Flagship 11.25.2021

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www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 1 | Thursday, November 25, 2021 1


Turkey Day Traditions This year, operating in a COVID environment, Culinary Specialists across the globe are getting ready with pounds of Roast Turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. PAGE A4 VOL. 28, NO. 46, Norfolk, VA | flagshipnews.com

November 25-December 1, 2021



Chief Logistics Specialist Jennifer Fasnacht stands proud as her chief petty officer combination cover is donned during the chief petty officer pinning ceremony at POW/MIA Park, Nov. 19. (COURTESY PHOTO)

By Chief Petty Officer Mary Popejoy Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command

NORFOLK — Family, friends and shipmates gathered at the POW/MIA Park on Naval Support Activity (NSA) Hampton Roads in Norfolk, Virginia, to witness the pinning of 23 new chief petty officers from NSA tenant commands, Nov. 19. The ceremony was the culmination of a six-week training period in which senior enlisted leaders introduced the chief selectees to myriad challenges designed to strengthen

their leadership skills and to provide a better understanding of what it means to be the chief. U.S. Fleet Forces Command’s (USFFC) Fleet Master Chief John Perryman, served as the guest speaker. His remarks focused on the weight of the Chief Anchors. “From this day forward, you will be somebody’s first chief,” said Perryman. “Let that sink in for a second and think about all of the implications that are rolled into that thought. Every single Sailor in the Navy, officer and enlisted, remembers their first chief. You are the person who will set the initial foundation, tone, and

trajectory of that Sailor’s career. Their success in the Navy is tied to your ability to serve in a number of roles for them: teacher, mentor, leader, counselor, and confidant,” said Perryman. The six-week training presented the selectees not only with the foundational knowledge to serve in their new roles as chiefs, but provided opportunities for teambuilding and camaraderie. “I’ll never forget the feeling of walking into the auditorium full of 300 plus chiefs firing off questions one right after another,” said Chief Intelli-

Navy League honors Ombudsman across Hampton Roads By MC3 Leo Katsareas

Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Ombudsmen across the Hampton Roads area were honored by the Navy League of the United States at the Joint Sea Services Hampton Roads Ombudsman Appreciation Luncheon held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center Nov. 17. The luncheon, the second such event held since 2019, brought together leaders across the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard to show appreciation for their command family ombudsmen. “Our ombudsmen of today are incredible,” said Rear Adm.Charles W. Rock, Commander, Navy region Mid-Atlantic. “They’re like superheroes, they must be flexible, they must be adaptive, they must be patient, they must be compassionate, and to me the key attribute that you all share that I have so much tremendous respect for is your selflessness.” Established in 1970, the Navy’s Family Ombudsman Program was created by then Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo

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Gerald R. Ford completes firstever OFRP Crew Certification II for Employment By Lt. Cmdr. Desiree Frame USS Gerald R. Ford Public Affairs

Rear Adm. Charles W. Rock, Commander, Navy region Mid-Atlantic, delivers opening remarks at the Joint Sea Services Hampton Roads Ombudsman Appreciation Luncheon at the Virginia Beach Convention Center Nov. 17. (MC3 LEO KATSAREAS)

R. Zumwalt in Z-gram #24, one of a series of naval messages to the fleet designed to improve retention in the Navy.

Newest Chiefs www.flagshipnews.com

gence Specialist Charles Fischler, from USFFC. I’ve experienced a lot in my naval career, but that was like nothing I have ever been through. It was humbling and exciting at the same time,” he said. The new chief petty officers represented seven different commands, including NSA Hampton Roads, USFFC, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, Submarine Force Atlantic, Naval Air Force Atlantic, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, Navy Computer and Telecommunications Station Hampton Roads.

Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic (SUBLANT) advanced three chief petty officers to their new paygrade during a pinning ceremony, Nov. 19. PAGE A5

“ The Navy’s Family Ombudsmen Turn to Navy League, Page 7

Great American Smokeout

NORFOLK — On Nov. 17, the crew of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) completed their firstever crew certification (CREWCERT) II under the optimized fleet response plan cycle. Orchestrated by Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12 and supported by Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic (CNAL) and Afloat Training Group (ATG), CREWCERT II will ensure that the firstin-class aircraft carrier is ready for operational employment next year. Fine-tuning and assessing the crew’s ability to take the ship to sea and to fight through potential combat casualties is an ongoing process. CREWCERT II provides an administrative review of the ship’s warfare and mission areas in preparation for the ship’s upcoming training cycle. “I am humbled and motivated to be part of Ford-class history, and I know the crew is too,” Turn to Ford, Page 7

For those who smoke breaking this habit can be difficult. The challenge is not going back to the habit after a day, a week, a month, or years after quitting. PAGE A2

Training Norfolk Naval Shipyard is always looking for ways to improve its manufacturing processes while educating the workforce and becoming more proficient in repairing and modernizing our Navy’s warships and training platforms. PAGE A7

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The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 1 | Thursday, November 25, 2021


Great American Smokeout: Help is on your Side By Troy Miller

Norfolk Naval Shipyard Public Affairs

NORFOLK — Mark Twain, an American writer, once said “Giving up smoking is easy… I’ve done it hundreds of times.” For those who smoke breaking this habit can be difficult. The challenge is not going back to the habit after a day, a week, a month, or years after quitting. Nov. 18 marks the 44th anniversary of the Great American Smokeout Day, an intervention event on the third Thursday of November hosted by the American Cancer Society. It is a day to challenge people to give up smoking or come up with a plan to stop smoking. “We understand that something like this [stop smoking permanently] is not an easy task,” said Tobacco Cessation Program Manager for Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Portsmouth and Community Healthy Program Specialist Joe Burmeister.

“This is why multiple agencies have programs and information to help one to quit smoking once and for all.” Sailors, Sailor’s dependents and civilians who are enrolled in TRICARE can contact their Primary Care Manager (PCM) to help them in the process. They can also contact the Health Promotion and Wellness (HPW) Department at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) or any of the outlying Branch Health Clinics for help in quitting tobacco as well. Civilians who are not enrolled in TRICARE must utilize their healthcare system/insurance and their doctor to help them in their quitting process. There are several ways an individual can become tobacco-free: Cold Turkey — staying focused on your reason for quitting. Drink lots of water, stay busy, and avoid other tobacco users and the usual places and circumstances you use tobacco. Tapering — cut down your tobacco until your

quit day. If you smoke 30 cigarettes a day, cut back to 25, then 20, then 15 and so on until you can get down to zero. If you dip, cut down from one can a day to half a can a day. Postponing — Choose not to start your tobacco use until later in the day. If you usually start using as soon as you wake up in the morning, postpone to start a few hours later and then when you get used to that time, postpone to even a later time. Medications — For those who need assistance with quitting, NMCP can provide education and prescription, to include patches, gum and mediation. Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to develop heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. Estimates show smoking increases the risk for coronary heart disease by two to four times, for stroke by two to four times, of men developing lung cancer by 25 times, of women developing lung cancer by 25.7 times. Smoking causes

diminished overall health, increased absenteeism from work, and increased health care utilization and cost. “Quitting tobacco use improves health status and enhances quality of life,” said Burmeister. “It reduces the risk of premature death and can add as much as ten years to life expectancy. It also reduces the risk for many adverse health effects, including poor reproductive health outcomes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cancer.” While quitting earlier in life yields greater health benefits, quitting tobacco is beneficial to health at any age. Even people who have used tobacco for many years or have used tobacco heavily will benefit from quitting. Quitting tobacco is the single best way to protect family members, coworkers, friends, and others from the health risks associated with breathing secondhand smoke. Henry Ford, the found of Ford Motor Company, once said, “Every time you try to quit smoking you are actually getting closer to staying smoke-free.” For more information to quit tobacco use, go to https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-awayfrom-tobacco/great-american-smokeout.html, https://www.ycq2.org/ (TRICARE members only), or call the Virginia Quit line at 1-800Quit Now (784-8669).

NMCP welcomes Operation Peace

By Christina Johnson

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) welcomed Operation PEACE (Peer Empowerment and Community Engagement), headed by Miss District of Columbia, Ensign Andolyn Medina, Nov. 17. Medina, event founder, stopped by the NMCP Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and Hematology/Oncology Wards to gift children with Christmas presents before the holidays. This is the 15th annual Operation PEACE event. Medina competed in junior beauty pageants and used her network of pageant competitors to start the NMCP holiday visit tradition to include many former Miss Virginias. She is a former Miss Virginia’s Outstanding Teen; in addition to currently holding the title of Miss District of Columbia 2021. “For this year and every year moving forward, we want to dedicate Operation PEACE to Kaylyn Garrett,” Medina said. Garret, a former gift recipient, met Medina during the 2019 Operation PEACE visit. “She touched our hearts so much that we want to honor her legacy.” Medina, whose parents are both retired

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) welcomed Operation PEACE (Peer Empowerment and Community Engagement), headed by Miss District of Columbia, Ensign Andolyn Medina, Nov. 17. (COURTESY PHOTO)

naval officers, was a patient in the Pediatrics Department when she was 8-years-old and said she missed out on a lot of holiday traditions with her family. When Medina recovered, she spoke with her mom about how she could give back. “I remember being hospitalized for an emergency on Easter Sunday while my dad was deployed,’’ Medina said. “So, I know what

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it means to be hospitalized on a holiday and to feel like you are missing out.” Medina will be competing in the Miss America 100th Anniversary Competition hosted at Mohegan Sun Resort in Connecticut, Dec. 12-16. As the U.S. Navy’s oldest, continuously-operating military hospital since 1830, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth proudly serves

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

past and present military members and their families. The nationally-acclaimed, state-ofthe-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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Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) hosted a signing ceremony for a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), Local 22, Nov. 17. (DYLAN KINEE)

NMCP signs CBA with AFGE local 22 By Christina Johnson

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) hosted a signing ceremony for a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), Local 22, Nov. 17. Rear Adm. Darin Via, Naval Medical Forces Atlantic (NMFL) commander, and Capt. Shelley Perkins, NMCP’s commanding officer, were present with union and NMCP personnel to sign the new CBA which covers approximately 1,660 NMCP and 30 NMFL employees. According to Peter Kopacz, NMCP’s executive director, the previous CBA was

signed in 1982, and the new one was negotiated for nearly year one year and it contains 46 detailed articles. Additionally, the CBA has been ratified by the union members. “The Chief Negotiators were Kathleen Giacolone for the agencies, and James Glenn, Sr., for the Union,” Kopacz said in his opening statement. “The new CBA is good for three years with rollovers in one year increments.” He also stated that the putting together the new CBA was a testament of management and the Union working together for the good of the employees and the agencies. “We all came together collectively to make a good product,” said Glenn. “We worked hard and we did it,” added Giacolone. “It was a memorable and monumental task.”

