Flagship 12.23.2021

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www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 1 | Thursday, December 23, 2021 1


Dwight D. Eisenhower The Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKE CSG) returned home to Naval Station Norfolk between July 16-23 following a six-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation. PAGE A7

VOL. 28, NO. 50, Norfolk, VA | flagshipnews.com

December 23-December 29, 2021


Honoring our Fleet - our Fighters - and our Families











USS New York www.flagshipnews.com

On the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, USS New York (LPD 21) undocked ahead of schedule at General Dynamics NASSCO-Norfolk. PAGE A6


Aerial Firefighting Training

Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 12 conducted aerial firefighting training on the use of the Bambi Bucket, Sept. 8-9. PAGE A2

Ship Christened On April 24, 2021, newly completed destroyer USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123) was christened at the Ingalls Ship Yard in Pascagoula, Miss. PAGE A4

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The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 1 | Thursday, December 23, 2021

An MH-53E Sea Dragon, attached to Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 12, takes off for Bambi Bucket training. HM-12 tested and trained their squadron and aircrew on the use of the Bambi Bucket to support aerial firefighting missions, and completes these evolutions once per quarter to maintain proficiency. (MC3 BONNIE LINDSAY)

HM-12 Conducts Aerial Firefighting Training By MC3 Bonnie Lindsay

Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic

NORFOLK, Va. — Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 12 conducted aerial firefighting training on the use of the Bambi Bucket, Sept. 8-9. The Bambi Buckets are large orange buckets designed for aerial firefighting and

are capable of holding approximately 1,300 gallons of water. The bucket is suspended by a cable from the bottom of the aircraft, filled with water, and then emptied from altitudes as low as 50 feet via a release valve on the bottom controlled by the helicopter crew to engage a fire below. “The requirement per the instruction is once per 180 days but we try to complete an

evolution once per quarter for training and proficiency.” said Lt. David Black, a pilot assigned to HM-12. “It’s great to know that we have such a unique capability to protect the fleet and community.” Despite the challenging nature of this training, it aides in firefighting and is an additional set of skills that crewmembers can learn.

“Everyone recognizes how important this capability is and the training that goes with it is equally important,” said Black. “Aerial firefighting brings firefighting needs to areas that traditional firefighting cannot reach. It can be challenging because it requires large amounts of communication and coordination between crew members.” HM-12 completed multiple iterations of the training over the course of the two-day exercise. The qualification requires a ground school curriculum, Bambi Bucket inspection and preparation, and six water pick-ups and six water drops. HM-12 trains pilots and aircrewmen to employ the Navy’s MH-53E assets worldwide in a variety of missions. They are tasked to support two primary missions, the Airborne Mine Counter Measure mission and the Navy Vertical Onboard Delivery mission to support expeditionary forces.

NMCP’s COVID-19 Task Force Efforts Heat Up for Winter Weather

By MC2 Dylan Kinee

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Naval Medical Center Portsmouth’s (NMCP) Coronavirus (COVID-19) task force recently transitioned to working in a centralized, heated tent at NMCP’s COVID-19 Drive Thru Screening and Triage site. The mobile screening and triage site is designed to relieve the patient flow through the medical center’s Emergency Department, and to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 since it’s located in an open air environment. The warm, fully-enclosed tent will assist Sailors perform at a higher level in the ongoing fight against COVID-19 as temperatures drop during the winter months. “One of the hardest things was fighting with the elements whether it was rain, cold or wind,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Michael Doxtator, the COVID-19 Drive Thru Screening and Triage site leading petty officer. “It gives us a place to stay warm and take breaks so our people aren’t getting exhausted in the elements.” “The addition of the heated tent, has been very important to staff working in the drive thru,” said Lt. Cheyanne Huls, NMCP’s COVID-19 Test Site officer in charge. “The testing demand since March has only increased and continues to be an important part of the fight against COVID-19.”

With the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases, the location of the tent will also improve the administrative side of testing with a centralized operations site. “Previously our guys would be running 300 yards back and forth across the parking lot with a bunch of paperwork,” Doxtator said. “We were able to reduce that down to about 50 feet or so.” The shift to the colder, winter weather will not stop the need for testing. “During the winter months, the need for testing will continue,” added Huls. “This tent helps the staff stay warm and provide high quality care to the patients.” Doxtator stated it’s a tremendous morale boost for the Sailors to be out of the elements. “Being able to stay warm and be comfortable has definitely kept our quality of work at a high standard,” said Doxtator. 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.

Editorial Staff Military Editor | MC1 Maddelin Hamm, maddelin.hamm@navy.mil Managing Editor | Ensign James Caliva, james.caliva@navy.mil Graphic Designer | Trisha Irving, trisha.irving@virginiamedia.com

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Naval Medical Center Portsmouth’s (NMCP) Coronavirus (COVID-19) task force recently transitioned to working in a centralized, heated tent at NMCP’s COVID-19 Drive Thru Screening and Triage site. (MC2 DYLAN KINEE)

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www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 1 | Thursday, December 23, 2021 3

Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Scott Schultz, from Cody, Wyoming, assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) combat systems department, performs a spot check with maintenance material management (3M) inspector Senior Chief Machinist’s Mate Mike Klingeman, from St. Louis, during Ford’s 3M inspection. The inspection was conducted by Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic inspectors and is the first 3MI in Ford’s history. (MCSN DALTON LOWING)

Ford completes first-ever 3M Inspection By MC2 Ryan Seelbach USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)

NORFOLK, Va. — USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) was evaluated by Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic’s (CNAL) maintenance and material management (3M) team during Ford’s first-ever 3M Inspection (3MI), May 17 — 20. 3M is designed to provide ships and applicable shore stations with a simple and standard means for planning, scheduling, controlling, and performing maintenance on all shipboard systems and equipment. 3MI is a thorough inspection of Sailors ability to properly maintain various equipment located all over the ship to maximize equipment and operational readiness. The inspections are inclusive of every department onboard to prolong the overall life of the ship. Ford received an overall score of 93.44 percent on the inspection.

Master Chief Electronics Technician Debra Lee, from Pensacola, Florida, assigned to CNAL as a 3M inspector, explained the importance of conducting these routine inspections. “This is a snapshot of how maintenance is being conducted onboard. ‘Are the Sailors following procedures, do they understand the maintenance and are they conducting it safely?’ ”, said Lee. “The inspection is only 250 [maintenance] checks out of tens of thousands conducted onboard but does give the inspection team an adequate picture of any major issues and how well the crew is trained.” Lee added that during the spot checks she inspected, Ford Sailors were extremely professional and well trained as well as their work center supervisors being knowledgeable and eager to answer questions. Preparation for a ship-wide inspection goes a long way to ensuring a successful outcome. Master Chief Machinists Mate

Boyd Story, assigned to Ford’s maintenance support center as 3M leading chief petty officer, gave insight to the preparations made by Ford. “The 3M office conducted two mini 3MI’s alongside the departments. Those two events drove home not only the importance of doing maintenance correctly, but they ensured Ford Sailors had the necessary tools to complete 3MI successfully. Ford’s Sailors did outstanding and there was a big improvement from 3MA to 3MI. You can tell the Sailors were very prepared.” Sailors were monitored and inspected on routine preventative maintenance checks that had been previously completed within the last quarter. Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Larry Crew, from Liberty Hills, Texas, assigned to Ford’s medical department, was selected to participate in a 3M check that was inspected. “In preparation for the inspection, I

worked with the work center supervisor to gather all of the tools and materials that were needed and then we performed a dry run,” said Crew. “I felt more comfortable with the inspection and it was easy because I had done the check before and it was almost like second nature.” Story provided one takeaway that he would advise Ford Sailors adhere to. “Each department should continue to train each week as if we have 3MI the following week, If we are always ready, there will be no stress on the command in the future. Be flawless, ensuring the ship is the best in the fleet.” 3MI wrapped up with an outbrief with Ford’s 3M office, inspectors and Ford’s executive officer. Lee echoed Story by saying, “Ford Sailors did an outstanding job during 3MI. They must perform at the same level daily, even with no inspection on the horizon. Never compromise and report discrepancies to your chain of command.” For more news from USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit www.dvidshub.net/unit/CVN78









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4 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 1 | Thursday, December 23, 2021

Ship Named after Navy Nurse Plankowner Lenah Higbee is Christened By André Sobocinski

U.s. Navy Bureau Of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs

PASCAGOULA, Miss. — On April 24, 2021, newly completed destroyer USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123) was christened at the Ingalls Ship Yard in Pascagoula, Miss. The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer holds special meaning for Navy Medicine. The ship’s namesake—Lenah Higbee— entered service in 1908 becoming part of the “Sacred Twenty,” the first nurses (and women) in the U.S. Navy. Just three years into her military career, Higbee ascended to the leadership of the corps, becoming only its second Superintendent (the forerunner of today’s Director of Nurse Corps.) In attendance at the ceremony were two descendants of her leadership lineage, Rear Admiral Cynthia Kuehner, Director of the Nurse Corps, and Rear Admiral Eric Peterson, Reserve Director of the Nurse Corps. Both took part in the mast stepping ceremony earlier in the day before the christening. Kuehner, who served as the representative of the Chief of Naval Operations at the ceremony, spoke about the symbol of Higbee for the Nurse Corps and Navy Medicine. “As the 26th Director of the Navy Nurse Corps I recognize that I am here in no small part because of the vision, initiative and conspicuous achievements of this great warship’s namesake,” said Kuehner. “As the second Superintendent she led the Navy Nurse Corps with awe inspiring distinction. In this evening’s ceremony we celebrate her legacy. We honor her service. And we ensure that the permanence of her indomitable spirit is enshrined and revered by all who behold her.” Also in attendance was Higbee’s first Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Douglas Brayton. A 2004 graduate of the Naval Academy, Brayton’s previous assignments include: electrical officer aboard USS Monterey (CG-61); assistant officer in charge of Inshore Boat Unit 52; engineer officer, USS Oscar Austin (DDG-79); operations officer, USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19); and executive officer, USS Somerset (LPD-25). On shore he taught seamanship and navigation at the Naval Academy and served at the Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center

USS Lenah S. Higbee dressed for the ceremony. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Amphibious Warfare Division. “It’s a humbling experience and an honor to have been selected as the ship’s first CO,” said Brayton. Brayton has witnessed the ship’s construction from the keel up and during this time has had the opportunity to assemble and train his fellow plankowners. “You get to build your team and really come together as the ship does,” said Brayton. “So to walk aboard and see the development of both—it is truly a unique leadership opportunity.” Superintendent Higbee led the Navy Nurse Corps from January 1911 until November 1922. Throughout her career she fought for their acceptance of her nurses into a Navy that was not always welcoming and dedicated herself to establishing new opportunities for them. Under Higbee, Navy nurses began taking on new roles including teaching hospital corpsmen at hospitals and corps school, and serving aboard ships and at overseas activities—the first women ever to do so in the Navy. During the influenza pandemic Navy nurses operated in infectious disease wards caring for the most virulent cases, some even sacrificing their own lives in the process; and by the end of World War I—under Higbee’s guidance—nurses had more than proved themselves as a vital part of the Navy. For her courageous leadership she was later awarded the Navy Cross and to date is the only living woman ever to receive this award. “Lenah Higbee understood in the context of World War I and the influenza pandemic of 1918 that nursing’s presence on the front

and in the fight is as essential to victory as any other element of modern warfare,” said Kuehner. “With uncommon vision and valor Superintendent Higbee pursued credible standing for the all-female Navy Nurse Corps, fighting within the institution against overt discrimination and for the common basic features of military service including pay, rank, uniforms and even housing.” There are few greater honors in the Navy then having a ship named after you. Higbee now holds the distinction of having two ships named in her honor. Her first namesake—USS Higbee (DD-806)—was launched in 1944, just three years after her death. In World War II, USS Higbee served in the Pacific where she screened carriers as they launched air attacks on the Japanese mainland and was later tasked with clearing minefields. During the Korean War, Higbee was re-designated a radar picket destroyer (DDR-806) and took part in the screening and shore bombardment in the Inchon Invasion. And in the 1960s, Higbee supported the fight in Vietnam and participated in Gemini capsule recovery missions in the Western Pacific. Her final years were spent in the Naval Reserve Force off Long Beach, California, and later Seattle, Washington. She was decommissioned in 1979 and sunk as a target off of San Diego in 1986. Former Secretary of the Navy the Honorable Ray Mabus spoke at the event and is credited for selecting the name of the ship. Higbee was one of 87 ships Mabus named during his tenure in office from 2009 to 2017. Although each naming

and christening was special to Mabus he noted that this was especially so. “The story and legacy of Lenah Higbee and what she represents will live on in decades around the world through this ship’s voyages and through the lives of the crew who sail aboard her,” said Mabus. For Brayton, having the ship named after Lenah Higbee gives it an identity, and helps define its character. It also challenges the crew to best represent her and her namesake ship as warfighters. “There is a great historical lineage here,” remarked Brayton. “It’s our challenge to be those next torch bearers and hoist up the mantle in the way we are best able. It’s all about getting this war ship built, the crew ready, trained and qualified and out—to-sea for tasking.” As the motto of the ship, Brayton and his crew looked for an adage that captured the spirit of both Superintendent Higbee as a courageous leader as well as the important role of her first ship namesake. After much deliberation they selected “Bellatrix Illa,” meaning “She is a Warrior.” In the coming months USS Lenah S. Higbee will be undergoing sea trials before commissioning and ultimately joining the fleet. But the hope of this new ship remains bright and will be one that Navy Medicine continues to follow. “I know USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee will protect and defend our nation with the same zeal, courage and valiant resolve of the Navy nurse for whom she is named,” said Kuehner. “I share your inspiration for the many things she is and has yet to become.”




