Public Affairs Officer
Greg Kuntz Assistant Public Affairs Officer
NAFA Liberty Center Luau
Adm. Locklear “Old Salt”
Courtney Pollock Editor -in-Chief MC1(SW/AW) Barry Riley
Skywriter Staff MC2 Kegan Kay MC3 Ryan G. Greene Host Nation Relations Masako Takakura Sumie Maruyama Ikumi Tanaka Webmaster Noriko Yamazaki Contributors
MWR Marketing Fleet and Family Support Center Commissary Public Affairs Navy Exchange Public Affairs NAF Atsugi Tenant Commands
Fleet Carrier Landing Practice
We want to spotlight people who are doing good things for NAF Atsugi, if you have someone you’d like to recommend or to submit a photo, please e-mail: email@example.com
Important phrases to know when you head out the gate: Excuse me. I lost my bag. Suimasen. Kaban o nakushite shimai mashita.
It had a CD player in it. CD pereuiya ga haitte imashita.
What color was it? Nani iro desu ka?
Here is my address and phone number. Watashi no jusho to denwa bango desu.
It was black. Kuro desu.
Thank you so much. Arigato gozaimasu. 2
ON THE COVER
U.S. Military dog tags hang from a Marine memorial atop Mount Suribachi. During a recent trip to Iwo To, formerly Iwo Jima, members of the Japanese Government reviewed the U.S. Navy’s Fleet Carrier Landing Practices. Photo by MC3 Ryan G. Greene.
Branch Health Clinic Officer Delivers Baby in Japanese Ambulance
Story by MC2 Kegan E. Kay NAF Atsugi Public Affairs Office
The morning of May 13 didn’t start off as a normal one for one Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi couple. Instead the day began with an unexpected delivery. The expectant mother and her husband tried to drive to Naval Hospital Yokosuka, but with contractions happening only minutes apart, the woman knew they wouldn’t make it and asked her husband to take her to Branch Health Clinic (BHC) Atsugi. The on-duty medical provider at BHC, Lt. Cmdr. Donald Setter, received a phone call from the husband explaining the situation and stating they were on their way to the clinic. “Within three to five minutes of receiving that call, she was at the clinic,” said Setter. “I checked and evaluated her and she was completely dilated and close to delivery. That was when we called for a duty crew and contacted the local host nation ambulance.” Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Satoshi Makita, of the Ayase Paramedic team, was the leader of the crew responding to the emergency call. By 10:20 a.m. Makita and his crew of two, the patient, Setter and BHC Translator Tomohiko Oshima were ready to head to a local hospital. “I kept asking the patient with every contraction, ‘Are you feeling the urge to push?’” said Setter. “You could tell by the look on her face she was, before she even said yes.” They still had another 10 minutes to get to the hospital, but with the next contraction Setter asked the crew to pull over as the baby was coming.
Photo by MC2 Kegan E. Kay
Two pushes later, the patient gave birth to healthy baby boy. Setter said the experience was exhilarating and scary at the same time, but says he couldn’t have done it without the services of the EMTs. “It was a very smooth and seamless interaction with them,” said Setter. “They were always very professional and courteous.” Setter also said having Oshima there to translate between and himself and Makita’s crew was essential, especially when it was time for delivery and directing what instruments were needed and what actions needed to be performed. Makita has had countless experiences with women giving birth inside the ambulance, so he directed the other two EMTs. “When I went home that day, I was very happy to have been at the scene and able to help,” said Makita. “I’ve had similar kinds of experiences in the past where things did not go well, but this time the baby was very healthy and had no abnormalities.” Once the crew arrived at the local hospital the mother and baby were provided immediate care and 3
transportation was arranged to take them to Naval Hospital Yokosuka. “Mom did an absolute fantastic job,” said Setter. “She was the super star throughout the whole experience. She did all the work, I was just there to guide things and make sure they went smoothly.” Now back at NAF Atsugi, Setter said the mother and baby are doing very well. “From the bottom of my heart, congratulations,” said Makita. “If one day I can see the baby, older and healthy, I will be very happy.” For NAF Atsugi, it’s important for expectant women to have a plan of action especially in case of early labor. Setter says he recommends that if a patient has other children to have somebody available at any time to watch the kids, and somebody able to drive them to the hospital, especially in the event of their spouse being deployed. “My advice to women who have experienced childbirth before is to prepare for a faster delivery since the body knows what to do already,” said Makita.
