www.ﬂagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 1 | Thursday, March 11, 2021 1
IN THIS ISSUE
Leading by example
Command Master Chief Larae Baker, assigned to the USS Arlington (LPD 24), starts her days preparing herself physically and mentally for the day ahead. Page A2 VOL. 27, NO. 10, Norfolk, VA | ﬂagshipnews.com
March 11-March 17, 2021
Naval Surface Force Atlantic holds change of command ceremony By MC2 Wyatt Anthony,
Naval Surface Force Atlantic Public Affairs
NORFOLK — Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT), held a change of command ceremony aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), March 5. In the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) mitigated event, Rear Adm. Brendan McLane became the 60th SURFLANT commander, relieving Rear Adm. Brad Cooper during the time-honored ceremony. Adm. Christopher Grady, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command provided remarks and emphasized the positive impact Cooper had during his SURFLANT tenure. “Your performance as SURFLANT has been outstanding in every respect,” said Grady. “You expertly managed the combat readiness of 27,000 personnel, 77 warships, and 31 support units of the Atlantic Surface Force to unparalleled levels of lethality. You produced a tough, resilient, and battle-ready surface force that we can clearly see here across the Turn to Ceremony, Page 7
Commodore Grace M. Hopper, USN (covered).
Making Waves: Women in the U.S. Navy—Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow By MC2 Tristan Lotz
Subase New London Public Affairs
GROTON, Conn. — Women in today’s U.S. Navy proudly serve alongside their male counterparts, with great opportunity ahead of them and a wake of history and perseverance behind them. Women’s naval history officially starts in 1908 with the establishment of the Navy Nurse Corps. A contract nurse from the Spanish-American War named Esther Voorhees Hasson was appointed superintendent. Hasson was joined by 19 other women who together formed the “Sacred Twenty.” These women were the first to officially serve in the United States Navy. The 20th century saw women make great strides in naval service. Manning issues in both World Wars compelled the Navy to open enlistment to women. The most famous example of this was the Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Services (WAVES), authorized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt with Public Law 689. The goal of the WAVES was to have women serving in shore positions so as to free up male service members for deployment in Europe or the Pacific. Many women, however, would ultimately serve on the front during the war. Some were even held as prisoners of war in the Pacific theater and honored for their heroism. It would be these deeds that began to change the views of the brass regarding women in uniform.
Ford executes 3MA with integrity at the helm By MC1 Gary Prill
USS Gerald R. Ford (Cvn 78) Public Affairs
for being a woman, but as a Sailor. I am just as capable as the next individual, regardless of gender. A woman can do whatever a man can do, it’s the effort and the drive, the motivation that counts.”
NORFOLK — Sailors assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) were evaluated by Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic’s (CNAL) Maintenance and Material Management (3M) team, March 1 — 4. “3M is the foundation of our lethality,” said Capt. Jeremy Shamblee, Ford’s executive officer. “When the time comes to respond to a crisis, we need to know that our equipment will work, and conducting 3M with integrity is how we know it will.” CNAL’s inspection team worked handin-hand with Ford’s 3M coordinators to conduct an intensive 3M assessment (3MA) which an aircraft carrier holds every 24 months to track proper upkeep of equipment and prolong a ship’s lifespan. “This program shows us how well our crew performs maintenance and how effi-
Turn to waves, Page 7
Turn to Ford, Page 7
Group photograph of the ﬁrst twenty Navy Nurses, appointed in 1908
“I think women in the Navy have definitely contributed greatly to our armed forces as a whole,” said Senior Chief Boatswain’s Mate Faron Carhee, senior enlisted advisor of Naval Submarine Base (SUBASE) New London Port Operations Department. “I personally tend to not want the recognition
Shipyard Spotlight: Erica Miranda
Adm. Christopher W. Grady, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, congratulates Rear Adm. Brendan McLane, commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT) during the SURFLANT change of command ceremony aboard the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19). ( MC1 JACOB MILHAM)
Capt. Dianna Wolfson took command of Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) in January and introduced NNSY’s new Command Philosophy which included the central tenet of, “one mission – one team.” PAGE A6
UAS Exercise Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center hosted the Blue Water Unmanned Aerial System Skyways team for an exercise that could impact the way the Navy handles transporting parts. PAGE A4
STORM analysis capability The Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren and Carderock Divisions collaborated with the Naval Air Systems Command and Undersea Warfare Center to analysis STORM capabilities. PAGE A5
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The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 1 | Thursday, March 11, 2021
Command Master Chief Larae Baker, assigned to the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24), poses for a photo in her office aboard the ship. Arlington is underway in the Atlantic Ocean. (MC2 John D. BELLINO)
Leading by example By MC2 John Bellino,
USS Arlington (Lpd 24) Public Affairs
NORFOLK — Command Master Chief Larae Baker, assigned to the USS Arlington (LPD 24), starts her days at 5 a.m. with a workout to prepare herself physically and mentally for the day ahead. She does this because once the workday begins, she’s needed everywhere. As much as possible, Baker likes to keep her morning schedule ﬂuid before launching into a more structured afternoon full of meetings, emails and Sailor check-ins. Doing so allows her to walk around the ship, checking on her Sailors to ensure everyone is doing alright. It also keeps her available to handle any unforeseen issues that may arise. Her leadership teams discuss everything from schedules, to maintenance priorities, to the morale of their Sailors. A typical workday ends around 5 p.m., once she feels satisﬁed with the work she completed. Good leaders don’t just give orders and
expect people to follow blindly. It takes a caring, attentive person who leads by example in order to inspire those who follow them so they can get the job done. Growing up mostly in Jacksonville, Florida, it wasn’t until her senior year of high school that Baker realized she would follow in her father’s footsteps by joining the U.S. Navy. After years of hard work and dedication, she was selected as a command master chief in 2016 and is currently the only female command master chief within Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2. “I hadn’t really realized it,” Baker replied after being made aware of this fact. “I know there are very few females and females of color in my position, but I don’t really focus on that.” She understands she may be a role model to junior Sailors, but when she looks in the mirror, she just sees Larae; a humble individual who is fortunate to have reached the level she has after all her years of service. Baker started her career off as a storekeeper stationed in Guam, but her rating
eventually merged with its aviation equivalent and she became a logistics specialist. Having never worked on the aviation side of the Navy, Baker was determined to expand her horizons and took a position at Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (HS) 3 as a Logistics Specialist 1st Class. The learning curve was steep and the challenges she encountered made her question her decision, but the wealth of knowledge and skills she built there played a crucial role in molding her into the leader she is today. “Being a good leader doesn’t necessarily mean having to know every single detail of the job yourself,” Baker said. “You have to be able to lead and trust your Sailors.” Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Muhammed Khan, who became the 2020 Arlington Senior Sailor of the Year under Baker’s leadership, shared his opinion of her. “CMC sets a great example as a strong, respectable leader the Sailors can look up to,” Khan said. “How she treats her Sailors makes them want to support her as a leader.”
Khan said that whenever Baker is in her office the door is always open and if she’s walking around the ship engaging Sailors, she is always in a happy mood as she does so. She has now completed 26 years of dedicated service to the Navy and the thought of what comes next is becoming a bigger part of the discussions with her husband, Richard Baker, and 11-year-old son Rhys. Baker involves her family in every decision regarding her career and together they take it one duty station at a time. Baker expressed interest in becoming a Fleet and Family Support Center representative once her enlisted days come to an end. Her focus has always been on her Sailors and she wants to continue serving them as a civilian. “A lot of ﬂeet and family representatives are retired command master chiefs,” Baker explained. If not that, she wants to combine her leadership skills with some of her hobbies and teach a group ﬁtness class or a painting class. As her career winds down it is important for her to guide the leaders of tomorrow. “Go for it!” Baker proclaims to those looking to lead the next generation of Sailors. “You can literally do anything in the Navy. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t, not even yourself.”
GigaBiter Machine brings time, cost savings to NSWC Dahlgren Division From Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division Public Affairs DAHLGREN — Sparks ﬂew and machinery groaned along the Potomac River in mid-January. The source was not a test ﬁring of a weapon system, but a technical demonstration of the GigaBiter — an electronic media destroyer new to Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD). The GigaBiter is the ﬁrst machine of its kind procured and used by the Department of the Navy. It allows NSWCDD personnel to destroy various media on-site. This includes, most importantly, media storage devices — hard drives, solid-state drives and hybrid drives — but is also capable of destroying most devices. Laptops, tablets, CDs, DVDs, cell phones, computer components and the like can all be crushed and collected by the machine for disposal. The only things the GigaBiter will not be tasked to destroy are paper and tape products, due to the ﬁre risk these materials pose. Using the GigaBiter is straightforward. An operator places material to be destroyed in the input bay. Items then travel along an eight-foot conveyer belt into a hammer mill. This metallic maw pulverizes the items with rotating blades. The contact between the disposed media, shredders, and hammers is
quite dramatic - resulting in total elimination and destruction of classiﬁed information. The results from this ﬁrst pass are strips that are roughly one-and-a-half to two inches long by one-quarter to one-half inch wide. These newly shredded strips head up a second conveyer belt - this one 18 feet long and are fed into another hammer mill. The resulting particles must then pass through a screen sized for disposal of classiﬁed materials as per the National Security Agency’s (NSA) guidelines. The product of this ﬁnal pulverization is collected in a steel drum that weighs about 800 pounds when full. While the hammer mills operate, a dust collection system captures and collects particles in a separate receptacle, which is about 300 pounds when full. Materials collected after the destruction are entirely recyclable, and some hold intrinsic value. Rare earth metals are used frequently in electronics and their conservation is of great importance across the world. NSWCDD is currently exploring options to send these disposed materials to a company that will extract the rare earth metals. Use of the GigaBiter reduces human resources previously required for media destruction, and reduces the volume of classified data waiting to be destroyed. Before the GigaBiter’s arrival, employees manually disassembled hard drives before
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Sparks ﬂy at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division as the new electronic media destroyer GigaBiter puts on a full display. (STACIA COURTNEY)
sending the parts to the NSA for destruction. This process was time-intensive and therefore costly, and usually done by technical staff. Sending drive components to an external site also creates an inherent potential for a security breach. “Having the GigaBiter ensures NSWCDD data stays safe by shredding on-site,” NSWCDD Information Security Specialist Jason Gray said. “We can ensure media is destroyed properly and gone forever ensuring the data is unrecoverable.” Thanks to the machine, all an employee has to do is simply log the item for destruc-
Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic (CNRMA): Rear Adm Charles W.“Chip”Rock Regional program manager for Navy Region Mid-Atlantic (NRMA): Public Affairs Director | Beth Baker The Flagship® is published by Flagship, Inc., a private ﬁrm in no way connected with the Department of Defense (DOD) or the United States Navy, under exclusive written contract with Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic. This civilian enterprise newspaper is an authorized publication for members of the military services. Contents of the paper, including advertisements, are not necessarily the ofﬁcial views of, nor endorsed by, the U.S. Government, DOD, or the Department of the Navy (DON). The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts and supplements, does not constitute endorsement by the DOD; DON; Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic or Flagship, Inc. of the products or services advertised. Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase,use, or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political afﬁliation, or any other non-merit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is conﬁrmed, the publisher shall refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation is corrected. Editorial content is edited, prepared and provided by the Public Affairs Department of Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic. Stories may be submitted via email to news@ﬂagshipnews.com. The Flagship® is published every Thursday by Flagship, Inc., whose ofﬁces are located at 150W. Brambleton Ave., Norfolk, Va. 23510. © 2021Flagship, Inc. All rights reserved
tion and drop it off with security. The new process frees employees from the laborious process of removing components and lets them refocus their time on technological programs and innovative projects in support of the warﬁghter and future ﬂeet. The saved time offers an incredible cost savings as well. “Our projections, based on a rate from 2020, have the machine paying for itself in 3.8 years, with expected service life of 15 to 20 years,” said Alex Malaguti, NSWCDD Physical Security and Emergency Management Branch head.
