Page 1

SIGNATURE THE

SIGONELLA, SICILY

Vol. 30. No. 48

December 20, 2013

cnic.navy.mil/sigonella

Globetrotters Delight Sigonella Crowd

Harlem Globtrotter Hacksaw (#28) dunks a basketball during a game in the Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella Middle/High School gymnasium on NAS I, Dec. 13. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Tony D. Curtis/Released) by mc2 Tony D. Curtis NAS Sigonella Public Affairs

T

he stands were packed with more than 450 fans for an energetic and fun performance by the Harlem Globetrotter on Dec. 13, in the Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella Middle/High School (SMHS) gymnasium. In town as a part of a Navy Entertainment and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Sigonella performance, the Harlem Globetrotters dazzled the audience with their choreography, confetti and chaos on the basketball court. The show opened with a stirring game of musical chairs, and one by one, the participants lost their seats to the Globetrotters’ mascot, Globie, who was eventually defeated by one young competitor. Next, was a magic show featuring Globie, with four SMHS Jaguars from the boys’

basketball team. The participants were interlocked and held themselves up with only their legs. Following the opening act, the game got started. The show featured the humor that the Globetrotters are known for and had plenty of audience interaction. Throughout the game, Globetrotters would grab different members of the audience to help on the court. The crowd laughed, danced, and had a great time. The show offered a high energy, world-class performance for the community to be a part of and enjoy. After the show, the players commented on how much they loved the energy from the stands and interaction. Ultimately, the Globetrotters were victorious over

their rivals, the International Elite, wining 107-93. After the game, the triumphant Globetrotters stayed on the court to autograph basketballs, tickets and anything the fans asked to be signed. The Globetrotters were thankful for the chance to visit troops serving overseas. “You guys do a lot of work for us and we like to show appreciation for the stuff you do,” said Globetrotter Sweet J. “A lot of time, deployed service members don’t get to see their family so we wanted to bring a token of America over here to make it feel like they're home.” More photos of the game can be seen at Sigonella MWR’s Facebook page.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

"If you haven't got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble." – Bob Hope

Around Sigonella

Check out what's happening around Sigonella.

PAGE 3

CO

Suggestion Box Online

h t t p : / / w w w. c n i c . n a v y. m i l / r e g i o n s / cnreurafswa/ installations/nas_ sigonella/about/co_ suggestion_box.html

Feedback from the CO

Travel Extravaganza!

Read the comments and responses.

Take a tour of five different countries!

PAGE 6

PAGE 10

Scan for direct links to NAS Sigonella


THE SIGNATURE

PAGE 2

THE SIGNATURE U.S. NAVAL AIR STATION SIGONELLA Commanding Officer Capt. Chris Dennis Executive Officer Cmdr. Eric Vosler Command Master Chief CMDCM David Graham

EDITORIAL Public Affairs Officer Lt. Tim Page

timothy.page@eu.navy.mil Communtiy Relations Officer Dott. Alberto Lunetta alberto.lunetta.it@eu.navy.mil Editor-in-chief Jackie L. Trembath jackie.trembath@eu.navy.mil Staff Writers/Photographers MC2 Tony D. Curtis anthony.curtis@eu.navy.mil MC2 Brian Glunt brian.glunt@eu.navy.mil MC3 Cameron Bramham cameron.bramham@eu.navy.mil CONTACT US Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily thesig@eu.navy.mil DSN 624-5440; 095-86-5440 PSC 812 Box 3020, FPO, AE 09627

DECEMBER 20, 2013

Direct Line

Executive Officer Cmdr. Eric Vosler This will be the last issue of The Signature for 2013. The next issue will be on shelves Jan. 10. Anne Frank recorded in her diary about a year before she died in a Nazi concentration camp, “How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment; we can start now, start slowly changing the world!” As we near the beginning of a new year, I love to look back and remember those who made an impact on my life and the lives of others in our community. I want to thank each military member, civilian employee and local national for all of your incredible efforts over the past year. This year was an extremely productive and successful year for our Sigonella family. It is this combined effort by all of you, working towards a common goal that makes Sigonella the greatest installation in the Navy! Of course, I would be remiss in not recognizing the support that our families provide to each of us. The strong family support demonstrated every day ensures that we are able to remain focused at work doing our jobs in support of the Fleet and

the Fighter. My sincere, personal thanks to all of you for your selfless support. Specifically, thanks to all of the folks at MWR for a great start to the Holiday Season with the tree lighting, Winter Wonderland, and an incredible Christmas concert by the U.S. Naval Forces Europe Band. I trust that many of you had the chance to come out and enjoy some of the events. A big shout-out to everyone involved with organizing this year’s NASSIG Christmas party last week. Thank you to our Sigonella Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) students for busing tables and cleaning up throughout the night. It was truly a great event and the Christmas party planning committee really put a lot of hard work in preparing for this year’s event! The holiday leave periods are here and many of you are travelling for the holidays, keep safety as your priority. Slow down while driving, give yourself plenty of time to go over the river, and through the wood to Grandmother's house or to Disney World or wherever your travels take you. Never drink and drive. Take

some well-deserved time off to relax and recharge. I pray that each of you will come back after the new year, safe, refreshed and ready to meet the challenges of the new year. Gloria a Dio nell’alto dei cieli, e pace in terra agli uomini ch'egli ama! Auguri di Buon Natale e felice anno nuovo!

