Flagship 04.14.2022

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www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 1 | Thursday, April 14, 2022 1

IN THIS ISSUE Marine Officer receives Medal

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Timothy Cottell received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal in a ceremony next to the National Museum of the Marine Corps April 8, 2022. PAGE A4 VOL. 29, NO. 14, Norfolk, VA | flagshipnews.com

April 14-April 20, 2022

Military Sealift Command Holds Annual “Walk a Lap for a Survivor” By Hendrick Dickson

USN Military Sealift Command

While every Sailor is trained to fight fires, when a fire or any other type of emergency escalades beyond the capability of the crew, outside agencies are called

NORFOLK, Va. — Military Sealift Command (MSC) Sailors and civilians united April 6 to raise awareness and show solidarity in the fight against sexual assault during the annual “Walk a Lap for a Survivor.” Chief Executive Officer of Fear 2 Freedom Virginia Woodard was guest speaker for the event. Founded in 2011 by Rosemary Trible, the wife of former Senator Paul Trible, the global non-profit helps restore hope and dignity to survivors of sexual assault while empowering students and communities to combat sexual violence in all its forms. A sexual assault survivor herself, Woodard told the crowd gathered in front of MSC headquarters that while the country has broadened efforts to raise awareness and organizations like Fear 2 Freedom has worked to shine a spotlight on the issue over the years, the battle is far from over. “When Rosemary founded Fear 2 Freedom over 10 years ago, every two minutes someone in this country was sexually assaulted. That number has changed. It’s now every 68 seconds. Every 68 seconds someone in our country is sexually assault,” she said. While sharing her own survivor story and her personal journey to turn fear to freedom, Woodard told those in attendance how they could support survivors like her in their own way. “First of all, believe. Believe what a survivor tells you. It takes a great deal of courage to share what has happened. The second thing you can do is listen. This is not an opportunity ask a lot of questions. This is an opportunity for a survivor to process what has happened to them at their own pace. The other thing is don’t try to fix it, It’s not something that can be fixed. Be a comforting presence.” Woodard then encouraged everyone not to be a bystander. If they see something wrong, have the courage to take a stand if needed. “If you see something that doesn’t look right and you can safely intervene, please do so. Sometimes we say, ‘it’s not my business,’ but make it your business to prevent harm. The other thing is please encourage survivors to

Turn to Firefighters, Page 7

Turn to Walk, Page 7

Firefighters assigned to Naval Station (NAVSTA) Norfolk’s Fire and Emergency Services participate in a waterfront firefighting exercise onboard NAVSTA Norfolk Apr. 07, 2022. The exercise was held in collaboration with USS Bataan (LHD 5) and USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19). (COURTESY PHOTO)

Naval Station Norfolk Partners with USS Bataan (LHD 5) to Conduct Waterfront Firefighting Exercise

From Naval Station Norfolk Public Affairs Office

NORFOLK, Va. — Naval Station (NAVSTA) Norfolk partnered with USS Bataan (LHD 5) to conduct a waterfront firefighting exercise, April 7, 2022. The Large Scale Exercise was a cooperative effort and the culmination of four months of planning between NAVSTA Norfolk’s Fire and Emergency Services, NAVSTA Norfolk’s Security Forces and the crew of USS Bataan. “The primary purpose of this exercise was to test our Command and Control from the new Emergency Operations Center (EOC),” said Rob Lesher, Naval Station Norfolk Installation Training Officer. “Just like any drill, there are lessons learned, but overall we definitely accomplished our primary objectives.” The new EOC officially opened in December of 2021 and is more than ten times the size of the previous facility and includes areas for planning, operations that deal directly with responders in the field,


administration and finance, and logistics. “In addition to testing the Command and Control, the exercise also allowed us to test our ability to integrate the base’s Fire and Emergency Services with the ship’s crew to assist with firefighting efforts,” said Lesher.

Ford Gets Locked and Loaded, Receives 541,000 Pounds of Ordnance

By Seaman Jacob Mattingly USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)

VA, UNITED STATES — USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) conducted a conventional ammunition on-load, April 9, in support of workups and training for an upcoming deployment. Ford successfully on-loaded approximately 541,000 pounds of ordnance using both connected transfers and vertical lifts from the dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS William McLean (T-AKE 12). More than 400 Sailors from Ford’s weapTurn to Ford, Page 7

An MH-60S Nighthawk, attached to the“Tridents”of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9, transports ammunition to USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) during an ammunition on-load with USNS William McLean (T-AKE 12). (PETTY OFFICER 3RD CLASS ALEXANDER TIMEWELLL)

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Marine Forces Command hosted a softball tournament at Slade Cutter Park at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 8, to raise funds and awareness for the Navy - Marine Corps Relief Society Active Duty Fund Drive. PAGE A3

Stress: Its Effect and What You Can Do

Stress is a part of life and affects us all. While a little stress is okay - some stress is actually beneficial too much stress can wear you down and make you sick, both mentally and physically. PAGE A4

Anesthesiology Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) Anesthesia Department, in coordination with the Healthcare Simulation and Bioskills Training Center (HSBTC or SIM Center), conducted high-frequency task training, April 5. PageA5

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The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 1 | Thursday, April 14, 2022

Representation of a Safety Awareness Dispatch issued by Naval Safety Command. Formerly known as Lessons Learned, the renamed product still provides relevant and timely safety lessons targeted to the naval enterprise. (AMY ROBINSON)

Looking for Lessons Learned? The Name Has Changed, but the Focus Remains the Same By Amy Robinson Naval Safety Command

NORFOLK, Va. — The products previously known as Lessons Learned from the place formerly known as the Naval Safety Center are getting a new name: The naval enterprise will now receive Safety Awareness Dispatches from the Naval Safety Command. Although the name has changed, Sailors, Marines and civilian employees can still expect the same relevant and timely safety lessons created to help them avoid repeating the close calls and mishaps of others

through impactful and sometimes humorous articles. “The purpose of the Safety Awareness Dispatch remains the same,” said Chris Rew, Naval Safety Command Safety Awareness program manager. “To make people stop and think before they try something that may result in an injury or potentially a loss of life. We do this through telling stories that people will remember.” After much brainstorming, discussion and consideration, the Safety Awareness team concluded the word “dispatch” was the best choice for a number of reasons, includ-

ing its strong link to naval heritage. “In naval history, dispatch boats were tasked as early as the American Revolution to carry military dispatches from ship to ship or ship to shore when other means of transmitting messages were not possible or safe — or as quick,” Rew said. In addition to its military connection, Rew said the word has several other definitions that fit the product as well, including being concise and to the point, an official report on state or military affairs and sending something to a destination for a purpose.

New Parent Support Home Visitation Program Holds Drive -Through Baby Shower By Operations Specialist 3rd Class Rivera Torres NORFOLK, Va. — Norfolk Fleet and Family Support Center held a drive-through baby shower outside of Building SDA 344 in Norfolk Saturday, April 2nd 2022. The event was organized by the New Parent Support Home Visitation Program (NPSHVP). Approximately 75 families received free baby and mother items, such as

diapers, wipes, hygiene products, books and resource information provided by both military and community partners. The event was successful in giving out all donated items. “We used to do playgroups and network and we were not able to do that because of the pandemic,” stated Rosa Blackwood coordinator for the event. Due to the pandemic, this was the first year that they were able to hold this event. It was planned for April because it is the Month

Editorial Staff Military Editor | MC1 Maddelin Hamm, maddelin.hamm@navy.mil Graphic Designer | Trisha Irving, trisha.irving@virginiamedia.com Contributing Staff MC3 Leo Katsareas MCSN Jordan Grimes

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of the Military Child. They were expecting 50 to 100 people and it was open to all military families or while supplies lasted. “I found out from my husband,” said Alma Lewis, an attendee at the event. “He found out from his chain of command and he emailed me so I could participate, because with four kids and one income, anything helps.” The New parent support home visitation program was established in 1990 as a child abuse prevention program. The program

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 mailing address is located at PO Box 282501, Norfolk, Va. 23510. © 2021Flagship, Inc. All rights reserved

“The name ‘Safety Awareness Dispatch’ more accurately defines the product while still providing the same invaluable information with the ultimate goal of enabling warfighting readiness by keeping our number one resource safe: our Sailors, Marines and civilians,” said Kirk Horton, Naval Safety Command Data Analytics and Safety Promotions director. These articles, which date back to 2018, cover a wide range of safety topics — both on and off duty. Some editions are publicly released and available on the command’s website at https:// navalsafetycommand.navy.mil/Safety-Promotions/Safety-Awareness/, and the full library is available on the command’s common access card-enabled site at https://intelshare.intelink. gov/sites/nsc/ (click on the “Safety Awareness Products” icon). Rew said his team is always looking for new topics and stories about safety champions and firsthand accounts of mishaps averted to use in future Safety Awareness Dispatches. People interested in submitting their stories can email NAVSAFECEN_CODE522_LESSONS_LEARNED@ navy.mil.

provides expectant parents and parents with children up to age four education and resource information. “It was a very successful event and because of that, we are thinking about doing another one in the future,” said Cynthia Saunders coordinator for the event. Other resources for expectant military families include the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society’s baby budget class along with multiple resources from the Fleet and Family Support Program. For upcoming Fleet and Family Support Center events, check out; https://www.navymwrnavalstationnorfolk.com/programs/c2c28f41-3526-4d40babd-bd8f894b7781


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www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 1 | Thursday, April 14, 2022 3

U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Robert E. Shuford, the communication strategy and operations director with Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, Marine Forces Command, Marine Forces Northern Command, presents a donation to U.S. Navy Ret. Rick O’Rawe, the director of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) Norfolk office, at Slade Cutter Park, Virginia, April 8, 2022. (CASEY PRICE)

Marine Forces Command hosts softball tournament at Slade Cutter Park as fundraiser for Navy - Marine Corps Relief Society Active Duty Fund Drive By Marine Forces Command

NORFOLK, Va. — Marine Forces Command hosted a softball tournament at Slade Cutter Park at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 8, to raise funds and awareness for the Navy - Marine Corps Relief Society Active Duty Fund Drive. Seventeen pre-registered, 12-player teams from regional Navy and Marine Corps commands competed on all four fields at Slade Cutter Park. Family and friends will joined in to cheer on their teams. All proceeds from registration fees and the sale of food and beverages will go to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Active Duty Fund Drive. Since 1903, the Society has provided

financial assistance and education benefits to United States Navy and Marine Corps members, eligible family members, widows, and survivors. In 2021, the Society assisted more than 6,000 regionally based sailors, Marines, and families with more than $5.6 million in financial assistance. Marine Forces Command, based at Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads (NSAHR) next to U.S. Fleet Forces Command, chairs this year’s fund drive efforts for twelve area commands in the Hampton Roads region that is home to more than 75,000 service members across 373 commands. To learn more about the Navy - Marine Corps Relief Society or to make a donation, visit https://support.nmcrs.org/a/homepage.