www.ﬂagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 1 | Thursday, March 11, 2021 3
Kimberly Cedar didn’t meet a female chief petty officer until she had been in the Navy for seven years. Now serving as Reserve Force Career Counselor at Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command (CNRFC), Master Chief Navy Counselor Kimberly Cedar is responsible for training and mentoring all 250 career counselors across the Reserve force, while simultaneously serving as an inspiration to women at every leadership level. (MC1 Arthurgwain L. MARQUEZ)
Women in the Navy: Anything is possible By MCC Scott Wichmann, Navy Reserve Force Public Affairs
NORFOLK — Kimberly Cedar didn’t meet a female chief petty officer until she had been in the Navy for seven years. Now serving as Reserve Force Career Counselor at Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command (CNRFC), Master Chief Navy Counselor Kimberly Cedar is responsible for training and mentoring all 250 career counselors across the Reserve force, while simultaneously serving as an inspiration to women at every leadership level. “The Navy has changed in so many ways,” said Cedar, who joined in 1994. “We had the ﬁrst two women in the nuclear program in my bootcamp company. I didn’t realize how signiﬁcant that was until several years later. It was a lot different in the ‘90’s, and it is great to see women are making up a larger percentage in our military ranks.” Today, the Navy Reserve is comprised of 2,594 Full-time Support (FTS) and 12,118 Selected Reserve (SELRES) female Sailors, serving our Nation around the world. The Navy Counselor (NC) rating is vital to the overall growth and effectiveness of the Reserve force. NCs organize and
implement enlisted retention and career information programs, evaluate enlisted career development programs, coordinate and supervise counseling efforts, and counsel Sailors and their family members on career opportunities available in the Navy. In short — on a daily basis, NC’s like Cedar show their fellow Sailors that, in today’s Navy, anything is possible. “Our Navy has made large strides in program equality,” said Cedar. “Over my 26 year career, I have had a female command master chief, commanding officer and department head. I am a better leader and Sailor because of those women who paved the way for me.” Cedar was quick to point out that leadership and advancement opportunities for women didn’t just magically manifest themselves on one ﬁne Navy day — they came as a result of women raising their voices and, in some cases, stepping outside their comfort zone to shake up the status quo. “These changes have come about from women speaking up and sharing their concerns,” said Cedar. “We simply cannot afford not to have women speak up and be heard. It is not easy, and, in my experi-
ence, great ideas often go unspoken. We need to encourage each other, open the door for feedback and reassure women who do speak up to offer their ideas and suggestions.” Originally from Northeast Ohio, Cedar received her associate’s degree from Saint Leo University in 2005 and earned her bachelor’s degree in healthcare management from Southern New Hampshire University in 2019. In her role at CNRFC, she works to improve processes and consistently raises her own voice to ensure the NC rating continues its vital function. “We recently added 11 new ﬁrst class Navy counselor billets at the Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) level,” said Cedar. “My goal is to be able to get an NC in every NOSC with 200 Sailors or more. I think that is an important step for being able to provide our Sailors with the best counseling and professional development. With that comes with some challenges, but I have a plan.” According to Cedar, one of the highlights of her job is guiding Sailors toward the threshold of a new door and seeing them as they ﬁnd a challenging opportunity waiting for them on the other side. “I recently was able to provide a Sailor
with some pertinent information about a training opportunity that allowed her to submit for a special program,” said Cedar. “She is now a command senior chief and I could not be more proud of all her accomplishments.” Cedar said she understands how important it is for women to step up and lead Sailors. “Women want to see other women in leadership positions,” she said. “It shows that it is possible for them to achieve their goals and it gives them someone to emulate. Women bring a different perspective, and I believe that is important for other women to see at all levels of leadership.” As she looks toward the future, Cedar reiterated the importance of women speaking up and staying engaged at every level in their command and beyond. “With every experience, you gain strength, courage and conﬁdence,” she said. “Inspiring women to achieve their goals is an amazing feeling and I do not take that lightly. It is truly a great honor, as a woman and a master chief in the Navy, to make a positive impact where I can. I truly believe that when women support each other, remarkable things can happen. If we continue to stay involved, partake in program initiatives and provide our ideas and input, anything is possible. I’m excited to see what the future holds.”
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4 The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 1 | Thursday, March 11, 2021
Culinary Specialist Second Class Cristal Rivera shows her six-month old son IyanuOluwa the recent renovations to the NAVSUP FLC Norfolk lactation room. The improvements include three private stations for nursing mothers with easy access to an electrical outlet, a new refrigerator and a photo wall where mothers can share their infants’ pictures. (JIM KOHLER)
NAVSUP FLC Norfolk debuts renovated lactation room By Thomas Kreidel
NAVSUP FLC Norfolk Public Affairs
NORFOLK — NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Norfolk recently debuted its newly remodeled lactation room at the command’s headquarters at Building W-143 onboard Naval Station Norfolk. The room has served as the command’s lactation room for approximately the last 10 years, but was updated to better provide privacy, easier access to electricity and other upgrades to the appearance. “I am proud to say that the Navy continues to take solid strides toward ensuring that it supports our female Sailors and civilians in their goal of a highly successful military career and motherhood,” said Commanding Officer Capt. Julie Treanor. “These goals are not mutu-
ally exclusive.” She added the upgrades were an important and necessary step. “As the NAVSUP FLC Norfolk commanding officer and a mother of three, I recognize that in order to attract and retain high caliber talent, we need to meet the needs of all of our employees, military and civilian alike, and there is a particular need with our female employees during pregnancy and beyond,” she added. “Lactation rooms have been shown to improve employee morale, reduce turnover and decrease absenteeism.” According to Facilities Director Mark Chandler, the room had served decades prior as part of a wardroom bar area during W-143’s nearly 80-year history. His team’s first order of business was to remove the bar area in front of the exist-
ing sink and outfit the room with partitions and curtains creating three private lactation stations. “Each station has a chair, table, and electrical outlets for the mothers to plug in their pumps,” Chandler added. Paint, artwork and a new refrigerator rounded out the project. “We specifically designed the lactation room with nursing mothers in mind. The room is welcoming and also provides both privacy and comfort,” explained Treanor. “One feature we are particularly proud of is the photo wall, where mothers can share pictures of their infants with each other.” LSC Veronica Payne, a recent first-time mother of twins and the command’s pregnancy coordinator says this helps show the command cares about its Sailors and employees.
“I greatly appreciate the privacy and availability the command provides,” Payne added. “We don’t have to resort to having to use the head or the restroom like some places do in order to take care of our nursing needs.” Payne observed that the lactation room increases new mothers’ motivation, dedication and desire to continue to nurse their child while supporting the NAVSUP FLC Norfolk mission. She says having this available gives working mothers the choice to breastfeed, which she adds is “cheaper and way healthier for the baby.” Treanor echoed those thoughts, adding “Breastfeeding allows for continued mother-child bonding and further strengthens the child’s immune system.” She concluded saying she sees the room as being vital to the wellbeing of mothers working at NAVSUP FLC Norfolk, which in turn makes them more effective on the job. “I want our female employees to celebrate incredible milestones with their infants with the understanding that as a command, we are here to help them succeed in both their career and in life,” she said.
MARMC, Blue Water, USS Gerald R. Ford partner for UAS exercise By Chris Wyatt
MARMC Public Affairs
NORFOLK — Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC) hosted the Blue Water Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Skyways team for an exercise that could impact the way the Navy handles transporting parts for repairs needed aboard forward-deployed ships. MARMC, in collaboration with the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Beach Detachment and the Blue Water team, tested the abilities of a Maritime Logistics UAS to deliver a part to the ship from MARMC Headquarters. “The UAS departed the MARMC parking lot with a simulated package pickup and took the part needed for repair over to the Ford,” said MARMC Logistics Department Head, Cmdr. Kevin Borkert. “For this evolution, MARMC handed the part to the UAS crew and they placed it in the cargo bay along the underside of the UAS.” In October 2020, the US Navy acquired a commercial unmanned vehicle developed by Skyways of Austin, Texas, to further develop
The USS Gerald R. Ford Beach Detachment in collaboration with Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC) tested the abilities of a Blue Water Maritime Logistics UAS to deliver a package to the ship from MARMC Headquarters on Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia. (Chris Wyatt)
and demonstrate long-range naval ship-toship and ship-to-shore cargo transport. Navy engineers and test pilots continue to organically enhance the system with developments like folding wings for better handling and ship storage, and consider alternative air vehicle designs with advanced propulsion systems to provide greater range and payload performance, optical and infrared collision avoidance and landing systems, and navigation systems not only dependent on GPS.
“Our motto is ‘We Fix Ships’ and we feel like they chose the right place to show this innovation in action,” said MARMC Commanding Officer Capt. Tim Barney. “I want MARMC to be a part of any program that uses advancements in technology, which could potentially save time, money and reduce the Navy’s carbon footprint while helping to keep the fleet mission ready.” Moving forward, if MARMC is chosen as a pivot point in the procurement process for
parts needed for repairs, it could potentially have a large and lasting impact on how business is done. MARMC provides surface ship maintenance, management, and oversight of private sector maintenance and fleet technical assistance to ships in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and provides support to the fifth and sixth Fleet Area of Responsibilities. They are also responsible for the floating dry-dock Dynamic (AFDL-6).
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www.ﬂagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 1 | Thursday, March 11, 2021 5
NSWC Dahlgren, NSWC Carderock Divisions collaborate to develop STORM analysis capability From Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division Public Affair DAHLGREN — The Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren (NSWCDD) and Carderock (NSWCCD) Divisions collaborated with the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) to bring force analysis capabilities to both warfare centers. In support of naval requirements, both warfare centers were able to build upon existing capabilities using the Synthetic Theater Operations Research Model (STORM) system. The STORM system was utilized to develop the ability to conduct higher-level, fleet focused, force analysis. Isel Caro — branch head for the Force Analysis and Strategic Studies Branch at NSWCDD — acted as the project lead for the STORM team for Dahlgren. He stated, “Development of a government led, surface fleet focused, force analysis capability was a joint effort between NSWCDD and NSWCCD. Based upon resource availability, NSWCCD led modeling and Concept of Operations development efforts. Dahlgren provided program leadership and led the analysis effort.” In support of the Future Surface Combatant Force (FSCF) studies, targeted through 2045, and the Navy Capabilities-Based Assessments Integration Process (NCIP) program, the mission for the STORM campaign is to train analysts and modelers to become more proficient and experienced in using the model system. According to Caro, “FSCF was reliant on contractor provided, surface-focused, force analysis that was not transparent and had limitations in its ability to provide insights at multiple security levels. NSWCDD and NSWCCD have built a government team capable of meeting FSCF and NCIP force analysis requirements.” Collaborative efforts included the Naval Undersea Warfare Center’s support of the STORM campaign. “The NUWC was integral to the team’s understanding of the Anti-Submarine Warfare mission model data and worked with our team to calibrate and validate airborne weapons systems,” said Caro. Both STORM teams also worked in partnership with NAVAIR, which provided extensive knowledge in using the STORM model and sharing elemental best practices for training and proficiency developments. “Prior to beginning this effort, neither NSWCDD nor NSWCCD had force analysis experience. We coordinated efforts with the NAVAIR NCIP STORM Team for one of our analysts from Dahlgren and one from Carderock to complete a three-month detail, going through their training programs to build
proficiency,” said Caro. Caro discussed the roles of the analysts and modelers that formed the STORM teams. “Our analysts performed measures to ensure that the model works. They were looking at the output of each different mission area and in combination with each other to draw conclusions and gain insight into the best configurations and platforms and the best ways to be able to operate.” As a key system modeler — personnel responsible for STORM software application on the team — the role entailed inputting platforms, sensors, and weapons systems into the model. Caro explained, “After the modelers had completed this stage, they built the logic behind it for force-on-force engagement, ship movements, logistics interactions and different mission areas.” “These quantitative assessments provide essential information as to which programs should be invested in to maintain sea control and sea power,” said Caro. The opportunities to build proficiency for both STORM teams were impacted by the pandemic as well. Training with the NAVAIR NCIP STORM Team was essential for the modelers to become fully prepared to lead the capability development for Dahlgren and Carderock. The acting project lead for the STORM team at Carderock is Eric Jimenez, branch head for the Design Integration Branch of the Future Concepts and Design Integration Division. He discussed the roles of the top modelers on the Carderock team and their successful execution of the training they received. Jimenez said, “One of our key modelers returned from the three-month rotation at NAVAIR to support the air execution planning side of the model. Surface to air missiles are modeled as air assets, and so there’s a great deal that goes into writing command and control scripture code to ensure the effects are what you want.” Jimenez attributes the team’s accomplishment to integrating an efficient STORM system at Carderock, stating, “Our team’s modelers were an integral part in bringing that knowledge back and providing instruction for the rest of the team. Another key modeler dug deep into understanding how to model surface asset ships, understanding how to essentially, dynamically capture things that you would see in a war fight scenario, that includes logistics, rearming our bases, rearming at sea, ship the ship interactions, sub on ship interaction.” While the Carderock team had the opportunity to work with the NAVAIR NCIP team, the Dahlgren team was prevented from doing so. Due to COVID restrictions, the team from Dahlgren had to overcome the dilemma of a
Isel Caro is the branch head for the Force Analysis and Strategic Studies Branch at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division and acted as the project lead for the Synthetic Theater Operations Research (STORM) team for Dahlgren. (STACIA COURTNEY)
canceled detail, which resulted in the absence of a proficient modeler on the team. The Dahlgren team’s innovative thinking contributed to finding an acceptable solution to this issue. “In order to address not having a proficient and experienced modeler available on staff, the Dahlgren STORM team identified an existing U.S. Marine Corps STORM contract and was able to establish a sub-contract with a STORM system developer to train the modelers and analysts at both warfare centers,” said Caro. Jimenez also expressed the issue of cross collaboration during the pandemic, stating, “It’s normally difficult enough when you’re embarking on a project of this complexity and trying to establish the foundation and infrastructure to create a seamless communication path between two teams. COVID only exacerbated that effort in the beginning.” Despite the pandemic, the Dahlgren and the Carderock teams were able to fully integrate seven analysts and modelers in six months, rather than the 12-18 months usually allotted for training, due to the ingenuity and perseverance of the team members. During the beginning stages of the campaign, an issue arose regarding the lack of software and hardware availability. The STORM team partnered with NSWCDD Command IT services to produce hosting capabilities for multiple users instead of purchasing new computers, saving
thousands of dollars in hardware costs. The team also had to adjust their accessibility of classified technology due to the pandemic and on-site restrictions. “To mitigate the impact, the STORM team worked with NSWCDD Command IT services to establish an unclassified STORM Virtual Private Network accessible by URDTE laptop computers from home. Virtual training was coordinated through a contractor, enabling the team to continue to train safely during maximum telework. Based upon the unique approach, slip in schedule was minimized and the team was able to fully meet project milestones,” said Caro. The ability to effectively overcome difficult challenges and unpredictable setbacks was attributed to the innovation, dedication and flexibility exhibited by both STORM teams. The STORM teams’ efforts and analytical results will be presented to the Chief of Naval Operations as well as other senior leadership in expanding future investments to support the FSCF analysis campaign. The continued collaborative efforts from the STORM teams at NSWCD Dahlgren and NSWC Carderock, along with support from multiple warfare centers and contractor partnerships, are driving mission analysis development and providing the platform for cutting edge advances.