DRIVE SAFELY, SIGONELLA

DECEMBER 20, 2013

THE SIGNATURE

What’s Happening Around NAS Sigonella

Military Working Dogs Perform for Teens Jingle Bell Run Successful

The Signature is published weekly by Stampa Generale S.r.l., Sig. Bruno Brandi, Publisher, Naval Support Activity, Capodichino (Naples), Italy. Tel. 081-568-7884. Fax 081-568-7887. E-mail: stampagenerale@tin.it. Editorial submissions are welcomed from all Naval Air Station Sigonella departments, divisions and tenant commands. Editorial submissions should be sent to the Public Affairs Office via thesig@eu.navy.mil, guard mail stop #68 or hand-delivered to our office no later than the close of business on the Friday proceeding the expected publication date. All articles submitted by non-staff members will be considered contributing writers. The Signature will not publish anyanonymous articles. All advertisements in this publication are the property of Stampa Generale S.r.l. Any reproduction of advertisements in The Signature is unauthorized without the written consent of the publisher.

cnic.navy.mil/sigonella

NASSIG WORSHIP SERVICES ROMAN CATHOLIC Sunday ■ 8:30 a.m. Catholic Mass (NAS I Chapel) ■ 11:30 a.m. Catholic Mass (NAS II Chapel) TUE - FRI ■ 11:30 a.m. Catholic Mass (NAS II Chapel) Sacraments of Reconciliation/Penance precede each Mass

LATTER-DAY SAINTS Sunday at 1:30 p.m. (NAS I Chapel) Contact: sigonellalds@gmail.com or 624-9049

PROTESTANT NAS I Chapel Saturday ■ 6:30 p.m. Contemporary Worship Services Sunday ■ 10:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

■ AA Meetings: Monday at 5:30 p.m. (NAS I Chapel) second deck; Thursday at 7 p.m. (NAS II Chapel)

JEWISH SHABBAT LAY SERVICE Every Friday (NAS I Chapel) 5:30 p.m.

OTHER SERVICES/ACTIVITIES Chapel Offices: NAS I 095-56-3975, NAS II 095-86-9049, DSN: 624-3975, CHAPLAIN DUTY: 335-831-4493 RP DUTY: 335-786-1950

Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella service and community members participate in the Jingle Bell Run through the 80’s 5K/10K Run/Walk event on NAS II, Dec. 14. The event was the fourth installment of Morale, Welfare, and Recreation's Rock of Ages Race Series, and saw 150 Sigonellans participate in the event, which took runners through NAS II gates. The fifth race in the series is the New Years' Resolution Run with a 90's-themed 5-mile or 8-mile run. The race starts at 9 a.m. on Jan. 11, 2014 in front of Big Al's. The whole series is leading up to the annual 13.1-mile half marathon Base-2-Base run scheduled for March 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Tony D. Curtis/Released)

Military Working Dog (MWD) Barry jumps through an obstical to bite Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Rodney Dempsey during a training exercise at Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella on NAS II. The MWD Kennel gave a presentation to young adults from the NAS Sigonella Teen center. The dog handlers answered questions, ran dogs through the obstical course and demonstraited the dog's overall skills. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Tony D. Curtis/Released)

Notice to the Public

Sailors Complete Quarterly GMT Training

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DRINKING WATER PRELIMINARY SAMPLE RESULTS FOR NAS I HAVE SHOWN LEVELS OF NITRATE ABOVE DRINKING WATER STANDARDS

Capt. Chris Dennis, Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella's commanding officer, gives his opening remarks to Sailors about the importance of general military training (GMT), Dec. 10. NAS Sigonella's Training Department has split the annual required training into four quartly sessions held at the Midtown 2 Theaters. This session covered the topics of equal opportunity, hazing and fraternization. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Tony D. Curtis/Released)

DO NOT GIVE THE WATER TO INFANTS UNDER SIX MONTHS OLD OR USE IT TO MAKE INFANT FORMULA Test results from samples taken during the week of Dec. 10, 2013 and preliminary results were received on De. 17, 2013. The result was 11 milligrams per liter. A sample collected from the NAS I water system preliminarily indicated that nitrate was slightly above the level allowed by Italian legislation and the DoD Final Governing Standards (FGS) for Italy, which is 10 milligrams per liter (parts per million), known as the maximum contaminant level (MCL). Nitrate in drinking water is a serious health concern for infants less than six months old. The Nitrate levels were elevated at NAS I only, the results for NAS II, Marinai Housing, and NCTS Niscemi were normal. Nitrate in drinking water can come from natural, industrial, or agricultural sources (including septic systems and run-off). Levels of nitrate in drinking water can vary throughout the year. We routinely monitor our water systems for the presence of contaminants and keep our community members informed about what happened and what we are doing to fix problems related to the water system. What should I do? What does this mean? • DO NOT GIVE THE WATER TO INFANTS. *Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue baby syndrome.* Blue baby syndrome is indicated by blueness of the skin. Symptoms in infants can develop rapidly, with health deteriorating over a period of days. If symptoms occur, seek medical attention immediately. ... CONTINUED on PAGE 16

PUBLISHER Stampa Generale S.r.l., Sig. Bruno Brandi, Publisher, Naval Support Activity Capodichino (Naples), Italy stampagenerale@tin.it Tel. 081-568-7884 Fax 081-568-7887 This civilian enterprise (CE) newspaper is an authorized publication for members of the military services overseas. Contents of The Signature are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense (DoD), or the U.S. Navy. The appearance of advertisingin this newspaper, including inserts or supplements, does not constitute endorsement by the DoD orStampa Generale S.r.l., of the products or services advertised. Everything advertised in this publications hall be made available for purchase, use or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, sex,national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation or any other non-merit factorof the purchaser, user or patron. A confirmed violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policyby an advertiser will result in the refusal to print advertising from that source until the violationis corrected.