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www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 1 | Thursday, December 23, 2021 5

From Vietnam to COVID-19: 58 Years of Service in Navy Medicine By André Sobocinski

U.s. Navy Bureau Of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs

FALLS CHURCH, VA — It was the summer of 1963. President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered two of the most important speeches in American history. The Beatles were basking in their new found fame with the release of their first album Please Please Me. They were still largely unknown in the United States. The U.S. Postal Service was initiating the Zone Improvement Plan, better known as “ZIP codes” to allow for faster sorting of mail. And an 18-year old named James A. Anderson embarked on a career in Navy Medicine that would last 58 years. In September 2021, James Anderson retired from OPNAV’s Medical Operations, Plans and Strategy Division (N0931), after nearly three decades working as a civilian program analyst. What is all the more remarkable is that this was a second career for Anderson who first began his Navy journey in June 1963. Over the next thirty years Anderson served as a Hospital Corpsman with the Marines, and both shipboard and ashore. “I first became aware of Navy Medicine when I enlisted in the High School Recruit program,” recalled Anderson. “I have always had an interest in science so I had no problems being a Hospital Corpsman.” Following Hospital Corps School in Great Lakes and practical instruction at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune he received orders to Vietnam. Anderson went through Field Medical Service Training at Camp Johnson before joining up with 1st Battalion 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa. He arrived in-country, north of Da Nang in November 1965. As a Corpsman with the 3rd Marines, Anderson helped provide essential medical support to 5,000+ Marines then in theater. He was assigned to Bravo Company battalion aid station at Chu Lai before reporting to Charlie Company as the Marines moved into Khe Sanh. Anderson’s role as Corpsman was to attend to casualties, administer first aid and apply life-saving resuscitative techniques as the conflict became more violent and widespread. When he returned from deployment in November 1966, Anderson was looking to build on his skills while having greater autonomy over decision-making. Following reenlistment, he looked to the “pinnacle of the Hospital Corps” and became a Surface Independent Duty Corpsman (IDC). “IDCs had a good reputation,” related Anderson. “We had to share information and ideas. There was no internet connections or Telemedicine that today’s IDC’s have. We had to rely on radio communications when at sea. IDCs had to make the initial assessment on a patient and decide if they could be treated on board, sent


ashore or to a ship with a medical officer.” As an IDC, Anderson served aboard USS Detector (MSO-429) and USS Bigelow (DD-942). He recalls treating cases of pneumonia, hypertension and one heart attack aboard ship. By his third enlistment Anderson got married and decided that he was going to remain in the Navy. Over the ensuing years he served as medical department administration officer aboard USS Fulton, at the USS Reserve Duty Center, Colorado Springs, Colo., Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED), then located in Washington, DC and finally N931 for the start of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. The Gulf War marked the largest deployment of Navy medical personnel since World War II. And the days in medical planning and operations were long. Anderson remembers opening the office each morning at 0500. “I would begin my rounds Navy Command Center and National Military Command Center for the daily SITREPS and briefs then to COMM Center for messages,” recalled Anderson. “I would sort the messages, place in binders for the Surgeon General and Deputy when they came in. We had standalone computers so the only way to share work was to copy to a disk or printed out on a dot matrix printer. There was no network or internet. Letters and messages had to be done on an IBM Selectric Typewriter.” Anderson retired as a Master Chief on August 1, 1993. The following year, he returned as a civilian working for the Director, Medical Resources, Plans and Policy Division (N0931).

He credits his enlisted career experiences for providing him the knowledge and skillset for success in his civilian career. “My tours with the Marines and on-board ships helped me understand medical support to the Operating Forces,” explained Anderson. “And my tour at BUMED and OPNAV helped me understand how Navy Medicine operates.” Over the next decades Anderson was the one constant at N931—through September 11th, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the trials of divestiture and the tribulations of the COVID19 pandemic. As the primary assistant to Navy Medicine’s medical planning team Anderson was the valued medical expert provided health services support and advisement to the Navy Surgeon General and OPNAV N3⁄5 on expeditionary medical operations, global force management and sourcing deployment requirements. Anderson acknowledges that the biggest challenges in recent years has been working in what has increasingly been a joint environment, learning how other medical services are structured and new data systems. He points out that most of the drastic changes to Navy Medicine have taken place over the last 30 years. “Most of the changes to Navy Medicine occurred after the collapse of USSR,” said Anderson. “We reduced our Fleet Hospitals both in size and numbers and rebranded as Expeditionary Medical Facilities (EMFs). We added Forward Deployed Preventive Medicine Units (FDPMUs) and other smaller capabili-

ties. Joint medical facilities were created, some hospitals were downsized to clinics; others were closed as bases closed. We had to provide the same level of services with a smaller force.” Anderson has seen it all. Rear Adm. Gayle Shaffer, the Deputy Surgeon General, has worked alongside and known Jim Anderson during much of his civilian career and sees him as vital to the success Navy Medicine has had during these years. “Some of the very best, and most senior medical planners across the enterprise cite Jim as a source of mentorship, leadership and teaching,” stated Shaffer. “His contributions over the last 27 years of civil service provided extraordinary benefit and positively impacted the readiness of our Navy Medicine beyond measure.” After 58 years in Navy Medicine the one piece of advice he would give himself back in 1963 is always “be prepared for change” and “take responsibility for your career path.” “Remember only you are responsible for your career path,” said Anderson. “I told all my sailors that if you expect to make it in the Navy, you cannot rely on others but on yourself.” Admiral Shaffer puts it best when reflecting on Anderson’s lengthy career and legacy. Quoting legendary baseball executive and hall of famer Branch Rickey: “‘It is not the honor you take with you, but the heritage you leave behind.’ And, the heritage Jim Anderson leaves behind is indeed a great one, especially when I think of all those he has trained, mentored and guided.”

Rear Adm. Chip Rock Recognizes NAS Oceana, JEB LCFS Public Works Department Employees By MC3 Michael Botts VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Rear Adm. Charles “Chip” Rock, met with Hampton Roads area Public Works Department employees March 3, to recognize them for their accomplishments during the Lincoln Military Housing Wadsworth Shores water main rupture that occurred Feb. 2. Public Works employees responded expeditiously to the emergency, working to ensure that the more than 600 families living in the complex had their water restored in a timely manner.

(From left) NAS Oceana Commanding Officer Capt. John Hewitt; Bryan Payne, NAVFAC MIDLANT; Isaac Cooper, Keith Clinchot, PWD JEB LCFS; CNRMA Rear Adm. Charles Rock; Bryce Long, Steve Stimmel, Pat Ninini, Gary White, and Public Works Officer Cmdr. Lakeeva Gunderson, PWD Oceana. (COURTESY PHOTO)

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6 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 1 | Thursday, December 23, 2021

Members of Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center’s (MARMC) Waterfront Operations team stand below USS New York (LPD 21) before preparations begin for undocking on the 20th anniversary of September 11. The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship is in the final stages of a Dry-Dock Selected Restricted Availability (SRA) managed by MARMC and executed by General Dynamics NASSCO-Norfolk. MARMC provides surface ship maintenance, management and oversight of private sector maintenance and fleet technical assistance to ships in the Mid-Atlantic region. (DOUGLAS DENZINE)

USS New York Undocks on 20th Anniversary of 9/11 By Douglas Denzine

Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC)

On the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, USS New York (LPD 21) undocked ahead of schedule at General Dynamics NASSCO-Norfolk. The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship is currently in a Dry-docking Selected Restricted Availability managed by Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC). New York has significant ties to the tragic events that occurred two decades ago as seven and a half tons of steel salvaged from the collapsed World Trade Center were used

in construction of the ship’s stem bar, part of the ship’s bow, which was laid in September 2003. “It’s a unique privilege to serve on a ship that has the actual uniforms of the firefighters who assisted in the rescue from the World Trade Center,” said New York’s Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (HM3) Danielle Good. “The fact that we have portions of steel from the World Trade Center as part of the ship’s superstructure and I get to serve on board is a great honor.” During it’s time in dry-dock the ship began the cleaning and pumping of all tanks and voids, completed the cleaning of auxiliary sea water and generator sea water piping systems, as well as conducted under-



water hull preservation. “Throughout New York’s dry-dock period our crew, NASSCO and MARMC teams adopted the same sense of teamwork that engulfed our Nation following the 9/11 attacks,” said New York Commanding Officer Capt. Javier Gonzalez. “This mindset allowed us to expedite significant repairs in order to undock successfully on the anniversary of those tragic events that impacted the nation and our namesake.” The sailors onboard USS New York continue to show support and commitment to the families associated with their namesake ship. In late August, the New York crew, MARMC and NASSCO personnel began collecting donations for the September

11th Families’ Association which supports victims of terrorism. “We are proud of the progress on USS New York as well as the contributions for the September 11th Families’ Association that will help support the families forever changed by that day,” said NASSCO-Norfolk General Manager, Kevin Terry. “There has been a lot of positive energy in the shipyard around USS New York as there is a sense of service to both those directly impacted by the events and to returning this warship back to Fleet — it has been a special project for everyone involved.” The USS New York is scheduled to complete its maintenance availability in 2022. MARMC, a field activity under Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), provides surface ship maintenance, management and oversight of private sector maintenance and fleet technical assistance to ships in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and provides support to the fifth and sixth Fleet Areas of Responsibility. They are also responsible for the floating dry-dock Dynamic (AFDL-6).