U.S. Navy PS2 Noah A. Vick, a personnel specialist with Naval Station Norfolk hits a home run during a joint-service softball tournament at Slade Cutter Park, Virginia, April 8, 2022. (LANCE CPL ANGEL ALVARADO)

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4 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 1 | Thursday, April 14, 2022


Stress: Its Effect and What You Can Do

Courtesy Story

Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Stress is a part of life and affects us all. Most times we recognize it and other times we may not, but one thing remains constant, the effect in can have on us. While a little stress is okay some stress is actually beneficial - too much stress can wear you down and make you sick, both mentally and physically. Most of us are so used to being stressed, we often don’t realize we are stressed until we are at a breaking point. Everyday responsibilities like work and relationships, to serious life events such as an illness, medical diagnosis, deployment or the death of a loved one can trigger stress. According to Dr. Mark Long, Public Health Educator at the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center, the first step is becoming better at recognizing it early on. “It is easier to deal with a little stress now than it is to have to try and cope with a major amount of stress later which can be overwhelming,” says Long. Stress is the body’s reaction to harmful situations, whether they’re real or perceived. When this happens, a chemical

reaction occurs. Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhancing your brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repairs tissues. Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or harmful in a fight-orflight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes. Long term and ongoing stress may contribute to heart problems, gastro indigestive system issues, immune disorders, memory problems, acne, and hair turning gray. It can also lead to stress eating, gaining weight, drinking alcohol and using drugs which are harmful ways to cope with stress. Long term effects of stress have also been linked to depression and mental health problems, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and headaches. Avoiding unhealthy ways of managing stress such as using alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or excess food is important in stress management. Science has proven time

and again that falling into these unhealthy habits can increase depression, anxiety and increase destructive behaviors. “No one wants to be stressed out and there is no single best stress control & reduction method or strategy,” Long says, “as different approaches work better for some and not others.” Dr. Long also adds, “Some common and helpful coping strategies include; working out, praying or meditating, doing something to unwind and relax, distracting with activities, talking with others, journaling or writing, listening to music, and laughing/joking around to mention a few. We all want to cope, be in control and manage our stress.” Regular exercise can play a vital role in countering the negative impact of stress. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins act as analgesics, which means they diminish the perception of pain. The effect of endorphins to neuron receptors are the same ones that bind some pain medicines, however these are natural and do not lead to addiction or dependence. It’s also important to note that stress is a health concern important enough to

include a medical professional. Consulting with a medical professional can also help prevent you from reaching a stage where harmful and irreversible health problems occur. “If and when you are struggling with feeling nervous, worried, unhappy, irritable, not sleeping well, and unable to control life difficulties, including relationship and work issues, then it is a good time to consult with your doctor or another helping professional.” says Long, “Getting help is the right thing to do to address your stress and to feel better “Knowing when our stress is increasing and becoming difficult to manage is the sign that that we need to address it before stress gets worse and overwhelms us,” said Long. “Take a break, unwind, problem solve the best you can, and use some of your favorite ways to reduce your stress.” Identifying and managing stress in both our daily routines as well as long term will ultimately help shape and form our ability to perform on the job, interact with others, recover better from illness, and live longer, healthier lives. The Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center (NMCPHC) develops and shapes public health for the U.S. Navy and Marines Corps through health surveillance, epidemiology and analysis, disease and injury prevention, and public health consultation. Learn more by going to www. nmcphc.med.navy.mil. Follow NMCPHC on social media at https://www.facebook. com/NavyAndMarineCorpsPublicHealthCenter http://twitter.com/nmcphc and https://www.instagram.com/nmcphc/

Connecticut Marine Officer receives Navy and Marine Corps Medal for life-saving actions By Cpl. Eric Huynh

Marine Corps Base Quantico

QUANTICO, Va. — U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Timothy Cottell received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal in a ceremony next to the National Museum of the Marine Corps April 8, 2022. Marine Corps Systems Command Brig. Gen. Arthur Pasagian presented Cottell, Combat Development Directorate, Combat Development and Integration, with the award due to his life-saving actions while serving as an executive officer with Bravo Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division Dec. 10, 2019. On that day, then 1st Lt. Cottell and his Marines were participating in Exercise Steel Knight, which required them to conduct a wet gap crossing of the Colorado River in a Light Armored Vehicle (LAV). As one of their LAVs began to cross, it started taking on water and was quickly pulled out into the river, turning upstream before ultimately sinking to the riverbed. “The situation was not going well and just kept getting worse,” said Cottell. “I was able to see from the shore that all the Marines were able to exit the LAV except for the driver.” Cottell detached his personal protective

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Timothy Cottell, a native of Monroe, Connecticut, communications capabilities integration officer, Combat Development Directorate, Combat Development and Integration, poses for a photo at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle, Virginia, April 8, 2022. Cottell received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his heroic actions during an annual training exercise on Dec. 10, 2019. Cottell saved the life of a Marine by performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. (Cpl. ERIC HUYNH)

equipment and entered the frigid river, swimming approximately 60 feet from the shore then descending 15 feet underwater to reach the submerged vehicle. “I was just doing what was expected,” said Cottell. “There were three other Marines out there with me. Without them, none of this would’ve happened.” Cottell and his platoon commander reached the submerged LAV then Cottell pulled the driver out of the vehicle and began prepping him for CPR. The platoon commander cleared the driver’s airway while Cottell was responsible for the driver’s breathing, conducting four rounds of

CPR to save the drivers’ life. “I have been CPR certified prior to the United States Marine Corps, but it has since expired,” said Cottell. “I was very grateful for having attended the MCIWS course, which refreshed my CPR knowledge and the difference for performing it for drowning victims.” The Navy and Marine Corps Medal is the highest non-combat medal for heroism awarded by the Marine Corps. According to his medal citation, Cottell’s courageous and prompt actions in the face of personal risk reflected great credit upon him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps

and the United States Naval Service. “I believe the Marine Corps’ expectation to stay calm and perform under pressure helped,” said Cottell. “From start to finish, everyone knew we needed to think clearly and work together.” Cottell, a Monroe, Connecticut, native, graduated from St. Joseph High School in 2011. He studied engineering in 2016 at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. Shortly after, Cottell attended Officer Candidate School, The Basic School, and Infantry Officer Course before commissioning as a second lieutenant.

www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 1 | Thursday, April 14, 2022 5

Capt. Jason Longwell, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) Anesthesiology chief of services (left) and Tamera Larsen, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (right) participate in highfrequency task training, April 5. Staff from the Anesthesia Department conducted a central line training to refresh their skills on this procedure that takes place when a patient needs medicine given through the veins over a long period of time. (SEAMAN ARIANA TORMAN)

NMCP Anesthesiology Conducts Task Training By Seaman Ariana Torman

Naval Medical Center - Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH, Va. —Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) Anesthesia Department, in coordination with the Healthcare Simulation and Bioskills Training Center (HSBTC or SIM Center), conducted high-frequency task training, April 5. Doctors, nurses, residents and student nurses from the Anesthesia Department

participated in central line training, a procedure that takes place when a patient needs medicine given through the veins over a long period of time or during kidney dialysis. A small tube is placed in a vein under the shoulder bone and anchored by making a small tunnel under the skin. “We host these trainings regularly for skills sustainment,” said Lt. Cmdr. Sarah Buckley, a certified registered nurse anesthetist at NMCP. “Our staff is able to come down and go through a high-fidelity set up

of a central line, identify the anatomy and go through the mechanics of this procedure. It isn’t something we do on a regular basis, but it’s a critical skill for us to keep up on.” The SIM Center provided the mannequins, and the operating room staff were able to attend the training throughout the day so that it did not interfere with normal operations. Buckley and Capt. Jason Longwell, NMCP’s Anesthesiology Department chief of service led this hands on, one-on-one training with each staff

member. “We established this program in coordination with the SIM Center to remain proficient and practice these skillsets once each quarter, rather than once a year or every two years just to meet requirements,” said Longwell. “The team is doing a great job of ensuring that our folks remain ready. Ready to deploy and ready to do our jobs effectively.” As the U.S. Navy’s oldest, continuously-operating military hospital since 1830, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth proudly serves past and present military members and their families. The nationally-acclaimed, state-of-the-art medical center, along with the area’s 10 branch health and TRICARE Prime Clinics, provide care for the Hampton Roads area. The medical center also supports premier research and teaching programs designed to prepare new doctors, nurses and hospital corpsman for future roles in healing and wellness.



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6 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 1 | Thursday, April 14, 2022

(Left to Right) Naval Station (NAVSTA) Norfolk Naval Exchange (NEX) manager, Anna Esguerra, Executive Officer NAVSTA Norfolk, Capt. Janet Days, and Pearle Vision Store Manager, Cindy Wade cut a ceremonial ribbon to open the new Pearle Vision center inside the Norfolk NEX. Pearle Vision replaces the former NEX-operated vision center and has partnered with NEX stores across the world. (MC3 JOSEPH MILLER)

Pearle Vision Opens at NAVSTA Norfolk’s NEX By Mass Communication Specialist Third Class (Sw) Joseph T. Miller NORFOLK, Va. — Staff of Naval Station (NAVSTA) Norfolk’s Naval Exchange (NEX) hosted a grand opening of the new Pearle Vision center inside the NEX April 4, 2022. T h e g r a n d o p e n i n g c e r e m o ny commenced at 9 a.m. with the NEX’s general manager, Anna Esguerra, giving a

small speech, followed by a few words from Cindey Wade, manager of the new Pearle Vision store, and Capt. Janet Days, executive officer NAVSTA Norfolk. “What Pearle Vision does is offer more comprehensive assistance with vision-related concerns and offers a wider variety of products to our customers,” sad Esguerra. “I am so excited to see this location open.” Pearle Vision was founded in 1961 by

Stanley Pearle and has grown into one of the largest glasses store chains in the country. They partnered with the NEX stores in 2019. Plans to open the NAVSTA Norfolk location were in the works starting about a year ago, after a store was successfully opened and operating on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story two years prior. Pearle Vision is replacing the NEX’s previous vision center.

“I’m super excited,” said Days. “I’ve been an eyeglass wearer since I was five years old. This is an awesome addition to our NEX as it provides a valuable service to our service members. I’ll be coming back this weekend myself to get new glasses.” The hosts of the event held a ceremonial ribbon-cutting to signify that Pearle Vision was officially open. With the store now open, Wade had a few words on why and how she will run it. “It’s a fun job,” said Wade. “I have a deep respect for the men and women of the military who I provide service for. I plan for this store to be the very best store in the NEX system.” For more information or to schedule an appointment with Pearle Vision, visit their website at https://www.pearlevision.com, call (757)-440-2000 or visit their location.











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www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 1 | Thursday, April 14, 2022 7


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ons, deck and aircraft intermediate maintenance departments participated in the event, collecting more than 200 pallets from the flight deck and hangar bay then transporting them to multiple advanced weapons elevators to be stored in the ship’s magazines. “All weapons divisions were involved with the evolution and personnel worked from the magazines to the flight deck to ensure everything was safe and efficient,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Joshua Hitcho, from New Zionsville, Pennsylvania, assigned to Ford’s weapons department. “The whole evolution went smoothly. It was impressive to watch, and I am proud to be part of the team that made it happen.” The on-load started with Ford pulling alongside William McLean and shooting lines over to establish communications and connect distance lines. Once attached, MH-60S helicopters attached to the “Tridents” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 9, began to lift ammunition over to Ford’s flight deck and pallets of ammunition were transferred via connected replenishment. “We on-loaded both live and training ammunitions to help support Carrier Air Wing 8 and our security forces on board for this underway,” said Lt. Cmdr. Paul Castillo, from San Diego, Ford’s Ordnance Handling Officer. “Every carrier needs ammunition to complete the mission. There is nothing we can’t do when we have a fully loaded ship.” The ammunition from this on-load is essential for arming aircraft with live ordnance during carrier qualifications and carrier strike group integration. “It feels good because we get to show what weapons department really does. We spent a lot of time and hard work to get to this point and it payed off,” said Hitcho. “Getting the entire department together as a group was great, everybody was excited and ready to go. Everybody was in the right place at the right time, it was a small part of a bigger picture.”

Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Edgar Hernandez, from San Francisco, assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) deck department, directs a standard underway replenishment fixture during an ammunition on-load with USNS William McLean (T-AKE 12), April 9, 2022. Ford is underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting carrier qualifications and strike group integration as part of the ship’s tailored basic phase prior to operational deployment. ( PETTY OFFICER 2ND CLASS ZACHARY GUTH)

Onloading ammunition while underway is critical to Ford’s ability to supply the embarked air wing with ordnance needed to conduct its missions. This successful evolution will bring Ford one step closer to


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report, to hold perpetuators of sexual violence accountable for their crimes.” “Sexual violence will not end until everyone becomes part of the solution,” she continued. “Everyone from every rank from every walk of life. There is so much work to do. Not just during this month, but all the time if we’re going to change that every 68 seconds statistic.” MSC Commander Rear Adm. Michael Wettlaufer thanked Woodard for sharing her experiences with the command. He reiterated her words to the MSC team, while telling them this issue gravely impacts military readiness and national security. “If you come across someone who is struggling with something, open your heart and open your ears and find them the support they need,” he said. “We cannot be committed to excellence

Military Sealift Command personnel walk together during MSC’s annual SAPR awareness walk. (RYAN CARTER)

unless we value everybody, we include everybody and we treat them with the respect and dignity that we all deserve unless we reach out

deployment readiness. “I could not be prouder of our Sailors. The whole department doing what we were meant to do was the pinnacle of my time here,” said Castillo. “This on-load is a big

piece of the puzzle for our ship to do what carriers were meant to do.” For more news from USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit www.dvidshub.net/CVN78 or www.facebook.com/USSGeraldRFord.

and support them.” To conclude the event, more than 100 Sailor and civilians joined together to walk two laps around the horseshoe in front of the headquarters. April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM). The theme for this year is “Step Forward. Prevent,” which places emphasis on the critical role everyone plays in preventing sexual assault. In his Proclamation on National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, MSC SAPR Officer Lt. Rob Rogers and MSC SAPR volunteer victim advocate said, “This month, we honor the bravery and leadership of survivors by rededicating ourselves to eliminating sexual violence. It will require care and commitment from each of us to realize an America where everyone is free from the threat and impact of sexual violence.” To learn more about Fear 2 Freedom visit, https://www.fear2freedom.org.

Firefighters from Page 1

upon to assist. In this particular situation it was the installation’s Fire and Emergency department. “This training exercise was a valuable and important opportunity for all participating entities,” said Capt. David Dees, NAVSTA Norfolk Commanding Officer. “Exercising with our tenant commands enhances our proficiency and collective capabilities should an actual situation take place. We are thankful for the outstanding support we received while planning and executing the exercise and look forward to more training evolutions in the future.” Following the exercise, all entities conducted a debrief and discussed lessons learned which will be incorporated into future training for continual improvement.

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8 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 1 | Thursday, April 14, 2022

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www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 2 | Thursday, April 14, 2022 1

Cadet of the Month A Benjamin Russell High School (BRHS) freshman and first-year Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) naval science student was recognized as the unit’s cadet of the month, April 6. PAGE B6

Military Sealift Command in March chartered MV Cape Washington (T-AKR 9961) to load U.S. Army cargo at the Port of Beaumont in Texas and embarked two tactical advisors (TACADs) to oversee the voyage to Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (LASHAWN SYKES)

MSC Charters Motor Vessel to Load Critical Army Cargo in Beaumont, Embarks TACADs to Oversee the Voyage to Europe By Lashawn Sykes

USN Military Sealift Command

BEAUMONT, Texas — Military Sealift Command in March chartered MV Cape Washington (T-AKR 9961) to load U.S. Army cargo at the Port of Beaumont in Texas and embarked two tactical advisors (TACADs) to oversee the voyage to Europe. The 697-foot motor vessel loaded more than a dozen helicopters and 1,350 pieces of cargo that included a variety of tracked vehicles, Abrams and Paladins, wheeled vehicles, Humvees and trucks, and other equipment used to take part in Operation Atlantic Resolve in support of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division’s (stationed at Fort Carson, Colo.) deployment to Europe. Since April 2014, the U.S. Army Europe and

Africa has led the Department of Defense’s Atlantic Resolve efforts as part of a regular rotation of forces to support the United States’ commitment to NATO allies and partners. Overseeing the four-and-a half day load was MSC’s Marine Transportation Specialist Anthony Rothgeb who serves as the MSC Atlantic (MSCLANT) representative stationed at the Port of Beaumont, located at the Army’s 842nd Transportation Battalion, which is also home to the U.S. Army Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command. Because this was a monumental load, Rothgeb said, it required the expertise of SDDC’s entire team of active-duty, National Guard and Reserve Soldiers, civilians, and commercial partners to complete the tasking. “Being able to provide combat capability to the warfighter is crucial to warfighter readiness. The partnership between MSC and SDDC is

key to providing U.S. Transportation the power to move critical Army cargo across the globe.” For the sealift voyage to Europe, MSC embarked two TACADs aboard MV Cape Washington. U.S. Navy Reserve Strategic Sealift Officer (SSO) Lt. Chris George served as the lead tactical advisor and U.S. Navy Reserve Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) Lt. Kevin Jones served as the other TACAD support element. What’s unique about TACADs is they have a solid military background that allows them to interact with ease between the ship’s crews and the active duty military and the combatant fleet. “Strategic Sealift Officers are a good fit for sealift voyages because we have experience in the maritime industry as licensed mates and engineers, which not only gives us a better understanding of the ship’s operations but it also helps us to more easily integrate with the civilian crew as

USS Kentucky Gold Changes Command

military personnel,” George said. George went on to say that because this is not his first time deploying to Europe on a mission, he brings with him a wealth of lessons learned from the past. “My biggest lesson is knowing the importance of establishing communications, early and often, with the combatant fleet — knowing who to contact for coordinating escorts, port information, and even force protection is key to having a successful voyage.” MSC initiated the TACAD program for its SSO community in 2017. All SSOs hold unlimited tonnage deck or engineering merchant marine licenses in addition to commissions in the U.S. Navy Reserve. SSOs are a small community of around 2,000 reservists that are civilian merchant mariners who sail for both MSC and commercially and serve as subject matter experts in sealift, maritime operations and logistics. SWOs are another talented group of officers who come with a unique set of skill sets, George said, as they can serve in every type of surface ship in the Navy. “SWOs like Jones bring a greater knowledge of the active component operations and mindset, which both balances and compliments the SSO’s knowledge.” Turn to MSC Carters, Page 7

Building Something Amazing: NAVSTA Rota Personnel Participate in Language Event at Local High School By Courtney Pollock Naval Station Rota, Spain

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Randy Fike, from Grand Prairie, Texas, middle-right, assumes the duties as the commanding officer for the Ohio-class ballisticmissile submarine USS Kentucky (SSBN 737) from Cmdr. Joseph Campbell, from Atlanta, center left, during a change of command ceremony, April 6, 2022. Kentucky commissioned on July 13, 1991. (PETTY OFFICER 2ND CLASS KYLE HAFER)

By Petty Officer 2Nd Class Kyle Hafer Commander, Submarine Group Nine

SILVERDALE, Wash. — (NNS) The Gold Crew of the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Kentucky (SSBN 737) conducted a change of command at the U.S. Naval Undersea Museum, Keyport, Wash., April 6. U.S. Navy Cmdr. Randy Fike, from Grand Prairie, Texas, relieved Cmdr. Joseph Campbell, from Atlanta, to assume the duties and responsibilities as Kentucky Gold’s commanding officer. Campbell commissioned in 2002 and served as Kentucky Gold’s commanding officer since December, 2019.

“You have met and exceeded every one of my expectations every day,” said Campbell, addressing the Sailors of Kentucky Gold. “Despite the challenges, you delivered to the American people a credible, ready, strategic deterrent whenever asked. I will always marvel at your unlimited ability to get the job done and remain positive. I am grateful for your trust in me as your skipper.” Fike enlisted in 1997 as a nuclear machinist’s mate. In 2000 he was accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy where he earned his commission in 2004. “It is an honor, privilege and realization of a lifelong dream to stand here as the Kentucky commanding officer,” said Fike. “The daily hard

work from the crew assures our nation, allies and adversaries that Kentucky is combat ready. I look forward to continuing this important work together.” Since the 1960s, strategic deterrence has been the SSBNs sole mission, providing the United States with its most survivable and enduring nuclear strike capability. Kentucky commissioned on July 13, 1991. The ship is the 12th submarine of the Ohioclass of ballistic-missile submarines, and the third U.S. Navy ship to bear the name. For more news about Kentucky and other Commander, Submarine Group 9 units, visit www.facebook.com/SubGru9 or www.navy. mil/local/csg9/.

SPAIN — Personnel from Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota, Spain, participated in two English language events with students from IES Francisco Javier de Uriarte Spanish School, located just outside the installation gates, March 18, 2022. The event was coordinated by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Lauren Howes, assigned to American Forces Network (AFN) Rota, and NAVSTA Rota Host Nation office in conjunction with the school. “I wanted to create a volunteer opportunity that involved the local community and was different than some of the stuff normally done,” said Howes. “My hope is to give service members the chance to engage with the local community and for the local community to get to know us.” When NAVSTA Rota Host Nation Office approached the school with the idea, teacher Ana Garcia Guerra was enthusiastically on board. They decided upon two one-hour sessions — one in morning and one in afternoon — with her more advanced English classes. “I have always wanted to have some sort of exchange with my students and people Turn to NAVSTA Rota, Page 7


The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 2 | Thursday, April 14, 2022

Heroes at Home

Q: I am interested in family housing but am unable to move into it at this time. Can I request a delay in my assignment without jeopardizing my place on the wait list? A: If you apply for housing and have given the Housing Service Center (HSC) sufficient advance notice of an inability to accept family housing until on or after a specified future date, you will not be offered a unit before that date. This will not adversely affect your position on the wait list. However, you will not normally be allowed to maintain your place on the wait list longer than one year after reporting, or longer than the expiration of an initial (year) lease.