PAGE 3

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. A flu vaccine offers the best protection we have against this serious disease. As members of the community, U.S. Naval Hospital Sigonella encourages all persons having questions about the flu vaccine or wanting to know of locations where the vaccine will be given, to please contact your Primary Care Manager or Medical Home Port at DSN: 624-4622.


THE SIGNATURE

PAGE 4

DECEMBER 20, 2013

C O M M UNI T Y C A LEND A R

december

20

Monday

24

Tuesday Christmas Eve

25

Wednesday

Christmas Day American & Italian Holiday

26

30

31

JANUARY 1, 2014 New Year's Eve

New Year's Day

2

21

22

Half Price Bowling* Sparetime Bowling *EVERY SUNDAY

*EVERY FRIDAY

Thursday

27

St. Stephen Day Italian Holiday MVRO Closed

MVRO Closed

FFSC: Self-esteem 9 - 11 a.m.

Sunday

Family Night Out* Sparetime Bowling 5 - 8 p.m.

2013 23

Saturday

Friday

3

28

29

NO PAPER Next issue of The Signature, Jan. 10

Half Price Bowling* Sparetime Bowling

MVRO Closed

*EVERY SUNDAY

NO PAPER Next issue of The Signature, Jan. 10

4

5

MVRO Closed

IMPORTANT EXTENSIONS:

ITT Gear & Go: x4777, x4396 Liberty/Connections/Take 5: x4246, x5602 Outdoor Rec: x4777, x4396 Fitness: x4483, x5243 Midtown 2 Theaters: x4248 FFSC: x4291 American Red Cross: x4900

Does your command or organization have an event you’d like to see on the Community Calendar? Email us at thesig@eu.navy.mil and let us know!

Need an appointment at the hospital? Call DSN 624-CARE (2273) or commercial 095-56-2273, M-F: 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. For non-emergent medical questions that arise over the weekend, holidays, or after office hours, please call 335-578-8077 if you are normally seen at the hospital or 335-578-8150 if you are normally seen at the Flight Line Clinic.

DECEMBER 20, 2013

THE SIGNATURE

PAGE 5


THE SIGNATURE

PAGE 6

CO

Suggestion Box Online

http://www.cnic. n a v y. m i l / r e g i o n s / cnreurafswa/ installations/nas_ sigonella/about/co_ suggestion_box.html

DECEMBER 20, 2013

Let the CO Know ... Responses to Your Feedback The Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE) system is a web-based tool for collecting feedback to help determine customer satisfaction with services provided at NAS Sigonella. The customer-side of ICE is available to anyone with ONE-Net Internet access and does not require a username or password. The ICE home page, http://ice.disa.mil, is the starting point to navigate to an individual ICE site and to view general information about the ICE system. With easy to access links and descriptions, customers can locate an ICE site by branch, regions, geographic location, and by searching an alphabetical listing of all sites. All Sigonella services are found under the Navy Europe Listing in the scroll-down menu. You can also go to the link at the left to submit your suggestions.

Comment regarding Marinai Housing: Marinai is too small. It has many foundation cracks the Italian cover up with paint every six months. Response: Size of units are Navy Standard for accompanied housing. Unexpected cracking of concrete can be the result of one or a combination of factors, such as drying shrinkage, thermal contraction, restraint (external or internal) to shortening, sub grade settlement, and applied loads. Typically these types of cracks pose no structural issues. Painting over them or filling concrete cracks helps reduce further cracking, moisture penetration and prevents pest infestation. If you feel you have a problem or a safety concern, call the housing trouble desk (DSN: 624-1731) with your concern. Comment regarding Marinai Housing: The Carbon Monoxide detector had to be taken out as it would go off randomly. Response: The Italian-manufactured CO detectors in the Marinai housing complex recently reached the end of their useful life. Housing purchased replacement detectors last year that were delivered and installed as quickly as possible. There was a delay in delivery that resulted in the removal of defectives detectors from the housing

units without replacement detectors. The housing staff should have provided a portable detector to provide coverage during the replacement time frame. All of the old CO detectors have now been replaced. Should you encounter any issues or need a temporary unit, please do not hesitate to contact the site Manager Mr. Giuseppe Savaglia at DSN: 624-1735. Comment regarding MWR and CYP Programs: I asked about having more things to do for family in the area. They said they already have things to do. They said just to check the monthly magazine but there's never anything family's can do. They need more programs for our kids that are not babies. There's a lot to do if you're a single Sailor, but not for families with kids. Marinai needs a place for our kids 10 yr and older to go. Tween center won't let anyone younger than 12 join. And the afterschool club at the Child Youth program is expensive. Response: Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your valued feedback regarding MWR Youth Programs in Sigonella. We understand your concerns and frustrations, and we'll address them accordingly with the MWR team to optimize the planning, resourcing and delivery of programs/services supporting youth. I am having MWR and CYP perform a full review of these programs. We want to hear specific ideas and comments from you, the customers so please contact the following points of contact with ideas: Debbie Bergstrom (deborah.bergstrom@eu.navy.mil, DSN: 624-3736) for Child and Youth Program (CYP), or Paul Lopez (paul.a.lopez@eu.navy.mil, DSN: 624-0503) for overall MWR program issues. As for our after-school program (SAC - School Age Program), this is a custodial child care program for children who attend school, kindergarten through 6th grade, ages 5-12. Regarding the fees, they are mandatory and are set by headquarters (CNIC) on an annual basis, using validated total family income (TFI) for each family. In short, we have no authority locally to adjust the mandated fees for the SAC program.