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www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 1 | Thursday, December 23, 2021 7

Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group Returns From Deployment, Earns Navy Unit Commendation By U.S. Second Fleet Public Affairs NORFOLK, Va. — The Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKE CSG) returned home to Naval Station Norfolk between July 16-23 following a six-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation. IKE CSG’s courageous efforts were recognized by the Acting Secretary of the Navy, Thomas Harker, earning them the Navy Unit Commendation for operational excellence. Returning ships include the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (IKE), the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Laboon (DDG 58) and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116). Laboon, IKE and Vella Gulf returned to Naval Station Norfolk July 16, 18 and 23, respectively. Thomas Hudner returned to its homeport in Naval Station Mayport July 17. The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) and Arleigh Burkeclass guided-missile destroyers USS Mitscher (DDG 57) and USS Mahan (DDG 72) remain on deployment and will return to Norfolk at a future date. More than 1,800 Navy aviators from the nine squadrons of Carrier Air Wing Three (CVW3) returned to their home bases in Naval Air Station Oceana, Naval Station Norfolk, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, and Naval Air Station Jacksonville July 13. “The Sailors of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group and their families have served and sacrificed a tremendous amount by answering the nation’s call to duty, spanning two deployments with only a short reset in between,” said Rear Adm. Scott F. Robertson, commander, Carrier Strike Group TWO. “Nevertheless, our welltrained, exceptional Sailors rose to each challenge, enabling our strike group to be a dynamic force across great distances conducting simultaneous missions between both 5th and 6th Fleet.” As early as Dec. 28, 2020, Eisenhower’s crew, along with additional personnel temporarily assigned to the IKE CSG deployment were required to receive COVID-19 tests and undergo a restriction-of-movement period to ensure the health and safety of the crew during the pandemic. “Creating a COVID-free bubble for IKE was spearheaded by our Medical Department, and was successful because of a massive effort from all hands afloat. The health and safety of our Sailors is a top priority and we provided continual opportunities for Sailors to get vaccinated during our deployment,” said Capt. Paul F. Campagna, commanding officer, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). “I’m extremely proud of the crew’s character and hard work that set the conditions for IKE’s success throughout our deployment.” The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group departed Norfolk for deployment Feb. 18 after successfully completing a six-week, historic composite unit training exercise (COMPTUEX). This year’s COMPTUEX included a NATO vignette and incorporated integrated training with SEALs from Naval Special Warfare Group 2 for the first time in recent history. While in 6th Fleet, the IKE CSG supported national security interests in Europe through increased theater cooperation and maintaining a forward naval presence. While in the Atlantic Ocean and transiting through the Mediterranean Sea, the IKE CSG conducted Exercise Lightning Handshake 21, a U.S.-led, bi-lateral maritime exercise with the Royal Moroccan Navy and Royal Moroccan Air Force. The strike group also participated in Exercise Sea Shield 21, a multinational naval exercise hosted by Romania, alongside ships from nine different nations to conduct operations across the entire spectrum of naval warfare. The IKE CSG also worked alongside the Israeli navy and conducted passing exercises with the Hellenic, Italian, Albanian and Turkish navies. In 5th Fleet, the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group and French Navy (Marine Nationale) Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group (CDGSG) conducted dual carrier operations in the Arabian Sea. Shortly after the dual carrier operations, the IKE CSG ships participated in submarine familiarization exercises and conducted passing exercises with the Canadian Navy in the Arabian Sea and later with the Egyptian Navy in the Red Sea. The strike group’s ships also participated in joint air operations in support of maritime surface warfare exercises with the United Arab Emirates, U.S. Coast

Capt. Kyle Higgins, commanding officer of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), flys an F/A-18F Super Hornet, attached to the“Fighting Swordsmen”of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32. Ike is operating in the Atlantic Ocean in support of naval operations to maintain maritime stability and security in order to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied and partner interests. (MC2 KALEB SARTEN)

Guard, Joint Aviation Command, Royal Saudi Naval Forces and U.S. Air Forces Central. Embarked to Eisenhower, CVW-3 supported both missions Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (OFS), in the Arabian Sea as a continuation of the United States’ commitment to maritime security, stability, as well as to ensure safe passage and deescalate tensions throughout international waters in 5th Fleet. During its final month in 5th Fleet, the IKE CSG provided naval aviation support for the responsible, deliberate and safe drawdown of U.S. and coalition forces from Afghanistan April 28 to June 23 in support of OFS. CVW-3 conducted a total of 6,100 sorties and 12,401 flight hours throughout the strike group’s deployment. “The courage and effort put forth by the Sailors of CVW-3 over these many months speaks great volumes to their unwavering commitment to success, no matter what kind of adversity emerges over the horizon,” said Capt. Marcos A. Jasso, commander, Carrier Air Wing THREE. “Our Sailors gave it their all each and every single day during this deployment and I am honored to have served with our great air wing and flight deck crew. I wish them all a relaxed and enjoyable time off after deployment. The whole strike group deserves it. They’ve all earned it.” The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group sailed more than 190,000 nautical miles, operating dynamically across multiple fleets with our NATO allies, partners and friends. The strike group’s ships completed multiple strait and choke point transits, including the Strait of Gibraltar, the Suez Canal, Strait of Hormuz and Strait of Bab el Mandeb. “As the flagship of the strike group, we maneuvered IKE into the right battlespace for launching and recovering air wing missions ashore and over the horizon,” said Capt. Campagna. “IKE Sailors operated decisively and safely with a clear sense of purpose.” For the U.S. and coalition force drawdown support mission, the Vella Gulf provided integrated air and missile defense for the IKE CSG. Vella Gulf completed multiple transits through the Strait of Hormuz while escorting the United States Naval Ships USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7) and USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE 14) as well as other motor vessels, ensuring the United States’ continued commitment to uphold freedom of movement and maneuverability in theater. The ship participated in Exercise Eager Defender in the Northern Arabian Gulf June 8-9, which consisted of tactical maneuvers, live-fire gunnery exercises and drills for both maritime infrastructure protection and high value unit defense. Other participating units included the U.S. Navy patrol coastal ship USS Thunderbolt (PC 12), U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat USCGC Monomoy (WPB 1326), and Kuwaiti vessels, KNS Al-Garoh (P 3725) and KNS Istiqlal. “Team 72 faced one of the most rigorous deployment schedules of anyone in the fleet, and these outstanding Sailors made it all look easy,”

said Capt. Michael P. Desmond, commanding officer, USS Vella Gulf (CG 72). “The Sailors of Vella Gulf worked extremely hard in enabling our ship to provide the necessary support to the IKE CSG across many missions during this deployment with total professionalism.” Desmond added that Vella Gulf ’s crew embodied and epitomized the highest caliber of resilience over the last 18 months and that their determination and focus was a daily inspiration for each other throughout deployment. Thomas Hudner’s operations in 6th Fleet included participation in maritime exercises Sea Shield 21 as well as BALTOPS 50, a premier maritime-focused exercise that occurred in the Baltic Region between 16 NATO nations and two U.S. partner nations June 6-18. The ship conducted bi-lateral maritime exercises with the Hellenic Navy, presence operations alongside NATO allies in the Black Sea and provided continued support to 6th Fleet mission tasking while in the Norwegian Sea. “The crew exceeded each and every one of my expectations and they should be as proud of their work as I am of them. For a multitude of missions and exercises, they did it all and they did it well,” said Cmdr. Bo Mancuso, commanding officer, USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116). “I am incredibly proud of everyone’s performance and the keystone roles they played for our contribution as part Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group’s 2021 mission. Serving with them has been an absolute pleasure.” Laboon provided close escort and horizon reference unit duties for the CDGSG’s air operations in the Arabian Sea. The ship also conducted maritime interdiction operations such as counter-narcotics and counter-smuggling against violent extremist organizations in support of regional security and stability in 5th Fleet. “Laboon’s Sailors executed at a high level to accomplish all of our tasking out there. I am thankful that the crew remained safe throughout the deployment, especially in the midst of a global pandemic. They’ve all risen to the challenge and made significant sacrifices,” said Cmdr. Chuck Spivey, commanding officer, USS Laboon (DDG 58). “I’m proud that the crew decided to fight back against COVID-19 and because of that, 98 percent of our command has been vaccinated.” Operating across both U.S. 5th and 6th Fleets, Laboon conducted port visits to Spain; Bahrain; Qatar; Djibouti and Romania with pier-limited liberty for COVID-19 mitigations. For their port visit to Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Laboon was among the first ships to have the opportunity to conduct off-base liberty in U.S. 6th Fleet in more than a year since the start of the global pandemic. All port visits and Navy Morale Welfare & Recreation activities provided for the strike group’s Sailors were carefully planned and carried out while in full compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense and host nation COVID-19 mitigation measures. “Deployment is tough, but a COVID

deployment is even tougher,” said Operations Specialist Second Class, Allen Oldfield, a Sailor aboard Laboon. “I’m just grateful that we made it home safely and got to experience at least one port visit while we were out there.” Laboon conducted maritime security operations in the Black Sea alongside NATO allies and partners with a focus on maritime security, regional stability, and enhanced interoperability while working in 6th Fleet. “It took diligence, hard work, and grit from everyone to ensure our strike group remained safe and combat-ready throughout this deployment. What we do while deployed is no small feat considering we are the only Navy that can operate in a sustained manner with the kind of combat power we provide,” said Rear Adm. Robertson. “I am exceedingly proud of each and every one of our Sailors for their exceptional performance and it has been an honor to serve alongside this team of warfighters for the Eisenhower Strike Group’s 2021 mission. However, we still have a few of our strike group’s ships that remained on station and we should keep them and their families in our thoughts until they return to Norfolk.” Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is a multiplatform team of ships, aircraft and more than 5,000 Sailors, capable of carrying out a wide variety of missions around the globe. The Navy provides a ready, flexible force capable of responding to a broad range of contingencies. Ships of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, commanded by Rear Adm. Scott F. Robertson, include the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), commanded by Capt. Paul F. Campagna; the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Monterey (CG 61), commanded by Capt. Joseph A. Baggett, and USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), commanded by Capt. Michael P. Desmond; Destroyer Squadron 22, commanded by Capt. Scott A. Jones, ships include the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Mitscher (DDG 57), commanded by Cmdr. Thomas McCandless, USS Laboon (DDG 58), commanded by Cmdr. Charles Spivey, USS Mahan (DDG 72) commanded by Cmdr. Chris Cummins, and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), commanded by Cmdr. Bo Mancuso. Squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, commanded by Capt. Marcos A. Jasso, embarked on Eisenhower include the “Fighting Swordsmen” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32, “Gunslingers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105, “Wildcats” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131, “Rampagers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83; “Dusty Dogs” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7; “Swamp Foxes” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74; “Screwtops” of Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 123; “Zappers” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 130, and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 “Rawhides.”

UCT ONE Takes Command of Adaptive Force Package During Large Scale Exercise 2021 By Naval Construction Group Two Public Affairs VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 1 led an Expeditionary Port Damage Repair (ExPDR) training evolution during the Navy’s Large Scale Exercise (LSE) 2021. This evolution provided an opportunity for Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) to execute simulated port damage repair operations, utilizing units of action from each of its operational commands. The all-hands effort, commanded by UCT 1 as part of an adaptive force package, demonstrated the full spectrum of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Force (NECF), including: Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit TWO, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit TWO, Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron TWO, and Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133. NECF units are critical elements supporting distributed maritime operations (DMO) in support of Navy fleet maneuvers from sea to shore. They provide a rapid response capability in maintaining the Fleet’s 5R requirements (re-arm, refuel, repair, resupply and revive). Each NECF unit provides an area of expertise to meet NECC’s tenets of CLEAR, SECURE, BUILD, and PROTECT, providing force protection to coastal infrastructure and ensuring force

survivability. UCTs are a key enabler of port damage repair and are critical in identifying, testing and providing feedback for ExPDR solutions that enable the Navy to operate freely and with minimal disruptions to critical lines of logistics. UCTs specialize in both diving and construction methods, and maintain the capabilities to conduct such operations at the water’s edge, within the surf zone, and down to depths up to 190 feet. As such, UCTs have the ability to lead an integrated team of NECF units to execute ExPDR operations. Of the several repair technologies demonstrated during LSE 2021, a key element of performance was the port improvement via Exigent Repair Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (PIER JCTD), Spirals. Each spiral corresponds to an area of a pier with potential damage in need of repair. From the mudline to the superstructure, each spiral is assembled in-place by Naval Construction Force (NCF) commands, utilizing both the UCTs and NMCBs. Together, these commands work above and below the water line to repair critical infrastructure, ranging in scope from pile driving and dredging, to the installation of pile bracing and pier fendering. “UCT 1 and NMCB 133 worked together to successfully install all four Spiral repair systems during the course of the exercise,”

said Chief Builder Carlos Hernandez, assistant officer in charge of UCT 1’s Construction Dive Detachment Bravo (CDDB). “The exercise scenario helped validate the effectiveness of the Spiral repair systems and showcased how a UCT and an NMCB can team up to repair a port facility to support the fleet.” LSE 2021 merged live and synthetic training capabilities to create an intense, robust training environment. It will connect high-fidelity training and real-world operations, to build knowledge and skills needed in today’s complex, multi-domain, and contested environment. “This exercise demonstrated NECF units can work together to effectively execute a port damage repair scenario, and the experience and lessons learned will further increase the capability of NECF units to provide forward infrastructure and force protection that supports Naval operations”, said Lt. Pete Schmillen, officer in charge of CDDB. Homeported at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach, Virginia, UCT 1 is a specially trained and equipped unit within the NECF that constructs, inspects, repairs, and maintains ports, ocean facilities, underwater systems, and general maritime infrastructure. UCT ONE is a key component of PDR operations during natural disaster response or contingency operations.

Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133’s pile driving crew uses an organic excavator with an attachment to drive piles into the harbor on board Joint Expeditionary Base – Little Creek simulating pier repairs for a battle damaged port. Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 1 led an Expeditionary Port Damage Repair (ExPDR) training evolution during the Navy’s Large Scale Exercise 2021. (COURTESY PHOTO)

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www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 2 | Thursday, December 23, 2021 1


New Chiefs Family, friends and shipmates gathered at the POW/MIA Park on Naval Support Activity (NSA) Hampton Roads to witness the pinning of 23 new chief petty officers from NSA tenant commands. PAGE B6

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Joseph Casassa, assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) dental department, administers a COVID-19 vaccine at the McCormick Gym onboard Naval Station Norfolk, April 8, 2021. Ford is in port Naval Station Norfolk for a scheduled window of opportunity for maintenance as part of her 18-month post delivery set and trials phase of operations. (MCSN JACKSON ADKINS)

Navy Administers One Million Vaccines since the Beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic By Angela Steadman

U.S. Navy Bureau Of Medicine and Surgery

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — As of May 26, 2021, Navy Medicine providers have administered more than 1,000,000 COVID19 vaccines to Sailors, Marines, DoD civilians and beneficiaries at 65 medical and 13 operational Navy sites around the world. Over half of active-duty Navy personnel have been fully immunized and vaccinations continue to occur rapidly. “We have a clear path to winning this war, but only if everyone gets vaccinated. Thanks to the scientific research and medical advancements we have made over the past decade — we now have three safe and effective vaccines in our arsenal to protect ourselves, our fellow Sailors and Marines, and our loved ones against a disease which

has killed more than 580,000 Americans,” said Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham, Navy surgeon general, chief, bureau of medicine and surgery. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Navy Medicine has been at the forefront of the latest scientific research and findings in the fight against this deadly virus and its variants. Scientists, researchers and medical personnel from all over the world have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety and readiness of our Sailors, Marines, DoD civilians and beneficiaries. Similarly to scientific studies and literature, Navy Medicine has seen a 95% effectiveness rate in fully immunized Sailors and Marines, and an 85% effectiveness rate among partially immunized Sailors and Marines since the first vaccines were given in late December 2020.

“We are winning,” said Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham. “The effectiveness numbers for the Covid-19 vaccines are very promising and those who are vaccinated are now able to participate in more and more activities, which is encouraging for a lot of people.” This month, the FDA expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine to include adolescents 12 to 15 years old. With the release of this guidance, Navy Medicine anticipates an increase in vaccines for beneficiaries over the next several weeks. In addition, last week, the Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff released a memorandum reaffirming support for initiatives by local commanders to encourage vaccination acceptance among all service members. As life begins to return to normal for those who are fully vaccinated, Rear Adm. Gilling-

ham cautioned, “Those who have not been fully vaccinated must remain vigilant and continue to follow all applicable Defense guidance, including wearing masks indoors.” Vaccination appointments remain open to all eligible beneficiaries. Those looking to make an appointment are encouraged to make an appointment at their soonest availability through www.tricare.mil/vaccineappointments. Those who have questions and/ or concerns about receiving any of the three available vaccines are encouraged to speak with a medical provider. To watch Rear Adm. Gillingham’s latest message on COVID-19, please visit https:// youtu.be/X7ApFDiCMvo For more information on vaccines, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/keythingstoknow.html

Women in Submarines: 10 years later By MC2 Cameron Stoner

Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. — Female officers in the U.S. Navy have been serving on multiple platforms throughout the Submarine Force for more than 10 years now. In 2010, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates lifted the ban, which barred females from serving aboard submarines. A year after the ban was lifted, the first female officers began reporting to Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines. “The integration of women on submarines served to increase the talent pool available to the Submarine Force,” said Lt. Sabrina ReyesDods, the Women in Submarines (WIS) coordinator at Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic. “Women make up 57 percent of all degree-seeking college students and earn half of all science and engineering-based bachelor degrees. Twenty percent of U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen and 28 percent of NROTC midshipmen are women. With the ongoing challenge of recruiting highly trained officers, integrating women allowed the Submarine Force to attract the nation’s best and brightest.” The WIS Task Force took the helm in developing a plan to integrate female officers into submarine crews throughout the force. “The WIS Task Force was formed in 2009 to provide flag officer level oversight for the planning and execution of the Women in Submarines integration based on the proposed timeline approved by the Chief of Naval Operations,” said Reyes-Dods. “The WIS Task Force, a flag-led task force, developed a comprehensive and deliberate plan for the integration of women officers onto submarines based on other lessons learned from other Navy communities. This deliberate integration plan has been successful and has not had any major roadblocks.” More commands were added to the integration plan to better support dual military couples co-location and the increased interest

U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen celebrate a touchdown during the Army-Navy football game held at the MetLife Stadium. (MCC DIANA QUINLAN)

Army-Navy Game - Navy Takes the Win The U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2021 female submarine selectees pose for a photo. The Navy lifted the ban of women in submarines in 2010 and has been expanding female Sailor and officer integration ever since. (COURTESY PHOTO)

of women to serve as submarine officers. Based on other service communities’ lessons learned, the Submarine Force integrated commands with women officers first. In 2016, the submarine force integrated its first command with enlisted female sailors. “Integrating senior women first was a key lesson learned from the integration of other Navy warfare communities,” said Reyes-Dods. “Instead of integrating at the lowest-level first as other communities did, we decided to pursue a top-down integration process in order to provide mentors and role-models for younger women.” After a strategic pause to evaluate retention and accession interest, the Submarine Force expanded the WIS integration plan to include

By U.S. Navy Public Affairs

all homeports in 2020. By 2030, the goal is to have 33 different crews integrated with officers across all platforms and all homeports. A similar strategic pause for the enlisted women in submarines program is planned for 2023 to evaluate the continued expansion of enlisted female integration of the current plan of record of 14 crews. Another goal of female integration into the Submarine Force is habitability modifications to maintain privacy requirements. “Habitability modifications are only associated with enlisted integration,” said ReyesDods. “The Ohio-class was initially chosen as modifications were relatively modest in scope.

The Army—Navy Game is an American college football rivalry game between the Army Black Knights of the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York, and the Navy Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy (USNA) at Annapolis, Maryland. This year on Dec. 11, the Navy won 17-13 respectively securing their second win against the Army in the past six games. The game has come to embody the spirit of the interservice rivalry of the United States Armed Forces. The game marks the end of the college football regular season and the third and final game of the season’s Commander-in-Chief ’s Trophy series, which also includes the Air Force Falcons of the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA)

Turn to Submarine, Page 7

Turn to Game, Page 7


The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 2 | Thursday, December 23, 2021

Heroes at Home

Q: Does RPP help me save money? A: The RPP offers real cost savings to Service members living in the community. The RPP homes that are available have already been screened and inspected by the local Navy Housing Service Center (HSC). The program guarantees the Service member reduced rates and reduced or no security deposit and administrative fees. Also, RPP requires rent be paid by allotment or electronic funds transfer, making it one less bill you have to think about every month.

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A Holiday Invitation By Lisa Smith Molinari “Goshdangit!” Francis blurted from the driver’s seat, fiddling with the windshield wiper controls in his car. “These things are always too fast or too slow!” I sat in the passengers seat, listening to him grumble as we made our way down Interstate 195 on a dreary, cold December afternoon — and I smiled. My pants were tight from recent weight gain. My hair was frizzy from the rain. My nail polish was chipped. And I was constipated. But it didn’t matter. Locusts could swarm our car, boils could break out on my skin, and the sun could disappear. Nothing would spoil my good mood, because we were going to a Christmas party. For 28 years of marriage, Francis and I had been jonesing to get invited to a holiday party. Not a ladies cookie exchange, not a command function, not a work pot luck. I’m talking about going to a friend’s house with twinkle lights and hot dips and festive cocktails and red and green M&Ms. I’m talking about spiral hams and cheese balls and “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and tacky jingle bell earrings. I’m talking about laughter and eating too much and getting home late and finding cookie sprinkles in your bra. That’s the kind of Christmas party I’m talking about. Over the years, Francis and I hosted many

holiday parties of our own, thinking that our friends would surely invite us to their houses one Christmas. Although I vaguely recall one or two brave souls who threw soirées, mostly, our hosting efforts were not reciprocated. While stationed in England in the mid-nineties, we invited military friends and our elderly English neighbors to our village house for Christmas. Francis made his father’s homemade spiked egg nog recipe, we blasted our Frank Sinatra holiday cassette tapes, and everyone wore flimsy English cracker paper crowns. In Virginia Beach, we welcomed friends to the suburbs for our annual Christmas parties, where everyone drank Francis’ now-famous nog and sang along while our kids played “We Three Kings” on our upright piano. In Germany, friends packed into our base stairwell apartment, where middle-schoolers caused drama, neighbors complained about the noise, and glüwein turned our guests’ teeth purple. In Mayport, Florida, we invited friends to go Christmas caroling around our base neighborhood in the sub-tropical winter, pulling a wagon containing thermoses of hot drinks, before heading back at our house to party. Here in Rhode Island, our many holiday guests clustered throughout the first floor of our house, nibbling, chit chatting, cocktailing until the wee hours. We once shooed our college kids’ friends out after 3:00 am.

All along, we had believed that the hard work was worth it, because our hospitality would surely be repaid. I thought we’d eventually receive a festive invitation, make a dish to contribute, find hilarious ugly Christmas sweaters to wear, or at least playful holiday hats. But instead — bupkis. Until this year. When the invitation came, one would’ve thought I’d won the lottery. “Honey! Honey! Suzette and David are having a real Christmas party and guess what?! WE’RE INVITED!” I wailed to Francis’ upstairs office, dancing on my tippy toes like a hamster on fire. Quite suddenly, our holiday hosting history flashed before my eyes. All the planning, cooking, cleaning, decorating, and hand-wringing. It had all been worth it for that one moment of finally feeling chosen. Gone was the sting of resentment over all the times I scrubbed ham glaze out of the rugs. Poof went the insecurities over my garage-sale-chic home decor. Lingering anger over that time a drunken guest upchucked in our shower evaporated. Ego bruises over “cool” friends who never reached out vanished like magic. We arrived at Suzette and David’s house bearing wine and gifts, repeatedly thanking them for inviting us. At the end of the night, we overstayed our welcome a bit, wanting to wring every bit of fun out of the event like the last squeeze of a toothpaste tube. Certainly, party hosting is not for everyone. But I realize that invitations are not necessarily about hosting, but rather, taking the time to reach out and let friends know that they are cherished.

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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

10 Great Resources for Military Spouse Jobs


By Military Onesource There are two things military spouses typically know: 1) change happens and 2) your military community has support to help you make the most of it. That’s especially true when it comes to job-finding and advancing your career. Here are 10 top tips for tapping into services that can help you find a great job: Speak with a career coach: Military OneSource has career coaches who can help you prepare for a job search. Call 800-3429647 and speak with a career coach from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday or from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET on Saturday. Job Search Navigator and On-Demand Resume Reviews: Two services to ease the pressure by giving you expert resume help and personalized job leads, equipping you with the time and tools to land the position that’s perfect for you. Resume Builder: Use this resource to develop a resume that will land you the job. Create your resume today using the MySECO Resume Builder.

Research occupations: Powered by CareerOneStop, this tool helps you find government statistics on wages and employment trends nationwide. The Military Spouse Employment Partnership Job Search on MySECO: Your next job could be a click away. Register today and begin searching for military-friendly employers. The partnership includes more than 500 partners and military-friendly employers, and hosts virtual hiring fairs to connect you directly to these employers. Apply for the MyCAA Scholarship: The My Career Advancement Account Scholarship is a workforce development program that provides eligible military spouses with up to $4,000 in financial assistance for the pursuit or maintenance, including continuing education courses, of a license, certification or associate degree necessary to gain employment in an occupation or career field. Spouses can also use funds for national tests to earn course credits required for the degree approved under the program, including the College Level Examination

Program tests. USAJOBS Employment Portal: Gain insight on the federal application process and apply for federal jobs. MilitaryINSTALLATIONS: If you recently had a permanent change of station, contact your new installation’s employment assistance program. M i lS p o u se e Me n t o r L e ad e r s hi p Program: Get career guidance, advice and support from experienced military spouses, career mentors and military-friendly employers. Complete a profile on the MilSpouse eMentor Program site to get started. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Hiring Our Heroes: This program helps veterans, transitioning military and military spouses connect with job opportunities. Visit the Hiring Our Heroes website to access resources that can boost your online job search. While you’re searching for a job, be sure to take advantage of MySECO’s interactive employment readiness and career connection tools.

