts joint operations with Marine Corps element near Okinawa From Lt. Cassandra Thompson, Commander, Submarine Group Seven Public Affairs PHILIPPINE SEA

The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726) made a brief stop near Okinawa,

Japan today as part of her deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, giving the crew a rare opportunity to integrate with a III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) force reconnaissance element in the area. 

See OKINAWA | B7

Sailors and Marines aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) received a phone call during the Super Bowl from President Joe Biden, Feb. 8. In addition to delivering a message to the entire crew, Biden spoke directly to several Sailors, including fellow Pennsylvania native Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Jordan Barnes, from Pittsburgh. “I think that was one of the coolest things that I have gotten to do in my military career thus far,” said Barnes. “Being [one of] seven out of 5,000 Sailors to actually speak to the Commander-In-Chief was an excellent and humbling experience.” Aviation Boatswain’s Mate-Aircraft Handling Airman Isis DeShields, from Delmar, Delaware, agreed. “At first I thought it would be really nerve racking,” said DeShields. “It just felt like having a natural conversation with President Biden.” Biden also spoke with Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (NIMCSG) leadership, including Rear Adm. Jim Kirk, commander. “It was an honor to have the opportunity talk with President Biden during the Super Bowl,” said Kirk, a native of Hershey, Penn. “The Sailors and Marines of the NIMITZ 

See NIMITZ | B7


HeroesatHome The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | 2.11.2021 | B2

When will I be placed on the Housing wait list? Ifhousingis not immediately availablefor occupancy,you will be placedonthe housing waitlist immediately uponestablishing your eligibilityfor housing. Generally, yourdeparture dateserves as your controldate forplacementon the waitlist.

Istock

Milspouse picks up weird habits during pandemic monotony By Lisa Smith Molinari

“Honey,” my retired Navy husband woke me this morning with a steaming cup of coffee — a sweet routine he started since he began working from home last March — “I just transferred money into your account because you’re twenty bucks in the red. Now, I know you had to buy Anna’s birthday gifts and groceries, so it’s no big deal, but please … just don’t buy any more stock, okay?” Busted. I’ll admit it. I got sucked into the fascinating drama over the GameStop stock price. Out of sheer boredom, I downloaded the Reddit app and joined the now famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) subgroup “WallStreetBets.” Initially, I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Before I knew it, I had bought a share of GameStop stock with our grocery money and was slinging terms like “diamond hands,” “GME go brrr,” “stonks,” “YOLO” and “to the moon, baby!”

What happened? How did I, a 54-year-old stay-at-home mom and military spouse with a signature meatloaf recipe and sensible shoes, become a bloodthirsty amateur stock trader? Shut any military spouse accustomed to constant change into a house for months on end, and she will soon feel like a caged wolverine in search of fresh meat in the form of entertainment, distraction, and excitement. In our desperate state, new extremes are reached … standards are abandoned … peculiar habits are formed. In other words, things get weird. After our collective obsession with Tiger King waned and we all gained ten pounds from baking bread, we looked for the next thing, and the next, and the next — limping along until herd immunity restores some sense normalcy to life. I’m actually proud of some new habits I’ve picked up. Others, not so much. In an effort to add extra zip to watching Netflix every flipping night, I finally figured out Su-

doku. However, I also regularly swipe and giggle like an idiot, stuck in TikTok video vortexes, forgetting to defrost dinner, let the dog out, shower, or go to bed. Pandemic monotony has caused me to think deeply about things I never had time to contemplate before. As a military spouse who moved frequently, I was rarely up to speed on local news, but now I read Rhode Island updates with my cup of coffee every morning in bed. Unfortunately, my new daily news habit has also given me an indepth understanding of national politics, at a time when ignorance is arguably bliss. I’ve always been a football fan, but I was content to keep my interests at a surface level, never reading the sports page or watching ESPN, preferring to focus on game day recipes and which quarterback is cutest. But a few days ago, I actually uttered the words, “I can’t wait to see what the Steelers roster looks like after the draft this April.” Who the hell am I? Recently while cleaning out a closet, I found the old potholder

loom I bought twenty years ago for the kids. Despite the fact that those ugly hooked potholders are too small to adequately protect one from third-degree burns, I ordered four bags of loops on Ebay and just finished my third potholder last night. Speaking of Ebay, this evil shopping app has sucked me into digital wormholes from which there was no escape. By the time I climbed out, I found that I’d purchased items I never knew I needed. Case in point: I now own a complete set of Mary Kay cosmetics, and I rarely wear make up. Other strange pandemic habits I’ve picked up include obsessive vitamin intake, restoration of my circa-1985 second left ear piercing, a newfound penchant for Jamesons, staying up until 1:00 am on a regular basis, and an unhealthy nut addiction. The pandemic is a lot like a deployment for military spouses. We do whatever we need to do — no matter how weird — to make it back to normal life. When that day comes, I’ll keep my third earring, but will I give up my new obsessions with stock trading, staying up late, vitamins, TikTok, Jamesons, potholder weaving, Ebay, nuts, news and football? Only time will tell.

Tips to Improve Communication in a Relationship From Military OneSource

Healthy communication is at the heart of a strong relationship. Speaking – and listening – openly to one another fosters intimacy, boosts happiness and builds trust and respect. When communication in a relationship breaks down, partners can feel isolated, resentful and misunderstood. Effective communication is a top challenge couples face. Fortunately, communication in a relationship is a skill that can be learned and one that grows stronger with practice. Set the scene for effective communication All couples face challenges in relationships from time to time. In addition, military couples have unique stressors, such as deployments and frequent moves. You may be tempted to avoid talking about hot-button topics for fear you’ll get into an argument. Tackling issues with an open mind and a commitment to resolve differences will strengthen your bond. Here are ways to set the stage for an open and productive conversation: Check your feelings. Try not to go into a conversation assuming your partner will react a certain way. Rid yourself of negative feelings as much as possible, so you can approach the topic with an open mind. See if it’s a good time to talk. If your partner is busy with work

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or if it’s late at night, it may be best to save the conversation for when you are both fully present. Stay calm. If what you have to say can’t wait and your partner is busy, calmly ask if they have a moment to speak. If they don’t respond the way you hoped, take a moment to assess the situation and let your partner know that you understand it’s not the best time to talk, but the matter is time sensitive. Have important conversations in person whenever possible. Speak so that you are heard Go into your conversation with the mindset of resolving the issue, rather than debating or assigning blame. Speak slowly and clearly. Do not raise your voice or mumble. Match your tone to your message. The way you say something can be as important as what you say. Your partner will be confused if you disguise your feelings by sounding upbeat

when you are in fact upset, or if you bring up a minor issue in a dramatic way. Be honest. The issue is likely to remain unresolved and tensions between you will grow if you expect your partner to read between the lines. Say what you mean. Use “I” statements. This removes blame. Say, “I feel frustrated when you leave the dishes in the sink,” instead of “You always leave the dishes in the sink.” Focus on one topic at a time. Wait until your or your partner’s point has been made before bringing up another issue. This eliminates confusion and allows you to solve the issue at hand. Listen with an open mind A productive conversation involves listening as well as speaking. Let your partner know that you are paying attention and keeping an open mind by doing the following:

Be aware of your body language. Relax your face, look your partner in the eye and keep your shoulders relaxed with your arms at your side. This signals that you are receptive to what your partner has to say. Listen to your partner. Hear what your partner is saying rather than planning your response or letting your mind wander. Show your partner that you are listening. Nod or ask questions. Rephrase what your partner says and repeat it back to clarify the message and demonstrate that you are paying attention. Let your partner make their point. Try not to interrupt. You and your partner don’t have to agree on everything. The goal of your conversations should be to gain a better understanding of each other’s viewpoints, so you can work on compromises, when necessary.

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HeroesatHome The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | 2.11.2021 | B2

When will I be placed on the Housing wait list? Ifhousingis not immediately availablefor occupancy,you will be placedonthe housing waitlist immediately uponestablishing your eligibilityfor housing. Generally, yourdeparture dateserves as your controldate forplacementon the waitlist.

Istock

Milspouse picks up weird habits during pandemic monotony By Lisa Smith Molinari

“Honey,” my retired Navy husband woke me this morning with a steaming cup of coffee — a sweet routine he started since he began working from home last March — “I just transferred money into your account because you’re twenty bucks in the red. Now, I know you had to buy Anna’s birthday gifts and groceries, so it’s no big deal, but please … just don’t buy any more stock, okay?” Busted. I’ll admit it. I got sucked into the fascinating drama over the GameStop stock price. Out of sheer boredom, I downloaded the Reddit app and joined the now famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) subgroup “WallStreetBets.” Initially, I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Before I knew it, I had bought a share of GameStop stock with our grocery money and was slinging terms like “diamond hands,” “GME go brrr,” “stonks,” “YOLO” and “to the moon, baby!”