DECEMBER 20, 2013

THE SIGNATURE

Comment regarding Galley: I would have like to see more than a salad bar for a vegetarian like me and my friends. Eating salad or pizza is not fun! Why do you have menus with no flow. Why can't you have theme nights like Mexican night where you can get taco salad and rice and much more not just things like shrimp and then offer something off the wall. None of the menus seem to match. Response: In addition to the non-meat options available on the line, we always have a vegetarian option available and are willing to make individual meals as needed and within reason to satisfy our customer needs. Please call DSN: 624-2061 if for any reason the menu does not meet a specific dietary need, and we will try to make individual accommodations. Comment regarding Post Office: Lately it seems like half the mail is misdirected when it arrives. Attention needs to be paid to what the address says! Response: If mail is misdirected, please contact your mail orderly or the Fleet Mail Center at DSN: 624-5915 to communicate the error. Comment regarding postal services: They have a friendly staff but the bird leavings makes you want to run away and not send a package. Why is this not taken care of yet? They were very quick in getting my packages here and I never had to wait in line for more than five minutes, but the poor appearance of the building is sad. Response: NAVFAC and the NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center are working together to reduce bird droppings within the vicinity of the NAS I Post Office and the Thrift Shop. We have already installed bird spikes along horizontal surfaces including banisters, ledges, and pipes, discouraging most birds from nesting in the area. In addition, mesh screening will be installed along two ledges where persistent pigeons tend to congregate. This project's estimated completion date is scheduled for Dec. 31. If there are any other questions regarding the Post Office, please contact Lt. Kristy Carpenter at DSN: 624-5558. Comment regarding Marinai Security The security anti-vehicular pop-up barrier in the Marinai housing area is totally unnecessary and is causing damage to residents vehicles. This can be seen by the amount of paint scraped off the barrier. Also, this is dangerous for motorcycles. Request immediate removal and relocation to the place it was purchased for. This is an excessive and unwarranted security device that is not a benefit to the residents. Response: Security barriers are in place by my direction for the security of the community. Speed over the mobile barrier should be walking speed or less. We are always re-evaluating security so you could see changes in the future to entry and exit routes, procedures and barriers. If your vehicle has legitimate clearance issues, please contact my security officer at DSN: 624-6392.

PAGE 7


PAGE 8

THE SIGNATURE

DECEMBER 20, 2013

DECEMBER 20, 2013

THE SIGNATURE

ITALIAN

PAGE 9

H EADLINES Enjoy Italy’s Christmas events by train traveling

Caltagirone offers a lineup of Christmas events including the breathtaking Nativity Scenes which keep alive ancient craftsmen’s skills and traditions. (Photo by http://www.vacanzesiciliane.net/)

Check Out the Christmas Events and Nativity Scenes in Caltagirone Bring the whole family and discover Christmas (Natale in Italian) in Caltagirone! From Sicilian Christmas markets to concerts and Nativity scene exhibits, there is something for everyone. For centuries, Nativity scene exhibits (Presepi in Italian) have been at the heart of the island’s traditions. Hundreds of Presepi, featuring richly colored figurines, mechanized figurines and even living actors and animals recreating the birth of Christ, are present in nearly every home and town Historic centers. These magnificent figurines, which are carved from wood, shaped from wax, papiermâché, resin, clay, and other materials, play an important role in the traditional Sicilian Natale celebrations. Representations of Nativity date back to the Middle Ages. According to tradition, on Christmas Eve in 1223 on the hills surrounding the town of Greggio (Center of Italy), Saint Francis of Assisi set up the first Nativity scene which included the live animals. In Sicily, four major centers boast a tradition for hand crafted nativity scenes production: Palermo, Siracusa, Trapani and Caltagirone. In Palermo and Siracusa, where beekeeping is widespread, wax has been used since the 17th century to mold Bambinelli, figurines depicting

baby Jesus. The Bambinelli showcase hieratic expressions and are usually enriched with silver or gilded accessories and are often depicted holding a cross. Between the 17th and the 18th century, the area surrounding the church of San Domenico in Palermo was home to many Bambina (craftsmen specialized in shaping these figurines) and their shops. Wax sculptor Gaetano Zumbo is among the most famous 17th century Bambina. He carved an amazing Nativity scene that is on permanent display at the Victorian Albert Museum in London. In Siracusa, the 18th century Cerari (wax workers) represented infant Jesus with a joyful or a sleeping expression, holding a lambkin, a flower or a fruit. These fine figures are placed inside scarabattole or glass caskets. Trapani’s craftsmen shape precious figurines with valuable materials such as coral is (used alone or mixed with ivory) alabaster, shells, ivory and mother-of-pearl. Breathtaking examples of these Nativity scenes are those exhibited at the “Pepoli” Museum in Trapani and “Cordici” Museum in Erice. In eastern Sicily, Caltagirone is the town that boasts a world-renowned Nativity scenes tradition, dating back to the 17th century. These exceptional