SuicidePrevention SAPR Support

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Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC) Lab Certification and Monitoring Branch Manager, Traci Harrison was recently selected as the 2021 Woman of Color (WOC) Technology AllStar. She is MARMC’s first recipient of the award. (COURTESY PHOTO)

MARMC Employee Wins 2021 Woman of Color Technology All-Star Award By Chris Wyatt

Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. — Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center’s (MARMC) Lab Certification and Monitoring Branch Manager, Traci Harrison was recently selected as the 2021 Woman of Color (WOC) Technology All-Star. She is MARMC’s first recipient of the award. For over 25 years, the WOC has selected the best and brightest candidates from

around the country for their Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) awards. “I am still in awe of being a recipient of this national award. I am truly grateful. One of my mentors told me ‘I had something for the nation,’ ” said Harrison. “My next goal is to continue to promote up the ladder in government with an end goal of retiring as a member of the Senior Executive Service.” In 2017, Harrison joined Naval Sea System Command’s (NAVSEA) Joint Navy Audit Certification Team at MARMC. In 2019, she

moved into her current position as Certification and Audit Branch Manager, becoming the first African American female Branch Manager in MARMC’s Engineering Department. In her current role, Harrison provides oversight, management and compliance of NAVSEA criteria for inspections and audit recertification in Miniature and Micro miniature (2M), Module Test and Repair (MTR), Fiber Optic Test and Repair (FOTR) and Metrology Calibration (METCAL) aboard ships and submarines, shore-site

facilities, commercial facilities and technician recertification for the Mid-Atlantic Region. Additionally, she provides oversight, management and compliance of NAVSEA’s criteria for MARMC’s Engineering Department, Test Equipment Calibration Program which ensures calibration readiness throughout the department. Congratulations to Ms. Harrison on her award! MARMC, a directorate under Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), provides surface ship maintenance, management and oversight of private sector maintenance and fleet technical assistance to ships in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and provides support to the fifth and sixth Fleet Area of Responsibilities. They are also responsible for the floating dry-dock Dynamic (AFDL-6).

4 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 2 | Thursday, December 23, 2021

Navy Diver 3rd Class Aiden Lockard, assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2, prepares to leave the surface during ice dive training at a frozen lake on Camp Ripley in Little Falls, Minn. The training hosted by MDSU 2, is in its third iteration and has become more relevant, showcasing how Navy divers are assisting in building a more capable arctic naval force. MDSU 2, based out of Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek - Fort Story, is a combat ready expeditionary force capable of deploying worldwide in support of all diving and salvage operations. (MCC JEFF ATHERTON)

MDSU 2 Divers Train for Any Future Arctic Operations By MCC Jeff Atherton

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group Two Public Affairs

LITTLE FALLS, Minn. — Camp Ripley, the sprawling Army base in northern Minnesota, is impressive. With nearly 53,000 acres of training sites, the installation is normally buzzing with tanks, troops and jets, but not necessarily in February, when the temperatures rarely see double digits and regularly stay sub-zero. For one unit, however, this Arctic environment is just right. “We come up here to train hard,” said Chief Navy Diver Stephen Eide, Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2 training and readiness leading chief petty officer. Navy divers are a far cry from tanks, troops and jets, but the frozen lakes and harsh environment on the friendly confines of a military installation are ideal to prepare the normally deep-sea experts to operate for any future tasking in the Arctic. The ice dive training, led by MDSU 2, is not in response to any specific threat, but rather an extension of the Department of the Navy’s Strategic Blueprint for the Arctic, and this training has become even more relevant showcasing how Navy divers are at the tip of the spear in building a more capable Arctic naval force.

“We say that we dive the world over but for the last 20 years our mission has been primarily in the Middle East and other warm water environments,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua Slack, MDSU2 training and readiness officer. “With the great power competition, that is no longer the case. We need to be ready to operate where we are not accustomed to.” The frozen lakes on Camp Ripley provide a safe haven for training with access to berthing, training classrooms and normal everyday amenities in order to prepare for a more austere and less forgiving environment. Although the training does occur on the safe confines of the base, it is not without challenges. The ice is about 16-inches thick and water temperature hovers just above freezing at 34 degrees, which leads to equipment challenges that the divers have not seen in the last 20 years. “With the extreme cold, there are significant equipment considerations that we need to make that we did not run into in our normal operating environment,” said Eide. “Chainsaws and sleds are not in our normal gear load out but this is the reality now and I’m confident that our divers can perform the mission in an Arctic environment when called upon.” This was the first year that MDSU 2

incorporated additional expeditionary skills training in the Arctic environment. Above the ice, the divers trained in cold weather acclamation, demolition, M9 service pistol and M4 rifle familiarization, stoppage and malfunction remediation. Under the ice, 27 divers braved the water for a combined total of 10 hours on the bottom of the frozen lakes. This was also the first year that MDSU 2 incorporated a final evaluation problem (FEP) for one of the dive companies in an Arctic environment. “We thought it was important for one of our dive companies to go through the full spectrum of operations in this environment to really hash out any potential issues and flex our ability to truly complete a task,” said Slack. For the FEP mission, the dive company was called upon to retrieve sensitive items from under the snow and ice covered lake. They were given approximate coordinates where the items were suspected to be and went on their mission. “The value of conducting a FEP in this environment cannot be overstated,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Beau Lontine, MDSU2 company 2-2 officer-in-charge. “We were presented with real-world scenarios and given the opportunity to accomplish the task with equipment and personnel organic to the team.”

The real-world scenarios presented to the dive company forced them to think outside the box and take into consideration the constraints of operating in such an austere environment. “This Arctic environment forces us to get uncomfortable and creative and function with the gear and the people we have, which is crucial to accomplishing the mission by ourselves this far from our normal resources,” said Lontine. The successful completion of FEP certified the dive company for deployment and served as eye opening experience for any potential cold weather future tasking. “This was the first time that MDSU 2 had done a FEP like this and it really showed us the significant logistical lift required to complete the mission under the ice,” said Lontine. “While we are training, we want to make sure we are advancing the force at every level possible and the lessons learned from this exercise will pay dividends in the end when we need to accomplish the mission in the real world.” With all of the gear stowed and secured, the MDSU 2 team returned to Virginia Beach to track lessons learned and prepare for the next mission. “I’m confident that when we get the call, our divers will be ready to deploy anywhere in the world, hot or cold, sandy or snowy, to complete any mission that is asked of us,” said Slack. MDSU 2, headquartered out of Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach, Va., is the Navy’s premier East Coast diving and salvage unit, capable of providing skilled, capable, and combatready deployable forces around the globe to support a range of operations.

Kearsarge Commemorates MLK Jr. Legacy By MC2 Jacob Richardson USS Kearsarge Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. — Sailors aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) commemorated Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) day with an observance on the mess deck held by the Diversity Committee on Jan. 20, 2021. Living in a time of racial segregation, MLK’s firsthand experience with racial prejudice inspired him to dedicate his life to achieving equality for all Americans. His actions directly led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made race discrimination illegal and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibited voter interference and forced states to make voting more accessible to all Americans. The day’s observance began with comments from the Diversity Committee. Surrounded by posters with images of MLK and quotes he made throughout his life, Culinary Specialist Seaman Alicia Rocha, a Diversity Committee member, spoke on his life and accomplishments. “Today is about equality and a man who helped make it all possible,” said Rocha. “Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. never backed down in his stand against racism. King led thousands of nonviolent demonstrators in multiple marches, inspiring large crowds with his speeches, but one speech that will never be forgotten is his powerful ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.” After introductory remarks were made, the members of the Kearsarge Diversity Committee took turns, reciting parts of MLK’s famous speech. During MLKs march on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963, MLK delivered that famous speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to a crowd of over 250,000 people. The speech is considered a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement. “The theme for the 2021 MLK holiday

A customized cake is presented to the crew during an observance ceremony in commemoration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) Jan. 20, 2021. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on Jan. 15, 1929 in a time of American history marked by segregation, inspiring him to dedicate his life to achieving equality and justice for all Americans. (COURTESY PHOTO)

observance is ‘The Urgency of Creating the Beloved Community’, and gives us an important moment to reflect.” said Kearsarge commanding officer, Capt. Neil Koprowski. “With a quick look at today’s Department of Defense and all four branches of the United States military shows a dedication to a set of values that include the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” MLK described the ‘Beloved Community’ as a society where ‘caring and compassion drive political policies that support the worldwide elimination of poverty and hunger and all forms of bigotry and violence.’ According to The King Center, this theme was chosen to educate people of all ages about King’s legacy and how to champion completion of his unfinished work. “The military has a unique responsibility to observe this particular holiday,” said Koprowski. “It was a slow and painful evolu-

tion from the segregated and unwelcoming environment that non-white troops had to endure as early as the Civil War. U.S. military history is marked with examples of discrimination and retaliation of non-white Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. The fact that in modern times we find the Department of Defense in support of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his work, is an important step away from unfortunate mistakes and poor judgment of past decades.” Koprowski finished his comments, making mention of the Navy’s ‘Task Force One’ initiative, established to combat discrimination and other destructive biases, in the Navy. Nearly 30 Kearsarge Sailors participated in the special task force. According to the Department of the Navy, this work done by Sailors and members of leadership throughout the fleet will seek to promptly address

the full spectrum of systemic racism, advocate for the needs of underserved communities, work to dismantle barriers and equalize professional development frameworks and opportunities within the Navy. “We must demand of each other that we treat each everyone with dignity and respect. If you won’t do that, then our Navy is not the best place for you,” said Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Mike Gilday. “We are one team, and we are one Navy.” Until his assassination, MLK traveled more than six million miles and spoke more than 2,500 times. Appearing wherever injustice was found, King led many protests, becoming a worldwide known symbolic leader of African Americans. His life and dream for America is still celebrated today, showing others the way to embracing peace and togetherness in American society nearly 52 years after his death.

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6 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 2 | Thursday, December 23, 2021

Newly pinned chief petty officers from Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads and tenant commands pose for a photo following the chief petty officer pinning ceremony at POW/MIA Park, Nov. 19, 2021. (MC1 THEODORE GREEN)

NSA Hampton Roads and Tenant Commands Welcome New Chiefs By Chief Petty Officer Mary Popejoy

Commander, U.s. Fleet Forces Command Public Affairs

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 Intelligence 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. 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 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

IWTC Virginia Beach Hosts NRTOC Midshipmen By Center For Information Warfare Training Public Affairs VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Midshipmen from various universities across the United States visited the Information Warfare Training Command Virginia Beach (IWTCVB) as part of their Career Orientation and Training for Midshipmen (CORTRAMID) summer training block, July 28. CORTRAMID is a month-long opportunity for midshipmen to step back from university life and experience the operational communities of the Navy and Marine Corps—to aid in their service selection decision making prior to commissioning following the completion of their freshman year of academics. The visit offered an opportunity to discuss the information warfare community (IWC) accession training pipelines and life as an information warfare officer (IWO). One week is spent with each of the following communities to provide students with real life experiences of each option available to them upon commissioning: surface warfare, submarine, aviation, and the Marine Corps. However, because the IWC is an option for midshipman to select following commissioning, the IWC has been incorporated in the summer training block to expose midshipman to life within the community. At IWTC Virginia Beach, the NRTOC midshipmen had the opportunity to learn how each IWC designator contributes to the various missions of the fleet, what they can expect during their accession-training pipelines upon commissioning, and first few years as a junior officer. The IWTC Virginia Beach officer and senior enlisted staff were able to provide their own experience and insights during the discussions with the midshipmen while answering their

Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) midshipmen candidates stand in formation at Midway Ceremonial Drill Hall at Recruit Training Command (RTC) during their graduation ceremony marking the completion NROTC New Student Indoctrination Cycle 2. The young men and women from across the country are entering their freshman year of the NROTC program at universities nationwide this fall. They underwent a three-week indoctrination program hosted at RTC, the U. S. Navy’s only boot camp, which provides standardized entry-level militarization and prepares midshipmen with a common training orientation. They are led by Navy-option 1st class and Marine-option 2nd class midshipmen, instructors and staff from NROTC units across the country. The staff is overseeing and instructing the midshipmen candidates with assistance from the Recruit Division Commanders and instructors assigned to RTC as well as active duty Marine Corps Drill Instructors. NSI provides basic training in five warfighting fundamentals – Fire Fighting, Damage Control, Seamanship, Watchstanding and Small Arms Handling and Marksmanship – to begin creating basically trained, smartly disciplined, tough and courageous future Navy and Marine Corps Officers. (AMANDA S KITCHNER)

questions. “Like the USNA midshipmen visits being conducted this summer, IWTC Virginia Beach was excited to have been asked to participate in NROTC CORTRAMID summer training program this year,” commented IWTC Virginia Beach Commanding Officer Cmdr. James Brennan. “The IWTC Virginia Beach staff is very experienced and more than willing to discuss expectations and life of an IWO outside of the classroom to better inform potential IWC officers. We look forward to hopefully seeing some of these same midshipmen as newly commissioned, IWC

officers in a few years.” IWTC Virginia Beach currently offers 59 courses of instruction in information technology, cryptology, and intelligence with an instructor and support staff of 278 military, civilian, and contract members who train over 6,600 students every year at five training sites in the Hampton Roads area. It is one of four school houses for Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) and also oversees learning sites at Jacksonville and Mayport, Florida; Kings Bay, Georgia; and Groton, Connecticut to continue aligning information warfare community training. With four schoolhouse commands, a

detachment, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT trains approximately 26,000 students every year, delivering trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community. For more news from the Center for Information Warfare Training domain, visit https://www.netc.navy.mil/CIWT, www. facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.