The new CBA was initially signed by Via and Perkins, followed by the members of the negotiation team adding their signatures. “This not only represents the document for moving forward, but just the fact that it shows our employees that we can get along,” said Perkins. “It also shows people that hard things are OK to do. You shouldn’t just not take something on because it’s hard, and you guys are living proof that’s possible so thank you so much for that.” Via echoed those sentiments and added, “First off, congratulations. I want to thank my shipmates, and I look at you all when I say that, because it’s more than getting along, it’s we are one team, we have one mission, and we are shipmates whether

you wear a civilian uniform or whether you wear a what Capt. Perkins and I are wearing today. I want to thank you all for coming together to do this to keep us moving forward.” The CBA will now be sent to the Department of the Navy’s Office of Civilian Human Resources (OCHR) for final approval within 30 days of receipt. 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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4 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 1 | Thursday, November 25, 2021

USS Toledo (SSN 769) Deputy Project Superintendent Eric Temple shares one of the boards used in the Operations Control Center (OCC) to track the ongoing tasks of the team. (KRISTI BRITT)

NNSY’s USS Toledo Operations Control Center (OCC) Improves Mission and Supports the Workforce By Kristi R Britt

Norfolk Naval Shipyard Public Affairs

NORFOLK — The Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) USS Toledo (SSN 769) project recently stood up its Operations Control Center, or OCC, to support nonstop execution of work on the deckplate. One of the Naval Sustainment Systems-Shipyard (NSS-SY) initiatives for driving positive change at America’s Shipyard, the team has hit the ground running to support the workforce, contractors, and Sailors working around the clock to deliver the submarine back to the fleet. “The OCC was set up to drive communication and quickly resolve issues as they occur within the project,” said Shipyard Commander Capt. Dianna Wolfson. “That means when a problem occurs on the deckplates that can’t be quickly resolved, mechanics, supervisors and zone manag-

ers have a place to take those issues. Like a well-oiled machine, the OCC team works together to find solutions to drive non-stop execution and will also look to the future for removing barriers in advance to ensure being able to execute the plan.” The OCC is a dedicated space for a cross-functional, project leadership and support team that is located in close proximity to Toledo. If a mechanic has an issue that prevents the work from being accomplished, they reach out to their supervisor to discuss the issue. Within thirty minutes, if they cannot come to a solution, the supervisor will then go to the zone manager and if they are unable to come up with a solution as well, they then proceed to the OCC for assistance. The customer will then sign in and report to the OCC team to discuss the issue for corrective actions. Depending on

the complexity of the need, the team then works on providing that solution. This can range from providing guidance on the issue, traveling to the deckplate to assist, ordering parts with urgency, and more. “The team here is willing to tackle whatever issues come their way, ready to support the mission,” said Toledo Project Superintendent Doug Poynter. “We’re ONE TEAM supporting ONE MISSION — we’re in this fight together and the OCC is a tremendous part in us completing that mission,” said Toledo Commanding Officer Commander Joel Holwitt. “What I am seeing because of this initiative and the other initiatives we’re doing is that sense of urgency and purpose by everyone in this project — my Sailors and the workers on the deckplate — to get Toledo back to sea on time. The OCC provides us that help in order to maximize

that momentum on the deckplate so we don’t have any halts.” “The OCC is about knocking down barriers and streamlining our processes,” said Capt. Wolfson. “This team has formed a foundation of teamwork and have shown their dedication to the mission and to their fellow crewmates. The success here has also paved the way for other projects to standup their OCC as well, everyone eager to learn and execute in this effort.” The Toledo OCC was featured in the latest episode of America’s Shipyard — a video series dedicated to highlighting the high-performing employees and NNSY achievements. You can view the episode on the NNSY Facebook page at https:// www.facebook.com/NorfolkNavalShipyard1/videos/850601225641735, the NNSY YouTube page at https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=yo2CvZC_vbg, and NNSY Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) at https://www.dvidshub. net/video/816222/americas-shipyard-episode-seven. This series will be an ongoing effort and new episodes will be premiering soon. Stay tuned to NNSY’s social media platforms to see the next episode. If you have an idea that should be recognized for a future episode, please email nfsh_nnsy_pao@navy.mil and provide a detailed response of who or what we should recognize and why.


Navy Culinary Specialists Continue Turkey Day Traditions By Naval Supply Systems Command Public Affairs For more than 100 years, the Navy has included roast turkey in its Thanksgiving menu. This year, operating in a COVID environment, Culinary Specialists across the globe are getting ready with an estimated 79,000 pounds of Roast Turkey, 23,000 pounds of stuffing, 38,000 pounds of mashed potatoes, 18,000 pounds of sweet potatoes, 5,400 pounds of cranberry sauce, and 4,800 gallons of gravy to feed our service members.

In 1905, the USS Raleigh’s Thanksgiving menu listed: creamed asparagus bouillon; celery; creamed potatoes, young onions a la hollandaise, steamed cabbage and white sauce; oyster dressing; cranberry sauce; assorted nuts; and—of course—roast turkey. No feast would be complete without dessert. In 1905, pumpkin pie, mince pie, and fruit cake topped off the holiday meal. This year, the Navy estimates 8,092 assorted pies, including cheesecake, pumpkin, sweet potato, cherry and apple. Today, there are about 349,000 Navy

active duty personnel and 4,500 mobilized Reservists serving in the U.S. Navy. There are about 8,700 Culinary Specialists (CS) serving our Navy today. CSs receive extensive training in culinary arts, hotel management and other areas within the hospitality industry. CSs provide food service catering and hospitality services for Admirals, senior government executives, and within the White House Mess for the President of the United States. This rating is responsible for all aspects of the dining (shipboard mess decks) and shore duty living areas.

“Navy Culinary Specialists feed on average more than 78 million wholesome and nutritious meals per year, supporting 294 galleys afloat and ashore. Their unwavering support of the Navy and joint warfighter ensures our fighting forces operate at peak performance, ready to respond to threats worldwide,” said NAVSUP Navy Food Service Director Cmdr. Leanne Riley. “Our culinary professionals are the backbone of Sailor readiness; nothing impacts Sailors on a day-to-day basis more than the food our Culinary Specialists prepare for them.” NAVSUP’s mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP oversees logistics programs in the areas of supply operations, conventional ordnance, contracting, resale, fuel, transportation, and security assistance.

www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 1 | Thursday, November 25, 2021 5

Chief Yeoman Brittney Devera, assigned to Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic, renders a salute after earning her chief anchors during a chief pinning ceremony aboard Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads, Nov. 19. (MC1 CAMERON STONER)

SUBLANT Pins Newest Chiefs By MC1 Cameron Stoner

Submarine Force Atlantic Public Affairs

NORFOLK — Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic (SUBLANT) advanced three chief petty officers to their new paygrade during a pinning ceremony, Nov. 19. The newest Sailors to take on new positions of leadership and responsibility in SUBLANT’s chief mess are Chief Yeoman Brittney Devera, Chief Information Systems Technician (Submarine) Rory Erhardt, and Chief Electronics Technician (Navigation) Adam Aiello. “As deckplate leaders, chiefs must be the foundation of both wisdom and technical

expertise,” said Vice Adm. William Houston, Commander, Submarine Forces. “However, the responsibilities of a chief do not end there. They must continuously exercise their Sailors’ academic, professional and moral development. They must ensure good order and discipline is maintained so that the focus and energy remains on the mission. Finally, they must ensure that the hearts and souls of our incredible Submarine Force, our Sailors, are fit and ready to fight when the need arises.” The rank of chief petty officer is regarded as a significant milestone in an enlisted Sailor’s career. With the advancement comes an increased responsibility of taking charge and training the Sailors of the Submarine Force.

“Today, chiefs join a community that prides itself of being the backbone of the Navy,” Force Master Chief Steve Bosco. “As chiefs, their ability to endure adversity will be tested and they will take on challenges both unfamiliar and daunting. I am confident these newly pinned chiefs will not remain on the sidelines as they are now ‘the chief.’ ” SUBLANT’s chief pinning was part of a larger ceremony held aboard Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads. Chief selects from multiple tenant commands were simultaneously pinned at the bases’ POW/MIA memorial field with family, friends and guests in attendance. The U.S. Submarine Force provides the

training, logistical plans, manpower and operational support to maintain the ability of the Force to respond to both peacetime and wartime demands while ensuring the U.S. Navy maintains undersea superiority into the future. The mission of the Submarine Force is to execute the Department of the Navy’s mission in and from the undersea domain. In addition to lending added capacity to naval forces, the Submarine Force, in particular, is expected to leverage those special advantages that come with undersea concealment to permit operational, deterrent and combat effects that the Navy and the nation could not otherwise achieve. The Submarine Force and supporting organizations constitute the primary undersea arm of the Navy. Submarines and their crews remain the tip of the undersea spear.


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6 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 1 | Thursday, November 25, 2021

MILITARY APPRECIATION DAYS WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1 & THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2021 At Dillard’s, we recognize with continuing gratitude the sacrifices our military forces and their families make daily for our country. In appreciation, we are extending a




to military personnel** on purchases made at Dillard’s on Wednesday, December 1 and Thursday, December 2, 2021. *10% discount on small electric appliances.


FULL-TIME ACTIVE GUARDSMEN and their immediate families

ACTIVATED GUARDSMEN OR RESERVISTS and their immediate families

Make your list and shop for the holidays in your favorite Dillard’s store on December 1 & 2, 2021. Enjoy extra savings as Dillard’s honors our military heroes and their families! Thank you for your service to our country! PROCESS FOR OBTAINING YOUR DISCOUNT: Please visit our Customer Service area and show your valid military ID. Our customer service associates will provide you with a bar-coded shopping pass to use throughout the day. Please retain this shopping pass and show it to our sales associates at the beginning of every transaction. Your appropriate discount will be applied to each transaction. This pass is valid for one day. Should you decide to shop both days, you will need to get a new shopping pass on day two.


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Machining and the Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing By Jason Scarborough

Norfolk Naval Shipyard Public Affairs

NORFOLK — Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) is always looking for ways to improve its manufacturing processes while educating the workforce and becoming more proficient in repairing and modernizing our Navy’s warships and training platforms. A recent example of how NNSY is doing this today is through the Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing (ATDM) Program. This program is specifically designed to help adult learners with varying educational and workplace experiences earn the skills necessary to make an immediate impact as a machinist within NNSY. The ATDM curriculum is a 16-week program designed to give machinists the skills and nationally recognized credentials needed for the shipyard and throughout the industry to improve their processes. ATDM is a pilot project to test and evaluate a prototype training platform for rapidly training skilled workers in key areas of employment, such as computer numerical control (CNC) machining. CNC machining is a manufacturing process in which pre-programmed computer software dictates the movement of factory tools and machinery. The process can be used to control a range of complex machinery, from grinders and lathes to mills and CNC routers. With CNC machining, three-dimensional cutting tasks can be accomplished in a single set of prompts.

Mechanical Group (Code 930) Production Inside Machine Shop Manager Justin Hayden said, “The CNC training provided through the ATDM program in Danville, Va. proved to be very beneficial to our machinists. Currently the Inside Machine Shop does not have any formal CNC training as all CNC learning happens on the job. Although this approach with on-thejob learning does develop machinists, this accelerated ATDM program provides a boost to the development and will help to bring machinists up to speed much faster. We have struggled to maintain enough proficient CNC machinists based on attrition, so this program has the potential to bridge that gap and allow us to increase our numbers at a faster rate. Michael Tanner, a Code 930 machinist, recently completed the program and really enjoyed the opportunity to attend the training and said that he believed it could be a game changer for the shop by increasing productivity.” ATDM was developed as a public-private grouping between DoD, The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR), Danville Community College (DCC), Phillips Corporation, and The Spectrum Group in consultation with the defense industry. IALR, which is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia, serves as the lead organization for program implementation. NNSY plans to continue this partnership with ATDM to potentially incorporate this 16-week program as a part of the training NNSY provides apprentices.