pieces of art consist of large or small clay or wood figurines set on a painted background representing country life scenes. According to tradition, kids used to collect money in order to buy small clay figurines to decorate their Nativity scenes. Pasturari and Santari, (craftsmen artisans whose job was to create shepherd or saint shaped clay statuettes) used to sell these magnificently carved figurines during fairs or inside their workshops. These craftsmen were also commissioned by convents and churches to carve figurines copied from the ones depicted in famous holy paintings. In the 18th century, Nativity scenes became popular in everyday houses. Families used to compete against each other for the most beautiful display. They invited friends and even people passing by to their home to evaluate the best Nativity scene that typically depicted the rural world. The characters represented in the Nativity scenes included sleeping shepherds, pipers, Ricotta sellers, hunters and more. Today, more than 100 craftsmen’s workshops in Caltagirone keep the tradition alive. Hundreds of Nativity scenes will be showcased in the town’s main churches (Main Church, Basilica of St. Giorgio, Basilica of Santa Maria del Monte, Church of St. Giuseppe, and Church of St. Pietro) and historic buildings. This year’s Natale celebrations will also feature concerts in churches, photo exhibits, arts and crafts and a living nativity scene (Presepe vivente nei carruggi) and Christmas food fair that will be on display on Dec. 26 and 29 in the historic center. Other highlights include the following events: Christmas San Giuliano Choir’s Concert (Dec. 23, 8 p.m. Church of Sant’Anna); Brazilian Jazz concert and wine tasting (Dec. 29, 7 p.m. Libertini Palace) and Classic Guitar Concert (Jan. 13, 2014, Sanctuary of SS. Crocifisso del Soccorso). For detailed Caltagirone Christmas events’ schedule visit http:// www.comune.caltagirone.ct.it or call Caltagirone Tourist Office at 0933-41365.

JUS T SA Y IT ! English: Christmas Italian: Natale

Learn these words in Italian! English: Living Nativity Scene Italian: Presepe Vivente English: Christmas tree Italian: Albero di Natale

English: New Year’s Day Italian: Capodanno

English: New Year’s Eve Italian: Vigilia di Capodanno

English: Happy Holidays! Italian: Buone Feste!

English: Midnight Mass Italian: Messa di mezzanotte

English: Fireworks Italian: Fuochi artificiali

English: Epiphany Italian: Epifania

The Nativity scene in Custonaci is one of the most beautiful throughout Sicily. It will be on display from Dec. 25 through Dec. 29 and from Jan. 4 through Jan, 6. (Photo by Alfredo Fiorentini)

Custonaci Nativity Scene

Travel back in time to Bethlehem two thousand years ago and discover a beautiful corner of Sicily where the island’s rural experience is brought to life! Scurati is a little village where time seems to have stopped. It is located a mile from Custonaci, a town near Trapani nestled on the slopes of Monte Còfano. Every year, this picturesque spot houses one of the most beautiful living Nativity scenes in Italy. One hundred thirty-six active quarries from which the valuable “Perlato di Sicilia marble is extracted, surround this enchanting “villaggio.” Custonaci is fairly easy to reach from the Castellammare del Golfo exit on the Palermo-Trapani highway (A29). Follow directions toward San Vito Lo Capo and drive for about ten miles along the Trapani coast until you get to the Custonaci exit. This amazing Nativity Scene will be on display from Dec. 25 through Dec. 29 and from Jan. 4 through Jan. 6. Admittance hours are from 4 to 8 p.m. On Dec. 25 the ticket office will close at 7 p.m. There is also a shuttle bus service that will take you from the Custonaci historic center (via Monsignor Rizzo, near the sanctuary) to the caves in a few minutes. For more information visit http://www.presepeviventedicustonaci.it/.