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Sweet Sanity By Lisa Smith Molinari Have visions of colorful foil been dancing in your dreams recently? Have you detected the distinct aroma of coconut in the air? Have you seen rabbit tracks in your yard? Have you been drooling for no apparent reason? Despite what you think, you are NOT suffering from a serious mental disorder. There’s no need to take a Xanax. Do not voluntarily commit yourself to a psychiatric ward for a 90-day stay. It’s not a necessary to form a support group and invite them over to watch “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Do not be alarmed. These seemingly strange symptoms are normal during this time of year, because Easter makes us all a little crazy. Of course, we expect children to spool themselves into an all-out frenzy on Easter. If we manage to wrestle them into their Sunday best for Easter religious services, they burst out of church before the final hymn is over like prison escapees. It’s all we can do to snap a blurry photo of them wearing their stiff Easter ties and flouncy Easter dresses at home, before they bolt around the house and yard, knocking each other over in a maniacal search for eggs. Why, then, does this sweetest of holidays cause grown adults to go bonkers too? Believe

it or not, our temporary lunacy is triggered by the same irresistible stimuli that affect our children — CANDY. Considering that mature adults have highly developed impulse control, you might not believe that sugary treats could make parents lose their minds. But then, you’d be wrong. It all starts when parents voluntarily deprive themselves of life’s simple pleasures in the name of Lent or looming bathing suit season, declaring that they’ve given up chocolate, carbohydrates, alcohol or desserts. Forty days of that can turn even the most stable adult stark raving mad. We are then faced with sparkling displays of pastel foil-covered miniaturized candy bars in every store, which taunt and torture us in our self-starved state. To add insult to injury, we must purchase that tempting candy and fill the eggs for our kids’ Easter egg hunts. With trembling hands and spittle on our chins, we load the colorful candy bags into our grocery carts, and hide them under our beds and in our closets to await the egg hunts. Despite being hidden, we know all too well that the candy is there, calling like Sirens, “C’mon.... just open a little corner of the bag and take a few. No one will know. Chocolate tastes so good...” We waffle between resistance and bargain-

ing: “I’ll have one teensy-teensy peanut butter egg [staring into space with small drop of drool forming in corner of mouth] ... No! [slapping hands over ears, squeezing eyes shut] ... I can make it to Easter, just a few more days [breathing into a paper bag] ... and then on Easter Sunday [eyes widening, grin forming] ... I’ll sneak into the kids’ Easter baskets after they’ve gone to bed [drooling again]... and go … hog … wild! [said in a frighteningly deep, gravely voice.]” As for me, I swore off caffeine and sugar several weeks ago in a half-hearted Lenten promise. But, as always, I bought candy for our family’s annual Easter egg hunt and hid it in my office. The tiny Snickers have been whispering to me at night. I’m pretty sure the dog hears them too. I can’t stop muttering, “Gimme a break, gimme a break, break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar,” and I’ve developed an involuntary eye twitch. Despite my declining mental state, I’m determined to control my urge to rip the secreted bags open and gobble the candycoated catalysts, foil wrapping and all. I am an adult, after all. However, on Easter Sunday, after our three children have opened every plastic egg, after the dog has ingested colored Easter grass, after the leftover ham has been sliced for sandwiches, and after I give up scraping burned scalloped potatoes off the dish and let it soak in the sink, I will sit on our couch and calmly open a handful of pastel Peppermint Patties. And there, in that sweet moment, I will reclaim my sanity.

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

Getting Help for Combat Stress

Parenting Programs Stress and Anger Management Command Support Crisis Support SuicidePrevention SAPR Support

By Military Onesource Learning to recognize the signs of combat stress in yourself, another service member or a family member who has returned from a war zone can help you call on the right resources to begin the healing process. Combat stress and stress injuries Combat stress is the natural response of the body and brain to the stressors of combat, traumatic experiences and the wear and tear of extended and demanding operations. Although there are many causes and signs of combat stress, certain key symptoms are common in most cases: • Problems sleeping • Uncharacteristic irritability or angry outbursts • Unusual anxiety or panic attacks • Signs of depression such as apathy, changes in appetite, loss of interest in hobbies or activities, or poor hygiene • Physical symptoms such as fatigue, aches and pains, nausea, diarrhea or constipation • Other changes in behavior, personality or thinking Combat stress sometimes leads to stress injuries, which can cause physical changes to the brain that alter the way it processes information and handles stress. You should be aware of the following when dealing with a stress injury: • Stress injuries can change the way a person functions mentally, emotionally, behaviorally and physically. • The likelihood of having a combat stress injury rises as combat exposure increases. • The earlier you identify the signs of a stress injury, the faster a full recovery can occur. • If left untreated, a stress injury may develop into more chronic and hard-totreat problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder. • There is no guaranteed way to prevent or protect yourself from a stress injury, but there are things you can do to help yourself and others recover. Stress reactions Different people handle stress and combat stress differently, and it’s not clear


why one person may have a more severe reaction than another. Here’s what you need to know about stress reactions: • Stress reactions can last from a few days to a few weeks to as long as a year. • Delayed stress reactions can surface long after a traumatic incident or extended exposure to difficult conditions has occurred. • An inability to adapt to everyday life after returning from deployment can be a reaction to combat stress. How to get help If you or someone you know is suffering from a combat stress injury, it is important to get professional help as soon as possible. Reach out to one of the following health care resources if you have symptoms of combat stress or stress injury or if you are experiencing severe stress reactions: • Combat Stress Control Teams provide on-site support during deployment. • Your unit chaplain may offer counseling and guidance on many issues that affect deployed or returning service members and their families. • The Department of Veterans Affairs has readjustment counseling for combat veterans and their families, including those still on active duty, at community-based Vet Centers. • TRICARE provides medical counseling services either at a military treatment facility or through a network provider

in your area. Contact your primary care manager or your regional TRICARE office for a referral. • The Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence provides free resources on traumatic brain injury to help service members, veterans, family members and health care providers. Resources include educational materials, fact sheets, clinical recommendations and much more. • Veterans Crisis Line offers confidential support 24/7/365 and is staffed by qualified responders from the Department of Veterans Affairs — some of whom have served in the military themselves. Call 800-273-8255, then press 1. You can also access online chat by texting 838255. • Non-military support channels such as community-based or religious programs can offer guidance and help in your recovery. • Military OneSource provides wounded warrior specialty consultation services. The specialty consultants work with the services’ wounded warrior programs and the VA to ensure callers are promptly connected to resources that can help address their needs. To speak with a consultant, call 800-342-9647, schedule a live chat or view overseas calling options. If you are suffering from combat stress, you are not alone. Reach out to get the help and treatment you need to be able to live your life fully.

www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 2 | Thursday, April 14, 2022 3

Arturo Alvidrez, acquisition branch head and contracting officer for the Facilities Engineering and Acquistion Division, Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti (CLDJ) gives a presentation about Department of Defense contracting opportunites at an information event that included the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti and was hosted by Chambre de Commerce de Djibouti. CLDJ serves as an expeditionary base for U.S. military forces providing support to ships, aircraft and personnel that ensure security throughout Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia. The base enables maritime and combat operations in the Horn of Africa while fostering positive U.S.-Africa relations. (PETTY OFFICER 1ST CLASS CHRISTOPHER PREVIC)

Contractor Information Event at the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce By Petty Officer 1St Class Christopher Previc Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti

DJIBOUTI — The United States Embassy in Djibouti and Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti (CLDJ) visited the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce, March 30, 2022, to jointly provide a presentation and training for Djiboutian companies to better understand the contracting and submitting systems used by the U.S. government. The United States Embassy and CLDJ requested assistance from the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce to open channels of

communication with Djiboutian companies. “The Camp Lemonnier Public Works Department is eager to work with Djiboutian companies in support of the many needs for supplies and services,” said Lt. Kevin M. Kemen, Financial Manager for CLDJ Public Works. “Our goal for the presentation was to introduce current requirements for companies interested in doing business with the U. S. Government. As with all government contracting, federal regulations govern the process and procedure for companies to qualify, register, and compete for opportunities.” CLDJ is the second largest employer of

Djiboutian nationals with over 1,300 employees. Approximately 40 business representatives attended the training, which included the use of the SAM.gov website, information about Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), and the steps to follow to submit a bid. “This event was in response to a request made by the Government of Djibouti at our annual high-level dialogue to find ways to enable Djiboutian businesses to work with Camp Lemonnier,” according to Joe Chamberlain, Political/Economic Chief at U.S. Embassy Djibouti. “This economic engage-

ment is just one aspect of how the strong partnership between the United States and Djibouti is working for the benefit of all Djiboutians.” Camp Lemonnier is a forward operating site supporting joint operations managed by the U.S. Navy and is the only enduring U.S. military base on the African continent. Djibouti has been a partner of the U.S. military since 2002 when the installation on the south side of the Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport was formally stood up as the headquarters for Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA). Camp Lemonnier is now operated by Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central (EURAFCENT). Contracts awarded to improve Camp Lemonnier provide for enduring, yet modern facilities to support improved quality of life, mission readiness, and safety of daily operations.







4 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 2 | Thursday, April 14, 2022

U.S. 7th Fleet SOY Week Concludes, Winners announced By Petty Officer 2nd Class Shannon Burns Commander, U.S. 7Th Fleet

YOKOSUKA, Japan — Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, announced the 2022 7th Fleet Sea and Shore Sailors of the Year (SOY) during a ceremony held at the at Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka’ (CFAY) Chief Petty Officer Club, April 7. The SOY week began with a commencement ceremony including remarks from 7th Fleet’s commander, Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, and 7thFleet Command Master Chief Jason Haka. “This week we celebrate you, the senior Sailors who have come from across the Fleet and represent the very best of what I consider the most dynamic, challenging numbered Fleet in the Navy,” said Thomas. “Your achievements represent not only what you’ve contributed to your command and the Navy, but also the contributions and sacrifices of your families, and your support to communities that help enable our important mission of defending our Nation and our allies.” Command Master Chief Jason Haka said the candidates stood out among their peers because of their hard-charging commitment to the Navy and the leadership they demonstrate within their commands. “In the U.S. Navy our most important asset is our people. Without our Sailors our planes wouldn’t fly and our ships wouldn’t sail,” said Haka. “The Sailors we are honoring this week have strived to push themselves further and harder, to be the very best they can be and set a fantastic example for their junior Sailors to follow.” The candidates spent the week learning about the naval history and local heritage of the area. In addition to that, they toured both the forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) forward-deployed at CFAY and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ship JS Asuka (ASE-6102) homeported in Yokosuka, Japan. The Master Chief Petty Officer of JMSDF Kazuhito Azuma praised the candidate’s hard work and effort and stated that, although they are not from Japan, they are still part of the JMSDF navy family. “Congratulations to everyone who was selected! I salute you all for your great work and efforts. We are from different countries and speak different languages, but we are all navy. Let us continue to have a good relationship and cooperate with each other,” said Azuma in a letter to the nominees. This year there were three Sea SOY candidates and four Shore SOY candidates. For Sea: - Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class Mark Lewis, from King George, Virginia, assigned to Commander U.S. 7th Fleet - Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class Brandon Blanding, from Queens, New York, assigned to Commander Task Force 70 - Legalman 1st Class Alicia House, from Nesbit Mississippi, assigned to Commander Task Force 76 For Shore: - Musician 1st Class Brian Kloppenburg,

The 2022 U.S. 7th Fleet candidates and winners, from left: Culinary Specialist 1st Class Matelita Bolevakadinata, from Suva, Fiji, assigned to Commander, Naval Forces Korea; Legalman 1st Class Alicia House, from Nesbit Mississippi, assigned to Commander, Task Force 76; Naval Aircrewman (Operator) 1st Class Carl Bates, from Sonora, California, assigned to Commander, Task Force 72; the 2022 7th Fleet Shore Sailor of the Year, Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class Mark Lewis, from King George, Virginia, assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet; the 2022 7th Fleet Sea Sailor of the Year winner, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Ian Dave Estrada, from Fullerton, California and Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines, assigned to Commander Task Force 73; Musician 1st Class Brian Kloppenburg, from Florissant, Missouri, assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet Band, and (on the screen) Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class Brandon Blanding, from Queens, New York, assigned to Commander, Task Force 70, pose for a photo. (PETTY OFFICER 2ND CLASS SHANNON BURNS)

from Florissant, Missouri, assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet Band - Culinary Specialist 1st Class Matelita Bolevakadinata, from Suva, Fiji, assigned to Commander, Naval Forces Korea - Naval Aircrewman (Operator) 1st Class Carl Bates, from Sonora, California, assigned to Commander Task Force 72 - Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Ian Dave Estrada, from Fullerton, California and Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines, assigned to Commander Task Force 73. Candidates spent the week in Yokosuka, participating in numerous events centered on professional development to help expand their leadership skills and social engagements with 7th Fleet leadership, the SOY candidates and their respective Command Master Chiefs, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) leadership and personnel. Petty Officer Mark Lewis was announced as the 2022 7th Fleet Sea SOY winner during the ceremony. “I feel extremely honored and humbled to have been recognized as the U.S. 7th Fleet Sea SOY. Winning at this level is truly a reflection of the type of people I’m so fortunate to have in my life,” said Lewis. “My leadership, my peers, my Sailors, and my amazing wife Sierra truly deserve credit for this win because, without them, I would

without a doubt not be where I am today” Bates, the 2022 7th Fleet Shore SOY winner, said his success is not his alone and that he owes it to the support he has gotten from his command and his mentors. “This is such an amazing and humbling experience,” said Bates. “Thank you to all my mentors and my team back at TOC (Tactical Operations Command) Kadena. I would not be here it wasn’t for you all.” Thomas added that the high tempo of 7th Fleet requires a level of confidence in the Sailors under his command that they meet and exceed on a regular basis. “The individual Sailor is at the core of every team, task force, and exercise executed across 7th Fleet. I rely on my commanders to exercise precision and confidence when executing orders,” said Thomas. “In order to operate 24/7 in this very dynamic region, it takes everyone — up and down the chain — to replicate that same level of high-caliber attention to accomplishing each and every goal.” The Sailor of the Year program was established in 1972 by the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo Zumwalt and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy John Whittet to recognize an individual Sailor who best represented the ever-growing group of dedicated professional Sailors at each command and ultimately the Navy.