What happened? How did I, a 54-year-old stay-at-home mom and military spouse with a signature meatloaf recipe and sensible shoes, become a bloodthirsty amateur stock trader? Shut any military spouse accustomed to constant change into a house for months on end, and she will soon feel like a caged wolverine in search of fresh meat in the form of entertainment, distraction, and excitement. In our desperate state, new extremes are reached … standards are abandoned … peculiar habits are formed. In other words, things get weird. After our collective obsession with Tiger King waned and we all gained ten pounds from baking bread, we looked for the next thing, and the next, and the next — limping along until herd immunity restores some sense normalcy to life. I’m actually proud of some new habits I’ve picked up. Others, not so much. In an effort to add extra zip to watching Netflix every flipping night, I finally figured out Su-

doku. However, I also regularly swipe and giggle like an idiot, stuck in TikTok video vortexes, forgetting to defrost dinner, let the dog out, shower, or go to bed. Pandemic monotony has caused me to think deeply about things I never had time to contemplate before. As a military spouse who moved frequently, I was rarely up to speed on local news, but now I read Rhode Island updates with my cup of coffee every morning in bed. Unfortunately, my new daily news habit has also given me an indepth understanding of national politics, at a time when ignorance is arguably bliss. I’ve always been a football fan, but I was content to keep my interests at a surface level, never reading the sports page or watching ESPN, preferring to focus on game day recipes and which quarterback is cutest. But a few days ago, I actually uttered the words, “I can’t wait to see what the Steelers roster looks like after the draft this April.” Who the hell am I? Recently while cleaning out a closet, I found the old potholder

loom I bought twenty years ago for the kids. Despite the fact that those ugly hooked potholders are too small to adequately protect one from third-degree burns, I ordered four bags of loops on Ebay and just finished my third potholder last night. Speaking of Ebay, this evil shopping app has sucked me into digital wormholes from which there was no escape. By the time I climbed out, I found that I’d purchased items I never knew I needed. Case in point: I now own a complete set of Mary Kay cosmetics, and I rarely wear make up. Other strange pandemic habits I’ve picked up include obsessive vitamin intake, restoration of my circa-1985 second left ear piercing, a newfound penchant for Jamesons, staying up until 1:00 am on a regular basis, and an unhealthy nut addiction. The pandemic is a lot like a deployment for military spouses. We do whatever we need to do — no matter how weird — to make it back to normal life. When that day comes, I’ll keep my third earring, but will I give up my new obsessions with stock trading, staying up late, vitamins, TikTok, Jamesons, potholder weaving, Ebay, nuts, news and football? Only time will tell.

Tips to Improve Communication in a Relationship From Military OneSource

Healthy communication is at the heart of a strong relationship. Speaking – and listening – openly to one another fosters intimacy, boosts happiness and builds trust and respect. When communication in a relationship breaks down, partners can feel isolated, resentful and misunderstood. Effective communication is a top challenge couples face. Fortunately, communication in a relationship is a skill that can be learned and one that grows stronger with practice. Set the scene for effective communication All couples face challenges in relationships from time to time. In addition, military couples have unique stressors, such as deployments and frequent moves. You may be tempted to avoid talking about hot-button topics for fear you’ll get into an argument. Tackling issues with an open mind and a commitment to resolve differences will strengthen your bond. Here are ways to set the stage for an open and productive conversation: Check your feelings. Try not to go into a conversation assuming your partner will react a certain way. Rid yourself of negative feelings as much as possible, so you can approach the topic with an open mind. See if it’s a good time to talk. If your partner is busy with work

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or if it’s late at night, it may be best to save the conversation for when you are both fully present. Stay calm. If what you have to say can’t wait and your partner is busy, calmly ask if they have a moment to speak. If they don’t respond the way you hoped, take a moment to assess the situation and let your partner know that you understand it’s not the best time to talk, but the matter is time sensitive. Have important conversations in person whenever possible. Speak so that you are heard Go into your conversation with the mindset of resolving the issue, rather than debating or assigning blame. Speak slowly and clearly. Do not raise your voice or mumble. Match your tone to your message. The way you say something can be as important as what you say. Your partner will be confused if you disguise your feelings by sounding upbeat

when you are in fact upset, or if you bring up a minor issue in a dramatic way. Be honest. The issue is likely to remain unresolved and tensions between you will grow if you expect your partner to read between the lines. Say what you mean. Use “I” statements. This removes blame. Say, “I feel frustrated when you leave the dishes in the sink,” instead of “You always leave the dishes in the sink.” Focus on one topic at a time. Wait until your or your partner’s point has been made before bringing up another issue. This eliminates confusion and allows you to solve the issue at hand. Listen with an open mind A productive conversation involves listening as well as speaking. Let your partner know that you are paying attention and keeping an open mind by doing the following:

Be aware of your body language. Relax your face, look your partner in the eye and keep your shoulders relaxed with your arms at your side. This signals that you are receptive to what your partner has to say. Listen to your partner. Hear what your partner is saying rather than planning your response or letting your mind wander. Show your partner that you are listening. Nod or ask questions. Rephrase what your partner says and repeat it back to clarify the message and demonstrate that you are paying attention. Let your partner make their point. Try not to interrupt. You and your partner don’t have to agree on everything. The goal of your conversations should be to gain a better understanding of each other’s viewpoints, so you can work on compromises, when necessary.

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B3 | www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | 2.11.2021

MC2 Aja Jackson Royal Saudi Naval Force and U.S. Navy ships sail in formation during exercise Nautical Defender (ND) 21 in the Arabian Gulf, Jan. 24. ND 21 is the capstone in a series of multi-national maritime security exercises designed to broaden levels of cooperation, support long-term regional security, and enhance military-to-military interoperability between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UK and the U.S.

U.S., U.K., Saudi navies complete Exercise Nautical Defender 21 From U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs BAHRAIN

Forces assigned to the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF), UK Maritime Component Command (UKMCC) and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) conducted tri-lateral maritime exercise Nautical Defender 21 (ND 21) in the Arabian Gulf, Jan. 20-29. ND 21 is the capstone in a series of multinational maritime security exercises designed to broaden levels of cooperation, support long-term regional security, and enhance military-to-military interoperability between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UK and the U.S. “This was the largest Nautical Defender exercise we’ve participated in thus far with significant contributions by all par-

ticipants,” said Capt. Christopher Gilbertson, commander of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 50 and Commander, Task Force (CTF) 55, who led the exercise. “With such a large, complex force, we were able to conduct in depth training across a wide variety of skill sets.” To expand upon existing year-round interoperability training, participating units conducted multiple simulated scenarios, practicing maritime security, coastal harbor defense, counter-unmanned aerial systems, shipboard gunnery, high value unit escort, small arms, diving and mine clearance skills. The exercise also marked the first time that an air operations in support of maritime surface warfare (AOMSW) drill has been integrated into a named exercise between the three nations, and the seventh time NAVCENT has conducted such a drill with joint and coalition partners.

These drills feature crews aboard various surface platforms, such as destroyers or patrol craft, directing aircraft to conduct fires against simulated fast attack craft attempting to attack coalition forces. “Our coalition forces are becoming increasingly more flexible and formidable as we involve AOMSW in more and more combined training opportunities,” said Gilbertson. With a focus on enhancing interoperability across partner nations, ND 21 participants fielded a variety of forces, including a guided-missile destroyer, mine countermeasures ships, patrol craft, maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, fixed wing fighter aircraft, helicopters, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technicians, marine platoons, visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) teams and additional supporting staff. “The increased scale for this iteration

of Nautical Defender shows just how profoundly our mutual capabilities are growing as we train alongside regional and coalition partners,” said Vice Adm. Samuel Paparo, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). “With steps like this toward sustained interoperability and a long-term goal of interchangeability, we will continue to build a powerful combined force, capable of defending against any threat to freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in this region’s critical waterways.” The U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, Suez Canal and Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen. For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet, visit www.cusnc.navy.mil/

USS Olympia (SSN 717) decommissioned By MC1 Andrea Perez

Commander, Submarine Group Nine Public Affairs

BREMERTON, Wash.

The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Olympia (SSN 717) was decommissioned after 36 years of service, Feb. 5. Olympia arrived in Bremerton, Washington, to begin the inactivation and decommissioning process at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Oct. 29, 2019. Though COVID-19 mitigation prevented the gathering of Olympia crews, families and supporters from bidding farewell to the submarine in person, a limited number of crew members participated in the production of a decommissioning video, which included well-wishes and farewells from eight Olympia commanding officers. “For 36 years, crews of Olympia worked hard and dedicated their time to the job, and applied the best of themselves – ourselves,” said Cmdr. James Steffen, from Tempe, Arizona, Olympia’s final commanding officer. “We can now look back, tally our efforts, and say with certainty, we earned more than enough to pay the price for success.” Former Washington Secretary of State, the Honorable Ralph Munro, served as the virtual ceremony’s keynote speaker. “Our community loved this boat, every person that served onboard, and all that she did for our nation,” said Munro. “This is not just another submarine, this is our boat and we are sorry to see her go… God speed my friends, America is safer because of you.” Olympia completed a final deployment, Sept. 8, 2019. The submarine’s ability to support a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike warfare, and surveillance and reconnaissance, made Olympia one of the most capable submarines in the world. “To have served with Olympia before she decommissioned [brings up] a mixture of emotions,” said Machinist’s Mate (Nuclear) 1st Class Elvis Castillo, from New York. “Submarining is not easy, it’s a team sport, and you have to rely on your shipmates for a lot of things. It’s the people that make it… I made some life-long friends on Olympia and it’s been a very rewarding journey.” Commissioned Nov. 17, 1984, Olympia was the second U.S. Navy vessel to be named for the city of

Kenneth G. Takada Cmdr. James Steffen, commanding officer, USS Olympia (SSN 717), signs decommissioning documents following a brief ceremony at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Bremerton, Washington, Feb. 5.