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Virginia Congresswoman Visits NSWCDD

Submarine from Page 1

By Naval Surface Warfare Center

Dahlgren Division Public Affairs

DAHLGREN, Va. — Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia’s 7th Congressional District visited Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Oct. 25 to meet with installation leadership and receive a brief on the innovative technologies the base houses. NSWCDD Commanding Officer, Capt. Stephen “Casey” Plew, led the visit which included a Digital Proving Grounds overview and tours of the Digital Warfare Innovation Center and the laser lab. This is the second visit Congresswoman Spanberger has made to Dahlgren.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger asks questions about a laser demonstration in the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division laser lab. During her visit, Spanberger received a Digital Proving Grounds Overview and participated in tours of the Digital Warfare Innovation Center and the laser lab. (ADAM VERNON)

Game from Page 1

near Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Army—Navy game is one of the most traditional and enduring rivalries in college football. It has been frequently attended by sitting U.S. presidents. The game has been nationally televised each year since 1945 on either ABC, CBS, or NBC. CBS has televised the game since 1996 and has the rights to the broadcast through 2028. Army and Navy first met on the field on November 29, 1890, and have met annually since 1930. The game has been held at several locations throughout its history, including New York City and Baltimore, but has most frequently been played in Philadelphia, roughly equidistant from the two academies. Historically played on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (a date on which most other major college football teams end their regular seasons), the game is now played U.S. Naval Academy football team runs out on to the field during the Army-Navy football game on the second Saturday in December and held at the MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey. The game marked the 122nd meeting is traditionally the last regular-season game between the U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen and the U.S. Army Black Knights. (MCC DIANA played in NCAA Division I football. QUINLAN )

Future Virginia-class, USS New Jersey and beyond, and Columbia-class submarines are being built gender neutral and will not require any habitability modifications. In other words, there will be available male and female berthing and head facilities to maintain privacy requirements.” With the women in submarines integration being a part of the Navy for more than 10 years, the hope is that future generations of women are inspired by the rapid expansion and new opportunities. “We hope that future generations of women will take inspiration from our current female submarine Sailors and officers to pursue their own careers as submariners,” said Reyes-Dods. While the Submarine Force has a history of being male-dominated, there is no distinction between the term “submariners”. “From its inception, female submariners have always wanted to be treated as submariners, not ‘female submariners,” said Reyes-Dods. The Submarine Force is currently taking both male and female conversion Sailors and new accession Sailors in all submarine ratings. If a female sailor wants to serve on a submarine, she should visit: https://www. mynavyhr.navy.mil/Career-Management/ Community-Management/Enlisted/Submarine/Enlisted-Women-Submarines/ Sailors can also reach out to their Enlisted Community Manager for more information. 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.

8 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 2 | Thursday, December 23, 2021


(757) 210-4425

On iberty

www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 3 | Thursday, December 23, 2021 1

Pop Up Some Winter Fun A perfect partner for a broad variety of flavors, popcorn is a versatile pantry staple that can be served plain or as a better-for-you addition to seasonal snacks. PAGE C4

AfterGlow 80’s Extravaganza is asking for your votes on Broadway World

Cast of AfterGlow, 1988. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Interview Conducted By Yiorgo For four years, 1986-89 the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW) were the talk of the town with their colorful lady wrestling characters, comedy sketches, poking fun at themselves while having the time of their lives and making all of us happy. Now 35 years later, the original GLOW ladies are back in ‘AfterGlow 80’s Extravaganza’ set to open in 2022 in Las Vegas. Currently, Broadway World is having their regional 2021 awards contest where they are asking everyone to vote in various categories. You can vote for Afterglow here. https://w w w.broadway world.com/ las-vegas/voteregion.cfm?fbclid=IwAR1FCwYAYX3QxSNZMy2lt6aZ6WdtMQrV9v9I1E07wXia7Y0ziQP0X6QChkw Yiorgo: ‘AfterGlow 80’s Extravaganza’ is up for the most anticipated upcoming production of a play, and here to tell us their stories and why you should cast your vote for Afterglow are two original GLOW girls, Roxie Astor and Gremlina. Roxie Astor: It’s a very cool category to be in because when we did our first play AfterGlow 80’s Musical Experience in 2018 we were very limited with the funds. Not only did we make it work, but we won for best assemble and for best director. We were not

(Left) Gremlina. (COURTESY PHOTO)


expecting to be nominated, let alone win two awards. And now we are nominated for most anticipated play in Vegas, where it all began for us 35 years ago at the Riviera Hotel. The show ran for four seasons but there was not any closure when it finished. The category we are nominated in is appropriate because this is a 35 year anticipation in the making. And that’s why I’m calling it, ‘The Girls are back in town.’ We will all be

there. We have the same energy, craziness, love, and hate for each other. To me there’s only one set of GLOW girls. While we are still able to, I want us to go back to Vegas and finish up where we left off. Y: What is the play about? What should people expect to see and experience? Gremlina: The first musical was about several of the original girls reminiscing at

Mt. Figi’s memorial service about their life stories and how they got into GLOW. With this one we do flashbacks with younger versions of ourselves who were hired not because of their appearance but their personalities. One unique element is that Roxie’s daughter who is a second generation wrestler Kayla, who is Britanny Astor, plays her mom as the young Roxie Astor. It’s a heritage, a legacy and people will be able to reminisce about the fun days of the 80’s with great music and GLOW stories that you never heard before. To quote someone very near and dear to my heart, just when you think you know the answers, AfterGlow will change the questions. RA: The fans want to hear our stories. It’s a very unique play. I cast five original GLOW girls who can talk about what we were doing before, during and after the auditions. In the first play we had Matilda the Hun in a wheelchair on the stage. She got a standing ovation. We had Dallas and Sunny there. People did not know that she left because her dad was dying, people did not know that before my audition I was out partying with Eddie Murphy and I could have been put in a very bad situation but I went to GLOW. There is a story during GLOW that Matt Cimber, our director told Turn to AfterGlow, Page 3

Girl Scouts Donate over 3,000 Holiday Items to Troops at Visit to USO Service Center at Norfolk International Airport From The Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast

NORFOLK, VA. — Eight Girl Scouts who were top participants in the Care to Share program, Girl Scouts who sold the most donation items during the Fall Product program, were invited to a special visit to the USO Service Center at the Norfolk International Airport. The girls met the center director, Len Friddle, toured the center and met some soldiers from Ft Eustis waiting for their flights home. Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast (GSCCC) and their supporters in total donated 3,238 Fall Product items that ranged from specialty trail mixes to holiday candies from the Fall Product catalog. Chris Ramos-Smith, GSCCC’s product program and service director, stated, “It was amazing to see the girls learn about the USO, spread holiday cheer and say ‘Thank you for your service’ to the military men and women. Proud Girl Scout moment.” When Girl Scouts participate in the Fall Product program and the Girl Scout Cookie Program, they become a part of the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in

Girl Scouts Addison Moberg, Ellie Boyd, Kaelan Campbell, Alleynah Miller, Olivia Barrett, Caitlyn Vardura, Erin Barry, Macayla Barry and center director Len Friddle. (COURTESY PHOTO)

the world. Girl Scouts have the opportunity to run their very own cookie business and learn five essential skills, Goal Setting,

Decision Making, Money Management , People Skills and Business Ethics, that sets them up for a lifetime of leadership. The

Girl Scout Cookie Program begins locally on January 8, 2022. For more information, visit gsccc.org.

INSIDE: Check out Flagship Values, your source for automobiles, employment, real estate and more! Pages C6-7


The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 3 | Thursday, December 23, 2021

Community Submit YOUR events, news and photos

The Flagship welcomes submissions from our readers online. Please submit events here: www.militarynews.com/users/admin/calendar/event/ Please submit news and photos here: www.militarynews.com/norfolk-navy-flagship/submit_news/

Karen Ziemba. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Cecilia Violetta López. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Efraín Solís. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Family Drama Runs High with Virginia Opera’s Three Decembers FromVirginia Opera NORFOLK, RICHMOND, FAIRFAX, VA — Join Virginia Opera in an exploration of family drama over three decades with Three Decembers. Centered around the annual Christmas letters scribed by Broadway diva Madeline “Maddy” Mitchell (Karen Ziemba), the story traverses the reallife issues of AIDS, addiction, and deceit. Directed by Lawrence Edelson, this newly conceived production will be performed in VO’s three mainstage venues: the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, the Carpenter Theater at the Dominion Energy Center in Richmond, and the Center for the Arts at George Mason University in Fairfax. “Three Decembers is proof that opera is not all about powdered wigs and ball gowns. Opera, at its core, tells a story, and this story is both modern and relevant.” says Peggy Kriha Dye, General Director and CEO of Virginia Opera. Three Decembers visits Maddy (Karen Ziemba) and her children Charlie (Efraín Solís), and Beatrice (Cecilia Violetta López) in 1986, 1996, and 2006. Mother and children struggle with the reality of their relationship while seeking the connection of family. Often brutally honest, and equally witty, thoroughly modern problems are exposed in the shadows created by the bright lights of Broadway. Composed by Jake Heggie with libretto by Gene Scheer this modern masterpiece is based on the unpublished play, Some Christmas Letters, by Terrence McNally. “Adding this work to our repertoire continues a longstanding tradition of bringing our audiences a variety of fresh and compel-

ling operatic experiences” comments Adam Turner, Artistic Director of Virginia Opera. “Jake Heggie is one of this generation’s leading American composers, with critically-acclaimed works like Dead Man Walking and Moby-Dick regularly programmed by opera companies all over the world.” Virginia Opera’s very own Artistic Director has previous experience, having conducted productions of Three Decembers with Hawaii Opera Theatre and San Diego Opera, both alongside the legendary mezzo-soprano Frederica “Flicka” von Stade. “Having the opportunity to introduce our audiences to the musically rich and dramatically compelling world of Jake Heggie’s voice is something I’ve been looking forward to for many seasons. I know our audiences will fall in love with this score!” Leading up to the production audiences will have a chance to hear directly from the composer as Jake Heggie joins “Let’s Talk Opera with Josh Borths” on January 10, 2022 at 7 PM. “Let’s Talk Opera” is Virginia Opera’s newly launched digital opera preview program hosted live on Facebook and YouTube and available on demand anytime. Tickets are on sale for Three Decembers which can be purchased at vaopera. org or by calling 866.673.7282. For tickets at the Center for the Arts at George Mason University, please call 703.993.2787. Patrons attending Three Decembers will be required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before the performance or negative Rapid Antigen test within 48 hours. Patrons will be asked to show proof of vaccination,

or the negative test, with a photo ID prior to entering the theater. Masks will be required while in the theater. For more information please visit https://vaopera.org/experience/ ticket-policies. Harrison Opera House, Norfolk, Virginia Friday, January 28, 2022, at 8:00 pm Saturday, January 29, 2022, at 7:30 pm Sunday, January 30, 2022, at 2:30 pm Center for the Arts at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia Saturday, February 5, 2022, at 8:00 pm Sunday, February 6, 2022, at 2:00 pm Carpenter Theater at the Dominion Energy Center, Richmond, Virginia Friday, February 11, 2022, at 8:00 pm Sunday, February 13, 2022, at 2:30 pm Three Decembers Production Notes Music by Jake Heggie Libretto by Gene Scheer Based on an original play by Terrence McNally Commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera Sung in English with English Surtitles Orchestra provided by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra Three Decembers Cast and Creative Conductor Adam Turner Stage Director Lawrence Edelson * Scenic & Costume Design Court Watson Lighting Design Josh Epstein * Wig and Make Up Designer James P. McGough CAST