(www.italiarail.com)- ItaliaRail, the experts on train travel to, from and around Italy, has made its list- and checked it twice - of the 12 best things about Italy during the holiday season. From magical Christmas markets, to delicious holiday pastries and cakes, and the world's tallest Christmas tree, Italy is even more magical than usual. Traveling by train is especially convenient during the holidays when roads and airports are jammed with traffic. 1. Precious Presepe - Nativity scenes, decorated and adorned with care, are considered an art form throughout Italy during the holiday season. They can be seen everywhere from Rome to small villages, and are all gorgeously presented with special unique touches reflecting the region they are from. In Naples, the narrow street of Via San Gregorio Armeno is famous for its shops filled with beautiful hand-crafted statues and ornaments. 2. St. Peter's Square - The main square of the Vatican City, comes alive during the holiday season, with a huge Christmas tree and a life-size nativity. Thousands of visitors come to hear the Pope say midnight mass in St. Peter's Basilica, for which tickets must be purchased well in advance. 3. Mount Ingino Christmas Tree - At just over 2,000 feet the Christmas tree on Mount Ingino, just outside the city of Gubbio in the Umbria region of Italy, has been called the biggest Christmas tree in the world. It's not an actual standing tree, but over 3,000 strings of strategically placed lights, up the slopes of the mountain, to form the shape of a decorated tree. The magnificent illumination can be seen from up to 30 miles away. 4. Christmas Markets - Festively decorated and ready for customers, Christmas markets are everywhere in Italy during the holiday season. From Rome to Venice to smaller towns and villages, merchants showcase their wares of small crafts, nativity scenes, ornaments and traditional Italian foods. 5. Last Supper Fresco - Leonardo DaVinci's the Last Supper is probably the most famous painting in Italy . Located inside the refectory of the Santa Maria della Grazie church in Milan, the world-famous fresco can be viewed by purchasing tickets online or once you get there. Each ticketed visitor only gets a 15-minute look, but it's well worth the once-in-a-lifetime viewing of this masterpiece. During the holidays, tourists flock to see the painting. There are no viewings on Mondays, Christmas Day and New Years Day. 6. Cinque Terre Solar Powered Nativity - Every year the seaside town of Manarola, in Cinque Terre, plays host to the largest precepe , or nativity, in the world. More than 15,000 lights adorn the hills of Cinque Terre, all designed by Mario Andreoli, a former railroad worker, who has dedicated his life to the art of presepe. Truly a sight to see, the illuminations are completely solar powered and energy efficient. 7. Zampognari - No one knows exactly where the Zampognari tradition originated from, but you are sure to see and hear them come Dec. 8, when the Feast of the Immaculate Conception begins. These entertainers arrive bearing their signature zampogna, a musical instrument similar to a bagpipe, but the zampogna (and in some cases, the piffero, a kind of oboe) are unique to the areas in which they are fashioned, with each tuned to play a different way depending on where they are constructed. The Zampognari are often found in traditional garb and are easily recognizable around the plazas of Italy during festivals. 8. Pope's Message - Every year on Christmas Day the Pope delivers his "Urbi Et Orbi," Latin for the city and the world. Thousands of people gather in St. Peter's square, and watch on TV from home, to see him emerge from his apartment to the balcony and heart his inspiring message and hopes for the future of the world. 9. Feast of the Seven Fishes - On Christmas Eve, in Roman Catholicism and most of Italy, it is tradition to abstain from eating any meat or dairy products. On this day, many Catholics choose instead to indulge in a meal of fish. From this custom, the Feast of the Seven Fishes was born. Although the name itself seems to imply that only fish are eaten, this Christmas Eve meal typically includes many forms of seafood, such as lobster, octopus or clams at the same table. Often, the delectable spreads for vary from region to region. 10. Babbo Natale - Better known as Father Christmas, or as we like to call him in the States, Santa Claus, Babbo Natale is gaining popularity in Italy and comes bearing a few gifts on Christmas Day. But he still shares the spotlight with another figure, the more widely celebrated La Befana, who gives gifts on Epiphany, a holiday based on the story of the Three Kings, and observed on Jan. 6. 11.Panettone- This delicious Christmas bread can be found all over Italy during the holidays. The large sourdough like cake has candied oranges, lemon zest and raisins. In some regions of Italy, it is served with crema di mascarpone, a cream made from mascarpone, eggs, sometimes dried or candied fruits, and typically a sweet liqueur such as amaretto. 12. Santo Stefano - While historically this day is reserved for observing the beloved St. Stephen, the modern day incarnation of this holiday is geared towards getting through the last of the holiday leftovers, often with those who could not make the previous day's festivities because they were spending it with their own families. Santo Stefano a national holiday, and most government run buildings are closed for the day. However, most restaurants are open with a bevy of holiday dishes and deals to celebrate this day devoted to gastric pleasures. All the more so, considering that many Italians are out and about to take in the nativity scenes.


THE SIGNATURE

PAGE 10

DECEMBER 20, 2013

DECEMBER 20, 2013

THE SIGNATURE

A Stone's Throw: Travel Extravaganza by jackie L. trembath NAS Sigonella Public Affairs

I used to look at travel magazines and wonder if the places that were featured actually existed. Some seemed to beautiful to be real. As the eldest of two in a lower middle class family, I dreamed of traveling, but I never really believed I would leave San Diego. I focused instead on school and a future that seemed more realistic than exploring magnificent scenery in some far away country. Content to be a permanent West coaster, the most adventure I had experienced was a few trips to Mexico in my young adult years and a trip to Canada in my mid-twenties. I had put my travel dreams in a box and shut the lid on

them, living vicariously through the Travel Channel instead. But Fate had plans for me - big ones ... Plans that brought me to Sicily and opened up a whole new world to me. For these experiences I am forever changed, and forever grateful. Living on this beautiful island is a blessing in itself. Ever weekend that explore locally I feel like I am on vacation. I have been able to witness festivals and cultural traditions that I would otherwise have never been exposed to. I have marveled at the majesty of Mt. Etna in her fury. I have beheld sunsets so beautiful I am

afraid to breath and disrupt their magnificence. I have met and befriended so many wonderful people that my heart literally feels as though it could burst from pure joy. On top of all of these amazing things, I have been able to travel. Since living in Sicily, I have traveled to cities within the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain, Malta, Switzerland, Vatican City, Romania, Slovakia and Austria. That box I once shut the lid on has been opened and is now filled with memories that will be treasured as long as I live and a newfound sense of wanderlust and belief that dreams are possible.

Join me on a tour of a few of the places I traveled to this year ...

Scotland, United Kingdom

I

took a three day side trip from London, England to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. Immediately, I wished I had more time to spend there. Walking around Scotland was like being a character in real-life storybook where the pages are full of beautiful imagery, complete with a castle and men in kilts. Since my time was limited, I started my acclimation of the area with the HOHO (Hop-On-Hop-Off tour bus) . The tour guide informed us that it rains a lot in Scotland. He credited the constant rain for the lush green landscapes. It did drizzle a little while I was there, but I didn't mind. Looking at the city through the meager rain drops made it even more magical. My first night in Scotland was devoted to a very small self-guided pub crawl and a tour of the Haunted Vaults under the city. I ended the evening in the Scotsman's Lounge. (I followed the sound of live music.) It was there I met Doogie Rush, a very talented musician who often plays at the pub. I couldn't understand but a few words when we spoke, but when he sang, I understood every word. Listening to him play was a highlight of my trip.