Mechanical Group (Code 930) Production Inside Machine Shop Machinist Shawn Martin uses computer numerical control (CNC) machining to complete daily machining operations. CNC machining is a manufacturing process in which pre-programmed computer software dictates the movement of factory tools and machinery such as grinders, lathes, mills and CNC routers. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Ceremony from Page 1

Lt. Cmdr. Susan Murphy, right, USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) ship’s nurse, and Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Jessica Delapaz, assigned to Afloat Training Group, review and inspect the ship’s medical casualty bill during crew certification (CREWCERT) II, Nov. 17. (COURTESY PHOTO)


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said Capt. Paul Lanzilotta, Ford’s commanding officer. “We have a tough job ahead of us— to start an arduous basic phase of training and prepare for this amazing ship’s first operational tasking, while completing our planned incremental availability (PIA)—but I know this crew can do it, because our enthusiasm is embedded in our culture. We are a learning organization, and we welcome opportunities like CREWCERT to refine our warfighting skills.” During the one-day CREWCERT II assessment, CSG-12, CNAL and ATG assessors reviewed Ford’s past training performance and future training plans, administered level-ofknowledge exams to qualified watch standers, and performed an audit of the ship’s instructions, administrative, operational and emergency watchbills. Ford’s Training Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Decker is responsible for the execution and coordination of all CREWCERT II events and was impressed with the level of preparation that went into the successful completion of this visit. “All the training team leaders put in a lot time and effort leading up to the ship’s first inspection,” said Decker. “We have conducted several general quarters drills preparing our administrative watchbills and ship warfighting capabil-

ities. I know the crew was dedicated and highly motivated to achieve success during this inspection, and I am excited for the rest of Ford’s training pipeline.” After the crew’s months of preparation, the CREWCERT II assessors were able to deliver their evaluation to Ford’s Executive Officer after just a few hours of inspections. Speaking at the out-brief Cmdr. Joseph Gorgol, CNAL’s training officer, said the crew is on track for CREWCERT III and the follow-on underway to conduct sea trials. “Your ship is head and shoulders above average, I can tell that your training team leads were well-prepared for CREWCERT II,” said Gorgol. “One example is the damage control program, beginning with the classes at command indoctrination. It’s apparent this ship takes it seriously, and has prioritized training.” Ford is scheduled to complete CREWCERT III in late January 2022. The third certification phase entails a one-week inspection, where the crew will conduct multiple graded drills to evaluate their performance in areas such as medical response, seamanship and navigation, inport emergency response, and ship-wide damage control and tactical fighting drills. Ford is in port at Newport News Shipyard executing her Planned Incremental Availability or PIA, a six-month period of modernization, maintenance and repairs.

Each selectee took center stage to be pinned and don the chief petty officer cover for the first time. A moment, many of the new chiefs will never forget. “It feels surreal,” said Chief Personnel Specialist Lacey Thercy of USFFC. “For me it’s the rainbow after a few storms — overwhelming and exciting.” “It feels amazing,” said Chief Information Systems Technician (Submarine) Rory Erhardt of Submarine Force Atlantic. “It feels exciting and exhilarating,” said Chief Logistics Specialist Jennifer Fasnacht of Naval Air Force Atlantic. “Being up on stage and looking out at the crowd and seeing all the faces that are so proud of us made the moment even more perfect.” Congratulations to our Fiscal Year 2022 chief petty officers! ETVC Adam Aeillo Submarine Force Atlantic ITC Dorothea Allen Naval Air Force Atlantic MAC Troy Cloe Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads YNC Mose Dantzler Patrol and Reconnaissance Group YNC Brittney Devera Submarine Force Atlantic ITSC Rory Erhardt Submarine Force

Navy League from Page 1

Program Z-gram #24 discussed and emphasized the importance of our Navy Spouses,” said Command Master Chief Toby A. Ruiz, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. “By doing this the admiral also acknowledged and stressed the vital roles that our spouses fill in their daily lives regardless of where their servicemembers are stationed at. Z-Gram #24 provided what he called an official representative of command and unit families to express their views to the commanding officers and base commanders.” The word “Ombudsman” originated in Scandinavian countries and referred to safeguarding the rights of citizens. Today the concept of the Ombudsman is widely utilized in the fields of government, business and healthcare.

Atlantic LSC Jennifer Fasnacht Naval Air Force Atlantic HMC Nikira Ferguson Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads ISC Charles Fischler U.S. Fleet Forces Command ITC Lisa Gallegos U.S. Fleet Forces Command ITC Brandy Gillespie Patrol and Reconnaissance Group ICC Bryanne Iddings Naval Air Force Atlantic ITC Alex Jefferson NCTS Hampton Roads MCC Gary Johnson Supreme Allied Commander Transformation BUC Cody Kincaid Supreme Allied Commander Transformation EMC Steven Mafort Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads OSC Nekeitha Paulk Submarine Group TWO FCC Brandon Rowe U.S. Fleet Forces Command MUC Eric Snitzer U.S. Fleet Forces Command PSC Lacey Thercy U.S. Fleet Forces Command AGC James Walker U.S. Fleet Forces Command YNC Jerron Williams Cruise Missile Support Activity Atlantic MCC Kathryn Macdonald Naval Air Forces Atlantic “I think about the Ombudsman program,” said Lou Schager, Chairman of the Navy League, Hampton Roads. “I’m convinced that the ombudsmen and their role in supporting the triad leadership is just as important to operational readiness in a command than anything because if you’re not comfortable at home, you’re not going to be comfortable at sea.” Spouses interested in participating in the Family Ombudsmen Program can apply for the position when their Servicemember’s command advertises for volunteers, or they can request to be placed on a standby list of volunteers for future consideration when a position becomes available. More information about the Navy Family Ombudsman Program can be found at https://www.cnic.navy.mil/ffr/family_readiness/fleet_and_family_support_program/ work - and - fam i ly - l i fe / ombu ds man _ program.html.

8 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 1 | Thursday, November 25, 2021










www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 2 | Thursday, November 25, 2021 1


Time-Honored Tradition Across the Navy, first class petty officers received their combination covers and anchors from people important to them during the annual Chief Petty Officers’ Pinning Ceremony Nov. 19. PAGE B3

NAVWAR Announces Project Overmatch Prize Challenge Winners By Elisha Gamboa

Naval Information Warfare Systems Command Public Affairs

Capt. Ken Ward, left, commanding officer of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6), shakes hands with Iwakuni City Mayor Yoshihiko Fukuda after a tour of the ship during a port visit to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni. (PETTY OFFICER 3RD CLASS JONATHAN BERLIER)

USS America first LHA to visit MCAS Iwakuni By Lt. John Stevens

USS America Public Affairs

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan — USS America (LHA 6), the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious assault ship, visited Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni, Nov. 18-21. America, which operates out of Sasebo, Japan, is the first large-deck amphibious ship ever to visit MCAS Iwakuni. The ship hosted military and civic leadership, and regional news agencies, for a tour Nov. 19. “Our visit here is an opportunity to highlight cooperation and reinforce our alliance with Japan as the cornerstone for regional peace and security,” said Capt. Ken Ward, America’s commanding officer, during a press conference on the ship’s flight deck. “The main purpose of this port visit is to help Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni exercise and understand the capabilities of this deep-water port facility,” Ward said,

“and to have another opportunity to interact with the Japanese and increase our relations with both the Japanese and our Marine Corps brethren.” America hosted a tour for visitors including Iwakuni Mayor Yoshihiko Fukuda, Chugoku-Shikoku Defense Bureau Director-General Manabu Imakyurei, Yamaguchi Prefecture Citizens Affairs Bureau Director Syunji Ohtsuka, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Rear Adm. Takuhiro Hiragi, commander of Fleet Air Wing (FAW) 31. The tour afforded visitors an inside look at America’s capability and crew. “What’s special about the America class is its aviation capability — some unique features that allow for prolonged aviation operations,” Ward said. “It has substantially more fuel than previous classes, and substantially more armament. It’s specifically designed to support aviation operations, including F-35 aircraft from VMFA-121, based right here at Marine

Corps Air Station Iwakuni.” During the port visit, America Sailors experienced liberty in Iwakuni, Hiroshima, Miyajima, and other Japanese cultural points of interest. They also competed against base Marines in a friendly softball game Nov. 19. “We were very excited to be here because it’s yet another opportunity to experience a different version of Japanese culture,” said Ward. “We get a lot of great experience in Sasebo, but we thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful ride in, and this lovely city has been outstanding. I hope they enjoy the fact that we have come as much as we have enjoyed our time here,” he added. America, flagship of the America Expeditionary Strike Group, along with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility to enhance interoperability with allies and partners, and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

SAN DIEGO — Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) announced the winners of the Artificial Intelligence and Networks Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (AINetANTX) Prize Challenges, Nov. 17, focused on identifying solutions at speed, for a more lethal, better connected fleet of the future in support of Project Overmatch. Project Overmatch is a high priority Department of the Navy initiative aimed at connecting platforms, weapons, and sensors together in a robust Naval Operational Architecture (NOA) that integrates with Joint All-Domain Command and Control for enhanced Distributed Maritime Operations. Critical to Project Overmatch is the development of networks, infrastructure, data architecture, tools and analytics that support the operational and developmental environment that will enable sustained maritime dominance for years to come. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Challenge focused on leveraging the latest in AI-enabled technologies to address current and future warfighting gaps. The winner of the AI Challenge was Big Bear AI, a company focused on helping government and businesses make the decisions that change markets and define outcomes. The runner up was L3 Harris. “We are grateful for the opportunity to have participated in such an important competition,” said Big Bear AI Chief Technology Officer Brian Frutchey. “This challenge allowed us to demonstrate how our automated course of action assessment AI can assist the Navy tin allowing warfighters to make critical decisions quickly in operationally relevant maritime environments.” The Networks Prize Challenge focused on exploring new networking technologies that will advance the reach, capacity and resiliency of the maritime tactical network of networks. The winner of the Networks Challenge was goTenna Inc., a startup that specializes in mesh networking technologies. Their technology is currently used for personal safety, disaster response, business continuity, special and tactical operations and industrial internet of things. The runner up was Raytheon BBN Technologies. “It is truly an honor to be recognized as the winner of this challenge amongst such strong competition,” said goTenna Chief Scientist Ram Ramanathan. “We feel privileged to be able to support NAVWAR in addressing current and future warfighting gaps, working together to deliver solutions at speed to modernize naval warfighting networks.” Each prize challenge awarded $100,000 in total cash prizes for the best solutions presented, with first place entries winning $75,000, and second place entries winning $25,000. Both challenges were open to all U.S. citizens, including commercial, government and academic individuals or teams, lowering the Turn to NAVWAR, Page 7

U.S. Navy, Jordan Partner on New Unmanned Systems Integration By NAVCENT Public Affairs

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5Th Fleet Public Affairs

BAHRAIN — U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) briefed the head of Jordan’s navy on U.S. 5th Fleet efforts to integrate new unmanned systems during a visit to U.S. Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Nov. 18. Personnel from NAVCENT’s Task Force 59 briefed Col. Hisham Khaleel Aljarrah, commander of the Royal Jordanian Naval Force, alongside Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of NAVCENT, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces on the task force’s new Saildrone Explorer unmanned surface vessel (USV). The visit signaled U.S. 5th Fleet’s commitment to partnering with Jordan after establishing the new unmanned task force in September to focus U.S. 5th Fleet efforts on unmanned systems and artificial intelligence integration. The Royal Jordanian naval base in Aqaba, Jordan will become a joint hub for Saildrone

Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces, left, and Col. Hisham Khaleel Aljarrah, commander of the Royal Jordanian Naval Force, examine Task Force 59’s new Saildrone Explorer unmanned surface vessel at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Nov. 18. The visit signaled U.S. 5th Fleet’s commitment to partnering with Jordan after establishing the new unmanned task force in September 2021. (COURTESY PHOTO)

USV operations in the Red Sea next month. The United States and Jordan share a strong bilateral partnership in maintaining regional maritime security and stability. “This is a major step in our effort to integrate new unmanned systems with our regional partners,” said Cooper. “Our strong partnership with Jordan will help accelerate new system development and integration to enhance maritime domain awareness and

strengthen deterrence.” The Saildrone Explorer is a 23-foot-long, 16-foot-tall USV reliant on wind power for propulsion. The vessel houses a package of sensors powered through solar energy for monitoring the maritime environment. “We are working harder and smarter to achieve maritime security, in all domains — surface, subsurface, and over the sea,” said Hisham. “The Red Sea will witness a signifi-

cant increase in monitoring and power projection to maintain stability and security within international waters” The Middle East region’s unique geography, climate, and strategic importance offer an ideal environment for unmanned innovation through multilateral collaboration. The area includes the world’s largest standing maritime partnership, Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.