Karen Ziemba * (Madeline Mitchell) Virginia Opera debut, received the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer critics Circle Award for her performance in CONTACT at Lincoln Center Theatre. For some of her other performances she’s garnered three Tony Award nominations, the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Bay Area Theatre Critics, Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson, and New York City Opera’s Princess Grace Foundation award. Select theatre credits include: Prince of Broadway, Steel Pier, Curtains, Chicago, Crazy for You, Bullets Over Broadway, Never Gonna Dance, And the World Goes ‘Round, 110 in the Shade, Do I Hear a Waltz, Gypsy, A Little Night Music, and Sweeney Todd w/ Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Michigan Opera Theatre. She’s appeared on The Kennedy Center Honors and PBS Great Performances from Carnegie Hall. Cecilia Violetta López Soprano: Bea Last Virginia Opera Appearance: Adina, L’elisir d’amore (2019); Violetta, La traviata (2015) Recent Highlights: Hanna Glawari, The Merry Widow, Opera Idaho; Violetta, La traviata, Opera Orlando; Nedda, I pagliacci, Opera Colorado Upcoming: Cio-Cio San, Madama Butterfly, Zomeropera (Belgium); Violetta, La traviata, Houston Grand Opera; Rusalka, Rusalka, Opera Idaho Efraín Solís Baritone: Charlie Last Virginia Opera Appearance: DiCosimo, Il Postino, 2019 Recent Highlights: Aeneas, Dido & Aeneas, Opera San José; Charlie, Three Decembers, Florida Grand Opera; Mark, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, Opera Santa Barbara Upcoming: Figaro, Le nozze di Figaro, Opera San José; Golaud, Pelléas et Melisande, Opera Southwest *denotes VA Opera Debut

Students create gingerbread houses to spread holiday cheer and raise funds for CHKD


By Laura J. Sanford For the first time since the start of the pandemic, Tidewater Community College baking students were back at it, creating a neighborhood of gingerbread houses to be auctioned to raise funds for Children’s

Hospital of the King’s Daughter (CHKD). TCC’s Culinary Arts program has been donating gingerbread masterpieces supporting CHKD for more than a decade. The class was led by chef Caroline Blackmon who said, “All of the Culinary Arts instructors pitched in to help and really

supported us. It was a great team effort.” TCC student Madeline Firestone added, “People deserve to enjoy the holidays and every child deserves to be taken care of to the full extent. Cooking is a way to provide for others. It’s a way to show you care.”

Spreading holiday cheer, while learning, was a bonus for all of TCC’s baking students including Angela George. “Frosty the snowman was the inspiration for my house,” she said. “Baking is in my blood, and this class made me want to get back in the kitchen,” she said.

www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 3 | Thursday, December 23, 2021 3

AfterGlow from Page 1

me, ‘I think you ladies need hair extensions.’ Now this is back in the 80’s. He gave Tiffany and I his Maserati to go to Compton and get hair extensions. Those are the type of backstories that we tell in ‘AfterGlow 80’s Extravaganza.’ So not only am I producing, doing the hair, helping with the costumes, I’m acting in it as well. So to win those awards in 2018 was sereal. It was like one big dress rehearsal but we ended up beating out ‘Hamilton’, ‘Mama Mia’, and all these others that came to Los Angeles. I also got second place for costume designing behind Hamilton. My boyfriend Dan Magnus who used to own a wrestling school called Slam City, he trained five actresses to wrestle six weeks before the play and during that time Dan was in congestive heart failure and we did not know. It’s crazy when we look back. Matilda was sick, we got the wrestling ring delivered to us and it’s a three foot by three foot ring. The standard ring is usually at least 16’ X 16’ but we made that small ring work. My daughter Kayla played the younger version of me. Kayla is actually a great wrestler, the only wrestler of a GLOW girl and even had a tryout with WWE. Y: Whose stories are told in AfterGlow 80’s Extravaganza? RA: For AfterGlow 80’s Extravaganza our award winning director Christopher Carver he has directed over 40 plays and has won an award for best director. We agreed that this play had to be on a much bigger scale, to wow the audiences with really great stories. We are the original GLOW girls so It is a very GLOW show. I expanded on my story and we added Gremlina, Beastie and Matilda who are not able to participate because of health issues, we will pay homage to her. Gremlina’s story has never been told right. She wouldn’t take anything from anybody. Gremlina and I, we both came in already being GLOW fans. She is amazing with people and people love her. Y: Gremlina, what is your real name,

where were you born and who were some of your favorite wrestlers growing up? G: My name is Sandy Manley and I was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia and spent most of my life here. I’ve been a wrestling fan since I was six years old when my daddy took me to the Richmond Arena to see such greats as Johnny Weaver and Nelson Royal. I fell in love with it and still love it to this day. When I was in college in 1983, I dated a gentleman who was a photographer for the Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine. I got to meet, hang out and take pictures with a lot of the NWA stars. When I moved to New York City in 1984, I was right there as the Rock and Wrestling connection kicked off and I was at the first WrestleMania in Madison Square Garden. I still remember to this day, the incredible energy and electricity of being in that crowd and being a part of it. Y: Speaking of being a part of it, you were able to make your wish come true and get into the wrestling business. How did you get into GLOW? G: I was watching it on TV, thinking how cool it was that all the stars were women. They announced they had tryouts, a friend of mine went to audition and I went to support my friend. I did not go to try out. We drove from Baltimore to South Carolina where the auditions were being held. The director Matt Cimber had a vision of everything and every character of what GLOW was going to be. He wanted it to be MAD Magazine meets Hee Haw, meets wrestling. He did not mince words. He told my friend that she was not pretty enough to be with the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. I was tired and cranky, wearing a Hot Rod (Roddy Piper) tee shirt, no makeup, hair in a ponytail in jeans and I flipped him the bird and said the F word. He and the writer looked at each other and said, we want you for the show. They saw something in my attitude and had a character in mind. It took a few phone calls to convince me because I did not think a 4’9’’ girl could be a wrestler. Eventually I said yes, went to Vegas, started training, made the final

cuts and Matt said, you are a mean, vicious ankle bitter, you are Gremlina. I did research on the gremlins and for my voice I based it on the wicked witch of the west from Wizard of Oz and gremlins. Roxie Astor, the brainchild and brilliant leader of AfterGlow was one of the wrestlers and the main hairdresser for GLOW, created the Gremlina hairstyle of the blond hair with the black stripe, 80’s poof. Add that snakeskin, a whip and a chain, give me a person to bully and you have Gremlina. Y: Did you go through the training as well? G: Oh yes. I was there everyday from 9am to 5 pm doing aerobics, weight training, wrestling holds, gymnastics, hitting the hard bag and running two miles a day. We all did the same thing. We were trained by Colonel Ninotchka from season one, who was trained by Mando Guerrero so we were in good hands. We had such a comradery, working with such beautiful, strong, intelligent and empowered women, it really was a sisterhood and a lot of them are still in my life today. Y: Roxie, tell us your GLOW story. RA: My real name is Tracee Meltzer. I drove my little Porsche from Seattle, Washington to Los Angeles, moved in with my sister, slept on the coach and started watching the old WWF in the morning. I just happened to see GLOW on TV and I thought it was really cool. They had a number up for auditions so I called it and left a message. Two days later they called me back, and asked for a picture. So I sent in a picture of me next to a Harley Davidson in a black leather mini skirt with red hair and gloves. I was telling them that I was going to be a bad girl. I went into the audition and played out that character. All of us were told, if you want to try out go to Vegas on your own dime and do a tryout there. I went and there were a lot of girls there, maybe 200. You can only imagine the cattiness that was happening with all those girls there. I was a hairdresser so I was not athletic and did not know how to act but I knew I had to be there and was determined not to go home. I was chosen and became Roxie Astor, a good girl from Park Avenue, New York.

In reality I had no credit card and not a dime to my name. I was so disappointed to play that part and I had to color my hair red and give myself an outfit that fit a Barbie doll. I cried. I eventually morphed into Roxie. I would say to Tiffany, we are so rich, but I only have one outfit. Y: Gremlina, I see that you are very active on social media, involved with Virginia Championship Wrestling (VCW) and very active doing public appearances at conventions. G: Yes, I actually wrestled a match for VCW many years ago and eventually became the VCW Commissioner, lost my Commissioner job, managed wrestlers and recently I was fired along with my husband who worked security by the new Director of Operations Jerry Stephanitsis. Now of course I am involved with the AfterGlow play and I love doing conventions and meeting our loyal GLOW fans. January 20th I will be in Frankfort, Kentucky at Frankfort Con, February I will be in Cannooga, Tennessee and March 18th-20th I will be doing Galaxy Con in Richmond, Virginia. I will also be doing Rob Con in Tennessee in June and in November, I will be making my 9th appearance at the Rhode Island Comic Con and more to be announced soon. Fans can find me on Facebook as Sandy Gremlina Manley, on twitter @gremlina and make sure to follow all of the other GLOW girls on social media. Also, please vote for us on Broadway World as the most anticipated production in a play and let’s make this play the most anticipated production of 2022. RA: Yes indeed, we want everyone to vote for us as the most anticipated play in Vegas in 2022. Every win from Broadway World is fan driven and that means the world to us. I want us to win, not so much for me but for the fans and us. 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.

4 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 3 | Thursday, December 23, 2021


Furikake Popcorn. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Pop Up Some Winter Fun By Family Features The winter months provide many occasions to celebrate, and no celebration is complete without tasty treats. A perfect partner for a broad variety of flavors, popcorn is a versatile pantry staple that can be served plain or as a better-for-you addition to seasonal snacks. With no artificial additives or preservatives, light and airy popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO and gluten free, making it a sensible option to satisfy cravings for something savory, sweet and just about every flavor in-between. Plus, whole-grain popcorn has energy-producing carbohydrates and fiber, which can help keep you satisfied longer. As a way to honor one of America’s oldest and most beloved snack foods, National Popcorn Day on Jan. 19 is a perfect opportunity to pop up a bowl to enjoy with loved ones or create whole-grain culinary masterpieces like fragrant and flavorful Jamaican Jerk Popcorn, which features hot pepper, spices and jerk butter to help you warm up from the inside out. Or consider another tasty snack option like Furikake Popcorn, a lighter recipe exploding with the flavors of sesame, nori and a Japanese spice blend. You can combine favorite flavors for movie

night with Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn, which is perfect for settling in on a snowy winter’s eve, and an option like Rocky Road Popcorn Clusters, featuring chocolate, marshmallows and nuts, are perfect for sharing with loved ones after an evening meal. Find more fun, fluffy and flavorful recipes to celebrate everything winter has to offer at Popcorn.org. Furikake Popcorn Yield: 2-3 servings Furikake Seasoning: 1 nori sheet, broken into pieces 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, divided ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon granulated sugar 6 cups popped popcorn 2 tablespoons butter, melted To make furikake seasoning: In spice grinder or using mortar and pestle, grind nori with ½ tablespoon sesame seeds until finely ground. Transfer to small bowl; stir in remaining sesame seeds, salt and sugar. In large bowl, toss popcorn with butter and furikake seasoning until evenly coated. Tips: Use store-bought furikake seasoning and season to taste. To toast sesame seeds: In small dry skillet over medium heat, cook sesame seeds 2-3 minutes, or until lightly golden and fragrant. Let cool

completely before using. Jamaican Jerk Popcorn Yield: 4-6 servings ¼ cup butter 1 tablespoon minced, seeded scotch bonnet chili pepper 1 teaspoon grated lime zest ½ teaspoon chili powder ½ teaspoon dried thyme ½ teaspoon ground allspice ½ teaspoon pepper ¼ teaspoon ground ginger ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg ⅛ teaspoon onion powder ¼ teaspoon salt 8 cups popped popcorn In small saucepan, combine butter, chili pepper, lime zest, chili powder, thyme, allspice, pepper, ginger, garlic powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, onion powder and salt. Cook over low heat 3-5 minutes, or until butter melts and mixture is fragrant. In large bowl, toss popcorn with spice mixture until evenly coated. Tip: Omit scotch bonnet pepper and substitute ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, if preferred. Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn

Yield: 6-8 servings (1 cup each) ¼ cup nonfat Parmesan cheese 2 teaspoons garlic powder ¼ teaspoon dried oregano ¼ teaspoon dried marjoram leaves ¼ teaspoon dried basil leaves ⅛ teaspoon dried sage black pepper, to taste 12 cups air-popped popcorn ¾ cup turkey pepperoni, cut into bite-size bits olive oil cooking spray In small bowl, combine Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, oregano, marjoram, basil, sage and pepper; mix well. In large bowl, combine popcorn and turkey pepperoni; spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray. Sprinkle popcorn and pepperoni with cheese mixture; toss to coat evenly. Rocky Road Popcorn Clusters Yield: 3 dozen 1 bag (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 teaspoon vegetable oil 4 cups popped popcorn 1 ½ cups miniature marshmallows ¾ cup chopped walnuts In small microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips in microwave on high 1 minute, until melted. Stir in vegetable oil. In large bowl, add popcorn, marshmallows and walnuts. Pour melted chocolate over mixture, tossing to coat. Drop mixture by tablespoonful onto wax paper-lined jellyroll pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.