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6 The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 1 | Thursday, March 11, 2021
Shipyard Spotlight: Erica Miranda
By Allison Conti
Norfolk Naval Shipyard Public Affairs
PORTSMOUTH — Shortly after Capt. Dianna Wolfson took command of Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) in January, she introduced NNSY’s new Command Philosophy which included the central tenet of, “one mission — one team.” In her introduction to the workforce, Capt. Wolfson explained, “Together, we are one team in the mission of relentlessly chasing best ever performance in the stewardship of our nation’s naval assets. Commitment to our character and the teams we build together can change our shipyard environment.” Reactor Engineering Division (Code 2310.8) Nuclear Engineer Erica Miranda has been putting Capt. Wolfson’s message into action for years. Miranda considers herself a team player. She is committed to helping others, both within her official capacity and outside of it. “One of my passions is to help people. There have been so many people that poured into my life that didn’t want anything in return. Those people just wanted to help and I strive every day to have that same willpower,” she said. After graduating from Old Dominion University with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering with an Environmental Protection minor, Miranda was attracted to a career at NNSY because of the shipyard’s mission. “I wanted to be in the Navy but couldn’t due to a health condition,” she said. “My career at NNSY allows me to still help our country’s defense. I make sure that my work on these vessels is top-notch so that there won’t be problems when Sailors are deployed.” Until recently, Miranda’s greatest career accomplishment was her involvement on the USS La Jolla (SSN 701) and USS San Francisco (SSN 711) Moored Training Ship (MTS) conversions; however, last year she was given the opportunity to assist NNSY in personnel development. Miranda and her team have developed a training entitled Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. “The course helps you realize your thinking style, your limitations on perspectives, and equips you with the tools needed to successfully think critically and solve problems that come your way,” said Miranda. The class dives into conversational and emotional intelligence skills and provides participants with tools to think critically and recognize the thinking skills of others to maximize teamwork. The two day course is currently only open to those in the Radiological Engineering Division (Code 105.2), but Miranda
Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s (NNSY) Reactor Engineering Division (Code 2310.8) Nuclear Engineer Erica Miranda is the March Shipyard Spotlight. Miranda exempliﬁes the shipyard’s core values of care, ownership, respect, and excellence. (ALDO ANDERSON)
and her team hopes to expand their audience in the future. Developing and leading the Critical Thinking and Problem Solving class is just one of Miranda’s duties. When she is not working on the course, Miranda spends time on projects and monitoring the status of those projects on the waterfront. She also commits time daily to working on the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (S.T.E.M.) Employee Resource Group (ERG) that she heads. She also assists other ERGs with anything they need. Miranda said she is an active member in almost every ERG available at NNSY. She is fiercely committed to making the shipyard a more diverse and inclusive space for employees and feels that ERGs help to achieve that goal. “I love learning about different cultures, people’s
perspectives on life, and certain lifestyles,” said Miranda. “I am so happy that we have ERGs here to help both our NNSY and local community. It shows that we care about our employees and we try to be a voice for them.” NNSY Outreach Program Manager Valerie Fulwood said of Miranda: “Her tireless and selfless efforts and dedication to the mission are extremely valuable. She demonstrates resolve and dedication to extending NNSY’s outreach program.” Miranda is passionate about not only her work in Code 2310.8 but bettering the shipyard community as a whole. Her supervisor, Code 2310.8 Branch Head Trevor Frazier, said “Erica meets her commitments in Code 2310 and has a passion for improving the shipyard as a whole. She develops others through teaching and devel-
oping trainings and develops herself by taking leadership courses and applying what she has learned.” Outside of NNSY, Miranda enjoys a vibrant life that includes numerous hobbies and a supportive family. “I have pretty strong family members, family-like members, and awesome co-workers to help me through life,” said Miranda. When asked if she had anything she would like to share with her NNSY community, Miranda said, “What we do is so important and rewarding. We help to get our Navy’s ships back to the Fleet. But to accomplish our mission, we need to make sure that you, yes you, are okay. Never forget your value, who you are, or your family. If anyone would like to talk, please feel to reach out. I am here. I am listening and I am an advocate for YOU and for our team.”
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www.ﬂagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 1 | Thursday, March 11, 2021 7
Ceremony from Page 1
Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Gary Prill, from Fairﬁeld, California, and Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brett Walker, from Green Cove Springs, Florida, both assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) media department, perform maintenance on an aqueous foam ﬁlm discharge bottle March 2, 2021. Ford is in-port Naval Station Norfolk for a regularly scheduled window of opportunity for maintenance as part of her post-delivery test and trials phase of operations. (MC2 KALLYSTA CASTILLO)
from Page 1
ciently we are tracking the administrative elements,” said Lt. Cmdr. Shannon Morris, Ford’s 3M officer. “After the administration portion is finalized, we perform a series of 100 spot checks with additional zone checks. Every department participates; it’s an all-hands on deck process.” Ford scored above standards at 91.3 percent on spot check evaluations, proving that Ford’s cutting-edge technology is being maintained with integrity to ensure the equipment’s longevity. CNAL’s 3MA Team Leader, Master Chief Interior Communications Electrician Douglas Rocks, said Ford Sailors displayed an impressive level of participation. “From what we’ve seen, the crew members have been very positive and enthusiastic about the program,” said Rocks. “The performance during the zone inspections were especially outstanding.” Chief Boatswain’s Mate Noel Barker, one of Ford’s 3M coordinators, assisted in previous Maintenance Health Assessments (MHA) and he believes the knowledge gained from those experiences placed Ford in a favorable position for her first graded 3MA. “There was a significant learning curve from the MHAs and it helped us to build up to the program we have now,” said Barker. “We’ve also had a group of inspectors fly on board to perform mini inspections on five of the ship’s largest departments. After learning our weak
points, we were able to bring our best practices forward and create a stronger program.” As Ford is the first ship in its class, the intricacies presented by its new systems and equipment provide vast opportunities for growth and innovation. Barker said he is grateful to be a part of Ford’s groundbreaking achievement in operational capability. “In my time with Ford, I’ve seen the maintenance program improve so greatly that it contributed to the command excellence award in efficiency, the ‘Purple E,’ and that was a big milestone for our ship,” said Barker. “I’m so glad to have served aboard the Ford during this time of progress.” 3MA is paramount in bringing a ship to its highest potential in preventative maintenance by highlighting areas in need of attention. Morris said Ford Sailors have taken on 3MA tasking with great enthusiasm and motivation. He added that he hopes the crew has gained a deeper understanding of maintenance and material management reliability through this assessment. “It’s essential to mission readiness to be able to operate our equipment accurately the first time under the most crucial circumstances,” said Morris. “If we have to use our gear to engage an enemy or combat a fire, we want to know with absolute certainty it will execute its intended function.” Ford is in-port Naval Station Norfolk for a scheduled window of opportunity for maintenance as part of its post-delivery test and trials phase of operations. For more news from USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit www.dvidshub.net/unit/CVN78
seawall today.” Cooper served as the SURFLANT commander since June 2020 and was responsible for ensuring the Atlantic Surface Force was manned, trained, equipped and ready to ﬁght and win. Representing the command’s “Combat ready, battle-minded” maxim, Cooper highlighted the hard work and dedication of his headquarters’ team, waterfront leadership, and the service members and civilians across the Atlantic Force. Some of Cooper’s more notable accomplishments at SURFLANT include: leading the highly effective response to the coronavirus pandemic; signiﬁcantly reducing force generation risk through the dissemination of best practices; and conceiving the “Task Group Greyhound” initiative to provide the ﬂeet commanders a predictable and sustainable model to maximize warships ready for operational tasking. Additionally, he improved the on time delivery of ships out the maintenance phase by 30 percent; led ground breaking training initiatives and guided training commands in the creation of a more effective process for deployment certiﬁcation. His culture of excellence initiatives increased operational readiness by reducing destructive behaviors and increased mental health care for the force. “I could not be prouder of the great work that our Sailors do each and every day, all around the world,” said Cooper. “It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve with the exceptional crews manning ships in the Atlantic Surface Force. I am optimistic for
waves from Page 1
The post-war years saw barriers to women in the military fall one by one like dominoes. Women began to serve aboard ships and became command leaders in their own right. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, beloved by the ranks for his populist reforms to the fleet and commended by President Bill Clinton as the “conscience of the Navy,” issued Z-Gram 116 on August 7, 1972 to further expand opportunities for women. The 1970s and 80s would see women enter the aviation field and begin serving in regular capacities aboard auxiliary ships such as oilers and tenders. Gulf War fighter pilot Capt. Rosemary Mariner would say of gender in combat: “A machine gun is a great equalizer.” As the 21st century progresses, so does technology and war fighting. Gender has become less of an issue as the ability to operate complex equipment has become even more important. In 2010, the Department of the Navy announced that women would be authorized to serve aboard submarines. Ballistic-missile (SSBN) and guided-missile (SSGN) class submarines were the first to have female Sailors among their crews. In 2016, Secretary of the Navy Ash Carter opened all
our future and ﬁrmly believe that our best days are forward of the bow.” Cooper’s next assignment is special assistant to the commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command. McLane previously served as commander, Carrier Strike Group 10. His sea duty commands include USS Lewis B. Puller (FFG 23); USS Vicksburg (CG 69); USS Moosbrugger (DD 980); Destroyer Squadron 14; USS Simpson (FFG 56); USS Carney (DDG 64); and commodore, Destroyer Squadron 50. As a ﬂag officer, he led Navy Recruiting Command. “I am committed to continue the great work of Rear. Adm. Cooper in delivering elite, combat ready forces for our Navy and our Nation,” said McLane. McLane takes command at SURFLANT during a dynamic time, as the force continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, while protecting the health of Sailors and Marines, civilians and their families, and maintaining a ready force. Not an easy task, but a top priority for the command. “Admiral McLane, welcome aboard! You’ve proven throughout your career what it means to be operationally excellent,” said Grady. “Maintain the momentum of this great team, striving every day to ensure our mighty surface force is resolute, ready, and lethal on arrival.” SURFLANT mans, trains and equips assigned surface forces and shore activities, ensuring a capable force for conducting prompt and sustained operations in support of United States national interests. The SURFLANT force is composed of 77 ships and 31 shore commands. For more SURFLANT news and photos, visit facebook.com/SURFLANT, combat jobs to women. Now, women serve in virtually all ratings and capacities, bringing that much more talent and ability to America’s Navy; and today, serving daughters look to their veteran mothers’ achievements with awe and inspiration. “My mom is a shining example of a woman who has made history,” said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Aviana Nash, who works in SUBASE New London’s SUBASE Message Center. “She was one of the first women to be a computer scientist in the Air Force. She was the first of her family to go to college and get multiple degrees, but the only way she got to do that was to join the Air Force. She is from littlW country Mississippi. She was a country girl who wanted to go to college and the military was the reason she was able to go to school. She got a Bachelor’s and a Master’s. That’s why I like Women’s Mentorship, Women’s Celebration. That’s all near and dear to my heart. That’s why I joined, because my mom was able to use it as a stepping stone. I’m following the legacy.” From twenty nurses on a repurposed steamboat to yeomen handling important documents in Washington, D.C., to pilots and submariners, women in America’s Navy continue to make positive waves for the service and the nation.