The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 2 | Thursday, November 25, 2021

Heroes at Home

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Two twin girls opening gifts with their grandparents at home for Christmas, wearing a protective face mask and maintaining social distancing

Surviving holiday visits from elderly relatives By Lisa Smith Molinari Being stationed overseas in the military has its perks. No, I’m not talking about sightseeing and travel. I’m not referring to exposure to history and culture. I’m not discussing foreign language immersion. What I mean is this: when you PCS overseas, you won’t have to endure as many visits from relatives. There, I said it. Unless you’ve been stationed in Hawaii — in which case your home has probably become become a revolving door of freeloading family and friends — living overseas affords you a layer of protection against unwanted company, and gives you the ultimate excuse to enjoy the holidays however you wish. E.g., “The airline tickets cost $700 each, darn it … Looks like we’ll be Zooming you on Thanksgiving again this year, Aunt Millie.” When our family was stationed overseas, we couldn’t afford to fly home for the holidays, and our relatives couldn’t afford to visit us often either. At first, it seemed strange celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas without visits to and from extended family members. But ultimately, we enjoyed some of our most memorable holidays skiing in the Alps, renting a cottage in France, pubbing in Ireland,

visiting German Christmas markets, touring Prague, hiking in Switzerland, roaming around Italy. Left to our own devices, we managed to create grand family adventures. Enjoy the freedom living overseas affords while you can, because you will, one day, receive orders back to the continental US. And as they say, “Payback’s a [rhymes with itch].” Your other relatives have been covering for you during your overseas tours. While you galavanted around in lederhosen, they endured Easter with grumpy Gramps. While you wolfed down Christmas KFC and strawberry shortcake in Japan, they dealt with Gramma Jean’s incontinence. While you ordered another round of tapas in Barcelona, they overheard Sis-in-law Peggy complaining about the canned cranberries. While you tiptoed through the tulips in Europe, they ran to the liquor store to get Uncle Pete another bottle of Wild Turkey. And guess what? Now it’s your turn. After returning from our last overseas tour in 2011, I thought it would be easy hosting parents and in-laws who had aged significantly while we were overseas. I mean, how hard could it be? Change some sheets, scramble a few eggs, make a dinner or two, do a little sight-seeing, right? But I soon discovered that roasting the perfect

prime rib for Christmas supper is the easy part. It’s learning to keep my cool when my motherin-law looks at me and says, “Your pants are so tight, if you break wind you’ll blow your shoes off.” It’s taking deep cleansing breaths when my sisterin-law shakes her head at my home decor and declares, “It’s so … so … you.” It’s not reacting when Pap blurts that our daughter “dresses like a streetwalker” while at a fancy restaurant. It’s feigning concern when Grams tells us she’s worried Father Benedict has the hots for her. It’s playing along when Uncle Ron revises history and claims he’s a direct descendent of the Vanderbilts. It’s taking it on the chin when Aunt Marjorie accuses me of stealing the silver tea set she gave to charity five years ago. It’s trying not to bust out laughing when Grammy points to the flowering vine growing on my porch rail and says, “I see you have clamydia.” In addition to mental preparations, I also prepare my home for our special visitors by cranking the heat, turning on our television’s closed captioning, and purchasing lots of puppy training pads, Tylenol, extra blankets, snacks, tissues, Febreeze, coffee (which they drink with everything, because what goes better with General Tso’s Chicken than a nice hot cup of Joe?), booze, and an elevated toilet seat unless I want my towel racks torn out of the wall. Most of all, I try to convince myself that my old relatives are just like cute little babies: they have no filter, they’re fussy, they get hungry every two hours, they don’t sleep through the night, they get confused, and they wet their pants. This realization fills me with the nurturing compassion I need to survive our family’s holiday visitors without hopping the next flight back overseas.

Free Resources for Service Members to Gain Financial Security

FUNCTIONS AND/OR SERVICES FFSC PROVIDES: ClinicalCounseling(Individual, Couples,a nd Child Counseling) Personal Financial Management Information & Referral Family Employment Assistance Transition Assistance Family Advocacy Program Deployment and Mobilization Support Ombudsman Support Relocation Assistance Parenting Programs Stress and Anger Management Command Support Crisis Support SuicidePrevention SAPR Support

By Military Onesource From budgeting and car buying to building a good credit score or getting a handle on student loans, your service member has access to several free benefits and protections to help them gain firm financial footing. There are personal financial managers and counselors at your service member’s installation. These certified professionals offer classes and can meet in person with your service member for free. Learn about the many other resources the Office of Financial Readiness offers your member. Two laws — the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and the Military Lending Act — afford your service member with several financial and legal protections as a benefit of military service, including reduced interest rates, protection from wrongful loan practices and the ability to terminate certain leases and contracts. Learn more about these protections. Benefits.gov has information on interest rate reductions, tax benefits, educational and medical benefits, and other advantages that service members and immediate family members are entitled to. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service offers service members a three-tiered retirement plan that spans from paying an equal amount of Social Security taxes to assisting military members with growing their finances through a long-term savings plan. There are 11 personal finance calculators available to help service members manage their money and take the first step in making a financial decision. To get started, they can log in to create an account with Military OneSource. Retirement calculators can help your service member project their income when they retire from the military. The High-3 and Final Pay military retirement calculators are for those who joined the military between Sept. 8, 1980 and July 31, 1986. Others can use the official BRS Retirement Calculator to estimate their pension under the blended retirement system plan. Free help preparing and filing taxes is available through the MilTax and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs. Two new benefits from the Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program can give your service member’s spouse a career boost. Free membership to Udemy, an online career development platform, gives spouses access to more than 5,000 courses to prepare for a new career or take their current one to the next level. The program is available through June 29, 2022. Spouses can also register for a free one-year

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.


membership in FlexJobs, a job site that specializes in flexible and remote job openings. American Forces Travel is a one-stop travel booking site that can save your service member money on travel and entertainment. Four money-management reminders to share with your service member For your service member, being in the military may mean having a steady paycheck for the first time. However, they may need some help when it comes to budgeting and spending wisely. You can help them get on firm financial ground by sharing these four money-management tips. Set up a monthly budget. Your loved one receives a set amount of income each month, and they need to be sure it can cover their bills and expenses. They should make a list of their monthly expenses — such as rent, car insurance, cell phone, clothing and groceries — and then compare those expenses to their monthly income. This will determine how much they need to set aside for bills each month, and how much will be left over. Here are some other budgeting tips: Create an emergency fund for unexpected expenses, such as when their car breaks down or for replacing a lost cell phone. They can choose a specific day and number of dollars to contribute to their emergency fund on a monthly basis. Set aside a certain amount of “fun money” every month and use it to pay for things like entertainment and eating out. When buying a car, consider buying “used.” A shiny new car is nice, but the monthly payments and insurance may put a strain on their finances. A used and affordable car could more comfortably fit within their budget. Some additional car buying tips: Save a bit of money to make a down payment, which can lower the monthly payment. Shop around for an auto loan and insurance to make sure they are getting a good deal. Avoid add-on products like service contracts, window etching, and tire, dent and paint protection packages — they increase payments.

Bonuses: Spend some, save some. Enlistment bonuses and other special pay can amount to thousands of dollars, and it may be tempting for your service member to use it all on dream or impulse buys. Help them make the most of it by encouraging them to divide it — use part for something special and the rest to improve their financial standing by building up their emergency fund, paying down debt or contributing to their Thrift Savings Plan. Limit the use of credit. Using credit cards is one way to build a credit history, which is important for buying a home or taking out a loan. However, misusing credit can lead to mounting debt. Encourage your service member to use credit responsibly, for convenience — not as a lifestyle. Also let them know that paying off cards quickly to prevent a growing balance can help them avoid paying even more in interest. Other tips: Shop around to find the credit card with the lowest interest rate and with no annual fee. Look for cards that offer low introductory interest rates or allow users to transfer balances from high-interest cards at 0% interest. (Military credit cards, such as the MILITARY STAR card offers a low interest rate, no annual fees, no late or over-limit fees, and can be used at commissaries and exchanges around the world.) Finally, your service member can learn the fundamentals of money management by taking the Money Matters courses. These free courses were developed for service members by financial experts who understand the military. They cover consumer credit, creating smart financial goals, setting a realistic spending plan, making smart money moves, negotiating when buying a car and avoiding debt during a PCS. The military wants service members to make good financial decisions, which can only help them in their military careers. If the service member in your life doesn’t know where to start or has specific questions, Military OneSource is here to help them get answers and reach their financial goals.

www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 2 | Thursday, November 25, 2021 3

Chief Logistics Specialist Jourdan Borcena, assigned to Military Sealift Command Far East (MSC FE), has the rank insignia of a chief petty officer placed on his collar by his father, retired Navy Culinary Specialist Ferdie Borcena, left, and mother, Mary Lou, during a chief petty officer pinning ceremony, Nov. 19. (MC2 BRANDON PARKER)

Retired First Class Pins Chief’s Anchors on Son’s Uniform During Time-Honored Tradition By Leslie Hull-Ryde

Military Sealift Command Far East Public Affairs

SOUTHEAST ASIA — Across the Navy, first class petty officers received their combination covers and anchors from people important to them during the annual Chief Petty Officers’ Pinning Ceremony Nov. 19. In Southeast Asia, one veteran Sailor celebrated with a shipmate from a younger generation - his son. Logistics Specialist Jourdan Borcena invited his parents, Ferdie and Mary Lou, to participate in his chief pinning ceremony. They flew across the Pacific Ocean from San Diego to take part in the event. “I am humbled and proud to be selected a Navy chief,” Jourdan said. “It meant a lot to me to have parents here,

especially since my dad served in the Navy too.” Ferdie is a retired culinary specialist first class. Jourdan credits dad with helping guide the son through life and his career. They both recognize the significance of this Navy milestone - promotion to chief petty officer. The chief ’s pinning ceremony is a time-honored one. Steeped in tradition, the event represents the culmination of a Sailor’s career, professional maturity and technical expertise. The path to this professional pinnacle is paved with training, extensive in-rate knowledge, initiative, mentorship, and demonstrated leadership. The rank, established April 1, 1893, is not only a revered one, it is a critical one. “You showed that the selection board got it right as you performed superbly display-

ing humility, passion and resilience through six weeks of training in Warrior Toughness, Culture of Excellence, and multiple lessons from the Teaching to the Creed syllabus,” said Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck, commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific and Task Force 73, during Borcena’s pinning ceremony. “All of the history, the legacy, the responsibility boils down to three short words: ‘Ask the chief.’ “As you assume and wear the rank of chief, celebrate today, and continue leading with honor, courage and commitment.” Borcena has had a series of opportunities to lead with distinction. After his initial Navy training, Jourdan served aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). He then supported LCS ships while assigned to the Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics

Center. As the leading petty officer, he led a team of Sailors assigned to Task Force 53 in Bahrain before reporting to USS Wasp (LHD 1). Borcena joined the Military Sealift Command Far East team in March 2021. “Chief Borcena has been an integral part of our staff since joining the team. I appreciate that, regardless of rank, he leans forward, collaborates and creatively tackles challenges, paving the way for our civil service and contracted mariners to successfully achieve their missions. I am glad to see him in khakis. He will be a great addition to the Chiefs’ Mess,” said Capt. Samuel F. de Castro, commodore of MSCFE. Borcena now serves as the assistant combat logistics officer for Military Sealift Command Far East. In this role, he coordinates the supply orders and transfers of materiel between MSC’s combat logistics force ships and U.S. and international partners’ and allies’ ships operating in the 7th Area of Responsibility. MSC Far East ensures approximately 50 ships in the Indo-Pacific region, are manned, trained and equipped to deliver essential supplies, fuel, cargo, and equipment to warfighters, both at sea and on shore. “MSC has shown me the other side or behind the scenes of supply. I’ve spent years as an MSC customer when serving on ships, but I never understood the intricacies of what they do until now,” Borcena said.