The next day, in order to maximize my sight-seeing, I took advantage of one of the prearranged day trips. The tour included a stop at the famous Forth Road Bridge, until recently the longest cantilever bridge in the world, a stop at East Neuk in the Kingdom of Fife and a stop at the medieval town of St. Andrews. East Neuk is a small fishing villages nestled at the coastline. The weather fluctuated between cold and windy, to cold, windy and raining. A quick stop for a scone and tea warmed me right up. I felt just like a local, until I started taking photos of everything, from the coastline to an old church, to the little restaurants and shops along the way. We were allowed the most time in St. Andrews which is probably best known as the home of golf, with the Old Course just outside the town center. Not being a golfer myself, I still enjoyed walking around the grounds and watching those with skill hit a ball or two. St. Andrews is also the capital of the Scottish Church (for almost 1,000 years) and home to the oldest university in Scotland (600 years), made even more famous because that is where Prince William went. St. Andrews.

The tour guide pointed a few things out on our way that I made a mental note to check out. Of course, I got lost. I wandered into an alcove which happened to be an area of the university. The students caped in their red cloaks looked almost regal. I hesitated for just a moment before approaching anyone. Wearing jeans and a sweater, and bundled in an oversized jacket, I felt a little like a pauper in comparison. The young man I selected to speak with could not have been any nicer. His name, I learned, was Will. He personally escorted me across two city streets and a series of turns until we arrived the Dominican friary of St. Mary, the place I was looking for. A young man of 19, Will shared his goals for a career in foreign relations and his love of travel. I told him to thank his parents for me, for raising such a kind young man who would not only provide directions to a stranger, but show her the way. I spent time walking around the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral and St. Andrews Castle and looking out at the cliffs before indulging in a quick lunch of fish and chips. Before I was ready to leave, it was time to report back the tour bus.

To further my education on Scotland, I decided to end the evening with a history tour of the Scottish national drink courtesy of the Scotch Whisky Experience. Not typically a Scotch whisky connoisseur, I felt leaving Scotland without at least learning about the national drink would be a miss on my part. My final morning in Scotland was spent exploring the Edinburgh Castle. Perched above the city, the castle is a beacon and an icon of Scotland. It is also part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. Many battles were fought over it. Countless royalty lived their lives within its walls. And for one morning, I walked it grounds. I was told that people from all over the world come to Scotland to see the Edinburgh Castle. For me, it was just one of the many reasons I loved visiting Scotland. I could easily have spent a week or two just meandering around the city, taking a drive in the Highlands, feasting on fish and chips and enjoying a pint or two at a local pub, talking with the locals (and trying to understand), and just breathing in the sweet smell of the cool Scottish air, especially after the rain.

PAGE 11


THE SIGNATURE

PAGE 12

DECEMBER 20, 2013

There are so many things to be thankful for. For my last Thanksgiving in Sicily, I wanted to celebrate a few of the things I am most thankful for: friendship, travel opportunities and new adventures. I talked my frequent travel partner into "one more" trip. I had been wanting to visit Budapest, Hungary for quite some time, but flights have always been on the high end. So, I decided we would fly into Vienna, Austria and take the train to Budapest. Two countries over a five day period seemed a little ambitious, but we were up for the challenge. Once in Vienna, we realized how close Bratislava, Slovakia is and decided to visit yet another country (for lunch). In the end, counting Italy, we had traveled to four countries in five days.

DECEMBER 20, 2013

THE SIGNATURE

PAGE 13

Vienna, Austria

Budapest, Hungary W

B

udapest, Hungary is less than three hours by train from Vienna, Austria. We knew we would have to select only a few things to see and do while in the city, since our time was limited, so instead of overwhelming myself with Internet list of "things to do," I asked friends of mine who have traveled there. They said we should take a walking tour, hit the spa, and feast on some goulash and duck. They also suggested we try the local drink, palinka, which is the Hungarian name for fruit spirits. We arrived in Budapest around dinner time. After checking into our hotel room on the Pest side, and getting a recommendation for a great place to get authentic Hungarian food, we hit the town. The Christmas markets had just begun and were in full swing. We were told that we needed to Hungarian Forint (HUF), the local currency, to shop at the markets. The exchange rate is roughly one U.S. dollar to 217 HUF. The HUF looks even more like Monopoly money than the Euro and I couldn't get over having several hundred thousand "bucks" in my pocket as I handed over 5,000 HUF for a warm winter hat.

The restaurant was charming and even had live music. Over local beer and wine, we settled in for a true dining experience. We asked the waiter who spoke English, Hungarian and German to pick two main dishes for us to share. He selected a goulash and a duck plate and introduced me to the hot Hungarian paprika which I fell instantly in love with. To complete our meal and knock off the taste test of palinka, we shared a shot of Barack (apricot palinka). It was similar to Italian grappa and we each made a face after trying it - you know, the eyes-quint , lip-pucker face. After dinner we went for a walk near the water and over the Chain Bridge from Pest into Buda. The bridge is symbolic of Budapest, and only the second permanent crossing on the whole length of the river Danube. I noticed that lovers had started to leave locks on areas of the bridge, much like Pont des Arts in Paris, France. The next day, we enjoyed the HOHO (Hop-on, Hop-off tour bus) which took us around both the Pest and Buda sides with a nice stop at Gellért Hill, a 235 mile high hill overlooking the Danube which allowed for