Olympia, Washington. The boat’s mission was to seek out and destroy enemy ships and submarines, and to protect U.S. national interests. At 360-feet long and 6,900 tons, Olympia could be armed with MK48 advanced capability torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles. “The thing that I’ll take away from this experience onboard Olympia is the essence of our motto, which is ‘Este Paratus,’ - Always Ready,’” said Master Chief

Electronics Technician (Communication) Arturo Plasencia, from Duncan, Oklahoma, chief of the boat. “We’ve demonstrated time and time again over the last several years what we can do. To me, that and the resiliency of the crew, is what I’d like to continue to inspire through the Sailors I lead in the Navy.” For more news about USS Olympia and other Commander, Submarine Group 9 units, visit www.facebook.com/SubGru9 or www.csp.navy.mil/csg9/.


B4 | www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | 2.11.2021

Sailors of the USS Charleston (LCS 18) stand at parade rest during the ship commissioning ceremony.

Task Force One Navy completes report to enhance Navy diversity By MC1 Mark D. Faram

Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON

After compiling and analyzing feedback from hundreds of Sailors through focus groups and surveys, Task Force One Navy (TF1N)—the special task force which formed in July to lead this effort— submitted its final report to the service’s Culture of Excellence (COE) Governance Board Jan. 28. The 142-page report includes analysis and a comprehensive set of nearly 60 recommendations meant to enhance the Navy’s overall diversity and ensure that a culture of inclusivity is evident at every command. The COE board will closely review the report’s findings and make a decision on how to best implement its recommendations. Some recommendations may require further research and review prior to implementation. “As a Navy – uniform and civilian, active and reserve - we cannot tolerate discrimination of any kind, and must engage in open and honest conversations with each other and take action,“ said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday. ”That is why we stood up ‘Task Force One Navy’ - to identify and remove racial barriers, improve inclusion efforts, create new opportunities for professional development, and eliminate obstacles to enter the Navy.” “We have fallen short in the past by excluding or limiting opportunity for people on the basis of race, sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender or creed,” Gilday said. “Our Navy must continue to remove barriers to service, and most importantly, be a shining example of a workforce centered on respect, inclusive of all. Simply put, all Sailors – uniformed and

civilian - and applicants for accession to the Navy must be treated with dignity and respect above all else.” Gilday emphasized that beyond policy changes, the Navy will continuously look at this from a cultural perspective. He asked that Sailors continue to make this a priority. “While there is still work to be done, I am confident that this report’s recommendations will help make our Navy better, and we will move forward together towards meaningful, long-lasting change. Make no mistake, I am personally committed to this effort.” Over the past six months, the task force garnered direct feedback from active and reserve Sailors, as well as Navy civilians stationed around the world. Specifically, a special survey team conducted 285 interviews and focus group sessions across the fleet and reviewed comments and suggestions from 898 officers and enlisted Sailors across a variety of demographic groups and ranks. The task force also reviewed six Navy instructions and nine command-specific instructions to identify language that may be considered offensive, biased, or hampered inclusion. For example, the Navy’s uniform instruction was looked at as well as promotion manuals, specifically in what are called precepts – the marching orders given to selection boards on selection criteria. Several recruiting instructions were also reviewed. “The nearly 60 recommendations are a true reflection of the feedback from Sailors and Navy civilians and will make the Navy more equitable and increase our warfighting capability,” said Rear Adm. Alvin Holsey, the director of Task Force One Navy. “I look forward to now starting the work of moving these recommendations forward.”

The task force was organized around four specific Lines of Effort (LOEs). Each was focused on a waypoint of a Sailor’s journey in the Navy. These were Recruiting, Talent Management and Retention, Professional Development, Innovation and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Each LOE was led by a Flag Officer who will also now oversee the implementation of recommendations based on CNO’s concurrence and further guidance. The nearly 60 recommendations that came out of this effort reflect a holistic picture of how to make the Navy more inclusive and diverse. Below are a few of the key findings: • Expand avenues for qualified enlisted Sailors already serving to pursue a commission as a Naval Officer. • Adopt means to provide a more accurate evaluation of a prospective Sailor’s potential to succeed in the Navy. • Offer a stipend (E5 pay) to officer applicants in the delayed entry program (DEP). • Develop and implement quality assurance measures of diversity, equity, and inclusion that include reviews of milestone selection processes, refining career paths and standardizing talent management processes. • Develop bias awareness training for all board members prior to promotion boards commencing. • Expand the diversity data submitted in selection board Record of Proceedings (ROP). • Re-Establish Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training (BOOST) 2.0. • Increase Side-Load Scholarships specifically targeting underrepresented communities. • Create a student exchange program

Samantha Crane

between United States Naval Academy and Historically Black Colleges, Universities, and other Minority Serving Institutions. The task force also found that the Navy has improved the diversity of its force and is currently more diverse in the enlisted ranks than the U.S. population in some areas: • The Navy’s enlisted force mirrors the diversity in our society from a race and ethnicity perspective when compared to the nation’s population in the 2018 U.S. census. However, it is not representative from a gender perspective. • The percentage of officers selected for promotion suggests officers from underrepresented groups promote at approximately the same percentages as white officers. However, the number of eligible officers in the three “control grades” of O-4 through O-6 shows that minority groups remain underrepresented, which affects the numbers of underrepresented groups in the Flag Officer ranks. • Female officer retention is increasing which in turn has increased the overall percentage of active-duty female service members of the total force. “We are really grateful for the support and feedback from the Fleet,” said Force Master Chief Huben Phillips, the top senior enlisted member of the task force. “We really got some candid feedback. I promised every Sailor that we are committed to change. I stand by that commitment and so does everyone who was involved in the task force.” Upon submission of its report, TF1N will stand down its efforts. The Navy’s COE Governance Board will remain the service’s principal leadership forum to discuss inclusion and diversity efforts across the force. The complete list of TF1N recommendations can be found at this link:. For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, follow us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/usnpeople, Twitter at https://twitter.com/usnpeople or visit https://www.navy.mil/cnp.

USS Philippine Sea interdicts over $2.8 million of heroin in North Arabian Sea From U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs BAHRAIN

The guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), deployed to U.S. Fifth Fleet and operating in support of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), interdicted a shipment of morethan600lbs.(275kg)ofsuspectednarcoticsfromadhow in the international waters of the North Arabian Sea, Jan. 30. Seven bags of suspected narcotics were seized and tested, resulting in a seizure of approximately 600 lbs. (275 kg) of suspectedheroin,worth$2.89millionwholesale.Thisseizure, conducted in direct support of CMF’s Combined Task Force (CTF)150, marks the seventh CMF drug seizure since October 2020. To mitigate the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19, the boarding team undertook carefully executed precautionary measures during and after the boarding, to include decontamination of all seized contraband. CTF-150 conducts maritime security operations outside the Arabian Gulf to disrupt criminal and terrorist organizations, ensuring legitimate commercial shipping can transit the region, free from non-state threats. CTF-150 is currently commanded by the Royal Canadian Navy, now leading the task force for a fifth time.

Courtesy photo Sailors assigned to the visit, board, search and seizure team of the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) board a dhow suspected of carrying narcotics in the international waters of the north Arabian Sea, Jan. 31.


B6 | www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | 2.11.2021

MC3 Will Hardy

Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) man the rails as the ship arrives in Batumi, Georgia, Feb. 5.

USS Donald Cook conducts port visit in Batumi, Georgia By Lt. j. g. Sarah Claudy USS Donald Cook Public Affairs

U.S. SIXTH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) conducted an arrival ceremony in Batumi, Georgia, while making a brief stop for fuel and supplies, Feb. 5, 2021. The port visit and associated arrival ceremony symbolized the importance of relationships between allies and partners in the Black Sea region. COVID-19 mitigation requirements precluded the two groups from physically mingling, but virtual meetings and a gift exchange still promoted a sense of fellowship. “On behalf of the women and men of the U.S. Mission to Tbilisi, I bid USS Donald Cook a warm welcome back to Georgia!” said Amb. Kelly Degnan, U.S. Ambassador to Georgia. “This visit, like so many over the years, reinforces the strong defense and security relationship between the United States and Georgia.