“Peninsula Agency on Aging is grateful for the donation through Rosie’s Give Back charitable program. The donation for the Meals on Wheels program is truly invaluable as this daily meal is more than a healthy meal for seniors, it’s a friendly visit from people who care. It is because of your generosity that continues to help support the seniors in our community”

Randi Keesee

VP of Development | Peninsula Agency on Aging Every week in 2021 we will award a local charity from a community in which we operate a donation of $1,000. Helping those communities around us is at the core of our operational philosophy. We truly believe that high tides raise all ships and we are determined to add value to the communities in which we operate. Through the charitable program, Rosie’s Gives Back, Colonial Downs Group has made monetary and in-kind donations of more than $1,369,500, and has logged over 2,500 service hours in Virginia communities.

Must be 18 or older. Problem Gaming? Call the Virginia Help Line at 1-888-532-3500.

4 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 2 | Thursday, November 25, 2021


A Portrait of HM2 Bobby Ray, Heroic “Doc” of Liberty Bridge By André Sobocinski

Navy Bureau Of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs

In the early morning of March 19, 1969, a Marine combat base at Phu Loc 6 near An Hoa, Vietnam, became the scene of a surprise enemy attack. As the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) infiltrated the camp’s barbed wire perimeter, a 24-year old corpsman named Bobby Ray charged into the melee to render emergency aid to the mounting casualties. He even fought off an attack of two NVA soldiers before he himself was wounded. Despite heavy loss of blood, Ray managed to crawl through the barrage of enemy fire to assist another fallen Marine, shielding him from a grenade blast. In the act of saving this Marine’s life Ray ultimately sacrificed his own. The following year, Bobby Ray—or as he is better known to us today, David Robert Ray— was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Today if you Google “David Robert Ray” you will come across a portrait showing a gangly,

smiling youth in service dress and a “Dixie Cup” hat. Taken at Hospital Corps School San Diego, Calif., in October 1966, it is a heavily cropped image that conceals the fact that at 6’6 Ray towered over his classmates and he typically shied away from getting his photograph taken. To look back on Ray’s life in 1966 most would say he was destined for great things. There is no question that in his formative years the native of McMinnville, Tenn., built an impressive resume of accomplishments. He had been a Boy Scout, a skilled trombonist, vice president of his senior high school class, member of his pep squad and star of his school’s golf team. Those who knew him best would recall his sophisticated taste in music, love of books, natural charisma and a sense of service. Ray was awarded a scholarship to the University of Tennessee in 1963, but this same sense of service weighed heavily on him. In his junior year he left school to join the Navy, enlisting on March 23, 1966. After boot camp and Corps School in San Diego, Ray received orders for the USS Haven

(AH-12)—then moored in Long Beach, Calif., and serving as a station hospital. A tour of Naval Hospital Long Beach followed. It was in 1968 while at Long Beach that Ray learned of the Tet Offensive and the growing challenges in Vietnam. Several of his classmates from Corps School had already deployed to theater with Marine units and Ray too wanted to do his part. He requested transfer to the Field Medical Service School (FMSS) in Camp Pendleton, Calif., and after graduating on June 25, 1968, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Reinforced) destined for Vietnam. First impressions are forged early in Marine units and those who served alongside Ray took note of his dedication and great humility. His battery commander later related that when you were as tall as Ray, had a southern drawl and were serving with the Marines “you know you’re in for some rough kidding. . .[but he would] just smile and shake his head, taking it all in stride.” Ray performed his duties as his unit’s “life

line” with great pride earning their respect while on patrol and on each successive “search and destroy” operation. As his tour in Vietnam came to a close Ray requested an extension which was granted on March 4, 1969. Just two weeks later he was part of a mission to protect Liberty Bridge, a strategic supply artery across the Thu Bon River connecting An Hoa to Da Nang. This bridge had been a prime target for the Viet Cong and it would be destroyed and rebuilt many times over throughout the war. It was attacked again on the morning of March 19th, setting the stage for Ray’s heroic actions that would ultimately punctuate his life. Over the years Ray would be memorialized as the namesake of a missile destroyer (DD-971), medical clinics in Camp Pendleton, Calif., Quantico, Va., and Everett, Wash., a Bachelor Enlisted Quarters in Camp Pendleton, and an elementary school in his hometown of McMinnville, Tenn. Today, if you visit any Navy medical command you will find Ray’s portrait proudly exhibited among the 28 pictures of hospital corpsmen, physicians and dentists who have each been awarded the Medal of Honor. For those of us in the Navy Medical Department these individuals are symbols of service and sacrifice in the most trying moments of our history and standard-bearers for what one Medal of Honor recipient later described as acts of “true spirit [and] determination.”

NAVFAC Washington Awards Contract to Renovate Historic MacDonough Hall By Matthew Stinson

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Washington Public Affairs

WASHINGTON — Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington awarded a $41,465,054 firmfixed price contract to Consigli Construction Co., Inc., a large business based in Milford, Ma., to renovate historic MacDonough Hall at the United States Naval Academy (USNA). The work to be performed consists of various repairs and upgrades, including replacement of the 157,000-gallon training pool, the HVAC system and controls, electrical systems, and the fire alarm and suppression system. To meet current facilities requirements, mercury impregnated floor coating will be removed and miscellaneous asbestos and lead based paint abatement work will be performed. Modifications and improvements will be made to the overall structure

United States Naval Academy aerial taken in 2016. (COURTESY PHOTO)

and interior architecture. The plumbing and drainage system will be modified and repaired. Repairs will also be made to exterior architecture and envelope. While work is being performed on MacDonough Hall, the contractor is responsible for preparation of temporary operations spaces in multiple other facilities. Contractor will also relocate and set up equipment and supporting infrastructure for relocated operations, as well as disassemble and remove temporary facilities when work on MacDonough Hall is completed.

MacDonough Hall is a 128,000 square feet, 6-story (2 full and 4 partial), granite and steel structure on the Historic Registry. It was originally constructed in 1903 and last renovated in 1982. MacDonough Hall is the home of the Physical Education Department at the United States Naval Academy. The facility is used to prepare midshipmen physically to become professional Navy and Marine Corps Officers. The MacDonough Hall facility provides the platform for course instruction in swimming, personal defense, recreational sports and wellness; as well as

the administration of Physical Readiness Testing. “This project will provide a muchneeded renovation of this historic facility that continues to directly support the Naval Academy mission of developing future naval officers morally, mentally, and physically,” noted the Public Works Officer, Capt. Tom McLemore. The contract was awarded November 12, 2021. All work will be performed in Annapolis, Md., and is expected to be completed by November 12, 2024.

www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 2 | Thursday, November 25, 2021 5

Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck, commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific and Task Force 73, gives remarks during the virtual closing ceremony of Cooperation Afloat and Readiness at Sea Training (CARAT) Brunei 2021. (COURTESY PHOTO)

27th CARAT Brunei concludes, enhances maritime security collaboration By Lt.j.g. Mohammad Issa

Destroyer Squadron 7 Public Affairs

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei — The 27th annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Brunei maritime exercise concluded Nov. 19, following five days of virtual engagements that enhanced collaboration between Royal Brunei Armed Forces and U.S. military and focused on shared maritime security challenges of the region. U.S. assets participating in CARAT Brunei included staff from U.S. 7th Fleet, Commander Task Force (CTF) 72, CTF 73, CTF 76, DESRON 7, Special Operations Command Pacific, U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area, and U.S. Embassy Brunei. The exercise focused on the full spectrum of naval capabilities and featured cooperative evolu-

tions that highlight the ability of Brunei and the U.S. to work together towards the common goal of ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific maritime security environment. “The Royal Brunei Armed Forces and the U.S. Armed Forces showed our readiness and resilience again in 2021,” said Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck, commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific and Task Force 73. “For five days, from November 15 to November 19, we bilaterally committed to multiple dynamic events on land and in the cyber world.” The virtual subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE) events featured a variety of joint training opportunities, to include vessel interdiction and boarding training, riverine security training, replenishment-at-sea (RAS) best practices, Women, Peace & Security (WPS) symposium, mari-

time domain awareness (MDA), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and anti-terrorism force protection, among other topics. The intergovernmental organization personnel from the European Union’s Critical Maritime Routes Indo-Pacific (EU-CRIMARIO) initiative provided subject matter expertise by facilitating MDA training and giving a lecture during the WPS symposium and a lecture on maritime law enforcement. During the closing ceremony, Sobeck emphasized the history and continued strength of U.S.-Brunei relationship and cooperation. “The Royal Brunei Armed Forces were one of the U.S. Navy’s original CARAT partners when the exercise initiated in 1995, and that was 26 years ago,” said Sobeck. “From the 19th century with the treaty of 1850 to the 21st century, our partnership remains

strong — even during a global pandemic. And that is because we continue to check in with each other annually across any operational domain to address our common interests and concerns.” After 27 years of annual training events between the armed forces, CARAT Brunei remains a model for cooperation that has evolved in complexity and enables both navies to refine operations and tactics in response to both traditional and non-traditional maritime security challenges. It symbolizes the longstanding U.S.-Brunei maritime partnership. CARAT expands bilateral and multilateral exercises; ensures maritime security, stability, and prosperity; and highlights the U.S.’s commitment to the region and to a free and open Indo-Pacific. As the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed destroyer squadron in Southeast Asia, DESRON 7 serves as the primary tactical and operational commander of littoral combat ships rotationally deployed to Singapore, functions as ESG 7’s Sea Combat Commander, and builds partnerships through training exercises and military-to-military engagements. Under Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with 35 maritime nations in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Concrete dries during runway repair work at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. (COURTESY PHOTO)

NAVFAC Washington Awards Regional Paving Contract By Matthew Stinson

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Washington Public Affairs

WASHINGTON — Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington awarded a $59,995,535 indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contract to

Donley Construction, LLC, a small business based in Aberdeen, Md., to perform paving work in the National Capital Region. The work to be performed consists of new paving, paving repairs and replacement of various types of paving surfaces, such as roadways, airfields, sidewalks, curbs and gutters. The contractor will also be able to perform

other incidental types of work, which include but are not limited to the following: demolition, site preparations, excavation and site work, site drainage and storm drainage structures, concrete work, reinforcing concrete pavement, bituminous pavement, pavement striping and painting, pipes and pavers. NAVFAC Washington provides a full

range of facilities engineering products and services, with expertise in acquisition, public works, design and construction, environmental, real estate, planning and asset management. NAVFAC Washington serves its many Supported Commands through Public Works Departments at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Annapolis, Bethesda, Naval Support Activity South Potomac, Naval Support Activity Washington, Marine Corps Base Quantico and the Resident Officer-In-Charge-of-Construction at Joint Base Andrews. The contract was awarded November 10, 2021. The contract can be extended up to five years, ending November 9, 2026. All work will be performed in the National Capital Region.

6 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 2 | Thursday, November 25, 2021

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Ben Branson, a student in NPS’ electrical engineering program, demonstrates the takedown of an opponent to judo students during a class at Dojo Bojuka Ryu in nearby Marina, Oct. 19. Branson will be competing in the USA Judo National Presidents Cup Championships held this coming weekend in Irving, Texas. (U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY JAVIER CHAGOYA)

NPS Marine Corps Student to Compete in National Judo Competition By Javier Chagoya

Naval Postgraduate School Public Affairs

Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) electrical engineering student U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Ben Branson has been practicing judo since the age of four. After 23 years of demanding study and perfecting his craft, he’ll be traveling to Irving, Texas to compete in the 2021 Team USA Judo National Presidents Cup Championships this weekend, Nov. 21. It’s been a little over a decade since Branson won gold in the 2010 U.S. Junior Open Judo Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., prior to joining the Marine Corps.