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8 The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 1 | Thursday, March 11, 2021
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www.ﬂagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 2 | Thursday, March 11, 2021 1
Admiral’s vision for Indo-Paciﬁc
Key to military success and supporting free and open societies in the Indo-Paciﬁc region are: fostering innovation, thinking critically and challenging assumptions. Page B6
Sailors assigned to the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the ship’s hangar bay.(MC2 JULIO RIVERA)
USS Lake Champlain Sailors receive COVID-19 vaccine
By Lt.j.g. Ma Luzviminda Veloria, Carrier Strike Group One Public Affairs
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force guided-missile destroyer JS Shiranui (DDG 120) sail in formation during the annual U.S.-Japan Bilateral Advanced Warﬁghting Training Exercise. BAWT focuses on joint training and interoperability of coalition forces, and enables real-world proﬁciency and readiness in response to any contingency. (MC2 Deanna C. GONZALES)
U.S. Navy, JMSDF strengthen alliance through bilateral advanced warﬁghting training
From Destroyer Squadron 15 Public Affairs PHILIPPINE SEA — Units and personnel from the U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) conclude bilateral advanced warfighting training (BAWT) exercise March 6. BAWT is an annual bilateral training exercise that improves the iron-clad partnership between U.S. and Japanese forces. This year’s exercise, which began March 1, focused on enhancing readiness and interoperability of coalition forces of the U.S. and JMSDF, with a special focus on coordinating strategies and tactics in an all-domain environment. “Every opportunity we have to sharpen our combined lethality with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force is invaluable to our forward-deployed forces,” said Capt. Chase Sargeant, commander, Destroyer Squadron 15.
“Exercises like BAWT reinforce the strength of our alliance and serve to bolster regional security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.” The United States and Japan have forged a relationship built on a shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific, and regularly conduct bilateral exercises and operations to strengthen regional adherence to international norms. Participants included USS John S McCain (DDG 56), USS Benfold (DDG 65), JS Ise (DDH 182), JS Shiranui (DDG 120), JS Harusame (DD 102), and various support ships. “We are very pleased to have a bilateral exercise ‘BAWT 2021’ with the U.S. Navy,” said Capt. YOSUKE Inaba, commander, Escort Division Six. “Bilateral exercises such as BAWT 2021 always help us improve our tactical skills and the interoperability between the JMSDF and the U.S. Navy. I am really looking forward to working with Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 and gaining successful results.”
Training exercises like BAWT 2021 help develop regional capabilities between U.S. Navy and JMSDF. These capabilities provide layered defensive options aimed at protecting joint interests and those of their allies and partners. The participating forces exercised a wide range of capabilities and demonstrated the inherent flexibility of our combined forces. These capabilities range from maritime security operations to more complex anti-submarine and air defense exercises. BAWT used realistic, shared training scenarios to enhance the ability of the U.S. Navy and JMSDF to work together to confront any contingency. BAWT prepares forces to provide the ready, credible deterrence that stabilizes the Indo-Pacific, and promotes peace and prosperity for all nations throughout the region. DESRON 15 is the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force.
SAN DIEGO — Over 300 Sailors assigned to Ticonderoga-class guided missile-cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) volunteered and received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, March 4. Lake Champlain is the latest ship homeported in San Diego to receive the vaccine. Over 2,900 vaccines were administered aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) last month. “Planning the vaccinations for the ship was very important because we wanted to ensure that we got as many of our Sailors vaccinated for the safety of the crew and their families while supporting the operational mission of the ship,” said Senior Chief Logistics Specialist Verleo Quinajon, one of the coordinators of the event. “It was crucial that we had all the logistics and planning accomplished ahead of time so we could identify and correct any possible setbacks that we may encounter today.” The crew is receiving the Pfizer vaccine which is two-dose series separated by 21 days. Hospitalman Edward Velez, assigned to Lake Champlain’s medical team, is optimistic that the vaccine provides our Navy and communities a path back to normalcy. “Because of the pandemic, many medical facilities had to limit their operations, which affected a lot of the crew,” said Velez. “This will hopefully help with Sailors being able to make more medical appointments and receive much needed referrals and consultations.” There have been many safety measures put in place on U.S. Navy ships during the pandemic in accordance with Center for Disease Control and U.S. Navy guidelines. Sailors wear masks, wash their hands, regularly sanitize equipment and maintain social distancing. Even after Navy personnel are vaccinated, many procedures will remain in effect to help effectively safeguard Sailors, families and communities. “The crew will continue wearing masks and practicing social distancing after vaccination, to ensure that we continue to minimize the spread of the virus,” said Capt. Allen Johnson, commanding officer of USS Lake Champlain. “Vaccinating the crew is a critical step in ensuring personnel readiness.” Currently the Pfizer vaccine is approved as part of an emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and vaccines authorized for emergency use are offered on a voluntary basis. Once the vaccine is more readily available, it could soon be added to the list of mandated vaccines for all Sailors.
Navy creates Seabee master chief rating - Here’s why By MC1 Mark D. Faram,
Chief Of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON — After an extensive review of the senior enlisted Seabee community, the decision was made to create a single rating at the E-9 level. Effective March 15, all Seabee ratings will now compress into a single rating at the E-9 level, Seabee Master Chief (CBCM), eliminating the three existing E-9 compression ratings currently in the community. The move, announced in NAVADMIN 054⁄21, released March 5, will result in an immediate title change for all current Seabee E-9’s in the Constructionman Master Chief (CUCM), Equipmentman Master Chief (EQCM) and Utilities Constructionman Master Chief to CBCM. The rating change applies to both Active-Duty and Selected Reserve (SELRES) Sailors. The positive impact of the change on the enlisted Seabee community will be felt over time. However, it is expected to give Sailors a more natural career progression and increased advancement opportunity at the highest enlisted rank. “After an extensive review of current Naval Construction Force (NCF) Master Chief billets was conducted, it was determined that the majority of the billets can be filled by any Seabee Master Chief regardless of source rating,” wrote Vice Adm. John B. Nowell, Jr., in the message. “This initiative directly supports Sailor 2025 and Rating Modernization by creating an opportunity for the NCF to leverage a larger pool of qualified Senior Chiefs to advance to Master Chief.”
Because the numbers of billets open to Sailors decrease as they move up in rank, this means qualified Senior Chiefs will no longer be limited to advancing to vacancy in their source ratings. Instead, CBCMs will be selected from the best and most fully qualified Senior Chiefs across the entire force, ensuring that the most qualified E-8 candidates advance each year. No action is required by the Sailors. The change in ratings will happen automatically on March 15, the message said. There will be no new rating badge either, instead, current source ratings badges will be retained. The fiscal-year 2022 E-9 Active and Reserve selection boards will be the first where sailors will be advanced from E-8 into the CBCM rating. The Reserve board convenes in April 2021, while the active-duty board will follow in June. The move does not impact the CUCM rating compression of Builder, Engineering Aide and Steelworker at the E-8 level created in 2015. Career Progression for Sailors in those ratings will stay the same through E-8. Though the review found that any Seabee Master Chief can fill over 90 percent of E-9 billets in the CRF, officials have decided to also track each Sailor by their source rating. This allows Sailors to be easily identified for filling the few billets requiring rating-specific skills. As a result, all existing and future CUCM, EQCM and UCCM personnel will be awarded an NEC code to identify their source rating. More details on this and a list of codes are available in NAVADMIN 054⁄21. For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/usnpeople.
Utilitiesman 2nd Class Matthew Konopka, Builder 1st Class Courtney Mejia and Builder 2nd Class Anthony Seaton repair drywall during a remodel of the Truman Annex entry control point facility. (TRICE DENNY))
The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 2 | Thursday, March 11, 2021
Heroes at Home
Q: How do I request a particular neighborhood’s wait list? A: You will need to speak with your local Navy Housing Service Center (HSC). Wait lists vary by installation, and some allow for speciﬁc neighborhood wait lists, others do not and instead offer the ﬁrst available military house.
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Never too busy for milspouse time By Lisa Smith Molinari One would think that military spouses are busy enough, managing homes, children, jobs, pets, in-laws, bills, school, and other endless details, often while their active duty partners are away. In fact, it would make sense if they turned away from added pressures, withdrew from obligations, and isolated themselves altogether to maintain control. However, no matter how many plates military spouses spin in the air, they’re always game to add one more. One weeknight about 27 years ago, I was a new Navy wife, living in Army housing on Fort Ord in California. Although our military marriage was simple without kids, a mortgage, sea duty or complicated taxes, I kept myself busy working as a research attorney for a local law firm. But, when my friend Karen suggested that we go to her neighbor’s Tupperware party on post, did I decline? Choosing instead to relax at home after a long day at work? Hell no. I jumped at the chance like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Now, mind you, I wasn’t the Tupperware Party type. I remembered my mother, in gabardine bell-bottoms, a cigarette perched between her coral-tinged lips, bringing home burping bowls
from one such party in the 1970s. I never pictured myself, a young litigation attorney with plenty to keep me occupied, seeking that particular kind of entertainment. But there I was, crammed with a dozen other military wives in cramped Army quarters, nibbling deviled eggs and cheese dip, watching our host demonstrate Micro Steamers and Modular Mates. The wide-eyed, goofy grin on my face was clear indication that, despite not being “the Tupperware party type,” I was happier than a pigeon with a french fry to be with my fellow milspouses. Captivated by one wife’s riveting testimonial about her “timeless” Meat Marinator, I was hooked. I ordered a Freezer Mates starter set (which I still use) and won a door prize — a bright yellow plastic corn cob butterer, with a nifty built-in salt shaker (which we eventually gave to Salvation Army, unused). During the tours of duty that followed, I had more babies and got much busier, but I always sought out fellow military spouses, even if it meant buying products I didn’t need, playing ridiculous games, taking on tedious volunteer responsibilities, or adopting hobbies in which I had no interest. Even after our three-year-old son was diagnosed with developmental delays — requiring me to do daily home therapy and attend multiple
weekly speech and occupational therapy appointments while caring for our infant daughter — I needed the company of other spouses more. During deployments, I learned that the best way to handle the mountain of responsibilities and crushing loneliness was to meet up with military wives as often as possible. Despite my sausage fingers and medieval hand stitch, I took up quilting with Army wives. While overseas, I went on countless military spouse shopping trips for antiques, Polish pottery, French linens, Italian leather, Belgian antiques, Czech crystal, Swiss Army blanket bags, Bavarian carved wood, cheese, wine, beer, chocolate — you name it, we used it as an excuse to go shopping together and buy it. I volunteered to be Parliamentarian of the Spouses’ Club, just so I wouldn’t be left out of Crystal Bingo. I committed to three … or was it four? … Bunco groups, joined book clubs, took sailing lessons on base, competed in a wives’ base bowling league, golfed on military courses, hung out at the base dog park, and attended every home sales party hosted by military spouses I knew. Despite our limited budget, I dropped cash (or credit) on Longaberger baskets, Mary Kay cosmetics, Discovery Toys, Silpada silver, Tastefully Simple foods, Creative Memories scrapbooks, Lia Sophia jewelry, Pampered Chef gadgets, and yes, Tupperware — just so I could be with my milspouses peers. No matter how busy we are, military spouses will always create excuses to get together. Why? Companionship? Understanding? Fun? Distraction? Avoidance? Therapy? The reasons may be complicated, but being in the presence of fellow spouses reveals one simple, but sometimes hidden, truth about why we volunteer for this crazy military life in the first place: Because you are never alone.