We’re especially proud of the partnership between the U.S. Navy and the Georgian Coast Guard, who will continue training together in support of improved Black Sea security.” Cmdr. Matthew Curnen, Donald Cook’s commanding officer, said that it was both incredible and uplifting that COVID-19 has not prohibited the ship from continuing its important mission. “Displaying our commitment to allies and fostering diplomacy has always been a major part of Donald Cook’s mission in Sixth Fleet,” said Cmdr. Curnen. “It is especially pleasant when, in cases such as our visit to Batumi today, that mission manifests itself as a warm welcome and friendly conversation between fellow mariners.” Part of the arrival ceremony involved Curnen exchanging gifts with the Director and Deputy Directors of the Georgian Coast Guard. A Skype call from Donald Cook’s pilothouse allowed the senior officers to make personal intro-

ductions and speak about their recent time at sea. Donald Cook last visited Batumi, Georgia in January 2019. In an arrival statement, Cmdr. Curnen referred to the crew’s last visit, saying, “I’ve personally heard from members of the crew that our last port visit to Batumi was particularly enjoyable, and so we regret that COVID-19 challenges have prevented us from enjoying liberty in the city this time around. However, our visit today is symbolic of our countries’ continued strong partnership, and I look forward to a time when we will once again enjoy what beautiful Batumi has to offer.” The Black Sea is a critical waterway for maritime commerce and stability in Europe. Combined operations in the Black Sea will strengthen interoperability between NATO partners and allies, including Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia, Bulgaria and Romania. Black Sea operations also demonstrate the U. S. Navy’s commitment to peace and security in the

U.S. Sixth Fleet Area of Responsibility. The U.S. Navy routinely operates ships in the Black Sea consistent with the Montreux Convention and International Law. Donald Cook is currently on her 11th patrol of the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of responsibility in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa. Four U.S. Navy destroyers, including Donald Cook, are based in Rota, Spain, and assigned to Commander, Task Force 65 in support of NATO’s Integrated Air Missile Defense architecture. These Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe ships have the flexibility to operate throughout the waters of Europe and Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle, demonstrating their mastery of the maritime domain. U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

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Courtesy graphic

NIWC Pacific announces AI Tracks at Sea challenge winners By Jaime Ciciora

Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO

Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific and the Naval Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Coordination Office, managed by the Office of Naval Research, have announced winners for the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tracks at Sea challenge. The challenge asked collegiate teams to submit their solutions for artificial intelligence and software that could track maritime vessel traffic. The $200,000 prize was distributed among five winning teams, which submitted full working solutions, and three runners-up, which submitted partial working solutions.

NIMITZ |

POTUS calls Nimitz during Super Bowl ContinuedfromB1 Carrier Strike Group continue to answer the nation’s call as we conduct maritime security operations in the South China Sea. Whether we were rooting for the Bucs, Chiefs or just a great game, it was a pleasure to hear from the Commander in Chief on Super Bowl Sunday, far from home.” In his ship-wide message, Biden thanked the crew for their work this deployment. On April 1, 2020, the crew of flagship USS Nimitz and staffs of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9 embarked the carrier for what would be a nearly one month restriction of movement (ROM) period pierside at Nimitz’ homeport of Bremerton, Wash. prior to an April 27 departure for San Diego. NIMCSG completed a composite training unit exercise before departing San Diego for deployment June 8. The strike group completed four dual carrier operations in U.S. 7th Fleet with Ronald Reagan and Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Groups and

The monetary prize will be awarded to the school the corresponding team attends: First winner, CREDIT, $55,000, Prairie View A&M University Second winner, ASG Auto, $45,000, Florida Agricultural Mechanical UniversityFlorida State University (FAMU-FSU) College of Engineering Third winner, AiDA, $35,000, University of West Florida Fourth winner, TrojanOne, $30,000, Virginia State University Fifth winner, Argo Tracks, $20,000, University of West Florida First runner-up, The Huskies, $6,000, Michigan Technological University Second runner-up, 510 Captains, $6,000, Christopher Newport University

conducted cooperative deployments with the Indian and Australian navies. The ships also participated in multinational exercise MALABAR 2020 with Japan, Australia and India. In U.S. 5th Fleet, NIMCSG supported Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, part of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission. In September 2020, NIMCSG began operations in the Arabian Gulf, conducting the first carrier Strait of Hormuz transit since November 2019. NIMCSG supported Operation Inherent Resolve, providing close air support and defensive counter-air missions to the coalition fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. NIMCSG transited to the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia in December to support Joint Task Force – Quartz and Operation Octave Quartz during a repositioning of U.S. forces within East Africa. NIMCSG is forward-deployed in U.S. 7th Fleet during a transit back to homeport. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forwarddeployed fleet and employs 50 to 70 ships and submarines across the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. 7th Fleet routinely operates and interacts with 35 maritime nations while conducting missions to preserve and protect a free and open IndoPacific region.

| USS Ohio conducts joint operations with Marine Corps element Near Okinawa OKINAWA

ContinuedfromB1 The exercise tested a joint expeditionary concept in which Marines could safely embark aboard a submarine via a combat rubber raiding craft (CRRC). In line with the Tri-Service Maritime Strategy, the exercise was part of ongoing III MEF-U.S. 7th Fleet efforts to provide flexible, forward-postured and quick response options to regional commanders. This strategy provides guidance to the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard on how to employ forces in day-to-day competition, crisis, and conflict allowing the services to deliver naval superiority at sea. “Every time we train with our Marine Corps counterparts, it sharpens our ability to respond fluidly to regional challenges, deliver combat-tested capabilities and prevail in day-to-day competition, in crisis and in conflict,” said Capt. Kurt Balagna,

Third runner-up, AIMS Lab, $3,000, Purdue University Teams participating in the AI Tracks at Sea Challenge spanned collegiate institutions from coast to coast, from both public and private colleges and universities. Collectively, the student submissions for the challenge represent various types of STEM research institutions, Ivy League Schools, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Hispanic Serving Institutes (HSI). Of the challenge teams, 26% were comprised of students from HBCUs and16% of the teams attend HSIs. “With 94% of the competitors attending colleges and universities outside of California, this challenge served as an effective forum to make broader impacts in STEM,” said Yolanda Tanner, Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) STEM Federal Action Officer and NIWC Pacific Internship and Fellowship project manager. “It was also a means by which students could further

develop their STEM skills while working collaboratively to solve a real-world naval problem.” Florida, North Carolina, and Texas had the largest population of participating collegiate teams. You can read more about the AI Tracks at Sea challenge here: https://www.challenge.gov/challenge/AI-tracks-at-sea/ To conduct interviews with subject matter experts, please contact Jim Fallin, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs director, at jim.fallin@navy.mil or (619) 892-7524. NIWC Pacific’s mission: To conduct research, development, engineering, and support of integrated command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, cyber, and space systems across all warfighting domains, and to rapidly prototype, conduct test and evaluation, and provide acquisition, installation, and in-service engineering support.

MC3 Cheyenne Geletka Rear Adm. Jim Kirk, commander, Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, speaks with President Joe Biden during a conference call aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68).

commanding officer, Ohio (Gold). “My crew was fully invested in making this a successful event, and proving that this unconventional concept could be a viable option in our warfighting toolkit.” “This training demonstrates the ability of Force Reconnaissance Marines in III MEF to operate with strategic U.S. Navy assets,” said III MEF Force Reconnaissance Company Commanding Officer Maj. Daniel Romans. “As the stand-in force in the first island chain, it is critical that Force Reconnaissance Marines are capable of being employed across a myriad of U.S. Navy platforms in order to enhance the lethality of the fleet in the littoral environment. Reconnaissance Marines have a proud history of working with submarines and we look forward to sustaining these relationships in the future.” Over the next several months, submarine force leaders will continue to explore joint training opportunities, focusing on integrated exercises that enable agile, responsive and scalable force employment across a spectrum of warfighting areas. Armed with tactical missiles and equipped with superior communications capabilities, Ohio is able to conduct large-volume, short-notice strike missions

and covertly deploy special operations forces. Ohio is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name, and is the first in her class of ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) and guided-missile submarines (SSGNs). She was commissioned Nov. 11, 1981 and became the first of four Trident SSBNs to convert to SSGNs, completing her conversion Feb. 7, 2006. Ohio and her sister ship, the Ohio-class guidedmissile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727), are both homeported at Naval Base, Kitsap in Bangor, Washington. As the U.S. Navy’s largest forward deployed fleet, U.S. 7th Fleet routinely operates between 50-70 ships and submarines and 140 aircraft with approximately 20,000 Sailors. 7th Fleet’s area of operation spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South Pacific, providing security and stability to the region. 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security while conducting a widerange of missions to support humanitarian efforts and uphold international laws and freedoms of the sea.