Each year, every U.S. Navy ship, station, and command around the world chooses its Sailor of the Year based on leadership, professionalism, dedication, and superior performance. These selectees compete against recipients from other commands, eventually competing at higher echelons until U.S. Pacific Fleet’s finest are chosen. The winners of the Sea and Shore 2022 Sailor of the Year will represent U.S. 7th Fleet at the U.S. Pacific Fleet competition. “As far as PACFLT SOY, just like I did for this board, I want to represent everyone who has helped me get to this point with the addition of representing 7th Fleet in the best way possible,” said Lewis. “I know the competition is going to be fierce. I’m going up against Sailors who are more than likely going to be wearing khakis in a few months, so nothing is guaranteed. I’m just going to take in the moment, do my best to represent our fleet, my leadership, peers, junior Sailors and family, and hopefully I can bring it home for 7th for a 2nd year in a row.” U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy’s largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build maritime partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability, and prevent conflict.

Carrier Strike Group 10, GHWBCSG Changes Command

Courtesy Story

Carrier Strike Group 10

NAVAL STATION NORFOLK — Rear Adm. Dennis Velez relieved Rear Adm. Rick J. Cheeseman, Jr. as Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10, George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (GHWBCSG) during a ceremony aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) on board Naval Station Norfolk April 6, 2022. Civilian and military guests gathered to bid fair winds and following seas to Cheeseman and welcome Velez as the new commander. Rear Adm. Fred Pyle, director, Maritime Operations, U.S. Fleet Forces Command was the presiding officer at the ceremony. Pyle emphasized the importance of the capabilities the strike group brings in today’s security climate. “I truly believe that one of the core strengths of our Navy comes from our commitment to the principles underpinning command,” said Pyle. “The authority, responsibility, and accountability of command are absolute, which, in fact, make this ceremony quite distinct.” Pyle emphasized the importance of the capabilities the strike group brings in today’s climate. “A strike group’s agility, resilience, and strength, as well as its diverse array of capabilities make it the Navy’s premiere unit of issue,” said Pyle. “Neither China or Russia can replicate it — they can’t train, deploy, and sustain operations with the responsiveness, command and control capability, and multi-dimensional might like that of a U.S. Navy carrier strike group.” Cheeseman, a native of Carney’s Point,

Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, left, relieves Rear Adm. Rick Cheeseman, as Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10, as Rear Adm. Fred Pyle, director, Maritime Operations, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, presides during a change of command ceremony aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) April 6, 2022. ( PETTY OFFICER 3RD CLASS BRYAN VALEK)

New Jersey, and 1989 graduate of Pennsylvania State University, assumed command of CSG-10 in December 2020. Throughout his speech, Cheeseman lauded the tenacity and dedication to service of all CSG-10 Sailors under his charge. “How can I not be emotional after developing such a strong bond with 7,566 Sailors whom I am proud to lead,” asked Cheeseman. “Make no mistake, these Sailors understand the challenges ahead and they are neither hesitant nor scared. They are resolute in their preparation for their future mission — whatever that may be.” Velez, a native of Adjuntas, Puerto Rico,

and a graduate of United States Naval Academy arrives as the strike group is preparing for a deployment. He thanked Cheeseman for his devotion to service. “I know you hate to go, but hopefully you can find satisfaction in the fact that you are leaving behind a legacy of excellence and combat readiness in the entire strike group.” Velez then addressed the Sailors of CSG-10 for the first time as their new commander. “I am not sure what the future will bring as we get ready to complete our work ups and deploy overseas, but I know without question that this strike group will be ready

to answer our Nation’s call,” said Velez. “I am ready to go to work.” CSG-10 is an integrated combat weapons system that delivers superior combat capability to deter, and if necessary, defeat America’s adversaries in support of national security and is preparing to deploy as the George H.W. Bush CSG. The major command elements are the aircraft carrier USS. George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Destroyer Squadron 26, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), and the Information Warfare Commander.

www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 2 | Thursday, April 14, 2022 5

“Early detection gave us more time to find information and support together.”

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6 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 2 | Thursday, April 14, 2022

Douglas Knight, the regional traffic safety officer for Navy Region Japan, teaches a Basic Rider’s Course (BRC) for motorcycle safety at Yokohama, North Dock. For 75 years, CFAY has provided, maintained, and operated base facilities and services in support of the U.S. 7th fleet’s forward deployed naval forces, tenant commands, and thousands of military and civilian personnel and their families. (TECH SGT GARRETT COLE)

Sharing a Passion for the Iron Horse By Tech. Sgt. Garrett Cole

Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka

“Riding is an art as well as a craft and no amount of explanation can take the place of experience.” Theresa Wallach, ‘Easy Motorcycle Riding, 1970’ On the road of life, it can be rare to find a path that allows one to pursue their passion as well as impact and even save lives. For Douglas Knight, his passion for riding motorcycles has taken him on many different roads, which ultimately led him to Yokosuka, Japan, where he serves as the Navy Region Japan Traffic and Recreational Off-Duty (ROD) Program Director. Motorcycles have been a vital part of Knight’s life as he began riding motorcycles at the age of nineteen. His passion for riding stems from childhood when his father brought home minibikes. By the age of fourteen, Knight had his own street bike which has solidified his passion for riding two-wheeled vehicles. Riding may be in his blood, but he will attest that even the most seasoned rider can still learn. “Before I took my first Basic Rider Course (BRC) in 1999, I thought I knew how to ride then,” said Knight. “I learned that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I was just getting on the bike and going but I had no understanding of how it works.” His journey to where he is today began

with his career in the Navy. After nine years, he separated and worked in a variety of fields including as a mechanic, computer operator, video clerk, and also for Yokosuka MWR. While Knight was on his personal journey, the Navy happened to be going through its own changes when it came to motorcycles. “In 2004, they were averaging 25 to 30 reportable [motorcycle] collisions a year,” said Knight. “A reportable collision is one that involves property damage and injuries that result in time off. Back then, Navy policy was that you could go buy and ride whatever you want.” After much reflection on policy, Navy leadership began implementing requirements for new riders. The Basic Rider’s Course became mandatory, and riders were restricted from riding unless they had completed it. Among the new changes, there were safety limits established as well. “The Navy also instituted a policy for all new riders,” said Knight, “as well as anyone who couldn’t prove they were prior licensed, limiting them to a 400cc maximum engine size for the first year, and you aren’t allowed to ride on base unless you complete the Basic Rider Course.” As the Navy established its new policies, the number of incidents decreased. “Once they instituted this policy, they had zero incidents for the next three years

that were considered reportable collisions,” said Knight. In 2005, Knight’s journey brought him back to the Navy to his current job where he is able to take his passion for motorcycles and impart it to others. Among his duties are instructing and facilitating the very BRC classes responsible for lowering these crash statistics. Knight’s mission now is to instill a level of knowledge and confidence for both seasoned and aspiring motorcycle riders. Seeing the results of the BRC helps to solidify the need for the program. “It just reinforces my will to ensure that I give the best training,” said Knight. “I want everybody to succeed. I can’t make you an expert rider, but my goal is to give you the tools to get there.” A program like the BRC, even with the given results, is not without challenges. Knight is scheduled to leave in April 2022 and the immediate future of the course is uncertain. Rider coaches are vital to the success of the course. These instructors are certified, seasoned motorcyclists who volunteer their time off to help run the course. Currently, there is a shortage of these instructors. “Volunteers have other jobs and getting them to teach is not always easy,” said Knight. “The Navy does it differently everywhere else. Sometimes they support the training with contracts, but those contracts

go away. Sometimes they get funded sometimes they don’t. When they don’t, you have to rely on volunteers, so the volunteers are very important.” According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (the organization that created the BRC) to become a rider coach one must: • Be at least 18 years of age • Hold a motorcycle license or endorsement • Have a good driving record • Have no criminal history • Ride a registered and insured motorcycle frequently on the street • Exercise good communication skills • Possess a sincere desire to help others According to an article by MotoGarage, people ride motorcycles for many reasons including passion, freedom, speed, friendship, brotherhood, and most especially fun. With these reasons in mind, it is vital to consider safety when riding, otherwise, every other reason is meaningless. No thrill is worth having if you’re not around to have it. Knight, along with the Navy Region Japan Traffic and Recreational Off-Duty Program, have made it their mission to instill and empower motorcyclists with the right tools to be more capable on the road, wherever they choose to ride. For more information about the Basic Rider Course or to become a rider coach, please contact your local safety office for more information. For 75 years, CFAY has provided, maintained, and operated base facilities and services in support of the U.S. 7th fleet’s forward-deployed naval forces, tenant commands, and thousands of military and civilian personnel and their families.

Benjamin Russell High School NJROTC Announces its Cadet of the Month By James Stockman

Naval Service Training Command

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. — A Benjamin Russell High School (BRHS) freshman and first-year Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) naval science student was recognized as the unit’s cadet of the month, April 6. BRHS NJROTC Senior Cadet Hanna Smith presented a Cadet of the Month certificate and command coin to Brennen Luke, the son of a retired U.S. Army helicopter pilot. “I am very honored to be presented this award,” said Luke. “At first, I had no real understanding of the program and didn’t take it seriously; however, both instructors pushed me to accomplish more and taught me about citizenship, service and personal responsibility. These are life lessons that I will carry with me forever.” Luke’s family has a strong tradition of military service, and he plans to become a U.S. Air Force officer and pilot after graduating high school. “I wanted to join the military since I was a kid because most of the men in my family have served,” said Luke. “I want to continue the years of service that my family had since my great grandfather served in the Army.