Naval Air Facility Atsugi Hosts Inaugural Pre-Deployment Party at the Liberty Center
Photo by MC3 Ryan G. Greene
Story by MC3 Ryan G. Greene
Activities Director Ron Murashige. “It was really great to see so many people here having such a great time, I really had a blast just getting to be here with all these great Sailors.” While the party carried on well into the night, the Liberty Center gave away $1,000 in prizes including MWR and NEX gift cards. With so many Sailors present, the party spilled over into the bowling alley next door, where the party continued until 2 a.m. “It was so great seeing all these guys coming in here after their time at the Liberty Center,” NAF Atsugi Lanes Manager Joseph Joly. “They were so excited to have another place to come out to, to hang out and play around for a few hours before calling it a night.” Martin said this is exactly the response MWR and the Liberty Center are looking for when putting on these events. “Even though I’m leaving for deployment, I want there to be more nights like tonight,” said Aviation Electronics Technician Airman Derrick Smith. “These events are what make it fun being stationed in Japan. People will always complain about the liberty situation, but with parties and activities like this, I don’t have to leave base to have fun.”
NAF Atsugi Public Affairs Office
Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi hosted its inaugural Pre-Deployment Luau on May 16. The party was thrown for Sailors aboard Carrier Air Wing (CVW) Five and NAF Atsugi as the Liberty Center’s final thank you and goodbye before the Sailors head out to sea later this week. “It was an absolute blast,” said Logistics Specialist Seaman John Browder. “The food, the music and all the gifts made for a really great party!” “It was our goal to get as many of our Sailors together to show them how much we appreciate all the hard work they do,” said Liberty Center Director Senita Martin. “The event was a huge success, from the disk jockey to the music and food, I really hope our guys had as much fun as I did.” The event began at 8 p.m., kicking off with a buffet of foods ranging from sushi and shrimp tempura to a fully roasted pig. The luau attracted more than 150 attendees, more than what the facilities manager expected. “This place was packed, I was honestly afraid the fire marshal was going to come,” said Community 4
Navy Voluntary Education Kicks off Month-long Celebration of Sailors’ Successes Story by Susan D. Henson CPPD Public Affairs
The Navy is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its Voluntary Education program in May, and Sailors who weren’t even born before 1974 have the end of the selective service draft to thank. Back in the early 1970s, the United States was taking steps to transition its armed forces to an all-voluntary force, which meant a need for incentives to recruit people and keep them past their first enlistment. Survey data showed that education benefits were among the top reasons people joined the military. As a result, Navy Campus For Achievement (NCFA) was established. In 1999, the Navy Campus name changed to Navy College Program (NCP) and is currently administered by the Voluntary Education (VOLED) directorate of the Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD). “Navy VOLED is turning 40 in May, and we’re having a Navy-wide celebration throughout the month to commemorate four decades of helping Sailors achieve their personal and professional goals through furthering their education,” said Capt. John Newcomer, CPPD’s commanding officer. Navy College Offices around the world are having education fairs and other celebrations to mark the anniversary. CPPD headquarters, located at Naval Air Station Oceana Dam Neck Annex in Virginia Beach, plans to host a celebration May 14
with Navy VOLED trailblazers in attendance. In addition to these events, CPPD will be posting content May 1-31 to a 40th anniversary page on the Navy College Program website as well as on CPPD’s Facebook and Twitter pages to celebrate the anniversary through historical factoids, news and feature stories, photos, and posts on social media using the hashtags #NavyVOLED #My5Words. Navy leaders remain committed to providing Sailors an opportunity to further their educational goals. Since 1974, the Navy has spent more than $1.5 billion in Tuition Assistance (TA) funding for nearly 5 million course enrollments. TA is the Navy’s most popular VOLED program, with approximately 15 percent of Sailors (around 45,000) participating at any given time. According to Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Bill Moran, the TA program will continue to pay 100 percent of Sailors’ tuition and enrollment fees for the foreseeable future. “Voluntary education is important because it gives Sailors the opportunity to experience a learning environment where they’re challenged to think more critically, use more skills sets and learn how to apply them to their jobs and professions - it’s good for Sailors and it’s good for the Navy.” Moran said. “We encourage voluntary education, which is why there’s strong support for tuition assistance and strong support to continue to encourage Sailors of all ages to get 5
into a class.” NCFA began with a handful of programs and participating schools. Through NCFA, Sailors could enroll in a certificate or degree program with a participating institution regardless of their duty location and be guaranteed of certain policies that were advantageous to Sailors and their transient lifestyle. NCFA program advantages included no school residency requirements, acceptance of transfer credits from regionally accredited institutions, and the maximum possible credits for Navy courses and experience, which were among the stipulations participating schools agreed to follow. While Sailors’ transient lifestyle is still the same, today’s VOLED program has changed with the times and technology. It offers a variety of ways for Sailors to complete various types of education through programs such as TA, which pays tuition and fees for course enrollments toward completion of a high school diploma or college degree; Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE), which is available to Sailors while assigned to certain deployable commands; Graduate Education Voucher, which is an option for officers to earn graduate degrees; or a U.S. Department of Labor journeyman certificate in a trade such as Computer Operator or Electrician through the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP). To finish the story, click here.