Military and Family Life Counseling Program: What’s New, What’s Stayed the Same From Military Onesource The Military and Family Life Counseling Program can help you stay strong through life’s challenges, including those due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. We will offer telephonic and video sessions in areas where face-to-face support is restricted. What is the Military and Family Life Counseling Program? Military families face unique challenges, such as deployments and moving. The Military and Family Life Counseling Program offers free, short-term, non-medical counseling to service members, Department of Defense expeditionary civilians, their families and survivors. Non-medical counselors are available through one-on-one, couple or group sessions to help with: Managing stress and changes at home due to COVID-19 Adjusting to deployment Preparing to move or adjusting after a move Strengthening relationships Managing problems at work Grieving the death of a loved one or colleague What’s new? The Military and Family Life Counseling Program now offers telephonic and video non-medical counseling. This is available in areas where face-to-face support may be restricted due to COVID-19. Contact Military OneSource for contact information and a warm hand-off to your closest military and family life counselor for telephonic or video
non-medical counseling. What’s the same? The Military and Family Life Counseling Program is here to support you with free non-medical counseling by licensed master’s- or doctorate-level counselors. Sessions are conﬁdential with the exception of child abuse or neglect, domestic abuse, harm to self or others, and illegal activity. Counselors who specialize in child and youth behavioral issues are available to support children and teens with non-medical counseling. Military OneSource also offers non-medical counseling by phone, live chat, video, or face-to-face where permitted. Children and teenagers may meet with a Military OneSource non-medical counselor by phone or video, as well as face-to-face where permitted. How to get help Contact your installation’s Military and Family Support Center to set up non-medical counseling through the Military and Family Life Counseling Program.
You can reach a child and youth behavioral military and family life counselor through: A child development center Your installation’s youth and teen center Your child’s public school on or off the installation A youth summer camp sponsored by your military service Your commander or unit training point of contact To connect with your closest military and family life counselor, call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 for contact information and a warm hand-off. View calling options if you are outside the continental United States. For Department of Defense updates for the military community regarding the virus that causes COVID-19: Visit Defense.gov Follow Military OneSource’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms Continue to visit the Coronavirus Information for Our Military Community page for updates. Check Move.mil for PCS-related updates.
Mid-Atlantic Fleet and Family Support Centers (FFSC) programs and services are designed to help you make the most of your military experience, and they’re all available to you at no cost.
FUNCTIONS AND/OR SERVICES FFSC PROVIDES: ClinicalCounseling(Individual, Couples,a nd Child Counseling) Personal Financial Management Information & Referral Family Employment Assistance Transition Assistance Family Advocacy Program Deployment and Mobilization Support Ombudsman Support Relocation Assistance Parenting Programs Stress and Anger Management Command Support Crisis Support SuicidePrevention SAPR Support
www.ﬂagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 2 | Thursday, March 11, 2021 3
Sailors attending courses at Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station in Pensacola, Florida, muster in formation. These Sailors are just some of the many thousands training and preparing to defend America around the world as information warfare warﬁghters. (Seaman Neo B. GREENE III)
CIWT-managed Foreign Language Testing Sites reopen for business From Center For Information Warfare Training Public Affairs
PENSACOLA, Fla. — The Center for Information Warfare Training-managed foreign language testing sites in Everett, Jacksonville, Norfolk, Pensacola, and San Diego will resume foreign language testing services at a reduced capacity in compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Department of Defense (DoD) COVID-19 mitigation policies, April 2021. Sites will administer the Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB) and Defense Language Proficiency Tests (DLPT) by appointment only, so testing will not be available on a walk-in basis.
Personnel may schedule an appointment to take a DLAB or DLPT by visiting the following portal: https://www.mnp.navy.mil/group/ training-education-qualifications/appointment-scheduler Test control officers (TCO) will manage site testing schedules and prioritize testing as necessary. If you have an urgent, missiondriven need to complete a test (e.g., to certify foreign language proficiency for a pending assignment to a billet coded for foreign language skills), but cannot identify an open appointment slot using the scheduler link, please contact the site TCO directly for assistance using the following information: Everett, Washington - email: CIWT_CRRY_ Lang_Testing_Everett@navy.mil
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Jacksonville, Florida - email: CIWT_CRRY_ Lang_Testing_Jacksonville@navy.mil Norfolk, Virginia - email: CIWT_CRRY_ Lang_Testing_Norfolk@navy.mil / Ph.: 757.444.9245 Pensacola, Florida - email: CIWT_CRRY_ Lang_Testing_Pensacola@navy.mil / Ph.: 850.452.4579 San Diego, California - email: CIWT_ CRRY_Lang_Testing_San_Diego@navy.mil / phone.: 619.556.3246 On testing days, TCOs will screen all examinees in accordance with current Commander, U.S. States Fleet Forces Command/ U.S. Naval Forces Northern Command guidance and may deny entry to the testing facility based on unfavorable screening results (e.g., elevated body
temperature). While in the testing facility all personnel are required to wear DoD-approved personal protective equipment properly (i.e., mask covering nose and mouth) and maintain six feet of separation from others at all times. We look forward to supporting your language testing needs. Welcome back! To learn more about LREC along with their products and services, visit: https://www.netc. navy.mil/CIWT/NavyLREC/ With four schoolhouse commands, a detachment, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT trains over 22,000 students every year, delivering trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community. For more news from the Center for Information Warfare Training domain, visit https:// www.netc.navy.mil/CIWT, www.facebook. com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.
4 The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 2 | Thursday, March 11, 2021
The FS Charles De Gaulle (R 91) Carrier Strike Group sails in formation along with the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), during a photo exercise. (Courtesy photo)
USS Donald Cook supports Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group From U.s. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, U.s. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs MEDITERRANEAN SEA — The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) is providing multi-warfare defense to the Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group (CDG CSG) in the Mediterranean in support of NATO Exercise Dynamic Manta and other operations, demonstrating our mutual commitment to stability and security throughout the European region, March 3, 2021. CDG CSG took tactical control of USS Donald Cook as part of an integration and interoperability between the U.S. Navy and French navy. The combined forces from Belgium, Greece, France, and the United States will support NATO and European operations in the Mediterranean. “The participation of an American escort ship into the French carrier strike group illustrates the excellent level of cooperation between our two navies, long-time allies.” said French Admiral Marc Aussedat, commander of Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group (CDG CSG) TF473 “The crew of Donald Cook swiftly demonstrated remarkable commitment and great skills. France and the United States, the only nations having catapult and recovery
nuclear aircraft carrier, take advantage of each exchange to consolidate their highend interoperability. These opportunities directly contribute to strengthening our capacity to ﬁght alongside.” In 2019, USS Donald Cook joined CDG in exercise FANAL 19 which involved operations across all maritime warfare disciplines to tactical-level skills and promote maritime interoperability between participant naval forces. The high level of interoperability and trust between France and the U.S. has allowed for seamless operations to be conducted with Charles de Gaulle and Donald Cook. “It is a wonderful opportunity and a privilege to provide support to the Charles de Gaulle Strike Group.” said Cmdr. Matthew Curnen, commanding officer of Donald Cook. “Working alongside NATO Allies in the Mediterranean is critical to keeping the peace and security that Europe has enjoyed for 70 plus years. We are excited for the opportunity to be a part of the strike group and look forward to learning a lot.” In recent history, U.S. Navy has worked side-by-side with the French Navy throughout the European and African theater of operation. To mention just a few, in 2016, USS Ross (DDG 71) operated with CDG as part of Combined Task Force 473 in the
Mediterranean. In April 2018, France, the U.K, and the U.S. conducted strikes into Syria in response to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against its own people. In 2020, Ross operated with CDG in eastern Mediterranean in the frame of Operation Chammal, Inherent Resolve, and the ﬁght against ISIS. In addition, CDG has a history of working with U.S. Navy aircraft carriers. The most recent dual carrier operations include, 2016 with USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), 2019 with USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) while in the Red Sea, and March of 2020 in the Mediterranean Sea with USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. U.S. Sixth Fleet assets routinely exercise and operate with our French and NATO counterparts throughout the region. Exercises like Formidable Shield in the North Atlantic, Baltic Operations (BALTOPS), Sea Breeze in the Black Sea, and Obangame Express in the Gulf of Guinea demonstrate and further enhance our combined capability and capacity in the areas of land, sea and air. Providing support from this region allows the U.S., along with our NATO allies and regional partners to demonstrate our shared commitment to the region by providing multi-mission capable plat-
forms with strike; ballistic missile defense, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. France is one of the U.S.’s oldest allies dating back to 1781 with their support in the U.S. Revolutionary War. This strong bond between our two nations reinforced our relationship and tested our joint combat skills during both World Wars. Today, these two navies continue in that great tradition of exceptional partnership. The Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group is made up of French ships multi-mission frigate (FREMM) Auvergne and (FREMM) Provence, air defense frigate (FDA) Chevalier Paul and their air wing; Belgium navy command and refueling vessel (BCR) Var and frigate HNLMS Leopold I (F-930); Greek navy multi-mission frigate HS Kanaris (F-464); U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) and USS San Juan (SSN-751). Donald Cook is one of four U.S. Navy destroyers 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.
Telehealth capabilities expand overseas From Naval Hospital Naples Public Affairs NAPLES, Italy — Telehealth is an innovative means of delivering healthcare in remote environments. For isolated Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) and naval vessels at sea, access to specialized healthcare is often geographically limited, requiring the use of host nation resources or temporary additional duty (TAD) assignment to larger MTFs for care. This process is cumbersome, resulting in increased healthcare costs, lost man-hours from work, patient dissatisfaction, and potential for COVID exposure. Harnessing Lean Six Sigma (LSS) methodology, U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Rota, Spain was able to pilot a Tele-Urology program in January 2020 and implemented a standardized process that allowed USNH Naples, Italy beneficiaries to receive Urology consultations. Traditionally the sole SIXTH FLEET Urologist is stationed in USNH Rota and visits Naples on average every three months to see patients under the Circuit Rider Program. With the global pandemic escalating in early 2020, travel halted to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The last time Urology was able to visit USNH Naples physically was February 2020. USNH Rota leveraged its fledgling Tele-Urology program to continue providing access to care during the European State of Alarm. After the pilot program's remarkable success and increased demand for telehealth specialty care, the team explored additional opportunities to expand the telehealth program. Virtual Health experts from USNH Rota and Naples redoubled efforts to improve virtual care in the COVID environment. Tele-Urology continued to provide virtual appointments in anticipation of returning to USNH Naples.
Lt. Cdr. Kathryn Lipscomb, the Urology department head at USNH Rota, Spain, waves to staff in USNH Naples, Italy during the ﬁrst virtual cystoscopy between both hospitals, Jan 22, 2021. (CDR Ryan Nations).
However, as the global pandemic surged, restrictions returned for the remainder of 2020. Return of travel constraints required innovative problem solving to ensure Urology patients received timely care. USNH Naples suggested performing live feed virtual cystoscopies to increase utilization and support virtual Urology care to USNH Naples beneficiaries. In October 2020, USNH Rota Urology Staff reviewed patient encounters pending cystoscopy, a procedure used to rule out bladder cancer or other bladder abnormalities. Once the demand signal was determined, USNH Rota Urology consulted with the USNH Naples Surgical Team. USNH Naples Surgical Team identified two providers credentialed to perform cystoscopies independently. Both MTFs attempted multiple methods to allow the Urologist to view a cystoscopy live feed without success.
After exhausting all concepts, USNH Rota Urology consulted with USNH Rota Telehealth. The Telehealth department at Rota bridged the team with the Naval Medical Forces Atlantic (MEDLANT) Virtual Health Project Manager to assist with connectivity. Using existing infrastructure, the team connected a Cisco DX80 in Rota and a Global Med Cart in Naples, which provided live access to Stryker cystoscopy video. On 03 February 2021, USNH Rota Urology observed a standard post-GYN surgical cystoscopy, successfully providing proof of concept. One year after implementation, the Tele-Urology program completed 51 appointments averaging over 9 telehealth appointments per month. This initiative resulted in a total cost avoidance of approximately $92,021, and decreased time away from work by 138 hours. Additionally, by the end of February 2021, two live virtual
Urology cystoscopies were completed, with no patient complications. “The COVID era has pushed modern medicine to adapt and overcome in so many ways in the last year. We have found ourselves balancing ensuring patient safety, medical readiness of the active duty member, health of their family, and our commitment to provide world class quality care to all beneficiaries across the globe. Programs like this aim to limit risk to patient, and reduce the cost of lost man-hours and out of network care. Expanding our virtual health capabilities to include procedures allows us to continue to provide specialized care that is timely, high quality, and low cost. BZ to Navy Medicine and thanks to everyone who has contributed their time and expertise to this venture," said Lt. Cdr. Kathryn Lipscomb, MD, USNH Rota Urology Department Head.