Benjamin Russell High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) Senior Cadet Hanna Smith (right) presents Cadet Brennen Luke with a Cadet of the Month certificate. (JAMES STOCKMAN)

As I got older, I became interested in aviation because of my dad’s career and I want to follow in his footsteps and become a pilot.” To earn cadet of the month, students need to excel in all facets of the naval science program, including academics, leadership, mentorship and participation. “It is an honor to see cadets grow over the course of a school year,” said Cmdr. (ret.) James Stockman, BRHS NJROTC senior naval science instructor. “Brennen started out slow, but he has really matured over the past few months both as a leader and student. I foresee him being a cadet officer within our

unit soon.” Later this year, Luke will compete against the six previously recognized cadets of the month for the unit’s cadet of the year. NJROTC is a citizenship development program, established in 1964, that instills service to the United States, personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment in students in secondary educational institutions. Today, there are more than 600 units at high schools and military academies across the United States including units in Japan and Guam. Naval Service Training Command (NSTC),

headquartered at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois, oversees the NJROTC program and 98% of all initial accessions training for the Navy, except the officers produced by the U.S. Naval Academy. This includes the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program with more than 60 units at colleges and universities across the country, Officer Training Command in Newport, Rhode Island, and Recruit Training Command at Great Lakes. For more information about NJROTC, visit www.netc.navy.mil/NSTC/NJROTC. For more news about NSTC, visit www. netc.navy.mil/NSTC.

www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 2 | Thursday, April 14, 2022 7

Ms. Usha Pitts, the Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy Nassau, gives her opening remarks during a reception held on the flight deck of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78), April 3. Porter, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is currently in the U.S. 2nd Fleet area of operations to conduct routine certifications and training. (PETTY OFFICER 1ST CLASS ERIC COFFER)

USS Porter Visits Nassau, The Bahamas Courtesy Story

Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet

NASSAU, The Bahamas (April 3, 2022) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) conducted a scheduled port visit in Nassau, The Bahamas, April 3-7. The ship’s arrival marked the first time a U.S. Navy vessel has visited The Bahamas since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The port visit began with a high-level reception aboard Porter co-hosted by Cmdr. Christopher Petro and the Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy, Usha Pitts. “This port visit is a wonderful illustration of our partnership,” Pitts said during the

NAVSTA Rota from Page 1

from base,” she said. While the students are taught 3-4 hours a week of English instruction, she explained that they needed interactions with native speakers. “For the Spanish students, this is a very good experience to find out how native speakers speak,” she explained. “They need to know firsthand how people talk, how people live in the States, how they work, etc.” Each session started with the active duty service member giving their name, hometown or state, and age. Garcia Guerra quizzed the students at the end to check their comprehension, turning it into a fun game. Afterwards, the students broke up into small groups to chat with service

reception. “We have to remember that some country will patrol the ocean, will make a show of force, and will hold other countries accountable for their behavior. I thank God it is the U.S. doing it and that we have the tools, like USS Porter, and the personnel, like the Sailors on this ship, doing it.” Porter recently completed maritime operations in the North Sea and a task force exercise certification off the coast of the U.S. This port visit provided an opportunity to strengthen an important bilateral partnership between maritime neighbors, which is essential to regional stability. “As a Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe ship, it is an incredible opportunity for

the Porter crew to cross the Atlantic and enjoy the beautiful Bahamas,” said Cmdr. Christopher Petro, Porter’s commanding officer. “After completing demanding maritime operations, training and certifications, the crew and I are eagerly looking forward to experiencing the warm Bahamian hospitality and enjoying the beautiful beaches, culture and local sights of The Bahamas.” Minister of National Security the Hon. Wayne Munroe attended the reception and offered remarks to the crew and guests. “We talk about friends, but I’d like to think that the United States and The Bahamas are really in a relationship where you are our big brother,” Munroe said. “Next

members around the outdoor patio. The time was used to get to know each other better and ask questions about each other’s cultures. “I was very excited to learn new English vocabulary,” said Jesus López Salmerón, a student from El Puerto de Santa María, Spain. “To hear how a native person talks with you — vocabulary, expressions — and making corrections [to my English]. Adding that he and his fellow students could teach, “the Americans a little bit more about Spain and its culture and what the Spanish people are like” during the event as well. The event helped to develop a greater understanding between the two groups which was just what Howes had wanted from these events. “I hope that both the American service members and the Spanish students get to learn more about each other’s cultures,”

she said. “I want the service members to know that Spain is more than just jamon and tinto, and for the Spanish students to know that the U.S. is more than just New York, California, and hamburgers.” These first two events will hopefully set the foundation for future collaborations between the school and the base laying the foundation for what Garcia Guerra described as, “the first stone to build something amazing.” By the end of the event, students and service members were chatting and laughing like friends. Many were making plans to attend the next event so they could pick up their conversations where they ended. “I recommend everyone does this,” said Hospitalman Jalon Inofer, assigned to U.S. Naval Hospital Rota, Spain. “This was such a wonderful experience.”

year we will celebrate 50 years of independence, and you celebrate 246 years of independence. That makes you quite a bit older than us. We accept you as our big brother, and standing on a vessel like this… it’s kind of good to have a big brother like you.” Upon arrival in The Bahamas, Porter Sailors volunteered in the local community with The Bahamas Red Cross Society, assisting with the Community Resilience and Food Security Pilot Program. Sailors worked on raised garden beds and planted vegetable seeds that will support a feeding program serving over 125 Bahamians daily. Porter, forward deployed to Rota, Spain, is currently operating in the U.S. 2nd Fleet area of operations. Porter 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 and Missile Defense architecture. 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.

MSC Carters from Page 1

MSC’s Beaumont office has been solely run by Rothgeb since 2018. He is responsible for all of the command’s load operations, along with managing canal transits of both MSC and MSC chartered vessels. During fiscal year 2021, he oversaw 350,000 measurement tons of cargo loads and 11.3 million cubic feet of cargo moves, totaling more 10,000 pieces of cargo. Located in Norfolk, MSCLANT’s mission is to exercise operation over MSC afloat forces that provide ocean transportation of equipment, fuel, supplies and ammunition in the Eastern Atlantic to sustain US forces worldwide. The command is represented by six geographic port offices. The Port of Beaumont is one; the other five are: Naval Weapons Station Earle, N.J., Charleston, S.C., Jacksonville (JAX), Fla., Port Canaveral, Fla., and Sunny Point, N.C.

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www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 3 | Thursday, April 14, 2022 1

Worldwide Flavors This menu from“The New York Times” bestselling cookbook author and recipe developer Stephanie Banyas offers delightful flavor fusions from around the world. PAGE C4

(Lto R) Horticulture instructor Taylor Treadway with Andrea Tomlin, Horticulture department chair. (COURTESY PHOTO)

The Horticulture Program spring sale is back on Chesapeake Campus By Laura J. Sandord Step into the greenhouses on Tidewater Community College’s Chesapeake Campus and you will be delighted by the sights and scents. You’ll find beautiful blooms, fresh vegetables, fragrant herbs and colorful hanging baskets. And best of all, these beauties can go home with you to liven up your home, yard or patio. TCC’s Plant Sale will be held for two days only, April 26-27, from 9 a.m. — 4 p.m., on the Chesapeake Campus, 1428 Cedar Road. “We are excited to be back after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic,” said Andrea Tomlin, TCC horticulture professor and program lead. “We’re looking forward to seeing the community return to our three beautiful greenhouses for our annual spring sale.” All plants grown by TCC’s horticulture students begin as seeds, rooted cuttings or plugs. This year, Greenhouse Production students produced 18 different types of

bedding plants, seven different types of vegetables, seven types of herbs, as well as a variety of houseplants and some native perennials. Community members who come to shop will find geraniums, petunias, impatiens, vinca, verbena and others. An assortment of vegetables is available including tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash, zucchini and eggplant. Healthy herbs round out the offerings with basil, cilantro, lemon balm and more. Every semester, horticulture students learn about crop production in the hands-on laboratories on the Chesapeake Campus. Three greenhouses protect plants and provide the growing setting in every season. Students focus on proper techniques for planting, fertilizing and documenting the growing season for each plant. “Our plants are given a lot of care,” said Tomlin. “Students learn how to correctly space, disbud, pinch and deadhead plants as needed to produce a prolific plant that will last all season. In addition,


daily watering, fertigation and disease monitoring ensure a quality crop.” Growing plants also means pests and

learning pest control techniques. TCC students use dual-sided yellow insect traps, as well as a special homemade pest control solution to ward off pests. You can keep your plants pest-free at home by using the recipe below. TCC’s greenhouses are located behind the Whitehurst building with the lab in room 2067. Plants cost between $1 and $25 and can be purchased with cash or checks only. For more information about the sale, email atomlin@tcc.edu or call 757-822-5090. TCC homemade pest control solution for your plants Mix the TCC homemade formula for pests on most plants. Take a 16-ounce spray bottle and fill three-fourths with water. Add a few squirts of liquid dish detergent. Then add a few capfuls of rubbing alcohol. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with water and replace the top. Shake well. Spray as needed on vegetables, houseplants, and blooming bedding plants to get rid of pests. This solution is safe for humans and pets.

The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium Announces Its Annual “Easter Egg Hunt in the Trees” From The Adventure Park Virginia Beach, Va — The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium, the area’s largest zipline and climbing adventure experience, is happy to announce its annual “Easter Egg Hunt in the Trees.” “This is not your typical Easter egg hunt,” said Candie Fisher, President of The Adventure Park. “It is a fun scavenger hunt through our treetop trails.” Printed “eggs” are placed throughout several of the trails, each with a different word. Participants find the words in the trees and win a prize. “Our non-traditional Easter egg hunt is a big hit with guests,” added Park Manager, Darlene Zimble. “They enjoy the unique scavenger hunt in the trees and, of course, the prize at the end.” Participation in the “Easter Egg Hunt in the Trees” is free, but guests will need to purchase a ticket for climbing at myadventurepark.com/VBAP. Dates for the “Easter Egg Hunt in the Trees” are now through April 17 during regular operating hours. The Adventure Park at the Virginia Aquarium has also released its Spring Break schedule with daily extended hours through April 17. The 17 trails at The Adventure Park consist of 258 various challenges in the trees, including bridges, tightropes, ladders, and 31 ziplines. The longest zipline runs 315 feet

and crosses Owls Creek for a spectacular view. Participants wear harnesses with clips that connect to the trail’s safety system, ensuring that they are always locked on to the course until they reach the end. The main trails are designed for ages 5 to adult. Non-climbing participants are admitted free of charge to share the experience on the ground and enjoy the property’s nature trails and picnic tables. The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium is open to the general public and is located just minutes from the Boardwalk, on acres of forest on the grounds of the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center. The address is 801 General Booth Boulevard in Virginia Beach. Walk ins are welcome on a space available basis, but guests are encouraged to book ahead on the Park’s website or by calling 757-385-4947. The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium is designed, built and operated by Outdoor Venture Group. Spring break hours: April 9 — April 17 Monday: 9 a.m. — 8 p.m. Tuesday: 9 a.m. — 8 p.m. Wednesday: 9 a.m. — 8 p.m. Thursday: 9 a.m. — 8 p.m. Friday: 9 a.m. — 9 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m. — 9 p.m. Sunday: 9 a.m. — 6 p.m. Easter (April 17): 10 a.m. — 6 p.m.