With two separate deployments to Afghanistan since joining the service, there was little time for Branson to practice, or find others at his level of knowledge and performance to practice with. Getting back into competition has been a long journey. When he arrived at NPS, he quickly became a member of a local dojo, studying under Sensei Eddie Nakao, a master with 40 years of teaching in the discipline of judo and other martial arts. The two have become respected colleagues, as Branson now assists in teaching youngsters and teens technique at the dojo. He also found an opportunity to jump back into high-level

competition. “I competed for the first time in four years in May 2020 in Reno, Nevada, at the Senior Nationals. I went 2-2,” said Branson. “I’ll be looking forward to getting some rematches in at this next tournament to the guys I lost to.” Branson’s work ethic and commitment to the sport was instilled in him by his father who is also a judo sensei, and will actually meet Branson at the competition where they’ll both compete in separate divisions. “My father was a sensei growing up in Anderson, Indiana, and [judo] was very much a part of my life. Both of my parents

were there to support me in all those matches, and I enjoyed traveling with the judo club and competing in tournaments with the family,” he said. Though quiet and unassuming, Branson applies an impressive level of focus, discipline and commitment to his many priorities … family, the Marine Corps, graduate studies and the upcoming competition. “I’ll be ready,” he says with conviction. “It’s tough dividing time between family, master’s degree and trying to get ready, but for me getting ready and pushing myself will make me a better father and a better husband for my family. I want my kids to see how hard their dad pushes himself so they have an example of what hard work can do for them someday.” Following the upcoming competition, Branson also has his sights on the next season of the Military World Games, which will be held in Germany in March 2022.











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www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 2 | Thursday, November 25, 2021 7

SURFPAC, ESG 3 Host Shore Power 2021

By MC2 Kevin Leitner

Naval Surface Force, U.s. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO — Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CNSP) and Expeditionary Strike Group THREE (ESG 3) hosted the Shore Power 2021 brief with the help of Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) electricians at the Naval Base San Diego Theater Nov. 16. While ships are pierside, shore-power cables can be connected to provide the ships electrical power when their main and auxiliary engines are shut down. The many risks of handing these ship-to-shore connection cables, as well as frequent updates to the maintenance on them, led to the establishment of annual training and assessments to support shipboard personnel. “We have the greatest Warfighting navy in the world, and it is an honor and privilege that I am still able to work with and train the nation’s greatest naval asset — Sailors”, said Capt. (Ret) Robert Bailey, the surface ship maintenance and modernization (SEA 21), material readiness liaison for Expeditionary Strike Group 3. Annual shore power training is a tool for enabling waterfront subject matter experts to connect with Sailors. The presenters explained the importance of preventative safety actions and adherence to the correct procedures in handling shore power connection cables. “The safety and readiness of Sailors is

NAVWAR Commander Rear Adm. Small presents AINetANTX first place prize to Big Bear AI. (COURTESY PHOTO)

NAVWAR from Page 1

Sailors practice splicing together shore power cables with the help of a Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) electrician during the annual Shore Power Training at the Naval Base San Diego base theater. (MC2 KEVIN LEITNER)

always our number one priority”, said Bailey. “Our team’s goal is ensuring Sailors are rigging and unrigging high voltage electrical cables safely and with verbatim compliance in mind.” Technical experts from NAVFAC and

CNSP used videos, lectures and demonstrations to emphasize the importance of effective engineering leadership for personnel involved in shore power evolutions and provides electronic footage of the brief to every appropriate unit in the Pacific Fleet area of responsibility.

barrier to entry and increasing the competitive landscape to identify the best solutions possible in support of Project Overmatch. “Overmatch is unleashing the power of the platform with this AINetANTX,” said NAVWAR Science and Technology Director Carly Jackson. “The team put forward two very challenging problem sets and prize award incentivizes allowing industry to bring their innovations into our platforms, architectures, and to use our data. The participants had less than three months but the results we are seeing are quite compelling. By quickly leveraging the lab infrastructure and expertise resident across the Naval Research and Development Establishment, this new type of digital platform-powered ANTX enables us to identify and field technologies, components, or algorithms at the speed of the threat.”

8 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 2 | Thursday, November 25, 2021




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www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 3 | Thursday, November 25, 2021 1

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A Christmas Musical is coming to Chrysler Hall for one night only Interview ConductedYiorgo Just in time for the Christmas season, the Elf on the Self: A Christmas Musical is coming to Chrysler Hall for one night only November 30th with a special starting time of 6:00 PM Be prepared to be transported to the North Pole and experience heartfelt moments into the magical lives of Santa’s Scout Elves. With its original story and score, dazzling sets and costumes, this is a joy for the whole family. Mills Entertainment requires all attendees over the age of two, to wear face covering regardless of vaccination status. Socially distanced seating is also available on the Dress Circle and Right and Left Balcony Boxes. For more info go to https://www.sevenvenues. com/events/detail/the-elf-onthe-shelf Yiorgo: With us today is Peter Hughes who plays Tater Tot, one of the reporting Scout Elves that the story centers around. What is the story of the Elf on the Self: A Christmas Musical about? Peter Hughes: The Elf on the Self: A Christmas Musical transports the audiences directly to the North Pole. They get a glimpse into the lives and duties of Santa’s Scout Elves, who are sent to train, watch and report to Santa. The story centers around Tater Tot, the Scout Elf who is sent to help a new human family remember the importance of Christmas cheer. It’s a sweet show that the audiences will get a kick out of the Holiday season especially if they are familiar with the brand and have an elf on the shelf at home. It’s a great show that’s not just for kids. It has a lot of heart and magic to it and a lot of production numbers. It brings it to life in a very cool way. Y: Why should people come to see Elf on the Self: A Christmas Musical? PH: After last year, a lot of people are looking for a reason to smile and connect with each other and Elf on the Self: A Christmas Musical does exactly just that. Because it’s based on a specific brand, the story is completely original and truly audiences of all ages will connect with it. It’s not just a kid’s show, it’s for the parents, it’s for the entire family. There are large production numbers, incredible set designs, some new special effects this year that I think really raise an amazing production element that everyone will really enjoy.


Y: How long have you been with the show? PH: I have been with the show since the beginning. I auditioned starting in the summer of 2019 and I originated the role I play right now, in the original company two years ago and I am part of the production this year. Y: What was the audition process like? PH: The wonderful, world renown Director, Sam Scalamoni brought me in for the initial audition. New York auditions all happen the same way. There are a lot of people in the room, you sing a couple of songs from your book and this one included a pretty lengthy dance audition. Our show was choreographed by Broadway veteran Charlie Sutton and it was magnificent to get to work with him. I originally auditioned for the dance call, was brought in for a couple of rounds after rounds for different singing sides, singing things from my book, singing somethings from the show. We read some scenes from the show and what was really unique was that this was an original musical,

so a lot of us auditioning didn’t really know what the show was about because it had never been done before. but you’re able to bring your own character, knowing that this is something you will help create. So after a lot of dance auditions, it was a lot of jazz, tap dancing, it came down to a couple of actors and we had a final call back day, where we got to work with Sara Woodsworth and Russ Kaplan who are the amazing composers of the show. We would sing different tunes from the show, test different harmonies and after a couple of months of getting video auditions and video requests in, I got an email from our GM who offered me the part and that was super, super exciting. When you are part of something that has never been done before and we are in the room creating these characters, to have that hand in it, was really, really interesting. Y: And in the middle of all of this there was covid. PH: We started in the summer of 2019 and then with rehearsals in October. Our initial tour ran


in the Holiday season of 2019 into the first week of January, then our industry shot down soon after. We picked things up again this October of 2021, touring until the end of December, hitting forty cities. What I also enjoy about the show is the connection of the kids and their parents who have such an

appreciation for the brand, the Christmas time and the traditions. To see something they love so much brought to life in such a fun way is so exciting. It’s that joy when you really start to have fun at work and you realize it’s not really work. We are bringing these awesome dance numbers, to dust off the tap shoes after a few years for audiences that are just so hungry for it. To create a new Holiday tradition is so wonderful and especially in this time of post covid when we can safely gather again in theatres in a way that has been absent in so long. Y: What are some of your favorite numbers in the show? PH: We have a great opening number called ‘Scout Elf School’ and it’s so much fun. It’s basically the elves learning how to watch and report to Santa. It is razzle dazzle, with a lot of elements of our show, and the full cast is on the stage by that point. It is a great shot out of the canon that says hey, this is what the show is going to be. A great spectacle of high quality dance numbers. Right after that I got a song called ‘One Small Elf ’. It’s a super cute song that I get to sing to the cast members and have a little moment with each of them. It’s also a great moment for the message of the show, that together we can do great things to bring cheer. Right after that is another song that I love called ‘Classic Pose’ that is a high energy, tap dance number. We are dancing on benches, inside of boxes, it’s so much fun to do. Y: I have to ask. When you were a child, did your parents have an elf on the self ? PH: We did, it was fantastic. I knew what it was about and to bring it alive in a musical theatre way is such a blessing. I have been performing since I was little. It’s such a full circle thing that I really appreciate being a part of. Y: Where were you born and what made you fall in love with musical theatre? PH: I am originally from New Jersey, about an hour train ride from New York City. The theatre bug hit me when I was very little. I started watching different theatrical specials that were airing on TV and that led to community theatre. I started taking it very seriously when I was in high school. I started to take classes at Broadway Dance Center in New York City. In high school I was very fortuTurn to Elf on the Shelf, Page 3

Nauticus’ WinterFest on the Wisconsin Shines Brightly on Opening Weekend By Nauticus NORFOLK — While the temperature was in the 70s, the guests on the Battleship Wisconsin were ready for winter as they strolled through thousands of twinkling holiday lights on the opening night of WinterFest on the Wisconsin. Nauticus welcomed over 5,000 visitors aboard WinterFest through opening weekend. Over 2,000 activeduty and veterans service members enjoyed the light trail, complimentary of our generous presenting sponsor, GEICO Military. “One of the things the GEICO Military team does is, we look at the ways that we can give back,” said Brian Schlicht, representing GEICO’s Military Assistance Team. “I can’t think of a better community than right here in the Hampton Roads area in the city of Norfolk.” Mayor Kenneth Alexander was also in attendance during the tree lighting ceremonies and guests waved to Santa during the lighted sailboat parade. The Grinch did not find any presents to take, but he did steal some selfies with guests. Purchase your tickets now to join

in on the holiday fun this season! WinterFest’s general admission and member tickets are on sale. Book your night to discover your holiday spirit exploring this dazzling, waterfront light festival of over 650,000 lights. Plan Your Visit WinterFest on the Wisconsin runs November 11, 2021, to January 2, 2022, and is open each Wednesday — Sunday throughout the holiday season. Pricing varies: Wed-Thurs - $12.50 adult, $10 child general admission, Fri-Sun - $14.50 adult, $12 child general admission. Nauticus members receive a discounted rate. About Nauticus Support for WinterFest on the Wisconsin directly benefits the Nauticus Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Funding provides interpretation and restoration of the Battleship Wisconsin and allows Nauticus to open new onboard spaces and experiential learning opportunities for students, families and visitors. For more information, visit www. winterfestonthewisconsin.com or www.nauticus.org


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The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 3 | Thursday, November 25, 2021

Community Submit YOUR events, news and photos

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Festevents Announces Holiday Yule Log Bonfire & Christmas Marketplace on Saturday, December 4 By Festevents Norfolk, VA — The 8th Annual Holiday Yule Log Bonfire & Christmas Marketplace is slated for Saturday, December 4, from 12pm to 8pm at Town Point Park along the Downtown Norfolk Waterfront. The Holiday Yule Log Bonfire & Christmas Marketplace is the picture-perfect occasion to welcome in the holiday season. The event features an expansive shopping experience showcasing local small businesses & artisans, a cozy bonfire, live Christmas caroling & musical performances, Jack Daniels seasonal cocktails, and FREE Santa Claus visits, all in a beautiful, snowy winter wonderland along the Elizabeth River. The event is free, including the Santa visits, and open to the public. For more information on the event, please visit bit.ly/YuleLog21. In addition to the entertainment, Norfolk Festevents will also be hosting a Holiday Food Drive to benefit the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. Festevents will be collecting food and supplies for families in need this holiday season. Several donation boxes will be located at Town Point Park for those who are willing to donate. For those who are looking to donate but will not be attending the event, Festevents will be collecting contactless roadside donations at the Nauticus turnaround. Text Festevents at 757-675-1150 for contactless roadside donations from noon to 8pm. For more information on the food drive, visit FoodBankOnline.org. Live Entertainment Schedule: 12-8pm — Christmas Marketplace open 2-4pm — Live Ice Carving by Chisel & Shaker 4-8pm — Holiday Yule Log Bonfire lighting 6-8pm — Christmas Caroling featuring The Standard Time Quartet 6-8pm — FREE Santa Claus vsits Participating Marketplace Vendors: AK Aloha Co. (Themed Hawaiian Shirts) A Scent 4 U (Candles) Baby Alpaca (Scarves, Hats, Accessories, etc.)