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The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Porter (DDG-78), left, the Royal Moroccan Navy frigate Tarnk Ben Ziyad, center, and the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG-57), sail in formation with the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). IKE is on a routine deployment in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national interests and security in Europe and Africa. ( MC3 CAMERON PINSKE)
IKE Strike Group operates with Morocco in Exercise Lightning Handshake From Carrier Strike Group Two Public Affairs MOROCCO — The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKE CSG) is participating in Lightning Handshake, a bi-lateral maritime exercise between the U.S. and the Royal Moroccan Navy (RMN) and Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF) during the first week of March. The exercise enhances interoperability between the U.S. and Moroccan Navies across multiple warfare areas, many of which include: surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, air and strike warfare, combined logistics support, maritime interdiction operations. “On behalf of the Sailors assigned to the IKE CSG it’s an honor to participate in this historic bi-lateral maritime exercise; hallmarking 200 years of an enduring partnership with Morocco,” said Rear Adm. Scott Robertson, commander, Carrier Strike Group Two. “Exercises like Lighting Handshake enhance the foundation of our interoperability and continued support of our long term commitment to security in the region.” Lightning Handshake 2021 increases the ability of U.S. and Moroccan maritime forces to work together in order to address security
( MC3 Cameron Pinske)
concerns and increase stability in the region. Participating ships in Lightning Handshake from the IKE CSG, commanded by Rear Adm. Scott Robertson, include flagship USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69); and Destroyer Squadron 22 ships include Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS
Mitscher (DDG 57), and USS Porter (DDG 78). Aircraft participating in Lightning Handshake include - Squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, embarked on Eisenhower include the “Fighting Swordsmen” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32, “Gunslingers”
of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105, “Wildcats” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131, “Rampagers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83; “Dusty Dogs” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7; “Swamp Foxes” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74; “Screwtops” of Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 123; “Zappers” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 130, and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 “Rawhides.” Moroccan assets participating in Lightning Handshake include: Royal Moroccan Navy Frigate Tarnk Ben Ziyad (SIGMA Class Frigate) Royal Naval HQ Maritime Operations Center (MOC) Royal Air Force HQ Air Operations Center (AOC), one Panther Helicopter, and two of each fixed-wing combat F-16 and F-5 fighter aircraft. USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) participated in the 2018 exercise and included unit events which flexed interoperability between the U.S. and Royal Moroccan Navies in the following warfare areas; communication, link, Anti-Submarine Warfare, close air support and Naval Surface Fire Support. Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is a multiplatform team of ships, aircraft and more than 5,000 Sailors, capable of carrying out a wide variety of missions around the globe. 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.
Montrose, Colo., native serves aboard USS John S. McCain while conducting operations in the Philippine Sea By MC1 Jeremy Graham
USS John S. McCain Public Affairs
PHILIPPINE SEA — A Montrose, Colo. native and 2011 Montrose High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56). Petty Officer 3rd Class Jenny Fuentes is an Operations Specialist who also serves as the Search and Rescue (SAR) swimmer aboard John S. McCain, forward-deployed to Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan. SAR swimmers are vital to the readiness of U.S. Navy ships and serve aboard all units underway. They are trained to recover individuals from the water within minutes and provide life-saving support in an emergency. “Saving lives is important, we are there for others in case they fall overboard,” said Fuentes. “I really enjoy the thrill of it. I knew I was meant for this, ever since I stepped foot in the Navy and I knew what SAR swimming was.” To become a SAR swimmer, Fuentes had to pass a challenging four-week training course in San Diego, Calif. Being a SAR swimmer aboard John S. McCain is a collateral duty, which means that Fuentes volunteered to perform the duties of a rescue swimmer in addition to her job requirements as an Operations Specialist. “It’s my favorite job on board,” said Fuentes. “I like being able to show other junior enlisted Sailors that they have an opportunity to contribute in a big way outside of their rate.” In addition to the added responsibilities required in her role as a rescue swimmer, Fuentes takes it upon herself to be a positive representative for the SAR community. “I take a lot of pride in being a SAR swimmer,” said Fuentes. “I want to step in and not only save people, but teach people about it and hopefully recruit more people into going into the SAR program.”
This is Fuentes’ second consecutive tour in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, having previously served aboard USS Antietam (CG 54), also forward-deployed to Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan. John S. McCain has contributed to various critical missions promoting regional peace and prosperity, including integrated operations last fall with the French Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) focusing on anti-submarine warfare tactics between the three navies. In November, John S. McCain joined ships from the Royal Australian Navy and JMSDF for the first phase of exercise Malabar 2021, and transited to the Andaman Sea through the Strait of Malacca with the Royal Australian Navy. John S. McCain also operated as part of the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, and operated in the South China Sea, East China Sea, Indian Ocean and Philippine Sea. Most recently, John S. McCain participated in the annual U.S.-Japan Bilateral Advanced Warfighting Training exercise (BAWT) which focuses on combined training and interoperability of coalition forces, and enables realworld proficiency and readiness in response to any contingency. “It is hard work, but I think we gain more experience compared to some other fleets,” said Fuentes. “We will be able to take that hard work and experience when we leave here and we will look really good going wherever we go next.” John S. McCain is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. As the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet employs 50 to 70 ships and submarines across the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. U.S. 7th Fleet routinely operates and interacts with 35 maritime nations while conducting missions to preserve and protect a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
Operations Specialist 3rd Class Jenny Fuentes, from Montrose, Colo., poses for a photograph wearing her search and rescue swimmer (SAR) gear. SAR swimmers are vital to the readiness of U.S. Navy ships and serve aboard all units underway. (MC1 JEREMY GRAHAM)
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Amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18), amphibious landing dock ship USS Ashland (LSD 48), a landing craft air cushion assigned to Naval Beach Unit 7 and Palau Bureau of Maritime Security patrol boat PSS President H.I. Remeliik II patrol the Philippine Sea in formation. (KELBY SANDERS)
Admiral offers vision for Indo-Paciﬁc
By David Vergun
DOD News Public Affairs
WASHINGTON — Key to military success and supporting free and open societies in the Indo-Paciﬁc region are: fostering innovation, thinking critically, developing expertise, challenging assumptions and working collectively to realize the full potential of the joint force, the commander of the U.S. Indo-Paciﬁc Command said. To accomplish all of this, there are four key pillars, Navy Adm. Philip S. Davidson told the Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association’s TechNet Indo-Paciﬁc 2021 virtual event. The ﬁrst pillar is to increase joint force lethality, he said. “The fundamental design is an integrated joint force that can deny an adversary’s ability to dominate the sea, air, land, space and cyberspace domains
and, in turn, support our ability to control and project in all domains — sometimes periodically and sometimes persistently.” The joint force must more fully integrate cyber capabilities, its space forces, its special operations forces and ground forces equipped with long-range precision ﬁres, Davidson advised. “We also must maintain a strong offense to ﬁght and win should deterrence fail. Our investments in modernization efforts must harness the advanced capabilities provided by a network of leading edge technologies, such as integrated air and missile defense,” he said. These integrated air and missile defenses employ multiple sensors and interceptors, distributed across the region to protect not only the homeland and U.S. territories, but also U.S. forces. These defenses must protect allies and partners, as well, he said.
Davidson also mentioned the importance of space-based persistent radars to provide situational awareness of Chinese military activities. Other important enablers, he said, are artiﬁcial intelligence, quantum computing, remote sensing, machine learning, big data analytics and 5G technology. The second pillar is to enhance force design and posture in the region, he said. “Our force design and posture in the region must enable the convergence of capabilities for multiple domains to create the virtues of mass without concentration. This is accomplished by distributing a forward-deployed joint force across the battlespace, in breadth and depth, while balancing its lethality and its survivability,” he said. Persistent presence through foreignbased and rotational joint forces is the most credible way to demonstrate commit-
ment and resolve to Beijing, while simultaneously reassuring allies and partners, he added. The third pillar is to strengthen alliances and partnerships, he said. “Our constellation of allies and partners is the backbone of the free and open international order. And it provides a powerful force to counter malign activity and aggression in the region,” Davidson said. Strengthening partnerships is accomplished through training exercises, which help to increase interoperability, information sharing agreements, foreign military sales, expanded military cooperation and international security dialogues, he noted. The fourth pillar is to exercise experimentation innovation — not only within the joint force, but with allies and partners, as well, Davidson said. “To accomplish this, we are pursuing the development of a joint network of live, virtual and constructive ranges in key locations around the region,” he said. Other venues for exercise experimentation innovation include ranges and training areas throughout the Indo-Pacom region, as well as throughout the U.S. These training sites need to be utilized by allies and partners, as well as the joint force, using the full range of capabilities in all domains, he said.
CNATRA conducts strike pilot training detachment at NAF El Centro By MC3 Drew Verbis
Navy Operational Support Center Phoenix Public Affairs
EL CENTRO, Calif. — Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) is conducting strike pilot training with Navy and Marine Corps student naval aviators detached from Training Air Wing 1 at Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro, Feb. 16 to March 5. The detachment is the first opportunity for Navy and Marine Corps student naval aviators from Training Air Wing 1, stationed aboard Naval Air Station Meridian, Mississippi, to deliver inert (practice) ordnance to identified targets within NAF El Centro bombing ranges, a mission-critical phase in undergraduate strike pilot training. “NAF El Centro provides the venue and support for an indispensable part of strike pilot training,” said Commodore, Training Air Wing 1 Capt. Tracey “PETA” Gendreau. “Strike detachments ensure our students get the practical experience they need to develop their warfighting skillsets. Learning how to tactically employ an aircraft is vital to providing the fleet aviators who are ready to fight.” Students also practice tactical formation, low level, section low level, and road reconnaissance flights during the detachment.
Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) conduct strike pilot training with Navy and Marine Corps student naval aviators detached from Training Air Wing-1, Meridian, Ms., operating the T-45C Goshawk jet aircraft onboard Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro, Calif. March 3, 2021. NAF El Centro supports combat training and readiness of the Warﬁghter. This includes air operations support to operational ﬂeet and training squadrons as well as squadrons from other services (USMC, USA, USAF) and Allies. ( DREW VERBIS)
This year’s operational challenge is to actively mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while maintaining mission readiness. “Team NAFEC works hard to meet their many customer’s needs,” said Capt. William Perkins, commanding officer, NAF El Centro. “The thing I am most proud of is the positive feedback I get from visiting squadron leadership regarding the extra mile our entire team goes to in order to help them meet their
unique, and often significantly different training requirements.” Many of the embarked student naval aviators remarked with surprise about how busy the airfield landing pattern is with multiple types of aircraft operating in the area. “The flight line is full year-round with Navy and Marine Corps squadrons and smaller detachments who come for a few days or a few weeks to conduct training on the nearby
Navy live-fire ranges,” Perkins said. “NAF El Centro typically experiences multiples days where units from all Department of Defense services operate in the same space.” The mission of NAF El Centro is to support the combat training and readiness of the warfighter. This includes air operations support to operational fleet and training squadrons as well as squadrons from other services and international military partners.
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The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Wichita (LCS 13) executes a passing exercise (PASSEX) with Dominican Republic patrol boats Orion (GC 109) and Altair (GC 112) while operating in the Caribbean Sea, Mar. 2, 2021. (Keith E. MITCHELL)
Wichita conducts ﬁrst PASSEX on maiden deployment with Dominican Republic From U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command / U.S. 4Th Fleet
CARIBBEAN SEA — The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Wichita (LCS 13) executed a passing exercise (PASSEX) with naval counter parts from the Dominican Republic, Mar. 2 while operating in the Caribbean Sea. The PASSEX provided an opportunity for both navies to improve interoperability and demonstrate their ability to communicate, navigate, and operate together at sea. “As a new arrival to the U.S. 4th Fleet area
of operations, it was a rewarding experience for the crew to immediately engage with our regional partners,” said Cmdr. Daniel A. Reiher, commanding officer of Wichita. “We look forward to more shared experiences throughout our deployment to train together and strengthen our ties.” Throughout the exercise, the forces were able to practice a series of tactical shipboard movements and formations, as well as test command and control and communication capabilities. PASSEXs afford the opportunity for partner nations to develop a greater trust, understanding and respect for each other’s
unique platforms all while improving crews’ knowledge and demonstrating shared tactics. “This PASSEX provided extremely valuable training for our bridge and navigation team,” said Lt. Lydia A. Griffin, Officer of the Deck during the exercise. “Being able to practice tactics and good seamanship enables our crew to further develop our maritime skills.” The PASSEX was a concluding event after Wichita recently completed a brief stop for fuel and provisions in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Wichita is deployed to the U.S. 4th Fleet
area of operations to support Joint Interagency Task Force South’s mission, which includes counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific. U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/ U.S. 4th Fleet supports U.S. Southern Command’s joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American region.