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VB Festival of Champions Brings Fierce Competition and Rocking Country Beats to Mount Trashmore Park From Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Mount Trashmore Park will be rocking with the sounds of chainsaws buzzing, hoses spraying, and country beats blaring on Saturday, May 7, as the Firefighter Challenge presented by STIHL returns along with the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® US Trophy event for the Virginia Beach Festival of Champions! Following a day of fierce competitions, spectators can enjoy a special concert by Celeste Kellogg put on by Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation. The competitions will begin on May 7, from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. with the Firefighter Challenge Team Relay event. Designed to showcase the extraordinary athleticism of America’s firefighters, the event demonstrates the essential skills of firefighting including climbing a five-story tower in full PPE gear, dragging and hoisting fire hoses, victim rescue, racing around obstacles, and simulating forcible entry all while competing against the clock to determine

the best of the best. Competitor registration has begun and interested participants can sign up until the day of the event at firefighterchallenge.com. Moving over to the main stage from 2-4 p.m., the nation’s top 12 ranked lumberjack athletes will compete with razor-sharp axes and high-powered chainsaws in the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® US Trophy event. The athletes will perform four different disciplines back-to-back in grueling knockout matchups, all in less than two minutes. STIHL TIMBERSPORTS®, the original extreme sport, started in 1985 at regional U.S. logging competitions and has grown to become a worldwide phenomenon with National Championships in 27 countries. The Trophy event is the sport’s most physically demanding competition. Once the sawdust has settled, the Mount Trashmore stage will welcome Nashville-charting recording artist Celeste Kellogg for a free concert from 5-7 p.m. Celeste was named the Nashville Universe Rising Star in 2016 and the Nashville Universe Female Vocalist of the Year in

2018. The Virginia Beach Festival of Champions event will also feature family-friendly activities, the Virginia Beach Monster Fire Truck, food trucks, and alcohol sales benefiting the Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation Foundation. For more information, visit VBgov.com/foc. About Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation strives to promote healthy lifestyles and protect the City’s coastal environment, as well as to ensure all residents — regardless of their physical, social and economic circumstances — can access Parks & Recreation programs. The department’s vision is to be the national leader in providing enriching and memorable lifelong experiences. Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA, the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association. For more information, visit VBgov.com/parks or call (757) 385-1100 (TTY: 757-711 Virginia Relay). Sign up for Parks & Rec email newsletters at VBgov.com/ eNews. Find us on Facebook at facebook.

com/VBparksrec. About Firefighter Challenge With the first Firefighter Combat Challenge taking place in 1991, the mission is to promote and showcase the talents, skills and athleticism of America’s firefighter heroes and heroines in an exciting and entertaining sports competition that travels the United States simulating the essential skills of firefighting (climbing a five-story tower in full PPE gear, dragging and hoisting a fire hose, simulating forcible entry, and racing around obstacles. The Firefighter Challenge motivates, identifies and celebrates America’s “best of the best” firefighters. Competitors can learn more and register to compete at firefighterchallenge.com. About STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® - The Original Extreme Sport — features the nation’s best lumberjack sports athletes. Competitors go head-to-head using razor sharp axes and high-powered chainsaws in six thrilling disciplines: the underhand chop, stock saw, standing block chop, single buck, springboard chop and hot saw. STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® started in 1985 at regional U.S. logging competitions, and has grown to become a worldwide phenomenon with National Championships in 27 countries, culminating in the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® World Championships (Individual and Team Relay). The sport now includes an impressive roster of Men, Women and Rookie Divisions.

Elizabeth River Trail Foundation Announces A Jam-Packed Trail Season From The Elizabeth River Trail Foundation NORFOLK, Va. — The Elizabeth River Trail Foundation has organized a fun-filled and jam-packed season of activities offering something for everyone. Building on its community partnerships, the ERTF offers its most comprehensive season yet. All events are FREE and open to the public. Community partners include the Slover Library, Norfolk Tour Company, 757 Creative Re-Use Center and Norfolk Master Gardeners. There are five ERT-specific tours from Norfolk Tour Company in Norfolk from now until October. The first this year was the African American History tour in February. It was so popular it will be brought back in June. FRI, JUN 10 AT 7 PM Black History on the ERT: A Juneteenth Walking Tour Elizabeth River Trail - Waterside Marina FRI, JUL 22 AT 7 PM Elizabeth River Trail Walking Tour of Plum Point Park and Chelsea Elizabeth River Trail - Plum Point Park FRI, AUG 19 AT 7 PM Elizabeth River Trail Walking Tour of Lambert’s Point Elizabeth River Trail - IPConfigure SAT, SEP 17 AT 2 PM Elizabeth River Trail Waterfront Walking Tour Elizabeth River Trail - Waterside Marina SAT, OCT 15 AT 2 PM Elizabeth River Trail Walking Tour of Larchmont and Edgewater Elizabeth River Trail - Larchmont Library “Norfolk Tour Company is very excited to partner with the Elizabeth River Trail and show off some of the great amenities along this unique open space,” said Founder Joshua Weinstein. “These tours will wind through the city, focusing on a variety of Norfolk neighborhoods such as Downtown, Chelsea, Lambert’s Point and Larchmont. We can’t wait to show off the history, nature sites and enjoyment that can be had along the trail this year.” We also have a full schedule of botanical tours led by Norfolk Master Gardener Jim Affeldt. These include a combination of walking and

biking botanical tours. All tours are free, but participants must register in advance. SAT, APR 23 AT 10 AM Botanical Bike Tour of Lochaven Neighborhood Gardens and Hermitage Gardens Hermitage Museum and Gardens SAT, MAY 28 At 10 AM Botanical Bike Tour Of West Ghent and Neighborhood Gardens W.H. Taylor Elementary SAT, JUN 25 AT 10 AM Botanical Walking Tour of ODU Campus and Orchid Conservatory Old Dominion University, 5115 Hampton Boulevard SAT, JUL 23 AT 10 AM Botanical Bike Tour of Ghent and the Fred Heutte Center Fred Huette Center SAT, AUG 27 AT 10 AM Walking tour of Historic Freemason neighborhood gardens including the Pagoda Garden Pagoda & Oriental Garden SAT, SEP 24 AT 10 AM Wetlands Bike Tour including Plum Point Park and Chelsea Plum Point Park SAT, OCT 22 AT 10 AM Bike Tour Highlighting Significant Trees along the ERT Plum Point Park “The botanical tours along the ERT provide opportunities for everyone to learn a few new things about our wonderful waterfront environment from invasive plants that may be detrimental to your yard to native plants that will bring caterpillars, butterflies and other diversity of wildlife to our neighborhoods,” said Norfolk Master Gardener Jim Affeldt. “ Slover Library Storytime on the Trail and Stop and Sketch sessions are scheduled through the summer. Craft supplies are provided by 757 Creative Re-use Center. These events encourage continuous learning and observation for kids of all ages. SAT, APRIL 16 AT 11 AM Nature Craft: Bird Nest Material Holder FRI, APRIL 29 AT 10:30 AM Storytime and Nature Craft - Rock Painting SAT, MAY 14 AT 11 AM Nature Journaling & Paintbrushes


FRI, MAY 27 AT 10:30 Storytime and Nature Craft - DIY Flower Press SAT, JUNE 11 AT 11 AM Nature Craft — Using Recycled Materials FRI, JUNE 24 AT 10:30 AM Storytime and Nature Craft - Nature Faces The Live Fresh Boombox Ride led by DJ Bee of Freshtopia happens every Saturday morning at 10:30 and is now in its third year. Riders should meet at 532 W. 35th St. “Fostering relationships with the community is at the heart of the ERT Foundation’s mission,” said Executive Director Kindra Greene. “We want to ensure all neighborhoods are represented and that there is something for everyone to enjoy on the trail all season long.” The Elizabeth River Trail Foundation’s

mission is to promote, enhance and transform the Elizabeth River Trail into the most iconic urban riverfront trail in the country. The ERT runs 10.5 miles and connects businesses, historic attractions and 28 neighborhoods within a five-minute walk. The multi-use trail is designed for walking, running and biking. It comprises 11 sections and 11 trailheads from Norfolk State University to NIT Terminals along the Elizabeth River. Highlights include Harbor Park, Downtown Norfolk, Freemason Historic District, Sentara campus, Fort Norfolk, Chelsea, West Ghent, Lambert’s Point, Old Dominion University, Larchmont and Lochhaven. Major sponsors include Sentara and the City of Norfolk. For more information, visit www. elizabethrivertrail.org.

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4 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 3 | Thursday, April 14, 2022


A Fiesta Fusion of Worldwide Flavors

By Family Features

If you’re seeking inspiration to take mealtime from bland and boring to new and vibrant, look no further than these at-home fiesta recipes. With options ranging from tongue-tingling spice to smooth, creamy and simply delicious, you can call on global flavors to bring life to your kitchen. This menu from “The New York Times” bestselling cookbook author and recipe developer Stephanie Banyas offers delightful flavor fusions from around the world. The lively tastes of the Spicy Shrimp Remoulade in Lettuce Leaves and Mexican Style Paella with Chicken and Sausage pop with the high-quality ingredients of Fresh Cravings Salsas. These boldly flavored salsas are made with vine-ripened tomatoes, crisp onions, zesty peppers and spices. Plus, they’re never cooked or pasteurized, meaning you’re enjoying a vibrant dip that’s never soggy or dull. Available in a range of heat levels among restaurant style, chunky and pico de gallo, they complement any at-home fiesta. For a fiery, zesty twist, this Red Pepper Chickpea Soup with Gazpacho Relish and Tortilla Croutons calls for Fresh Cravings Hummus, as its ideal creamy texture and savory taste balances out the spice. Made with a short list of high-quality ingredients like chickpeas, tahini and Chilean extra-virgin olive oil, this hummus has a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. “The hummus adds loads of flavor and makes this thick, rich soup totally dairy and gluten free, so there is no need for heavy cream, cornstarch or flour,” Banyas said. “It’s as beautiful to look at as it is delicious to eat.” To find more fiesta-worthy recipe ideas, visit freshcravings.com. Red Pepper Chickpea Soup with Gazpacho Relish and Tortilla Croutons Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Banyas Servings: 2 ¼ cup finely diced seeded English cucumbers ¼ cup finely diced seeded Roma tomato 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves 1 lime, juice only, divided salt, to taste pepper, to taste 2 cups canned low-sodium vegetable stock, divided ½ cup Fresh Cravings Restaurant Style Salsa (mild or medium) 1 container (10 ounces) Fresh Cravings Roasted Red Pepper Hummus tri-color fried tortilla strips In small bowl, combine cucumber, tomato, onion and cilantro. Add half the lime juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Let sit at room temperature. In blender or food processor, process 1 cup stock and salsa until smooth. Pour mixture into medium saucepan. Add remaining stock and hummus, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining lime juice. Divide soup between two bowls and top with relish and tortilla strips. Spicy Shrimp Remoulade in Lettuce Leaves Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Banyas Yield: 8 leaves Shrimp: ½ cup Fresh Cravings Chunky Salsa (mild or medium) 9 cups water, divided ice water 1 lime, sliced

Red Pepper Chickpea Soup with Gazpacho Relish and Tortilla Croutons. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Spicy Shrimp Remoulade in Lettuce Leaves. (COURTESY PHOTO)

12 sprigs cilantro 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 pound fresh shrimp (31-35), peeled and deveined Remoulade Sauce: ¾ cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice ½ teaspoon chile powder or smoked paprika ½ teaspoon sugar ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper ½ cup Fresh Cravings Chunky Salsa (mild or medium), drained well ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves ¼ cup green onion, thinly sliced, plus additional for garnish 8 butter or Boston lettuce leaves cilantro leaves, for garnish lime wedges, for garnish

chopped black olives, for garnish (optional) chopped hard-cooked eggs, for garnish (optional) To make shrimp: In food processor or blender, blend salsa with 1 cup water until smooth. Fill large bowl with ice water; set aside. Transfer salsa mixture to large saucepan and add remaining water, lime slices, cilantro sprigs and salt. Bring to boil over high heat; stir in shrimp, cover, turn off heat and let shrimp poach off heat in liquid 10 minutes. Drain in colander. Transfer shrimp to ice bath and let sit 5 minutes. Drain again. To make remoulade sauce: In large bowl, whisk mayonnaise, mustard, lime juice, chile powder, sugar, salt and pepper until combined; fold in salsa. Put half of remoulade sauce in large bowl. Fold in shrimp and cilantro, adding remoulade as needed to make mixture creamier; taste for seasoning. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or up to 6 hours. Arrange lettuce cups on platter. Spoon equal portions shrimp mixture into lettuce cups. Garnish with cilantro leaves; lime wedges; black olives, if desired; and eggs, if desired. Mexican Style Paella with Chicken and Sausage Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Banyas Servings: 4-6 1 container (16 ounces) Fresh Cravings Chunky Salsa (mild or medium) 12 ounces chicken tenders, patted dry 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional, to taste, divided freshly ground black pepper, to taste 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

12 ounces fully cooked chicken sausage or pork sausage links 3 cups low-sodium canned chicken stock, water or combination 2 cups long-grain rice 1 cup frozen peas ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley lime wedges Remove ½ cup salsa and set aside. In blender or food processor, process remaining salsa until smooth. Put chicken in bowl, add ½ cup pureed salsa and toss to coat. Cover and marinate at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours in refrigerator. In large, high-sided saute pan over high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil until it begins to shimmer. Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook until both sides are golden brown and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to plate, loosely tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes then slice into 2-inch pieces. Add remaining oil to pan and heat until shimmering; cook sausage until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to plate, loosely tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes. Slice on bias into 2-inch pieces. Wipe out pan with paper towels. Add remaining pureed salsa and stock; bring to boil. Add rice and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring mixture to boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low; cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 18 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle peas on top. Let sit, covered with lid, 5 minutes. Fluff with fork then stir in chicken, sausage, peas and cilantro. Spoon remaining salsa on top.