B8 | www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | 2.11.2021

Lightning strikes again on board USS America By Lt. John Stevens

USS America (LHA 6) Public Affairs

PHILIPPINE SEA

USS America (LHA 6), the Navy’s only forwarddeployed amphibious assault ship, is at sea this month operating with F-35B Lightning II fighter aircraft from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121. “Operating the F-35B from our most advanced ship in the America Strike Group brings an extraordinary capability to the Navy and Marine Corps Team as we operate forward in the Indo-Pacific,” said Rear Adm. Fred Kacher, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7. “The USS America-31st Marine Expeditionary Unit team truly embodies what the Chief of Naval Operations terms Integrated American Naval Power, and these Sailors and Marines are already making a difference as we sail, fly and operate in the most critical maritime arena in the world today.” Sailors and Marines aboard America conduct flight operations in support of 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) missions, ensuring this next-generation strike weapons system is ready to deliver effects as part of the integrated Navy-Marine Corps team, increasing America’s ability to prevail in day-to-day competition, control the seas, strengthen alliances and partnerships, and develop a modernized naval force as a strategic asset in the Indo-Pacific. “The joint strike fighter is unmatched in theater – nothing even comes close!” said Capt. Richard LeBron, Commodore of Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 11. “There is no better aviation platform to support 7th Fleet’s mission to ensure the United States can freely operate wherever and whenever it must, in alignment with international norms, standards, rules, and laws.” The forward-deployed USS America ESG, which comprises the ships of PHIBRON 11 coupled with the air and ground combat elements of the 31st MEU, as well as landing craft and personnel from Naval Beach Unit 7, relies on F-35B’s enhanced battle vision for optimal command-and-control of multiple mission platforms throughout the Indo-Pacific. This bluegreen team projects sea power from all domains to preserve freedom in the maritime commons, while

MC3 Jonathan Berlier An F-35B Lightning II assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) lands on the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6).

strengthening partnerships with vital allies throughout the region. “The F-35B is one of the many innovative warfighting tools our lethal professionals of the 31st MEU bring to the America team, and once again, I am eager to work with them as we innovate and operate across the 7th Fleet area of operations,” said Capt. Ken Ward, commanding officer of USS America. “Overland, or over water – the fusion of speed, agility, stealth, and sensors unlike any other fighter in history – it provides the warfare commander an unparalleled advantage in the battlespace.” Col. Michael Nakonieczny, commanding officer of the 31st MEU, reiterated this revolutionary aircraft will have positive and revolutionary impacts on the joint force and regional allies. “Incorporating the F-35s of VMFA-121 into our air combat element

during this at-sea period provides the Expeditionary Strike Group the ability to dominate the air and sea domains, and increases the speed at which we can respond to the needs of our warfighters throughout the Indo-Pacific.” “Our air combat element, reconnaissance teams, and rifle squads, imbued with our warfighting ethos and enabled by the combat power and combat logistical support of the ESG, are a dominating and decisive force on any battlefield against any adversary,” said Nakonieczny. America, the lead ship of the America ESG, along with the 31st MEU, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility to enhance interoperability with allies and partners, and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

MC3 Marissa Bacon


Matzoball soupis purecomfort food.

Matzoball soupissimilarto chicken noodlesoup, but withplush, dumpling-likematzo ballsinstead of noodles. It’saclassic, crowd-pleasing Passover recipe, but there certainly doesn’t needto beaholiday foryou tomake abigbatch of this amazing soup.It alsomakes afantasticspring recipe during thoseearly,rainy days of the season.  See

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Best Friends Animal Society Offers Tips to Keep Your Pet Healthy During National Cat Health Month From Best Friends Animal Society

They are the purr that heals, the curtain ninja that entertains, the in-house Zen master. They are the cats we invite into our homes and in February the spotlight is on their well-being during National Cat Health Month. Pet cats are varied and complex creatures, whether they are devoted couch surfers, or indoor/outdoorcatsthatlovetogoonadventures with you in the backyard, walking on a harness and leash or cruising in a stroller. And they rely on us to keep them healthy. Dr. Erin Katribe, medical director for national animal welfare organization Best Friends Animal Society, urges people to look at every aspect of their life with you. The Essentials “Perhaps the most important thing you can do to keep your cat healthy is to ensure that you’reprovidingthebasicessentialsinthebest way possible. These essentials are food, water, litterbox, and exercise. Cats’ ancestors didn’t eat or stay hydrated the same way that our house cats do; the dry kibble that is most convenientforownerstofeedisverydifferentthan their natural diets. If you are able to feed your pet canned food it is a much closer approximation to their ancestral diets than is dry,” Katribe said. More attention is being paid to the obesity

problem in pet cats, she said. “It can lead to diseases like diabetes (feline diabetes is very similar to Type 2 diabetes in people), so keeping your cat at a healthy weight by monitoring and adjusting their food quantity is key to keeping them healthy. Obesity can also lead to arthritis and joint pain. Your veterinarian can help you determine what a healthy weight is for your pet and can guide you through modifying their diet and amount of food in order to achieve that healthy weight.” Which brings us to how important exercise is for cats. “It’s not just dogs that need exercise – cats need it, too,” Katribe said. “While you can harness and leash train cats and many felines enjoy this, most pet cats prefer a more private form of exercise. Providing toys and engaging them in play with laser pointers or string toys for exercise are great ways to keep them active. This is not only is mentally stimulatingbutcanalsohelppreventobesitythatcan lead to other diseases.” Nobody really wants to talk about litterboxesbutforpetcats,thisisanimportanttopic. Litterboxes should be placed in convenient places for the cat rather than tucked away in a distant part of the house, in order to avoid behavioral misuse If a cat starts urinating outside the box, it might be due to a number of causes. Dirty boxes or boxes placed too far out of the way can contribute, or it may be due to a much

deeper problem, like urinary infections or kidney disease. See a vet right away if you notice litterbox habit changes. Veterinary Care One way to keep your cat healthy is to schedule regular wellness visits with your veterinarian, Katribe said. These visits not only include vaccines to prevent disease (important even for indoor cats), but also include a thorough physical exam and additional testing that can be key in catching illness early. “Cats are masters at hiding illness, what likely evolved as a survival tool in their ancestors;whatthismeansforthecatparent,though, isthatwhenFluffystartstoactuallyshowsigns of sickness, her situation may be much more serious than you think, and something has beengoingonforawhile.Ifyoudonoticeeven small changes in your cat’s health or behavior, it’s better for both of you to see a vet sooner rather than later. Addressing problems early will mean a much greater chance of successful treatment and will likely mean less stress on her and less financial expense, too.” Helping Cats Get Back Home One of the most stressful events that can happen in a pet parent’s life is losing their pet companion – for cats, this might mean an indoor-only cat slipping out the door, or an outdoor cat not returning home according to the normal routine. For cats that end up in our nation’s animal shelters, only about 5% of them make it back to their owners. “One way that we can increase the number of cats returned to their families is by using

identification,” Katribe said. Collars and tags are a low-tech way to achieve this, and anyone can read the tag and help the pet get back home. But she cautioned that cats may lose their collars, “So an even bettersolution,inadditiontoacat-specificcollar,isamicrochip.Microchipsaresmallpieces of technology, about the size of a large grain of rice, that are implanted under the skin. When the pet is scanned with a microchip scanner, the scanner will display a number unique to that chip and that pet. If registered online (don’tforgetthisimportantstep!),thatnumber will link the pet back to your contact information.Sheltersandanimalcontrolagenciesgenerally scan pets when they enter the shelter, so this can lead to pets getting back to their homes much more rapidly, and with a greater chance of success.” The Importance of Spay/Neuter Spaying or neutering cats not only helps them live healthier lives, but it also helps save the lives of cats across the country. “For the individual cat, sterilization can reduce or completely eliminate the chance of certain cancers, and it reduces unwanted or dangerous behaviors like urine marking, fighting, or roaming. And the sad truth is cats are twice as likely as dogs to lose their lives in our nation’s shelters, simply because there aren’t enough homes for all of them. Spaying and neutering pet cats prevents more kittens from being born and so allows for more of the cats that do end up in shelters the chance at life,” Katribe said.

Drive Safe Hampton Roads held 30th Annual John T. Hanna Awards for Excellence in Traffic Safety From Drive Safe Hampton Road HAMPTON ROADS, VA

The annual John T. Hanna Awards, presented by Drive Safe Hampton Roads, recognized six local individuals and groups for outstanding performance in the area of traffic safety. This year’s recipients included local law enforcement and city departments, communication teams, and a high school teacher. The awards were presented in January 2021. Drive Safe Hampton Roads is a regional coalition comprised of safety advocates from local law enforcement and fire safety divisions, corporations, the military, state, city and county government, and other individuals. For 33 years, Drive Safe Hampton Roads has been dedicated to preventing crashes, injuries, and fatalities on the region’s roadways. The awards were given in the following categories: Traffic Safety Activism, Fire/Emergency Medical services, Impaired Driving Prevention,YouthTrafficSafety,andMessaging/Media The 2020 John T. Hanna Award Recipients are as follows: Martin H. Schlosser Award for Traffic Safety Activism award is presented for outstanding efforts in educating citizens and changing attitudes and behavior regarding transportation safety. The winner of this award is CellGuardians by MI Technical Solutions. CellGuardians is a tech solution for a tech challenge in road safety. CellGuardians is a customizable Android app that automatically turns on and disables selected distracting apps.OnceinstalledonanAndroidphone,itis a visual reminder to not be tempted to use your phone until the vehicle stops and/or the user intentionally selects to exit the protected