Locklear Named Surface Navy Association’s “Old Salt”
Photo by MC2 Eric Lockwood
Story by Naval History Heritage Command Pentagon
Adm. Samuel Locklear, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, accepted the Surface Navy Association’s (SNA) “Old Salt” Award at the National Museum of the United States Navy at the Washington Navy Yard, May 7. “In the Navy, we have an expression for respected, experienced and knowledgeable mariners. We call them ‘Old Salts,’” said retired Vice Adm. Barry McCollough, U.S. Navy, president of the Surface Navy Association. “It is fitting that we acknowledge our lore, customs and traditions, and honor the most senior of all our active duty Surface Warriors with the ‘Old Salt’ designation. It is the old salts who have made it possible for our traditions to be kept alive.” The Old Salt Award is given to an active duty officer who is Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) qualified, but the recipient must be the officer who has held the SWO qualification
for the longest amount of time. The award has been earned by many admirals including former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen, former Commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Adm. John Harvey and U.S. Naval Academy Superintendents such as Vice Adm. Rodney Rempt. After last Friday’s retirement of the most recent Old Salt (Vice Adm. Michael Lefever) and today’s ceremony, Locklear now assumes the title of the fleet’s “Old Salt.” “I’m really kind of awed to be here,” said Locklear, a 1977 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. “I never thought I’d make it to be the Old Salt. But, I can assure you I’ll take the time-honored statue with me to Hawaii and display it proudly at [Pacific Command] headquarters and look forward to a time when I can transition it to another great surface warrior. I will take care of it, I promise you.” The names of past Old Salts have their names engraved on brass plates added to the base of the Old Salt Statue. The statue is then held 8
in the custody of the current Old Salt for the remainder of his active duty tenure. Upon Locklear’s retirement, the Old Salt statue will be passed to the next officer once determined by a search of records, a recommendation by Director of Surface Warfare, and approval by the Board of SNA. LeFever, the former Old Salt, most recently served as the Deputy Director for Strategic Operational Planning, National Counterterrorism Center. “It’s been a great honor to be the Old Salt,” said Lefever. “It’s a tremendous tradition and now, Admiral, you are the new Old Salt, sir.” LeFever, like all former Old Salts, will receive a replica of the Old Salt statue presented by the President of SNA at the Annual SNA Symposium Banquet. According to the SNA, the replica presentation serves to cement the initial recognition, and acts as a reaffirmation of faith by SNA nationally that receiving a surface warfare officer qualification was, is and will remain important.
Thurs., May 22:
ICR: 8:30 - 9 a.m. (129) Washi Craft: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (129) Anger Management (4/5): 1:30 - 3 p.m. (Conf. Room) Photo by MC3 Ryan G. Greene
Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi Command Master Chief Michael Wilkins and members of the Junior Sailor Association (JSA) cut the ceremonial ribbon during the JSA Grand Opening. The JSA is an organization created by Junior Sailors, for Junior Sailors.
Fri., May 23:
ICR: 8:30 a.m. - Noon (129) NPS Stroller Walk: 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. (Reid Field)
Mon., May 26: Memorial Day
Tues., May 27:
SAPR Safe Talk Training: 8 - 11 a.m. (Chapel) NPS Playgroup: 9:30 - 11 a.m. (220) Welcome Coffee: 10 - 11 a.m. (Navy Lodge) Early Pregnancy Class: 2 - 4:30 p.m. (Conf. Room)
Wed., May 28:
Photo by MC3 Ryan G. Greene
Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi Commanding Officer Capt. Steven Wieman and Command Master Chief Michael Wilkins pose for a photo with military spouses at a Military Spouse Appreciation Day cake cutting ceremony.