Blue Sky Distillery (Craft Spirits) Christopher Mize (Paintings) For All Handkind (NFK.VA Apparel, Jewelry, etc.) Glow Up Goddess Glamtique (Jewelry, Accessories, etc.) Itoti Crafts (Jewelry, Candles, Accessories, etc.) M&M Links Jewelry (Earrings, Necklaces, etc.) Made Global (Apparel, Houseware, etc.) Matilda Jane (Mugs, Wine Tumblers, Apparel, etc.) Moonlit Suds N Stuff (Soaps, Beard Oils & Ornaments)

Nothing Bundt Cakes (Bundt Cakes) Peacefrogs (Festival Merchandise) Polished Concrete (Modern Jewelry) Precise Portions (Spices & Oils) Stefanie Foley Designs (Canvas, Plaques, Ornaments, etc.) Sultry Scent Co. (Candles, Soaps, etc.) Teal Eagle Boutique (Apparel, Candles, Mugs, etc.) Theo Design Co. (Jewelry, Accessories, etc.) Usborne Books (Children’s Books) Voiajer (Recycled & Upcycled Goods) Participating Food & Beverage Vendors: Crafty Mug Café (Coffee & Hot Cocoa)

La Cucina di Sophia (Italian-Style Food Truck) Latin 2 Soul (Latin-Style Food Truck) Mane Events (Jack Daniels Seasonal Craft Cocktails) Virginia Cheese Co. (Artisan Cheeses, Snacks, etc.) The 2021 Holiday Yule Log Bonfire & Christmas Marketplace is produced by Norfolk Festevents in partnership with the City of Norfolk and is sponsored by Southern Auto Group, Cativa CBD, Old Dominion University, Royal Realty, and the Norfolk Admirals. For more information on Norfolk Festevents, please visit Festevents.org.


The Wells’ Christmas Tradition Returns with New Life in Mark Shanahan’s A Merry Little Christmas Carol By The Virginia Stage Company NORFOLK — Virginia Stage Company is excited to bring back its annual Christmas tradition with a bit of new spirit in the form of a riveting adaptation of A Merry Little Christmas Carol. The new retelling of the Dickens Christmas tale, written by The Hound of the Baskervilles’ director Mark Shanahan, will bring it’s holiday cheer to the Historic Wells Theatre (108. E. Tazewell Street) from Saturday, December 4th - Sunday, December 24th. Tickets are currently available at: https://www.vastage. org/a-merry-little-christmas-carol Directed by Tom Quaintance, Virginia Stage Company’s very own Producing Artistic Director, A Merry Little Christmas Carol aims to bring the 20-year old Holiday Tradition back to Downtown Norfolk in full-swing after a year of traditions and celebrations going dark across the world. The author of this new adaptation, Mark Shanahan, had these heart-warming

thoughts to share about the upcoming play: “It has been an era in which we have largely been unable to gather together, to create an audience, to gasp as the curtain rises and cheer when it falls. We have missed enjoying those cherished nights bumping into friends and neighbors in a theatre lobby. We have missed our time at Virginia Stage. And so, as we continue to return to live theatre, we offer our merry little play, a dramatization of the greatest ghost story of them all- A Christmas Carol! And, of course, this version is tailor made for the Wells, a theatre rich with history and a host of spirits lurking about.” Welcoming this new story to Hampton Roads as Dickens’ favorite old miser, Norfolk local Beatty Barnes will be playing the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, along with several other wonderful local talents who will be joining him on the VSC Stage including: Mesgana Jackson from Matilda, Adalee Alt from our 2019 production of A

Christmas Carol and Kai White making her return to the Wells Theatre stage after her last appearance in The Wiz. Joining this cast of VSC alum are several fresh faces, including Dustin Sullivan, Kara Mikula, Matthew Michael Janisse, and Refiye Tappan as our wonderful ensemble and musical accompaniment for this magical show of holiday merriment. The story of Dickens’ Christmas Carolhas been a long-time tradition at VSC, spanning well over 20 years. While the style, script, music, and magic onstage changes slightly from year to year...the classic tale has always warmed the Hampton Roads audiences every December. Even in times of uncertainty, VSC kept it’s doors open with caution to bring the story to Hampton Roads Audiences, and this year is no different. Virginia Stage Company remains committed to the safety and health of its patrons, and will continue to enforce COVID safety guidelines to keep it’s staff, actors, and patrons safe. For a full list of our

entry procedures, please visit www.vastage. org/entry. This time-honored holiday tradition, which sees more than 11,000 patrons a year, is selling fast already! Tickets are now on sale by either visiting www.vastage.org or by calling the Box Office at (757) 627-1234 Monday through Friday from 10am - 5pm. In response to the Novel Coronavirus, Virginia Stage Company is requiring proof of vaccinations or a negative COVID Test administered within 72 hours of entry to it’s productions. Images of the front and back of the card will be accepted in lieu of the physical card, and masks will be required of all guests and individuals present in the space. Seating in the orchestra will be arranged as normal, but for those concerned about social distanced seating; arrangements have been made in the mezzanine. Virginia Stage Company is Southeastern Virginia’s leading theatre destination, serving an audience of over 58,000 annually, both at the Wells Theatre and throughout the community. Virginia Stage Company’s mission is to “enrich, educate, and entertain the region by creating and producing theatrical art of the highest quality.” Facebook: /vastage | Twitter: vastage | Instagram: vastage

www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 3 | Thursday, November 25, 2021 3

Elf on the Shelf from Page 1

nate and privileged to see Broadway shows very cheaply. You could take a student ID and watch a show. It wasn’t until I was in college that I realized how fortunate I was to be so close and see the shows. What sealed the deal for me was seeing these shows live, learning the names and being taken in and inspired to do that as well. It eventually led me to make the decision to study musical theatre in college. I was fortunate and privileged to attend Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts. I studied musical theatre there with a minor in dance. They had exactly what I needed to hone my craft. I love to sing and dance any day. Y: Who are some of the hoofers and dancers in theatre and movies that you look up to? PH: There’s a lot of people. I grew up watching a lot of Audra McDonald, Barbara Streisand, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and their movie musicals, Judy Garland and Wizard of OZ, A Chorus Line, Michael Bennett’s style of choreography. It is a melting pot of people. Y: How about a pinch me type moment for you? PH: After I finished my contract with the sea cruise line, I auditioned for the next touring production of A Chorus Line. It was going to be directed by Baayork Lee, a Tony award winning Broadway veteran who was the original Connie in the original Michael Bennett 1976 production. For me it was oh my gosh, I’m going to have the opportunity to audition. I’m going to get to dance a little Chorus Line for Baayork Lee and maybe get to meet her. There were so many people excited to be there like me, for its history and its impact, to audition. I got in the room, I auditioned, it was so wonderful, she conducts her auditions in such a specific style that I was so excited to be a part of. That led to a call back. I couldn’t believe that Baayork Lee was behind the table. We did more dancing, and the next day I received another call back, Bobby Avian was there and a few more Chorus Line alumni were behind

(Mill Entertainment)

the table. I was a little bit more nervous. I ended up getting an email that simply said, which I think it’s a pun on the opening number, ‘You got it’. It was the most defining moment. We would love to have you play Mark in the 2017 touring company of A Chorus Line. I’ll never forget walking into rehearsal that first day and I think we all understood what we were in for, but never would have expected what we would get out of it. It was the most artistically satisfying two weeks of my life. To learn that show, to learn it’s history, to learn

stories, to learn where it was going, was so overwhelmingly exciting. Baayork Lee is the most generous person. She gives her show to her dancers and she trusts them and it’s something I still get goosebumps talking about. Just being a part of that legacy was pretty spectacular and definitely a pinch me moment. Y: You were part of that legacy and now you are a part of creating a legacy. PH: Yes and coming off A Chorus Line and seeing where I was going to go and what I was going to do, I had this huge fire within me and

then came the Elf on the Self: A Christmas Musical and I had no idea if I was capable of leading the show, being a part of something new. Another pinch me moment was walking into this rehearsal realizing we are going to create something new. This has never been done. I have been very fortunate, very blessed. Yiorgo is an arts, entertainment and sports writer. A stage, TV and movie actor, he is also a sports entertainer, educator, motivational speaker, writer, storyteller and columnist.

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4 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 3 | Thursday, November 25, 2021


Apple Nachos. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Make Cooking Fun for the Whole Family with this Sweet, Seasonal Snack By Family Features

No matter how busy your schedule gets this fall, it’s important to take time to nurture your physical and mental health and well-being. With busy schedules underway, remember to take time to cook and eat together with loved ones. In fact, research from the “Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health” shows regular family meals make it more likely kids and adults will eat more fruits and vegetables.

Making healthy choices, including eating fruits, like those in Apple Nachos, and vegetables have also been linked to greater happiness, according to research published in “Canadian Family Physician,” and can help you through the transition back to school, the office or wherever your routine takes you. Pairing a healthy diet with other sciencebacked tips and recipes from the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good initiative, supported by Kroger Health, can help you and your family feel your best.

For more free recipes, and to access more health tips, visit heart.org/healthyforgood. Apple Nachos Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good initiative Servings: 6 ⅓ cup dried unsweetened cranberries or raisins ¼ cup sliced unsalted almonds 2 tablespoons unsalted shelled sunflower seeds 3 medium green or red apples, cored and

thinly sliced into 12 wedges each, divided 1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons water ¼ cup smooth low-sodium peanut butter 1 tablespoon honey In small bowl, stir cranberries, almonds and sunflower seeds. Layer 18 apple wedges on large plate or platter. Sprinkle with lemon juice to keep apples from browning. In small microwaveable bowl, microwave water on high 2 minutes, or until boiling. Add peanut butter and honey, stirring until mixture is smooth. Using spoon, drizzle half peanut butter mixture over apple wedges. Sprinkle with half cranberry mixture. Layer remaining apples over cranberry mixture. Drizzle with remaining peanut butter mixture. Sprinkle remaining cranberry mixture over top. Nutritional information per serving: 167 calories; 7.5 g total fat; 1 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 2.5 g polyunsaturated fat; 3.5 g monounsaturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 66 mg sodium; 22 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 15 g sugar; 4 g protein.

and place in oven-safe roasting pan. Roll foil down leaving 2 inches of foil around bottom of ham. Place roasting pan with ham in oven on lower rack and heat uncovered 60-75 minutes, until ham starts to brown. While ham cooks, make glaze. To make glaze: In medium saucepot,

whisk fruit spread, rum, cola, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard and salt until well incorporated. Bring to boil then reduce heat to medium. Simmer over medium heat 10 minutes then remove from heat. Cool to room temperature. During last 15 minutes of cooking, glaze ham every 5 minutes.