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mode. The simplicity of blocking all apps breaks the habit of needing to use the cellphone while driving. When installed, CellGuardians can save lives and lower the costs associated with distracted driving crashes. MI Technical Solutions, Inc. fully funded the development and release of the CellGuardians Android app. As a private company, the R&D section creates tech solutions for public health, safety, and security of the community. A new free version of CellGuardians 2.0 is available for download. It blocks all those distracting apps while the phone is in motion. Download CellGuardians Free on Google Play Store in the spring of 2021. Fire/Emergency Medical Services award is presented for actions at crash scenes or for activities or efforts that have a broader impact on improving at-scene safety and/or survivability and injury reduction for victims. The winner of this award is VDOT Hampton Roads District. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Hampton Roads District realized a need to promote safety messaging. The agency’s Communications team planned a media availability coinciding with National Traffic IncidentResponseAwarenessWeek(Nov.1016, 2019), which highlights the role played by responders, drivers, and passengers in safe traffic incident management. An Incident Management Coordinator shared incidents that demonstrated the positive outcomes that can result when everyone plays their role during a traffic incident. The goal of the media event, to have three local news outlets report the story to their audiences, was exceeded. Representatives from all three local TV news outlets along with The Daily Press and Suffolk News-Herald papers were in attendance. The event was held free of charge at VDOT’s

Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel facility. Impaired Driving Prevention award is presented for encouraging the prevention of drunk, drugged, drowsy, and/or drugged driving. The joint winners of this award are Coastal Ride and Norfolk Police Department. Norfolk Police Department and Coastal Ride partnered for the front half of a Chevrolet Impala taxi to be painted like a standard police car, but the back half was painted like a Coastal Ride taxi with the words “Safe Ride” on the side. Further decaling was added to show the difference in the average cost of a taxi ride home ($15) to the cost of a DUI charge ($8,100). The message,“ChooseYourRide”,wasabigvisual incentive to not drink and drive! High visibility was achieved by putting it at several major intersections of the City. Half Cab/Half Cop Car’s visibility achieved between 24,000 and 64,000 views per weekday alone. The police taxi was utilized at DUI checkpoints and placed. on display at various locations and events throughout the city. The police taxi serves as a rolling billboard to discourage people from drinking and driving. It does not operate as a standard police car, and it doesn’t work as a taxi. Youth Traffic Safety award is presented to persons or programs educating youth and spreading the message on the importance of youth traffic safety. The winner of this award is Kim Baylor. Kim Baylor planned and hosted a Teen Driver Safety Education event during school hours on October 29 and October 30, 2019. This program was designed to educate and give students experiences needed to be a safe driver. Invitations were extended to various

communitygroups.Theseorganizationswere tasked with providing educational activities, givingstudentsthetoolsandresourcesforsafe driving. Approximately 580 students participated in this two-day event. The teen students were separated in multiple groups and rotated through each station. This well thought out event was held with the support of Granby High School and located on the grounds of the local Greek Orthodox Church. Organizations participating in this event were Virginia State Police Troopers, representatives from AAA Tidewater Virginia, and YOVASO, as well as three PE/Health teachers. Messaging/Media awards are presented to individuals or organizations that have created messaging, used an innovative outreach method, or have helped spread the word about traffic safety through reporting or programming. This award goes to the Chesapeake Public Works Traffic Engineering Division. The City of Chesapeake Public Works Department’s Traffic Engineering Division employs fixed variable message signs (VMS) along seven major thoroughfares in the city of Chesapeake to alert drivers of important traffic information, including construction detours, accidents, road closures, weather impacts,hurricaneevacuations,andtrafficsafety education. The Traffic Engineering team works to employ engaging messaging, using mild humor and pop culture references, to capture the attention of motorists and increase the effectiveness of messaging. The signs are placed along corridors that intersect and feed into interstate systems. The signs allow the Department to keep drivers informed of breaking traffic alerts to help them navigate through peak travel congestion and avoid trouble spots.


C3 | www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | 2.11.2021

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How the Military Supports Diversity and Inclusion From Military Onesource

The diverse makeup of the armed forces is one of its greatest assets. When service members of different races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations and other identities unite for a common mission, the result is a stronger and more effective force. As someone who cares about a service member, you may have questions about how the military ensures equal opportunity and acceptance of individual differences among all its members. The DOD has taken steps to root out bias, ensure the military reflects the nation’s diversity and promote an environment in which every member is treated with dignity and respect. Over the coming months, there will be an effort to get input from service members – both officers and enlisted – to hear their views and concerns about diversity and in-

clusion in the military. Some changes have been implemented to advance diversity and inclusion Military leaders have been charged with making equal opportunity and inclusion a priority. Your service member may have already benefited from some recent changes, including: • Removing photographs and references to race, ethnicity and gender from personnel files in promotion and selection processes. This eliminates the risk of bias when considering a candidate for a promotion, assignment, training, education or command. • Enacting stronger protections against harassment and discrimination including prohibiting discrimination because of pregnancy. • Training to detect and respond appropriately to bias – both conscious and unconscious. Service members and leaders are also

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receiving training on recognizing and understanding the impact of their own biases and prejudices. • Reviewing hairstyle and grooming policies for racial bias. • Training for commanders on guiding discussions on discrimination, prejudice and bias. As an ongoing effort, the DOD collects and analyzes information to identify prejudice and bias, measure the effectiveness of its actions and expose areas requiring improvement. Longer-term steps toward diversity and inclusion Building upon the above, the Department of Defense Board on Diversity and Inclusion has recommended further steps to improve racial and ethnic diversity and broaden equal opportunity in the military. These recommendations include: • Updating recruiting content annually to reflect the nation’s racial and ethnic makeup. • Diversifying senior-level positions so they reflect the nation’s racial and ethnic makeup. • Identifying and removing barriers to di-

versity in aptitude tests while retaining a rigorous screening process. • Identifying and removing barriers to senior leadership for diverse candidates. • Disclosing demographic information about promotion selection rates. This will improve transparency and reinforce the DOD’s focus on achieving equity across all grades. • Creating a diversity and inclusion mobile app and website that will allow service members to easily connect with each other and locate resources. • Prohibiting involvement with extremist or hate group activity. To ensure continued progress, the DOD has established the independent Defense Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion in the Armed Services. This committee will continue the work of examining any and all issues that will improve equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion in the military. Diverse and inclusive ranks are essential to morale, force cohesion and readiness. Your service member plays an important role in maintaining an environment that values and respects individual differences.


C4 | www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | 2.11.2021

Food

Matzo ball soup is pure comfort food. By Samantha Macvoy and Kate Merker

If you’ve never had matzo ball soup, prepare to be wowed by this warm, cozy comfort food. Matzo ball soup is similar to chicken noodle soup, but with plush, dumpling-like matzo balls instead of noodles. It’s a classic, crowd-pleasing Passover recipe, but there certainly doesn’t need to be a holiday for you to make a big batch of this amazing soup. It also makes a fantastic spring recipe during those early, rainy days of the season. Matzo ball soup features all your chicken soup favorites: Carrots, celery, onion, chicken broth and of course, chicken, plus light and fluffy matzo balls. Matzo balls are made from eggs, water, a little bit of oil and matzo meal. Our recipe includes fresh dill in the mix to add a bright, lemony freshness.

Making matzo ball dough is similar to making any other dumpling dough, you just stir together the ingredients until they form a thick, sticky dough, then roll the dough into balls with wet hands (which will help prevent the dough from sticking to your hands). You’ll cook the matzo balls in simmering water while you prepare the soup, then you’ll add the matzo balls to the soup to complete the meal. As they sit in the soup, the matzo balls soak up all that savory broth and become even more delicious. Step aside, chicken noodle! Ingredients For matzo balls 4 large eggs 2 tbsp. vegetable oil Kosher salt and pepper 1/4 c. fresh dill, chopped, plus more for serving 1 c. matzo meal

For soup 3 medium carrots, sliced 2 stalks celery, sliced 1 parsnip, quartered lengthwise and sliced 1 medium onion, chopped 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 tbsp. low sodium chicken bouillon base 3 bone-in chicken breast halves (about 3 lb total) Kosher salt and pepper Directions Prepare matzo balls: In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, 6 tablespoons water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir in dill. Add the matzo meal and mix to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. 15 minutes before making, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1

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tablespoon salt. With wet hands, roll the mixture into 2½–inch balls (rewetting your hands as necessary) and carefully drop them into the water. Simmer the balls until puffed and cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. While matzo balls are cooking, prepare the soup: Heat oil in large Dutch oven on medium. Add carrots, celery, parsnip and onion and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 6 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Add 10 cups water and chicken, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add bouillon base and ½ teaspoon pepper and simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. (Skim and discard any foam that rises to top.) Transfer chicken to a bowl. When cool enough to handle, shred meat, discarding the skin and bones (you can also save for another use). Stir chicken back into the soup along with matzo balls. Serve sprinkled with dill and cracked pepper.