Say Yes to Yogurt with a Better-forYou Snack By Family Features Changing daily habits, like what you eat, can enhance your overall wellness. However, it doesn’t have to mean forgoing favorite flavors or skipping out on delicious snacks. Treating yourself in health-conscious ways is an important tactic to keep your health goals on track. In fact, healthy eating isn’t about restricting yourself; good nutrition simply starts with a balanced plate. By incorporating nutrient-rich options like milk and dairy foods, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, you can establish an eating pattern that supports wellness and an overall healthy lifestyle. This Chocolate and Strawberry Greek Yogurt Bark offers a sweet snack that curbs cravings without ditching your daily commitment to a balanced diet. With ¼ cup of plain non-fat Greek yogurt per serving, you’re making a responsible decision at snack time because, when it comes to good nutrition, dairy is an irreplaceable source of essential nutrients. Dairy foods provide nutrients that people need to grow and maintain stronger bodies and minds. While Americans consume about two dairy servings per day on average, adding just one more serving can help fill dairy and nutrient gaps.

Chocolate and Strawberry Greek Yogurt Bark. (COURTYE PHOTO)

Add more dairy to your diet with this easyto-make snack and find more better-for-you recipes at MilkMeansMore.org. Chocolate and Strawberry Greek Yogurt Bark Recipe courtesy of Jenn Fillenworth, MS, RDN, of “Jenny With the Good Eats” on behalf of Milk Means More Prep time: 5 minutes Servings: 12

3 cups plain non-fat Greek yogurt ⅓ cup honey, plus additional for drizzling, divided (optional) 1 teaspoon vanilla ¼ cup melted dark chocolate ½ cup strawberries ½ cup dark chocolate chips In medium bowl, combine Greek yogurt, honey and vanilla. On parchment-lined baking sheet, spread

Greek yogurt mixture to ¼-inch thickness. Drop spoonfuls of melted chocolate onto yogurt and use toothpick to drag in circles. Press strawberries and chocolate chips into yogurt. Freeze at least 3 hours. Remove from freezer and break into pieces. Nutritional information per serving: 140 calories; 18 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 6 g total fat; 3 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 20 mg sodium; 8% calcium.

www.flagshipnews.com | The Flagship | Section 3 | Thursday, December 23, 2021 5


Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency (left), and Air Force Maj. Gen Shanna Woyak, Small Market and Stand Alone Military Treatment Facility Organization director (right), unfurl the organization flags during the SSO establishment ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Kelly Field, Texas, Dec. 14. (PHOTO BY BRIAN BOISVERT)

New Small Market and Stand Alone MTF Organization Marks Big Milestone Byjacob Moore


The Defense Health Agency officially established the Small Market and Stand Alone Military Treatment Facility Organization, or SSO, during a ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Kelly Field, Texas on Dec. 14. With 20 Direct Reporting Military Health System Markets established within the U.S. during the past year, the DHA has now launched an intermediate management organization to serve the smaller markets, and stand-alone hospitals and clinics that are located outside of the larger market regions. The SSO is responsible for providing care to an eligible population of 240,000 beneficiaries across 32 states and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The SSO consists of 17 small markets and 68 stand-alone military medical treatment facilities. A primary goal is to standardize health care delivery processes at these facilities. Currently, larger markets allow groups of military hospitals and clinics in one geographic area to work together with TRICARE partners, Department of Veter-

ans Affairs hospitals, other federal health care organizations, private sector teaching hospitals and medical universities. Markets operate as a system to share patients, staff, budgets, and other functions to improve readiness and the delivery and coordination of health services. The new SSO was established to offer these same benefits to more geographically isolated locations. “I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in a number of ceremonies across the Military Health System and across the country welcoming new military markets and the hospitals and clinics within them, but this one is different,” said DHA Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place, who hosted the ceremony. “Today, we’re welcoming a team that includes MTFs from throughout the United States and one in Cuba. The largest of our large markets has less than 35 MTFs — this one has 140 MTFs.” The facilities the SSO supports account for just over a quarter of all health care encounters within the MHS direct-care system. What makes the SSO unique is the varying size, scale and scope of these facili-

ties. The cross-service collaboration that existed within the geographic areas where the larger markets now exist will give facilities under the SSO a foundation to build on, Place said. “We will leverage the knowledge and experience that we have gained from transitioning those large markets and now put our focus here in the small markets and MTFs, where most of our service members actually get their care,” said Place. “Health care is a local experience, best managed by those of you on the ground, interacting with leaders and our patients directly. But what we aim to achieve is a consistent, standardized approach for our patients and for our health care team.” Key to that standardization is a system and approach that is consistent from across all facilities, making the transitions that are part of military life easier on both the patients and the personnel. “That couldn’t be more true than it is in the SSO,” said Place. The new SSO Director Air Force Maj. Gen. Shanna Woyak added, “From start to finish, the individuals who stood up the SSO have been nothing short of inspir-

ing — the long hours and the work that it takes to put a new organization together. Their commitment to our mission, often on borrowed time, has been noticed.” It took “a leap of faith” for many people to realize what a new and integrated way forward for military medicine would look like and that the SSO is a nuanced part of that future vision, but it is no less important, Woyak said. “What the SSO does for the medical readiness of the force, because of the numbers, the locations and the integration with the larger force, is collectively greater than what we get at the larger sites,” she said. “Our promise to support the MTFs — we’re going to do that to the best of our ability. We will support you.” Leadership, Woyak said, has never been more important in military medicine than it is today. “We will learn from you. We will share with you. We will tirelessly advocate for all of our MTFs and, more importantly, we will lead with purpose. We will lead with collaboration; we will lead with innovation; and we will definitely lead with a vision focused on creating highly effective, highly integrated health care delivery systems.” What’s comes next for the DHA? In 2022, the agency will assume management and administration of all overseas MTFs, divided into two regions: DHA Region Indo-Pacific and DHA Region Europe.

The Military is Reporting Far Fewer Hearing Problems By Larine Barr

Hearing Center Of Excellence

Hearing loss in the Department of Defense continues to decrease for service members and civilians enrolled in hearing conservation programs, according to a recent report from the Defense Health Agency Hearing Center of Excellence. The Hearing Health Surveillance Data Review, Military Hearing Conservation Report for fiscal year 2020 indicates an overall decreasing trend of hearing impairment for all service components. According to Dr. Theresa Schulz, HCE prevention branch chief, data show the number of hearing impaired service members fell from 18% in 2013 to 14.5% in 2020. Report findings also reveal the percent of noise-exposed civilians with hearing impairment continues to show a gradual decrease over the last several years. The percent of noise-exposed civilians with hearing impairment decreased from 46.1% in FY13 to 39.3% in fiscal year 2020. Reducing hearing loss is a centerpiece of DOD’s policy to protect military personnel and noise-exposed civilians from hearing loss caused by occupational and operational noise exposure through a continuing, effective, and comprehensive hearing conservation program. The policy also strives to reduce hazardous occupational and operational noise exposure to enhance mission readiness, communication, and safety. Those enrolled in a hearing conservation program get annual hearing tests, hearing protection fittings, and hearing conservation education sessions to reduce noise-induced hearing loss, according to Schulz. “These educational opportunities are important touch-points for achieving hearing readiness,” she said.

Soldiers wear hearing protection while firing an M3 multi-role anti-armor antipersonnel weapon system during live-fire training at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Sept. 15, 2021. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Schulz emphasized how hearing readiness remains a critical component of ongoing hearing conservation efforts administered by the service components. “Hearing readiness is a process to ensure service members have the necessary hearing capability and properly fitted hearing protection devices for mission readiness and deployment,” she said. Schulz noted each DOD component establishes, maintains, and evaluates the effectiveness of their own respective hearing conservation programs, which vary by service component. “There are differences in how each service manages their programs,” explained Schulz.

“The Army and Marine Corps take a total force approach and provide annual hearing tests to all service members, while the Air Force and Navy conduct annual hearing tests on service members who are routinely exposed to hazardous noise.” The report consolidated measures of effectiveness from all service components, and reviewed service level efforts to prevent hearing loss and improve hearing health of those enrolled in DOD hearing conservation programs. Report data was jointly developed by the DOD Hearing Conservation Working Group; the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, Public Health and

Preventive Medicine Department, Epidemiology Consult Service Division; and the DHA Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch, Air Force Satellite at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. According to Schulz, hearing impairment can be further reduced by implementing the Comprehensive Hearing Health Program, developed by HCE. “This is a triad approach conducted by each service to educate, protect, and monitor service members and civilians who are routinely exposed to hazardous noise. Together with hearing conservation programs we will hopefully continue to see declining hearing loss across the DOD,” she said.

6 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 3 | Thursday, December 23, 2021

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Concrete/Asphalt Estate Sales S & ENTERPRISE 20 YRS. Concrete Exp. All types of concrete work driveways, stamped & exposed. We accept credit cards. 757-652-4050. www.shabazznva.com

TURNER HANDYMAN SERVICE We are a handyman service, We take care of residential, apartments & commercial. Anything that handymen do, we can do! We are a Christian based company. We have special prices for senior citizens. 804-650-5115 or 804-218-1132 You can speak with Tammy Owens.

Hauling (A) FAMILY TRASH MAN-HOUSEHOLD, Demo inside & out, construction sites, dumpster drop off, backhoe work. We haul it all! 20 yrs. exp., lic & ins. 485-1414 B & J MOVING Reasonable Rates, Licensed & Insured. bandjmoving.com 757-576-1290

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

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





BEST PRICE EXTERIORS 757-639-4692 Siding, Windows, Trim, Roofing. FREE ESTIMATES! Lic. & Ins’d. Lowest Prices & Top Quality Work. No Repairs. BBB A+ Rating BRICK AND STONE REPAIRS Steps, Walls, Foundations, etc. Virginia Beach Native. Masonry Contract. 40+ yrs Known As Stone Smith USA. Semi-Retired A Legend In His Own Mind! Earl Smith 757-270-0578 Please Leave A Message. You Won’t Find A Better Man! FRANK’S SIDING & REPAIRS Repairing Siding & Trim. Small jobs. Lic/Ins. Low Prices. BBB A+ RATING 757-227-8964 HOME INSULATION UNIVERSAL INSULATION DOCTOR Attic Insulation Crawl Space Insulation FREE Inspections. 757-502-0200

Lawn and Tree Service AMERICANTREESERVICE.CO ★Catering to all your tree & yard needs.★ ★757-587-9568. 30 years experience★ LANDSCAPE SPECIALIST For all your landscaping & lawn care needs give us a call. Renovations, monthly maintenance, mulching, fall cleanups. Buddy 757-535-0928

Professional Services MOWING SERVICES I have a JD tractor with a long-reach, 6-15 ft batwing, and side mowers for hire. Larry 252-333-8557


LEAF RAKING & CLEANUP Weed Control, Mulching & Trimming, Planting & Transplanting. 25 yrs exp. 918-4152

FREE ROOFING ESTIMATES JAYHAWK EXTERIORS 757-963-6559 www.jayhawkext.com

YARD CLEAN UP WOOD FENCES, BUSHES, & MULCH Weed Eating, Blowing, Grass Cutting. Reasonable prices. Call 757-477-2158

ROOF REPAIR Shingles/Rubber/Slate/ Metal/Chimney Flashing. 757-718-1072

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Last week’s CryptoQuip answer

When the people ignored his two commands, the livid monarch gavethem the third decree.


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8 The Flagship | www.flagshipnews.com | Section 3 | Thursday, December 23, 2021