NPS Playgroup: 9:30 - 11 a.m. (220) Teaching English in Japan: 10 a.m. - Noon (216) Stress Management 11 a.m. - Noon (Conf. Room)
Thurs., May 29:
Anger Management 5/5: 1:30 - 3 p.m. (Conf. Room)
Fri., May 30:
SAPR Bystander Intervention: 7:30 - 11:30 a.m. (Chapel)
Mon., June 2:
AOB: 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (129) TAP/GPS Workshop: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (216)
Tues., June 3:
ICR: 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. (129) Baby/Toddler Massage I: 10 - 11 a.m. (220)
Wed., June 4: ICR: Photo by MC2 Kegan E. Kay 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Picnic & Scavenger Hunt: Students from Shirley Lanham Elementary School preform a tradational 1:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. (Ranger Park) Hawaiian dance during the annual Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi Asian- TAPS/GPS Playgroup: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (216) American History Month presentation. 9
Morale, Welfare, & Recreation
Ranger & Halsey Hours: Sunday & Saturday: 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday - Friday: 5 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Liberty Center Hours: Sunday & Thursday: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Friday - Saturday: 11 a.m. - Midnight
on the look-out for the NEW “E4 & Below Blue Jacket Liberty Seal” Special E4 & Below Be discounts at various MWR facilities, FREE Trips and much more! “Like” us on
Facebook at NAF Atsugi Liberty today!
MWR Recreation Division is looking for motivated and outgoing individuals to volunteer in upcoming community events. Open to SOFA sponsored and active duty personnel. Must be 18 years old. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Join us for a free Golf Clinic at the driving range every Friday from Free Golf Clinic 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. for adults May 23 be sure to stop by Halsey Gym to sign up at 8 a.m. Memorial Day 5K Run Fri., with the run beginning at 9 a.m.
Sat., May 24 at 9:30 a.m. be sure to swing by Ranger Gym for the inagural cup stacking challenge, cycle challenge, team timed relay and parent’s double.
May 24 come on by the ACC for tropical hula Asian Pacific Islander Night Sat., dancing and a taiko drum demonstration! Summer Employment Applications available! Must be Atsugi CYP & Youth Teen between the ages 14-18 and a NAF Atsugi military/civilian dependent ID card holder. Application deadline is Fri., May 23. Contact the MWR Personnel Office at 254-4677.
Flea Market Registration
Reserve your spot for the Sat., May 24 Flea Market. To sell, sign at the Corner Pocket: $7 per table & .50 per chair. Those selling food must have a food handlers certificate from the Health Department.
Outdoor Pool Preseason
Join us for opening weekend May 24-26 from 12-7 p.m. at the Outdoor Pool! We’ll be open weekends until June 13 when the Outdoor Pool opens for the summer. Ranger Indoor Pool will remain open weekdays until June 13.
is currently conducting two Customer Satisfaction What’s on your Mind? MWR Surveys in Atsugi. ‘Paper’ Surveys are conducted locally at most MWR Facilities now and in July, while DOD- sponsored ‘Email’ Surveys are sent directly to some customers. Thank you for your participation! 10
NAF Atsugi Commmissary Store Hours: Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Store Hours: Tuesday - Friday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Commissaries avoid cuts, but at cost to Customers
Photo Courtesy of Stars and Strips
Story by Patrick Dickson Stars and Stripes
The long-feared cuts to military commissaries appear to be real: The Defense Department subsidy would drop from $1.4 billion annually to $400 million under a defense budget proposal the Obama administration plans to deliver to Congress next week, Pentagon officials announced Monday. The commissary cut will be accomplished not by eliminating any commissary locations, but by reducing the amount of savings over civilian markets that servicemembers enjoy. The cut will
be phased in over several years. A recent study by Defense Commissary Agency, or DeCA, found that using the commissary saves shoppers an average of 30.5 percent annually when compared to other stores off base. The savings would drop to about 10 percent, defense officials said in a briefing that covered all aspects of the 2015 defense budget, including hardware and military pay. “I want to make a point that nobody’s take-home pay is going to go down under this plan ,and we are not closing commissaries,” a senior military official said. 11
It was unclear Monday whether savings would be sought by raising prices on some good, or whether there might be an increase in the stores’ 5 percent surcharge, long presented as a way to pay for commissary construction, equipment and maintenance. According to a media report out last month, one plan under consideration was closing all but 24 rural stores stateside, while overseas stores would remain open. DeCA operates 247 stores worldwide, and was getting $1.4 billion annually in taxpayer funding.