Pecan Sticky Buns By Kate Merker

This stellar sweet uses store-bought puff pastry so you don’t have to deal with any dough. Just dust with cinnamon, roll, and bake in a muffin tin with sugar and pecans until your whole house smells amazing. Ingredients • 1/4 c. (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 slices • 1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar • 1/2 c. pecans, coarsely chopped • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided Directions Heat oven to 375°F. Place 1 slice of butter in each cup of a 12-cup muffin tin. Top with sugar, then pecans. Unfold one sheet of puff pastry onto a cutting board. Gently rub 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon onto one side. Cut into 6 strips (each about 1 1/2 inches wide). Working with 1 strip at a time, holding 1 strip at each end, loosely twist, then shape into a coil. Tuck end under center and place on top of pecans. Repeat with remaining pastry sheet and cinnamon. Bake until pastry is puffed and golden brown, 20 to 22 min. Remove from oven and immediately invert onto baking sheet. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Mike Garten


C5 | www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | 2.11.2021

Health

Military, medical leaders discuss COVID-19 issues with Service Members By Terri Moon Cronk, DoD News, Defense Media Activity

Top military and medical officials gathered earlier this month for a virtual town hall meetingwithservicemembersandtheirfamilies to discuss COVID-19 vaccinations. Among those speaking at the webinar were Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; and Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency. The event was hosted by Blue Star Families and the American Red Cross. In a recorded address, Milley and wife Hollyanne Milley said they are committed to protecting the military’s 2.3 million men and women and 2.7 million family members from COVID-19. He also noted that the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration have declared the vaccines as “safe and highly effective” but he acknowledged that getting the vaccine is a personal decision. “We both encourage you to consult your primary-care physician to address any concerns ... so you can be well-equipped to make the right decision for you and your family,” Milley said. “Protect yourself, protect your families and protect our communities. Together, we can all lead the way for the nation in the fight against COVID-19.” The global and historic respiratory pandemic is the first in the United States in 102 years, Fauci said. It has killed more than 2 million people worldwide, infected more than 20 million U.S. people, and left about 430,000 dead. Fauci also said that while the virus appears to be plateauing, the nation is still in its grips. There are still between 100,000 and 200,000 new cases each day and 3,000 to 4,000 deaths

Jacob Moore Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and wife Hollyanne Milley said they are committed to protecting the military's 2.3 million men and women and 2.7 million family members from COVID-19, during a virtual event on Feb 4.

per day. The vaccine development has met significant success with 32 million injections being administered, so far, Fauci said. Late yesterday, Johnson & Johnson became the third company to receive an emergency use authorization for a new vaccine. Moderna and Pfizer received authorizations for their vaccines in December, and both are being administered across the country. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines offer 94% to 95% effectiveness from developing COVID-19 and thwart nearly100% of severe disease leading to death, Fauci said. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine had not received emergency use authorization when Fauci made his remarks. “The results are extraordinary,” he said. Fauci fielded questions and debunked myths from those who fear the vaccine was developed too quickly to be safe and that corners were cut to make it available. The speed of the vaccine’s development is due to extraordinary technological advances that go back 10 years, he said, adding that neither safety nor scientific integrity was sacrificed. He urged people to get the vaccine, especially those who are at increased risk because they are immunocompromised due to chronic disease. “If you look at the safety of any vaccine, the risk-to-benefit ratio for safety is about the same [as the COVID vaccine],” he said, adding that allergic reactions to getting the vac-

cine are rare. The vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna that are now available are for people18 and older, although Fauci said trials are beginning for certain younger age groups and pregnant women. He also said babies in utero will receive the vaccine antibodies from the mother, and infants will receive them from moms who breastfeed. Fauci said it is impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine, and it will “absolutely not” enter into a person’s DNA. Instead, the vaccine comprises messenger-RNA, Fauci said. “RNA [ribonucleic acid] is the general molecular mechanism where we make all of the proteins and cells in our body. mRNA — the 'm’stands for messenger — is a message to tell the body to make a protein. When you get an mRNA vaccine, you stick in the coding sequence to make one of the components of COVID, which is called the spike protein,” he said. “And the spike protein is the part that sticks out from the virus, which makes it look like a crown. When the mRNA codes for that protein [are injected] into your muscle, it starts to code for protein, and the body sees the spike protein and thinks it’s the virus. But it’s not the virus. It’s one harmless component of the virus.” Fauci said when the real virus tries to enter your body, you have a bunch of proteins called antibodies that jump all over that virus and prevent it from infecting you.

“And that’s the reason why many of you hear me every day in the media saying when your turn comes up, please get vaccinated — both for your own safety and for that of your family and for the American community in general,” Fauci said. The Defense Health Agency director said service members and their family members 18 and older have some options for where to get the vaccine. Military treatment facilities and community resources — such as state, county and local outlets — can provide it. “We’re doing several things,” Place said. “We’re encouraging individuals to get vaccine [information] like this discussion today. We’re directing people to their state, county and local resources. We’re working with our health care contractors to ensure communication flows from individual providers to their patients. And we’re reaching out through military service organizations … to help steer families in the right direction.” By attending the webinar, Place said, audience members are educated as ambassadors to share what they’ve learned. “I hope you share what you hear today with others,” because data show the likelihood of individuals receiving this vaccine and sharing their experiences have a statistically significant effect on the likelihood of family, friends and colleagues deciding to get the vaccine, he said. “For almost12 long months, we’ve been in this — bound together — and the only way out of it is together,” Place said.

A ‘holistic framework’ for Total Force Fitness through 2021 By Military Health System Communications Office

If ever a New Year’s Day brought a need for the reset button, it was January 1, 2021. Last year was wrought with a fatal and global pandemic, financial chaos, political bedlam, and wide social upheaval. Maintaining physical, mental, and spiritual health over the past year has been just as much of a challenge for our Service members as it has for the population as a whole, according to numerous experts. So, it makes sense that from a military standpoint, the concept of Total Force Fitness (TFF) has been in need of a reintroduction as we sail into February, with the promises of new COVID-19 vaccines and the peril of new strains of the virus. The TFF concept reconsiders what it means to be healthy beyondthetypicalfocusonphysicalfitnessandnutrition.Itlooks at the “whole self” and the aspects of overall health key to performance and battle-readiness. “I think 2021is, for us, hope, and hoping that TFF will really re-emerge as a very important part of the Department of Defense,” said Dr. Patricia Deuster, professor and director for the Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP) at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland. “All of the services are buying into it in their own way.” TheArmy,forinstance,introducedaprogramcalled“Holistic Health and Fitness,” (H2F) in October. “Changes in the strategic and operational environments are outpacing our current processes for physical and non-physical performance training,” the Army’s guide to the program says. “In order to maintainourmilitarystrengthandaccomplishourmission,we must significantly increase our investment in how we understand, assess, and improve the holistic health and fitness of all of our Soldiers in the Total Army.” With unpredictable challenges to American interests, the guide says, the Army must maintain an improved adaptive posture, requiring a cultural shift in the way soldiers are trained, developed, and cared for. Likewise, TFF is a holistic framework for understanding, assessing, and maintaining the capabilities of the Armed Forces to execute the full range of military operations. Achieving and sustaining fitness and performance of units, organizations, families, and communities of military members through that framework is a key enabler of the 2018 National Defense Strategy’s first line of effort: “Build a More Lethal Force.” “I think that 2020 has re-enforced the importance TFF,” Deuster said. “You have to have that holistic perspective to be able to survive and be resilient. If you lack any piece of it, you’re not going to be performing the way you want to.” TFF consists of eight domains to keep service members flourishing in an environment of sustained deployment and

Jean Han 1st Armored Division Soldiers from the 4th Battalion, 70th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team perform medicine ball sit-ups during an early morning Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) physical training session at Fort Bliss, Texas last August. As the nation slowly re-opened, soldiers were resuming battle rhythms while continuing to adhere to strict COVID-19 safety precautions, which can make training for combat-ready fitness and performance levels especially challenging.

combat operations. The domains are derived from sources including current practices on medical fitness, and integrative health care approaches used by the individual services and the NationalGuard.TFFlookstoextendbeyondthesoldier,sailor, airman or Marine to strengthen resilience in families, communities, and organizations, recognizing that these are critical to supporting overall resilience. The eight domains of TFF are: physical; environmental (performing in any situation); medical and dental prevention; nutritional; ideological and spiritual (strengthening connectedness with meaning and purpose); social (productive personal and professional relationships); psychological, and financial. Sometimes tailoring different aspects of the eight domains to the duty station environment is key to good results. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more unique place to be stationed than ‘Gitmo’ — that is, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Maintaining TFF during a pandemic can be challenging, so keeping one’s focus on the basics is sometimes the key, says Dawn Grimes, public affairs officer for Gitmo’s Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command. Recent examples of TFF at Gitmo run the gamut from straight-up physical fitness challenges, to cleaning up the beach for ideological and spiritual reasons, to Saturday hours in the dental clinic. Navy Hospital Corpsman Senior Chief Kevin Miller at Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay said he leads a variety of fitness activities like his “Run with the Senior Chief” outings “to improve unit integrity and enhance pride and belonging among junior sailors. We needed to reestablish cardio output

goals during COVID-19 mandates, to ensure our sailors were remaining healthy even when the gym was closed or running on limited hours.” Miller also challenges sailors every week to a plank challenge in the naval hospital’s parking lot. “Sailors should be continually challenged physically and mentally in order to maximize their potential,” he said. “Mentalreadinessincludesthreeinterrelatedcapabilities— cognitive, emotional, and interpersonal,” the Army’s Health and Fitness (H2F) manual reads. “Just as physical readiness requires training and integration of a variety of components (for example, muscular endurance, muscular strength, balance, flexibility, and agility), optimizing mental readiness requires the training and integration of a variety of capabilities.” At Gitmo, sailors also get together weekly for something less physically demanding but just as uplifting. They clean up litter and debris from the Guantanamo Bay shoreline, and Grimes said that over the past year their efforts have positively affectedmarinelifeandgreatlydecreasedthechancesofinjury from discarded trash. “Thereweretimeswhenonlyahandfulwouldshowup,then people would see what we were doing and would join in,” said Navy Hospital Corpsman Second Class Nathaniel Collin, who helped organize many of the clean-ups and has watched as people from other commands joined in. “The beach is covered withtrashandsyringesandplastic,andwhenwefinishyoucan really feel proud you’ve made a difference, leaving a place better than you found it while representing your command and organization. It’s really rewarding.”