8 The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 2 | Thursday, March 11, 2021
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Lemon Pound Cake Loaded with heaps of fragrant lemon zest and fresh lemon juice, this decadent lemon pound cake is for true dessert lovers Page C4
Local Litter Picker Uppers Needed for Great American Cleanup, March 26-27 From AskHRgreen Hampton Roads, Va. — Are you ready to do a little spring cleaning? The folks at askHRgreen.org and Keep Virginia Beautiful have teamed up to clean up Hampton Roads. Plan now to join volunteers from across the region for this year’s Great American Cleanup, March 26-27. Instead of gathering in large groups for organized community cleanups, residents will focus on cleaning up their own communities and local outdoor spaces in smaller numbers. During the pandemic, litter has become an increasingly difficult challenge in Hampton Roads. Fewer volunteer cleanups, coupled with municipal staffs stretched thin, means less litter has been cleared from roadways over the past year than usual. Add to this the increased use of disposable masks, gloves, sanitizing wipes and restaurant takeout containers (which are all too often discarded on the ground), and you can see why the litter problem has grown. “You can rally your friends, neighbors or coworkers to host a #TeamUp2Cleanup event, or simply grab a trash bag and pick up litter
while you take a walk around the block,” said Rebekah Eastep, an askHRgreen.org team leader. An initiative of Keep America Beautiful, the Great American Cleanup is the nation’s largest community improvement program, designed to end littering, improve recycling and beautify America’s communities. Traditionally held in the spring, last year’s local events were moved to the fall and restructured to accommodate both the safety and distance of participants. This year will be similar. Groups should be limited to no more than 25 participants, and volunteers are asked to wear masks, maintain a distance of six feet apart, and wear gloves or use a grabber to handle litter. “Spending time outdoors is one of the safest, socially-distant activities one can do, and our region could use a good spring cleaning,” Eastep said. “Your efforts will benefit the greater good by creating beautiful, healthy spaces that we can all enjoy.” To register for a local event or to lead a cleanup project of your own, visit www. askHRgreen.org/cleanup.
Great American Cleanup
Norfolk Animal Care and Adoption Center and Portsmouth Humane Society Participate in National Sheltering From The City of Norfolk NORFOLK — Dorothy says there’s no place like home, but lost cats and dogs don’t have ruby slippers to magically reunite them with their owners. Even if they did, they’d probably just chew on them. That’s why Norfolk Animal Care and Adoption Center (NACC) and Portsmouth Humane Society (PHS) are participating in the Maddie’s Fund No Place Like Home challenge. Both shelters are making comprehensive improvements to their lost and found pet procedures with the hope of reuniting more pets with their families. The shelters decided to collaborate and support each other through the challenge to be stronger together, and to help more animals get home. Maddie’s Fund is an animal welfare organization that has awarded nearly $250 million in grants to shelters like NACC and PHS since its founding in 1994. The No Place Like Home challenge offers a chance for shelters to capture a portion of $150,000 in grant funding by taking steps to improve return to owner practices. The challenge also gives shelters the opportunity to enhance their relationships with their communities by reuniting families with their pets. “Many of the animals we care for come to us lost,” said Michelle Dosson, Bureau Manager for NACC. “We have a dedicated team who do an excellent job at reuniting them with their families.” NACC has a “Return to Owner” collaborative initiative to help staff exhaust all reunification options. This includes cooperation between the shelter and field services provided by the Norfolk Animal Protection
Unit, which frequently returns lost animals to their families before they get to the shelter by tracing pet ID tags and microchips. The Portsmouth Humane Society is working to educate residents on what to do when they lose or find a pet. The shelter’s first step was to reframe the way it talked about lost pets by using positive language and incentives for reclaiming. “We saw hesitancy to look for lost pets due to inability to pay reclaim fees,” said Fechino. “The reclaim fees have been reduced, and found pets now go home with a leash, collar, and ID tag at no cost to help prevent them from getting lost again.” The shelter is training a team of volunteers to act as case managers for each lost/found report received and to distribute toolkits to finders and pet owners that include flyers with images, door hangers, and social media graphics. NACC and PHS recommend that all pets be outfitted with a collar, ID tag, and microchip. Owners of lost pets are advised to check local shelters and community boards, post flyers, and use social media to search for their animal. Anyone who has found a pet must file a report with the municipal shelter in the city where the pet was found and is encouraged to try to find the owner if they’re comfortable doing so. “Don’t let a found pet’s condition keep you from seeking the owner,” noted Fechino. “Sometimes pets are lost for a long time before being caught, so they may be dirty, matted, or skinny. We’ve received pets that were lost for months and even years.” To learn more about what to do if a pet is lost or found in your city, visit the website for your city’s shelter.
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The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 3 | Thursday, March 11, 2021
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New Zealand author Shona Riddell as she presents Guiding Lights: The Extraordinary Lives of Lighthouse Women. (COURTESY PHOTO)
Popular Evening Lecture Series Continues Virtually at The Mariners’ Museum From The Mariners’ Museum NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The Mariners’ Museum and Park continues its popular Evening Lecture Series in a virtual format this March and April, allowing attendees from around the world to engage with guest speakers on a variety of topics while still providing the Museum an opportunity to further its mission of connecting people to the world’s waters. The series is sponsored in part by WHRO Public Media and the Tom & Ann Hunnicutt Lecture Fund. Join us March 11, 2021 at 7 p.m. EST for a captivating evening of War in the Tropics featuring two literary powerhouses authors Robert N. Macomber and John V. Quarstein. Both well-versed historians, John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center, will host Robert N.
Macomber, author of the “Honor Series” novels and creator of the legendary Naval hero Peter Wake, for a compelling discussion on the crucial role of Florida and the surrounding Caribbean in the U.S. Civil War. From the war’s beginning to its tumultuous end, Spanish Cuba, the British Bahamas, French Mexico, and the Danish West Indies were the scenes of fantastic profits, naval skullduggery, and political intrigue. Come get a firsthand perspective into how these authors’ research and writing processes produce such popular, award-winning works. Then tune in on April 8, 2021 at 7 p.m. EST for an enlightening lecture with New Zealand author Shona Riddell as she presents Guiding Lights: The Extraordinary Lives of Lighthouse Women. Riddell will share the true yet often untold stories of women lighthouse keepers from around the world.
Her book, Guiding LIghts, explores our dual perception of lighthouses: are they comforting and romantic beacons of hope, or stormlashed and forbidding towers with echoes of loneliness? Come hear how they continue to capture the public’s imagination and inspire us, with real stories of women’s courage and dedication in minding the lights - then and now. For both lectures, viewers are welcome to
‘Talking History’ Lecture Series Launches March 11 at Jamestown Settlement with a Look at Virginia Indian Women in Leadership From Jamestown-Yorktown
WILLIAMSBURG, Va.,— Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown are proud to present a new “Talking History” Lecture Series in 2021, offering free public lectures that link historical storylines shared at both museums with present day. The series launches on Thursday, March 11, at Jamestown Settlement as Diana Gates (Nottoway), managing senior tribal specialist at the National Center on Tribal Early Childhood Development, examines “The Continuing Role of Virginia Indian Women in Leadership.” The public lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in the Robins Foundation Theater, with limited capacity and advance online registration required. This public lecture complements the ongoing Jamestown Settlement special exhibition, “FOCUSED: A Century of Virginia Indian Resilience,” on display through March 25, 2022. In collaboration with Virginia Indian tribal communities, “FOCUSED” features personal and professional photography collections charting a century of change, from the passage and repeal of the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 to state and federal
recognition today. The special exhibition, which will open for public viewing at 6 p.m. prior to the lecture, focuses on the resilience of Virginia’s Indian population and highlights themes central to Virginia Indian daily life, including the establishment and maintenance of Virginia Indian reservations and tribal lands, education, fishing and hunting, and traditional crafts and cultural heritage. Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown gallery exhibits and films are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with outdoor interpretive areas accessible from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Jamestown Settlement is located on Route 31 just southwest of Williamsburg. The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is located on Route 1020 in Yorktown. Parking is free. Lectures require advance registration and are live on site at the museums, with limited capacity and protective protocols in place to ensure a safe event experience. For those unable to attend in person, recorded videos will be made available to view online following each presentation, based on prior approval from individual guest lecturers. To register for the March 11 lecture and learn more about upcoming programs, visit jyfmuseums.org/lectures.
send the speakers any comments or questions during the presentation, and they will be answered following the lecture. For more information and to register, visit MarinersMuseum.org/Virtual. All virtual lectures are FREE and require advance registration. The Museum also offers a wide variety of additional online programming, from Maritime Mondays storytime for children to the Civil War Lectures Series.
www.ﬂagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 3 | Thursday, March 11, 2021 3
Practicing Good Nutrition Boosts Personal Performance From Military Onesource Good healthy and peak physical fitness are key to our military community’s force readiness. One of the best ways to build strength and stamina is to eat nutritious foods that will provide your body the energy and nutrients it needs in order for you to perform at your best. Here are some tips on how to build a better diet and improve your overall well-being: Develop and maintain healthy habits Eating healthy usually requires developing new dietary habits, but that doesn’t have to happen overnight. Small changes over time can make a big difference. You might begin with some of these suggestions: Limit your sugar. Water is essential to keep the body hydrated. Replace soda, sugary sports drinks and large quantities of juice with water. Lower your sodium. High sodium consumption can raise blood pressure, which can contribute to stroke and heart disease. Start reading labels to raise your awareness of hidden sodium. Buy reduced sodium items whenever possible. Eat lean protein. Reducing fatty red meat and increasing lean proteins such as chicken, seafood, beans, eggs, nuts and seeds can aid in building muscle, losing weight and maintain-
ing a healthy heart. Choose whole grains. Whole grains are packed with protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Whenever possible, eat whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat over refined grains like white bread, pasta and anything made with bleached flour. Snack on fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, and their high fiber content can help you maintain a healthy gut. Replace high fat, high sodium snacks such as chips or roasted peanuts with sliced carrots or an apple. Explore the farmers market Not all foods are equal when it comes to nutrients. The fresher your produce is, the more nutrition it offers. Your local farmers market is a great place to shop for fresh produce at a reasonable price. Whether it’s just a roadside stand or a gathering place for local producers, these farmers markets will help you build a better diet. Find local farmers markets in the United States by searching the National Farmers Market Directory. Some of the beneftis of buying local include: The food is as fresh as you’ll find anywhere. Most produce is brought to market within hours of being picked. Eating food grown close to home and
recently harvested has many health benefits, including increased nutrients. Local farmers grow seasonal foods, which tend to be less expensive and allow you to cook seasonal dishes. Farmers — your food experts — can teach you how to use the produce, grow your own food or share some great recipes. Check out the commissary Another great resource for eating healthy on a budget is the military commissary, which sells groceries and household goods at an average of 30% less than other markets and stores. Before your grocery run, visit the commissary website, a great network of information where you can: Snag simple, healthy recipes for your meal planning or last-minute meal. Narrow your recipe search by selecting Dietitian Approved under the Browse Recipes section. Review the Savings Aisle to see what’s on sale for the week and preview the promotional prices before making your shopping list. Make your shopping list or order online with curbside pickup by using the My Shopping List tool. Share your healthy lifestyle with your children Share your nutrition goals with your chil-
dren and help your family establish healthy habits that include: Enjoy five or more servings of fruit and vegetables. The Mayo Clinic recommends the 1-2-3 approach — one serving of fruits or vegetables at breakfast, two servings at lunch and three servings as part of dinner or snacks throughout the day. Center your meals and snacks at home around fruits and vegetables, and teach children how to make healthy foods. Serve whole grain breads and cereals that are high in fiber. Make healthier, less processed alternatives available at all meals and for snack time. Encourage your children to eliminate sweetened beverages. Sweetened beverages, such as soda and sports drinks, add extra sugar and calories to the diet. Encourage children to reduce juice consumption as well. Drinking water or low-fat milk instead is a healthy choice for the entire family. As a service member — or part of the military family — you need the right fuel to stay energized. Eating well allows you to perform your job to the best of your ability. These suggestions can get you started on a path to good nutrition and good health. For more healthy information, check out the Military OneSource Health and Wellness Coaching program, a free resource for eligible service members and family members. My MilLife Guide is also a great way to keep your family’s health goals on target. When you sign up for My MilLife Guide as a service member or a military spouse, expert content pertaining to your goals will be delivered right to your mobile device.