Sweeten Up Spring with an ‘Eggstra’ Creative Brunch By Family Features It’s hard to top a brunch feast spent snacking on sweet treats in the sunshine with loved ones. At the center of your celebration can be a springtime tradition with nearly endless possibilities: eggs. Lean into the season with creative recipes like Prosciutto and Parmesan Egg Cups or Eggy Lemon Sandwich Cookies to take brunch to the next level. As a natural source of vitamins and minerals, eggs are a delicious protein powerhouse with just 70 calories per large egg. Boiled, scrambled, poached, baked and any other way you like them, they’re a kitchen superhero. This spring, add eggs to your menu and explore fresh ways to celebrate the season at incredibleegg.org. Prosciutto and Parmesan Egg Cups Recipe courtesy of the American Egg Board and “Joy the Baker” Total time: 34-36 minutes Yield: 6 cups 12 pieces thinly sliced prosciutto 6 slices tomato ⅓ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese 6 large eggs fresh cracked black pepper, to taste ¼ cup finely chopped chives Place rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 350 F. Line muffin pan with six cupcake liners. Drape two slices prosciutto in each cup over liner, ensuring there are no holes for egg to sneak through. Place one tomato slice in each cup. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon Parmesan atop each tomato. Crack one egg into each cup. Sprinkle each with fresh cracked black pepper, to taste. Bake 14-16 minutes, or until eggs are cooked as desired. Top with chives. Cool 5 minutes before serving warm. Eggy Lemon Sandwich Cookies Recipe courtesy of the American Egg Board and “Joy the Baker”

Total time: 1 hour, 40 minutes Yield: 16-18 cookies Dough: 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda ½ teaspoon baking powder ¾ teaspoon kosher salt ¾ cup vegetable shortening ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 1 cup granulated sugar 1 large egg 2 tablespoons whole milk 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Lemon Curd: ½ cup fresh lemon juice 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest ½ cup granulated sugar 3 large eggs 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes Buttercream: 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 2 cups powdered sugar 1 pinch salt 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest 1-2 tablespoons warm milk 1 teaspoon poppy seeds To make dough: In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together shortening and butter until well combined. Scrape down sides of bowl, add sugar and beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add egg, milk and vanilla extract; beat until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat on low until dough forms. Scrape down sides of bowl to ensure no dry pockets at bottom. Wrap and refrigerate dough 30 minutes. Place rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 350 F. Roll half of dough on lightly floured counter to ¼-½-inch thickness. Cut with 2-3-inch egg cookie cutter and place on parchment paper-

Prosciutto and Parmesan Egg Cups. (COURTESY PHOTO)

lined baking sheet. Use 1-inch round or egg-shaped cookie cutter to cut yolk holes out of half the cookies. Bake 8-10 minutes until just golden around edges. Cool completely before filling. To make lemon curd: In 2-quart heavy saucepan, whisk juice, zest, sugar and eggs. Stir in butter and cook over low heat, whisking frequently, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and bubbles appear on surface, about 6 minutes. Transfer lemon curd to bowl and chill, covered with plastic wrap, until cold, at least 1 hour. To make buttercream: In medium bowl

using electric hand mixer, beat butter until well softened. Add powdered sugar, salt and lemon zest; beat on low. Add milk and whip to combine. Beat in poppy seeds. Transfer frosting to zip-top bag with corner cut off or piping bag with medium round tip. Leave buttercream at room temperature until ready to pipe. To assemble cookies: Flip each whole egg cookie so bottoms are facing up. Pipe buttercream frosting around edges. Spoon 2-3 teaspoons lemon curd into centers of cookies. Top each with one cookie with hole; press gently and spoon 1 teaspoon lemon curd into cookie hole.

www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 3 | Thursday, April 14, 2022 5


Dr. Jay Montgomery is a medical director for DHA’s Immunization Healthcare Division. In addition to being a clinician and educator, he also volunteers with Wounded Warriors to design, build and fly radio controlled helicopters. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Dr. Jay Montgomery Details Importance of the Immunization Healthcare Division By MHS Communications Dr. Jay Montgomery is a medical director for the Defense Health Agency’s Immunization Healthcare Division’s North Atlantic Region Vaccine Safety Hub. Montgomery helps address vaccine and immunization questions and concerns, both clinical and administrative. Previously, he also served as specialty consultant to the White House Medical Unit from 2003 to 2016. As a retired Navy captain, Montgomery continues to play a key role in ensuring vaccine safety and efficacy within the DOD. Q: Describe your role in DHA’s Immunization health care. Montgomery: I provide supervisory support to my staff and clinical expertise to the Immunization Healthcare Division, providers, service members, their families, and geographic combatant commands. My Hub’s area of responsibility spans the North Atlantic from Virginia to Wisconsin as well as the U.S. European Command’s and U.S. Africa Command’s area of operations. I also participate in influenza and COVID-19 vaccine trials. Q: Why are immunizations an important part of public health?

Montgomery: Vaccines, by presenting our body’s immune system with a weakened germ or piece of the germ, allow us to become resistant to the effects of a serious disease without the risk of actually contracting the disease. Vaccination, along with sanitation and clean water, are undeniably responsible for improving and prolonging people’s lives, especially in the case of children. Q: What are some major components of your position? Montgomery: I provide specialized medical support to those with immunization concerns or who experience adverse events following immunizations. As a member of the Immunization Healthcare Division’s Immunization Support Center, this can be a 24/7 responsibility. Along with the office’s team of clinicians, educators, administrators, and remote immunization health care specialists, I provide a range of immunization health care education from grand rounds to vaccinator training. And, I am pleased to be able to contribute to vaccine knowledge in a broader sense through the publishing of vaccine-related research made possible by the unique opportunities available to the Immunization

Healthcare Division. Q: How is vaccine guidance developed for active-duty service members preparing for deployment? How does it compare to guidance given to forces and their family members who remain at home? Montgomery: DOD follows the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization PracticesCenter for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices webpage. Guidance for immunizations is based upon age-appropriate preventive medicine, as well as potential occupational and geographic exposure. Routine vaccine-preventable diseases include measles, whooping cough, chickenpox, tetanus, polio, hepatitis, influenza, pneumococcal disease, shingles, and others. There are also vaccines for diseases unique to specific locations such as Japanese Encephalitis, tick-borne encephalitis, typhoid, etc., as well as military-relevant vaccines for Adenovirus, Smallpox and Anthrax. Vaccine guidance is a matter of evaluating individuals to ensure they have not only the

protection against routine diseases, but also protection appropriate for their geographic and occupational environments. Q: How do you support IHD’s response to vaccination questions or concerns? Montgomery: My position occupies a central role in assessing vaccine and immunization questions and concerns (whether clinical or administrative) which may come to my office through a variety of venues; direct military hospital and clinic patient referral, the Immunization Healthcare Support Center, the Global Telehealth Portal, other federal agencies (i.e., CDC), the field (via our Immunization Healthcare Specialists), etc. My goal, and that of the Immunization Healthcare Division, is to aid the DOD in attaining the highest level of vaccine safety, efficacy, and acceptability. About Dr. Montgomery Dr. Montgomery has traveled extensively as a clinician and educator. Despite his schedule, he finds time to design, build and fly radio controlled helicopters. As a Red Cross volunteer, Montgomery assists Wounded Warriors’ cognitive and fine-motor rehabilitation by helping those patients to build radio controlled quadcopters, also known as drones, and teaches them to fly the machines first using computer simulators. A special waiver granted by the Federal Aviation Administration allows them to fly their self-built drones, under Montgomery’s supervision, in designated areas on the Naval Support Activity Bethesda campus in Maryland. In addition to the rehabilitation benefits, the program provides a comfortable environment to reintegrate teamwork and social interaction.

Military Health System Research Program Seeks Funding Applications for FY2023 By MHS Communications The Military Health System Research Program is encouraging researchers to submit grant applications for studies on areas that will directly benefit force readiness, service members, retirees, and their families. Military and civilian researchers are welcome to submit applications. The funding prioritizes research projects that focus on the delivery of military health care and system-level innovations that impact cost, variation and outcomes. “There’s a big difference in traditional clinical research and health systems research, the latter being the focus on healthcare delivery issues at a systemic level,” said Brig. Gen. Katherine Simonson, deputy assistant director of the Defense Health Agency Research and Engineering directorate. “Understanding how the Military Health System actually delivers health care to our 9.6 million beneficiaries, discovering ways we can continue to improve quality and efficiency in that delivery, and determining where we can make process or policy changes that improves the patient care experience and outcomes — that is what this program is all about.” The MHSR program began accepting grant applications on April 4. Applying involves a two-step process starting with applicants submitting a letter of intent

The Military Health System Research Program provides funding for projects that aim to improve care in military medical facilities like the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, pictured here. (SENIOR AIRMAN MELODY BORDEAUX)

by May 3. For successful applicants, the program review board will follow up with an invitation to submit a full proposal. More details on the application process are posted on grants.govgrants.gov website. In recent years, the MHSR program has established a foundation and initiatives to provide valuable data on best practices, variation, intervention outcomes, and policy strategies to enhance the delivery of care in the Military Health System. The program aims to both innovate and improve military health care as well as influence the civilian health care system. • Examples of such studies are ones that: • Evaluate the effectiveness of clinical

procedures and practices of care. • Compare outcomes, cost and quality of care between DOD and non-DOD providers. • Assess utilization patterns and costs associated with practice patterns, interventions, implementation efforts, and policy change. • Examine organization, management, and leadership in health care. Who Can Apply? In addition to DOD medical researchers, civilian researchers who aren’t affiliated with the military are welcome to submit applications for consideration. The MHSR benefits greatly from civilian heath

researchers conducting studies for the MHS. Non-military organizations are also encouraged to apply for the grants. That can include academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and other federal organizations. “We encourage the participation of civilian and academic researchers to leverage their resources and experience to improve the military health system research capacity,” said Dr. Nereyda Sevilla, acting chief of the DHA Research Support Division. “It is an opportunity to partner with DOD institutions and strengthen our MHS capabilities [to] improve patient outcome and safety.”

6 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 3 | Thursday, April 14, 2022

Cockatoo, too.

Cockatoo, too.

Cockatoo, too.

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www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 3 | Thursday, April 14, 2022 7 Dogs, Cats, Other Pets

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Last week’s CryptoQuip answer

I told my friend he shouldn’t bother seeing that boring film, and he responded“Dully noted”


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8 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 3 | Thursday, April 14, 2022


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