C6 | www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | 2.11.2021

Dogs, Cats, Other Pets SHIH TZU AKC, 8wks. 1st Shots, Dewormed , M & F; Ready For Valentine’s Day. $1200. Call: 757-692-1309

Estate Sales Estate Sales

Announcements NANSEMOND-SUFFOLK NAACP BRANCH ELECTIONS The Nansemond-Suffolk Branch of the NAACP will hold officer elections on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 7pm ET via Zoom. Branch members in good standing with Nat’l Office by Jan. 15, 2021 are eligible to run for office and or vote. For details, email UNIT7121ELECTION@NAACPVA. ORG or call the Virginia NAACP at 804-321-5678

ESTATE SALE 4782 Kempsville Greens Parkway Va. Beach Fri., Feb. 12 & 13, 8:30 AM-3 PM Please Observe The Covid Rules House is loaded with good, clean items. Partial listing: sets of China, crystal, antique clock, linens, old cameras, lots of assorted goods, clean furniture, 15 tall bookcases loaded with books, queen-size beds, costume jewelry, kit. & garage items, lots of decorative items, Christmas items, unwrapping boxes every day. Everything must and will sold. House is alarmed and guarded. Cash or Check only. Larry Zedd, Va. Beach Antiques, 422-4477. virginiabeachantiquecompany.com VIRGINIA BEACH ESTATE SALE 941 CARDINAL ROAD SAT 2/13 9-3 SUN 2/14 11-3 MON 2/15 10-2PM DESIGNER FURNISHINGS, ART TOOLS, KITCHEN, CLOTHING www.featherednestsales.com

Fridays in The Pilot

Room For Rent

Dogs, Cats, Other Pets

NORFOLK Wards Corner. On bus line. Close to navel base. All utilities paid. $550+/mo Call: 757-338-7188

FRENCH BULLDOGS

Misc. Merchandise For Sale

VA BEACH SHORE DR. & GATE 4 2 furn rms with TV. $500-$650. Sec dep. Nr groc & bus. 757-818-4872

FIREWOOD FOR SALE $170/Cord, Delivery Available Call: 757-478-9914

AntiquesSales & Collectibles Estate ANTIQUE DINING ROOM TABLE with 6 chairs & china cabinet. $300 OBO. 757-478-7534

Good news.

GERMAN SHEPHERD Beautiful puppy, 12 weeks. $1,000. 757-698-4468 PUPPIES

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We have 2French Bulldog pups available for adoption.1 boy/1 girl $700. more info sunwin92@aol.com or(757) 551-1680

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SOUTH NORFOLK Clean/Quiet Furn’d Single Occ. Rms. Share BA/Kit $150/wk/$150 SD. Avail Now. Pay Stubs Req’d. 757-379-6688

Valentine’s AKC French bulldog Puppy 8 weeks 1M and 1F. They have been house broken, raised with children. Well socialized with good temperament. meeks_pupps@yahoo. com $1700

Healthcare Careers RADIOLOGY PRACTICE COORDINATOR Radiology Business Solutions is seeking a motivated individual for the role of Radiology Group Practice Coordinator for a successful Virginia Beach practice. The position will work with and directly support a team of 40 plus physicians and related staff. Experience and expertise in accounting, payroll, business software, billing, and healthcare related business is required. Email resume to dan@radbusiness.com.

Travel/Camping Trailers CONSIGNMENTS WANTED! Let us clean, sell, & finance your RV. Snyders RV 499-8000. Early home delivery. 757-446-9000 or PilotOnline.com

757.622.1455 | placeanad.pilotonline.com Concrete/Asphalt Estate Sales CONCRETE, BRICK & TREE REMOVAL Landscaping, Top Soil, Yard Clean Up & Home Repairs. Low prices! 757-714-4848

Care For The Elderly SENIOR CARE Private Home, Exp’d Nurse w. Refs Virginia Beach Call: 757-808-4111

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DRIVEWAYS/CONCRETE WORK RICHARDS 757-869-0380 DRIVEWAYS FOUNDATION REPAIR, ADDITIONS, SIDEWALKS, RGSPROS.COM S & H ENTERPRISE 20 YRS. Concrete Exp. All types of concrete work driveways, stamped & exposed. We accept credit cards. 757-652-4050. www.shabazznva.com

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Handyman Services

Home Improvements

★GENERAL REPAIRS★ AFFORDABLE SAME DAY REPAIR All Handyman, Int & Ext: Flooring, Bathrooms, Small Jobs, Remodel, Rot Repair. 30 Yrs. Exp. BBB A+ Rating. Fall prices! 757-430-2612.

ADDITIONS, SUNROOMS, ROOFS, Decks, more. Member BBB. 757-986-3777. www.builderscorporation.com

Hauling

(A) FAMILY TRASH MAN-HOUSEHOLD, Demo inside & out, construction sites, dumpster drop off, backhoe work. We haul it all! 20 yrs. exp., lic & ins. 485-1414

B & J MOVING Reasonable Rates, Licensed & Insured. bandjmoving.com 757-576-1290

YOUR PERFECT

HIRE

IS WAITING

ALL HOME IMPROVEMENTS Custom Home Repairs & Renovations. Patrick Ellis Ent. Inc. Lic. & Ins. BBB A+ 757-635-6609

D & W GARAGES 20x24’ $15,995; 24x24’ $17,995; 24x30’ $20,995; w/Slab & Vinyl Siding. 465-0115 or 362-1833. dandwgarages.com FRANK’S SIDING & REPAIRS Repairing Siding & Trim. Lic/Ins. Senior & Military discount! 757-227-8964

Painting/Paperhanging

BEST PRICE EXTERIORS 757-639-4692 Siding, Windows, Trim, Roofing. FREE ESTIMATES! Lic. & Ins’d. Lowest Prices & Top Quality Work. No Repairs. BBB A+ Rating

INTERIOR/EXTERIOR PAINTING Wallpapering, Pressure Washing, Carpentry, Plumbing & Renov! Free est! Paint & Wallpaper By Bob: 757-714-4573

BRICK & STONE REPAIRS Steps, Walls, Foundations, etc. Virginia Beach Native. Masonry Contract. 40+ yrs Known As Stone Smith USA. Semi-Retired - A Legend In His Own Mind! Earl Smith 757-2700578. You Won’t Find A Better Man!

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Plumbing PLUMBING REPAIRS/CLOGGED DRAINS Clogged Drains - Leaky Pipes Water Heater Replacement Sewer Service - Camera Inspections - Plumbing Repairs 757-869-0380 24HR Emergency Services SEWAGEPROS.COM/ RGSPROS.COM

Roofing ROOF REPAIR Shingles, tar, rubber, slate, metal, asbestos removal. 757-718-1072 ROOFING SALE 30 Yr. Architect Shingles $1.99 sq ft. Labor & Material included, repair, siding. Class A Lic’d & Ins’d. (757) 345-9983.

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Autos for Sale

Trucks and SUVs

CHEVROLET 2016 MALIBU

FORD 2020 F250

CHEVROLET 2017 SUBURBAN

LT. 4WD, leather, loaded, warranty, new inspection, all serviced. $26,900. 757-675-0288. Va. Dlr.

TOYOTA 2019 SIENNA

4000 miles, diesel, crew cab, 4X4, 8’ bed, STX pkg, $51,900. Call 757675-0288. Va. Dlr.

Van. XLE pkg., navigation, sunroof, leather, loaded, warranty, $26,900. 757-620-7570. Va. Dlr.

GMC 2005 SIERRA 1500

Wanted Automotive ABSOLUTELY ABLY ACQUIRING AUTOS All Makes & Models, Best Price Paid!! FREE TOWING. 757-749-8035

LS. 82,000 miles. Silver. New Tires. Back up camera. $9995 OBO. 757463-7604

Trucks and SUVs

Trucks and SUVs

V8, Auto, 127k, 2 owners, cold ac, cruise, 8ft bed, runs & drives excellent, no rust or dents. $5750. 757-237-5757

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AUTOS ACCEPTED-ANY YEAR Make or Model. TOP DOLLAR, FAST, Free Towing. 757-737-2465, 701-3361

Boats & Watercraft

28’ WELLCRAFT, 264 COASTAL

Cuddy cabin, twin 200 Yamaha, radar, ff/gps, vhf, stereo, great fast & stable fishing boat, 1998,$17,320 Call: Jeff 757-715-3442

Early home delivery. 757-446-9000 or PilotOnline.com

USED TRAILER SALE!!! OVER 100 Avail. For Boats 12’-38’ BUDGET BOATS: (757) 543 -7595

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C7 | www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | 2.11.2021

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C8 | www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | 2.11.2021

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Flagship 02.11.2021  

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