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Lemon Pound Cake | A slice of Lemon Pound Cake makes any day brighter By Kate Merker Loaded with heaps of fragrant lemon zest and fresh lemon juice, this decadent lemon pound cake is for true lemon dessert lovers or anyone looking for a bright, sunny sweet. Be sure to get an extra lemon for the topping, because the cake is amazing on its own, but it’s even better with a generous drizzle of sweettart lemon glaze.
Baked in a Bundt pan, the cake comes out looking naturally Insta-worthy, with plenty of peaks and valleys to catch all of that delicious glaze. Ingredients For cake 3 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for pan 1 tsp. baking soda 1 ½ tsp. kosher salt 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperture
How To Make the Best Deviled Eggs Ever By The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen Deviled eggs are a go-to appetizer at any party, but learning how to make the best deviled eggs recipe? Now that’s an art. It may sound obvious, but the secret ingredient here is a batch of perfect hard-boiled eggs. Once you nail that technique, you’ll be in a good spot to master the rest of the recipe. Just decide on your signature toppings (crumbled bacon, sliced scallions, and fresh herbs are our faves!) and prepare to seriously impress with this easy appetizer. What ingredients do I need for deviled eggs? You only need 5 ingredients, plus salt and pepper, to make classic deviled eggs. Then, scour your fridge for your favorite toppings, such as bacon, fresh herbs, a little paprika, your choice! Here’s what you need: - 6 Hard boiled eggs: Cook your eggs for 10 to 12 minute in boiling water, then transfer to a bowl of ice water to ensure that your eggs stop cooking. That way, you’ll achieve a perfect yellow yolk and avoid the ugly green ring around your egg. - 2 tbspMayonnaise: the key to deviled eggs’ creamy, velvety texture - 1 tspFresh lemon juice: Both the lemon juice and the mustard add extra flavor and cut the richness of the mayo. -1 tspDijon mustard -½ tspHot sauce: You can leave this out if you don’t like it spicy, but we think it adds just the right amount of zing! -Salt & pepper -Toppings of choice Directions Halve eggs lengthwise. Transfer yolks to small bowl and mash with mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, hot sauce, and ⅛ tsp each salt and pepper. Spoon into egg whites and sprinkle with toppings as desired.
plus more for pan 2 ¾ c. granulated sugar 3 Tbsp (packed) grated lemon zest plus ¼ cup lemon juice 6 large eggs, at room temprature 1 tbsp. vanilla 1 c. sour cream, at room temperature For icing 1 ⅓ c. confectioners’ sugar 2 to 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Lemon zest strips, for sprinkling How to make Lemon Pound Cake Start by prepping your pan: Very generously butter and flour a 12- to 15-cup Bundt pan. This helps ensure that the cake won’t stick to the pan. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Then, use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest until light and fluffy, then reduce the mixer speed and add the eggs one at a time. Mix in the vanilla extract and lemon juice. Next, you’ll combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, adding the flour mixture into the butter/sugar mixture, alternating with sour cream. Sour cream brings irresistible richness to this recipe, and even more tang! Spoon the batter into the Bundt pan and bake for about 1 hour. Once the cake has cooled, spoon the icing all over the top, allowing it to drip naturally down the sides. Cut the cake into generous, thick slices and enjoy!
www.ﬂagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 3 | Thursday, March 11, 2021 5
Katherine Perlberg, a physical therapist at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center’s Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, performs a balancing test on Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class John Toomer, a hospital corpsman from Naval Hospital Naples, during Landstuhl Regional Medical Center’s Virtual Health Presenters Course, Sept. 3. (WILLIAM BEACH)
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month; TBICoE’s mission lasts all year By:Military Health System Communications Office Navy Capt. (Dr.) Scott Pyne sees March’s Brain Injury Awareness Month as an opportunity to highlight what the Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence does all year long. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is any blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. They can have long-lasting effects. Awareness of TBIs - how to identify them, and ways to mitigate them or seek treatment if an individual thinks they may have one - is an important element of maintaining a medically ready force. Pyne, division chief for the Silver Spring, Maryland-based TBICoE, said that what many people may not realize about TBIs within the DOD is that they occur more often at home than while deployed. “TBI is a big issue for the military, especially in a deployed environment, but more TBI actually occurs in the non-deployed environment,” Pyne said. “It’s really important to be careful about TBI and know about it when you’re doing average, day-to-day things like driving your car, riding your bike or motorcycle, skiing, or playing sports.” Pyne said he’s seen many changes and advancements surrounding the study and understanding of TBI during his career, and this has led to better guidance for everyone. “I think the biggest difference is in the area of concussions or mild traumatic brain injury, and this has been pushed out to our line leaders, clinicians, patients, service members, and veterans to be aware of the effects of mild traumatic brain injury,” Pyne said. “In the past, concussions happened and people
knew about them, but they really didn’t pay them much mind.” He said that much of the advancement in understanding TBIs is due to the number of studies that have been done on them over the past several decades, as well as developments in science and technology. This has resulted in better awareness and prevention measures. Pyne cited an example of when he was involved in sports versus his experience with his children. “It used to be, if you were able to play through them (brain injuries or concussions), you played through them. You were encouraged to,” Pyne said. “I think we now have a whole lot more awareness that there are some problems with that, and that numerous concussions may result in some long-term problems that are difficult to bounce back from. That awareness and understanding has really changed from the time that I was young until the time that I was on the sidelines coaching my own kids.” These advancements are also translating into higher recovery rates. “The advances that we’re making in severe and penetrating and moderate traumatic brain injury are remarkable. People who would never have recovered in the past are now able to do quite well, and that’s based on advances in science,” Pyne said. “We always knew it was bad, but I don’t think we knew how to take care of it as well as we do now.” On the combat side, Pyne said that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and brain injuries often go hand-in-hand. “It’s very difficult to discern between the two, and I think they need to be evaluated and treated at the same time,” Pyne said. “You
can have PTSD without having a traumatic brain injury, and you can have a traumatic brain injury without PTSD, but sometimes they come together.” In fact, the TBICoE is studying the interaction between the two. “We’re finding that people who have an isolated traumatic brain injury do a lot better than those that have a traumatic brain injury and PTSD,” Pyne said. TBIs’ impacts on memory and motor skills are also being studied. “The other thing that we’ve learned quite a bit about is that when injured, people don’t function the same way as they did prior to their TBI. We know that people’s reaction time, their ability to focus, their ability to memorize things are all impacted,” Pyne said.” In a combat environment these things have the potential to become life-threatening, both to an individual and those around them. “On the athletic playing ﬁeld, that may equate to you not playing well or your team not winning, but obviously the stakes are much higher in the deployed environment, where you not only have to protect yourself, but also your fellow service members,” Pyne said. “At the end of the day, if you get hit in the head and you can’t focus, think clearly, or concentrate, we need to pull you out of whatever game you’re playing, even if it’s the game of life, and try to make you better,” Pyne said. “So when you go back, you can go back as healthy and as close to functioning at your normal level as you were before you sustained that injury.”
Pyne reiterated the fact that most TBIs occur in a non-deployed environment. “In the DOD, the ways we think about this happening are when we’re being shot at or things are blowing up, but things like standard motor vehicle crashes, falls, and sports are where we see a vast majority of concussions among service members,” Pyne said. “How do you prevent those things? You drive the speed limit, you wear a seatbelt or a helmet, and you’re careful and aware of your environment.” Pyne said some key points to remember when assessing if you are “TBI-ready” include asking yourself: Are you ready to prevent yourself from getting a TBI? Are you ready to get yourself taken care of in the event you suffer a TBI? Are you ready to take care of someone who may sustain a TBI, especially as a medical provider or a leader? A simple bump of the head, coupled by “seeing stars,” dizziness or confusion could be a concussion or TBI. The key is looking for signs and getting help if you need it. He also said that, despite the negative discussions surrounding TBIs, most people fully recover from them. “The vast majority of people who sustain a mild traumatic brain injury make a full recovery,” Pyne said “I think we focus too much on the people who don’t get better and we tend to forget all the people who do get better.” The TBICoE also supports a multi-center network of military treatment facilities and Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers with TBI education and research initiatives. An array of resources from TBICoE are available to service members, their families and providers here on the Military Health System website.
Women’s health emerging priorities series highlights mental health By Military Health System Communications Office Transitioning from being an active service member to veteran or beneficiary can affect the mental health of women in ways that differ from men. The effects of these transitions are an emerging priority at the Defense Health Agency, attendees heard at a Feb. 25 virtual clinical communities’ speakers’ series event sponsored by the DHA Training and Education Directorate’s Continuing Education Program Office (CEPO) in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Emerging Priorities in Women’s Health day-long event included a discussion of women’s mental health issues, including reproductive cycles mental health; intimate partner violence; cardiovascular disease; human papillomavirus and opportunities to eradicate cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer; COVID-19 in pregnancy and its effects on maternal-fetal health; ethical considerations in women’s health care during the pandemic; and updates on select DHA Women & Infants Clinical Communities initiatives. The mental health portion of the program included information on resources for female service members transitioning from active duty; sexual assault/harassment; and suicide prevention. “Women veterans are more than two times more likely to die by suicide as the
(Photo courtesy of National Institute of Mental Health)
general population,” VA clinical psychologist Jennifer Strauss told event attendees. “In FY 2019, 43% of women Veterans Health Agency users had diagnosed mental health issues,” she said. That compares to “26% of male VHA users who had a confirmed mental health diagnosis,” she added, underscoring the need for DOD and VA prioritization of women’s mental health needs. She noted that women often have “more complexity of care” than men, such as higher rates of depression and anxiety, and higher rates of mental health and medical comorbidities. One of the concerns of health care
providers and patients is a “lapse in health care during and after transitioning,” said Holly O’Reilly, a clinical psychologist at DHA’s Psychological Health Center of Excellence (PHCoE). “Those with a strategic plan in place or a strong support network fare better than those without” when it comes to transitions.” The PHCoE offers an “excellent referral hotline 24/7,” and there are numerous clinical support tools to aid in transitions, she said. Patients and providers can access these tools at https://pdhealth.mil. The event highlighted current evidencebased practices, policies, recommendations, and initiatives. The primary focus aimed to
enhance the quality of patient outcomes and population health by providing advanced continuing education (CE) opportunities for health care providers across the Military Health System. Recordings and CE credits from Feb. 25’s event will be available from April 12 for six months for home study at the J-7 CEPO website. There are other series this year: Youth in Transition on April 22; Exploring EvidenceBased Practices in Modern Medicine Primary Care on June 24; Exploration of Innovations in Health Care Aug. 26; and Promising Practices in Military Health Care on Oct. 28. Information about the programs and speakers is also available at the CEPO website.
6 The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 3 | Thursday, March 11, 2021
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www.ﬂagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 3 | Thursday, March 11, 2021 7 Autos for Sale
Autos for Sale
FORD 2015 TAURUS
SUBARU 2011 LEGACY
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Autos for Sale
BMW 2015 328
4DR Sedan, Black, Low Mileage, Runs Great asking $1800 OBO. Call: 757377-5670
Wagon. 59K original mis, AWD, fully loaded, new insp, great service history, $22,900. 757-675-0288. Va. Dlr.
Early home delivery. 757-446-9000 or PilotOnline.com
HONDA 2010 ODYSSEY
1 owner, 66K original mis., new inspection, runs & looks great. $9900. 757-675-0288. Va. Dlr.
Premium, 78,000 mis., clean, serviced. $10,900. 757-439-7717 Va dlr
Subscribe to The Virginian-Pilot today. Call 757-446-9000 or go to PilotOnline.com
2014 Tacoma TRD Sport 97,500 miles, 4WD, 3inch lift, new tires. $25,500 Call 757-406-0421
Early home delivery. 757-446-9000 PilotOnline.com
Wanted Automotive AUTOS ACCEPTED-ANY YEAR Make or Model. TOP DOLLAR, FAST, Free Towing. 757-737-2465, 701-3361
Boats & Watercraft USED TRAILER SALE!!! OVER 100 Avail. For Boats 12’-38’ BUDGET BOATS: (757) 543 -7595
Subscribe to The Virginian-Pilot today. Call 757-446-9000 or go to PilotOnline.com
Early home delivery. 757-446-9000 or PilotOnline.com
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Fun & Games
Last week’s CryptoQuip answer
If a witch were traveling very fast, do you suppose she might be on a sonic broom?
LAST WEEK’S ANSWERS
Religious Serivices For your installation’s religious service times visit www.ﬂagshipnews.com⁄ base_information⁄ religious_services
8 The Flagship | www.ﬂagshipnews.com | Section 3 | Thursday, March 11, 2021