Celebrate the Holidays with Special Centerpieces By Family Features Few things bring family and friends together quite like the holidays, and serving up an elegant, seasonal meal centered around a mouthwatering main dish is a recipe for creating lasting memories with the ones you love. Forging a fabulous holiday experience for the special people in your life starts with choosing a flavorful, tender cut of meat to serve as the centerpiece of the meal. Handcut by expert butchers, an option like SpiralSliced Ham from Omaha Steaks can serve as the focal point of a memorable holiday dinner. Flash frozen to capture freshness and flavor, you can select a standout cut of meat from the comfort of your home and have it delivered directly to your door in time to put together a tender, juicy main course. Find more holiday recipe inspiration at OmahaSteaks.com/blog/recipes. Rum and Cola Holiday Ham Recipe courtesy of Omaha Steaks Executive Chef David Rose Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 80 minutes Servings: 10-12 Ham: 1 Omaha Steaks Spiral-Sliced Ham (8 pounds) Glaze: 1 cup cherry fruit spread ¾ cup dark spiced rum ¾ cup cola 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Rum and Cola Holiday Ham. (COURTESY PHOTO)

¼ teaspoon kosher salt To make ham: Thaw frozen ham in refrigerator 24-48 hours. Remove from refrigerator and let ham come to room temperature, about 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 F. Remove ham from foil and film. Return ham to foil wrapping

www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 3 | Thursday, November 25, 2021 5


For Wounded Warriors, Adaptive Sports Bring Camaraderie and Confidence By Thomas J. Walsh MHS Communications

Abbie Johnson, a 32-year-old former Navy Musician 3rd Class from California, was suffering from at-times debilitating post-traumatic stress when she started distance running in 2014 and got involved in the Navy’s Wounded Warrior program. Her commitment to the program intensified over the next several years as she ran, biked and swam in several Ironman competitions. She won a state championship in cycling, and took part in the military’s Warrior Games in 2016 and 2018. Now, Johnson’s next goal is to run marathons on all seven continents. She ran one on Antarctica in 2019 and hopes to finish up in Africa next year. “Sports have really helped,” Johnson said. “I just have found that setting goals and being active made my symptoms a lot better and just gives me motivation. It’s really therapeutic.” The Wounded Warrior programs have been essential to helping her recover from her post-traumatic stress and regain her confidence. “When I started out, I was a pretty good athlete, but when I got involved in the triathlons ... I never thought I’d be able to do any of this. I did not think that I’d have the endurance to compete in an Ironman.” People often talk about sports as an entertaining diversion. But at the Wounded Warrior level, sports that bring together veterans and can be adapted to accommodate disabilities are literally saving lives. And the sports and other adaptive activities are getting more widespread and popular each year. “For the Department of Defense, the Warrior Games was really an introduction to some of those activities for servicemembers,” said Sandra Mason, the Defense Health Agency’s Warrior Care Recovery Coordination office program lead in Arlington, Virginia, which includes the Military Adaptive Sports Program, known as MASP. “Throughout that process, the programs became more robust. And there was an intent to see what the service programs were providing in terms of adaptive activities and things that would help rehabilitate those that had been wounded, ill or injured.” But MASP “is so much more than sports, and the whole focus is your mind, your body, and your spiritual wellness,” Mason said. “It’s from a holistic perspective, but also looking at it like,

Former Navy Musician 3rd Class Abbie Johnson pets her service dog Kona during swim practice at the 2018 Department of Defense Warrior Games at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (JACOB MILHAM)

“What would you like to do?” because there are some individuals who are naturally very good athletes. Even having a disability didn’t stop them. But what about those individuals that are just seeking to do better, to have a healthier lifestyle, to reacclimate themselves to some type of normal activities? So, they’ll get involved in the [other] aspect in things like art therapy, or music therapy, or things like meditation or yoga.” Service members must be medically cleared to participate in any given sport, she said. “There is an intent there to look at the service member from not only the physical perspective but occupational and mental health,” Mason said. Many people have no discernible physical injury but rather have “invisible wounds” such as traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Mason said. There are also specialized versions of weight lifting and rowing, among other individual sports that can be adapted for those with disabilities and contribute to their quality of life. Many of the efforts are aimed at getting servicemembers “off the couch.” Transitioning out of the military is especially life-changing for these types of athletes because that is not how they imagined their life to be, Mason said. “Naturally you will encounter some folks with depression and / or any other mental health issues. This is one way to keep them involved, and keep them focused on what

is that next chapter in their lives.” Family members and caregivers contribute to the effort as well, Mason said. Participants who don’t return to their units often find careers outside the military in adaptive sports, she said, as trainers or coaches. Some dedicate themselves to their sports to such an extent that they become Paralympians. Intra-service camaraderie Johnson was in the Navy for four years, from 2012 to 2016. Since leaving the service and getting more involved in the Warrior Games program, Johnson said she’s established relationships with people from all the services, and has competed against teams from Australia, Great Britain, Canada, and other international squads. Once, while still on active duty and stationed in Hawaii, she traveled to West Point, New York, for the 2016 games. Johnson later became a surfing coach with another veterans’ service organization. She said she is inspired watching other athletes with lower-limb loss, blindness, or people with “paralysis who are out there crushing it on hand bikes.” And she very much agrees with Mason about the camaraderie shared. “Many will tell you about just how having that opportunity to develop a skill in a sport that they once thought they’d lost, or the camaraderie of being with other individuals,” is lifesav-

ing, Johnson said. “Even with competing service members, there is still a very large camaraderie among the military services.” Her initial, strong performance in her first Warrior Games “showed me that I’m strong, and showed me that if I work hard and consistently, that I can do things that I didn’t think I could a few years ago,” she added. “It’s a really, really empowering feeling, especially when I felt so down and so broken when I was going through my sexual assault process in the military.” For extra support for her condition, Johnson also has Kona, her golden retriever service dog. She got Kona out of desperation, and before her involvement in adaptive sports. “He was kind of my lifeline for a while,” she said. She calls her long runs “very meditative,” and her other training to be something of a substitute for the many years of training to be a musician playing the flute and piccolo. Going through the worst of her PTSD, she experienced breathing difficulties and panic attacks. It was then that she truly started to lean on her Wounded Warrior community. “Having somebody reach out to me that could help me when I was really suffering ... having these programs in place when people are kind of at their worst, when they need the most help, is really important,” Johnson said.

How Maintaining Prosthetic Services Can Help Prepare for the Next Fight By Thomas J. Walsh MHS Communications

Despite the winding down of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, Military Health System services for our wounded warriors, particularly those who have lost limbs in these conflicts, remain steady and may well increase in scope during the coming years. “We’ve got to be ready for the next conflict,” said John Shero, executive director of the Defense Department’s Extremity Trauma and Amputation Center of Excellence, or EACE, at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston in Texas. “During the period that we’re in now, a time of reduced ground conflict, we’ve got to sustain our clinical skills in order to be able to take care of the next battlefield casualties.” Shero pointed to the example of the suicide bombing at the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, in late August during the U.S. military’s evacuation from that country. Victims of that attack — both U.S. military active duty and Afghans — came through the military’s health care system. “We were absolutely prepared to care for those casualties,” Shero said. “But if we don’t sustain key clinical skills, we won’t be.” The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan prompted major advancements in medical care available to individuals with amputations, explained Dr. Andrea Crunkhorn, the chief of clinical programs for EACE at the Defense Health Agency headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia. “The DOD has really been at the front of that leap forward over the last 20 years,” Crunkhorn said. Military medical leaders intend to build on that progress by continuing research and support for those with limb loss. The DOD’s research and clinical services for wounded warriors are centered on three Advanced Rehabilitation Centers, known as ARCs: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s Military Advanced Training Center in Bethesda, Maryland; Brooke Army Medical Center’s Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio, Texas; and Naval Medical Center San Diego’s Comprehensive Combat and Complex Casualty Care (“C5”) Program in San Diego. Those three centers, along with the EACE, form the DOD Amputation Care Network, with a primary mission to fully restore normal human function to patients who have sustained severe trauma or amputation. These MHS facilities lead the nation in developing new technology and support for people with amputations.

“What has been so fabulous about the last 20 years has been the level of collaboration at the national level,” including civilian and academic medical institutions, Crunkhorn said. Expanded Care The ARC at Walter Reed recently made a contractual change with how it provides prosthetic services which Shero said he hopes “will increase the capacity and the amount of prosthetic care that is able to be delivered at Walter Reed.” That change, however, did lead to some misinformation that services were being reduced, which was “absolutely not correct,” Shero said. The staff at Walter Reed always remained at the ready to provide care. “The capability has never changed,” she added. “Capacity has waxed and waned with COVID, and that’s fair across all health care systems. But we absolutely want to keep all of [our] capabilities well-rehearsed and well-practiced at all of our sites. In order to do that, we have to have patients flow through the doors.” That means expanded opportunity for other Military Health System beneficiaries who may have lost a limb, she added. Game-changers The EACE aims to drive a cycle of improved care and innovative research by embedding clinically focused researchers within the ARCs. “Our research team works right alongside the clinicians who are delivering extremity trauma and amputation care,” Shero explained. “From that, we identify the clinical gaps, address those gaps through relevant research, and then use those research findings to improve the overall process of care.” That care includes sophisticated new procedures and products for those with missing or disfigured and painful limbs. “What we’re seeing as a follow-on is some really nice evolution in surgical procedures and techniques,” Crunkhorn said. “We’re also seeing some progression with orthoses, and that’s important because a lot of young men and women didn’t come back with an amputation from the war, but they came back with mangled limbs.” Orthotics differ from prosthetic devices in that they are supportive of a limb instead of a replacement for one. An example cited by both Shero and Crunkhorn is what’s known as the “IDEO,” or Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis. The IDEO is a customized foot-and-ankle brace made of carbon fiber that transfers energy and relieves pain that can become so acute that many patients would rather have their foot amputated than

In this photo from September 2017, Navy Seaman Chris Krobath, a prosthetics patient at Naval Medical Center San Diego, reached for new heights on the hospital’s climbing wall as part of rehabilitation therapy.

endure it. “It’s a life-changing orthotic,” Shero said. “Before, many of our active duty and veterans that had very severe extremity trauma saw their only choice as living with pain and disability or having an amputation. But the IDEO and other advanced orthotic devices that we have helped develop and implement are really changing that.” Patients who were barely able to walk before “are back to running, jumping, and their full complement of requirements to remain on active duty,” he added. “It truly is a game-changer.” The IDEO is available at all three ARCs, and some civilian organizations are using the same technology as well, Shero said. Cutting-edge procedures Crunkhorn said that prosthetics and orthotics are by no means the only answers for grievously wounded warriors. She cited four other ground-breaking surgical procedures for those with lost or dysfunctional limbs. They include osseointegration, when a limb prosthesis is permanently, surgi-

cally anchored into a patient’s own bone; agonist-antagonist myoneural interface (AAMI), a modified amputation surgery that retains muscle and limb control; targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) and regenerative peripheral nerve interface (RPNI), both of which help with managing nerve input and pain in the residual limb. All of these sophisticated care options are under continual development, even as they are being implemented for those wounded warriors and others who need them. Crunkhorn said the new procedures dovetail with two of the DHA’s key priorities — supporting a medically ready force and a ready medical force. Following up with men and women injured in combat years ago, and working with retirees and others from across the age ranges for all beneficiaries, she said this “evolving standard of care” gives ARC surgeons and other specialists the opportunity to work together to optimize outcomes. “These are really changing the face of amputation surgery, and creating the potential for more functional outcomes following amputation,” she said.

6 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 3 | Thursday, November 25, 2021

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www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 3 | Thursday, November 25, 2021 7 AntiquesSales & Collectibles Estate

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(and every day).




Last week’s CryptoQuip answer

Apparently l’m looking at only one fish swimming in that pond. It’s two sides of the same koi.


Religious Services For your installation’s religious service times visit www.flagshipnews.com⁄ base_information⁄ religious_services

8 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 3 | Thursday, November 25, 2021