a perfect view of both Buda and Pest. The tour also included a stop at Nagycsarnokm (Hungarian for Central Market Hall), the largest and oldest indoor market in Budapest. We enjoyed a delectable lunch of sausage and goulash and I purchased as many jars of the hot Hungarian paprika as I could carry. We ended our day with a visit to Széchenyi Bath and Spa, the first thermal baths on the Pest side. I have heard that Budapest in known for its bathing complexes throughout Europe. I had never been to one and was a little shy. Any hesitation was quickly alleviated along with any stress from the day as I soaked in the thermal springs. The next day, before heading back to Vienna, we visited the market again for a quick bite and I stocked up on even more paprika. Thankfully, being a world traveler and occasional impulse shopper has prepared me to always pack with enough room left in my suitcase for treasures. With jars of Hungarian paprika stuffed in my extra pair of boots and tucked in sweaters, I closed my suitcase and hulled it off to the train station for round two of our adventure.

hen we landed in Vienna, I felt a little out of place. Everywhere I turned they were families or couples with skis. The airport could have been a ski lodge lobby if it had a welcoming fire and leather couches. I made a mental note that if I ever become an avid skier, Austria would be the place to come back to. With luggage in tow, my friend and I set out to find the train station. Prior to landing in Vienna, we'd decided to take a short trip to Budapest. Had we ventured into the heart of Vienna before going to the train station, we may have never made it to Hungary. Vienna is that beautiful, as I was soon to discover. We returned from Budapest into Vienna when dark had fallen. Our hotel was a short metro ride from city center so we took full advantage of public transportation to conduct our own city tour based on recommendations from the concierge. Our first stop was the Wiener Christkindlmarkt

between Rathaus (city hall) and Burgtheater. We were told it was the largest Christmas market in Vienna. I spent the last two Christmases in Munich, Germany so I had high expectations for a Christmas market and the Wiener Christkindlmarkt did not disappoint. The large town square was illuminated by so many lights that I thought for a minute I was in my own Christmas special on Lifetime. The setting was complete with a Christmas train that took visitors around the square and small houses set up to look like a village. There were so many vendors selling a variety of Christmas items from ornaments to handmade toys to Glühwein and a plethora of edibles that it was easy to get overwhelmed with choices. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to nestle in with the locals and fellow tourists, we grabbed mugs of Glühwein and started shopping. We were having so much fun at the market that we

didn't make it to dinner until almost 10 p.m. The next day for breakfast, we treated ourselves to slice of famous Sacher-Torte at Café Sacher Vienna and enjoyed its typical Viennese coffee-house atmosphere. We decided that we would take the train to Slovakia - a short 40 minute ride - for lunch later in the day and add one more country to our list of places visited. After we returned from Slovakia, we explored more of the Christmas markets around Vienna including one at Prater amusement park with a band playing Christmas music and people dancing in merriment. We even rode the Giant Ferris Wheel which took us 200 feet us and offered magnificent views of the skyline and the people enjoying the market below. If the opportunity ever arises, I will definitely visit Austria again. I feel like the short time we spent there was just enough to know that Vienna is a place I would love to come back to. Maybe I'll even learn to ski.

Photos by Jackie L. Trembath


THE SIGNATURE

PAGE 14

DECEMBER 20, 2013

Bratislava, Slovakia I

n less than one hour from Vienna, Austria, we were in Bratislava, Slovakia. On a whim, we decided to check it out for lunch. I am glad we did, it is a charming little city that is deserving of a whole day touring, at least. Since we only had a few hours, we focused on the city center. The center of Bratislava is charming, with its old buildings, cobble-stone streets and narrow passage ways, it reminded me a little of Edinburgh, Scotland. Except,

very few people spoke English. There was a small ice skating rink upon the entrance to the city center. We stopped for a moment to watch the kids skate around, many clinging to their parents hands for confidence. The stalls were filled with a variety of items from decorations to hats and gloves to bottles of the Medovina (Slovak honey wine). Food vendors were making potato crepes called lokse which was served either sweet (with jam) or savory

(with chicken liver and cabbage) fillings. We decided to find a restaurant and once seated asked the waiter for a typical Slovakian dish and drink. We ended up sharing an enormous portion of grilled meets and cabbage and toasted with local beer. Ater lunch to walk around the city and take in the sights like good tourists. We visited St. Michael's Gate and Tower which granted us views of the entire city. Photos by Jackie L. Trembath

Bran, Romania W

e all have Bucket Lists. You know, that list of things we would like to do before we die? Personally, I've been blessed to be able to check off a bunch of things on my list, all which involved traveling. When I learned of an acquaintance who's #1 item was to visit Dracula's Castle near Bran, I figured I should check it out. It must be pretty cool to score a number one spot on a list of life's must-do's. I talked a couple of friends into joining me on my impetuous adventure. Romania is a short flight from Sicily and as I learned is also quite affordable once you get there. We flew into Bucharest and rented a car. From Bucharest to Bran is about three hours.

Romania is really beautiful, especially when the leaves have changed and are vibrantly rich in color. People seemed appreciative of the simplicity of their surroundings. I enjoyed just looking out the window and admiring the quiet countryside. To say the village of Bran is small may be an overgeneralization. I think the distance from one end to the other could be run in less time than a 10K. Bran is in Transylvania. Just being in Transylvania was surreal. I thought of all the Dracula movies I have seen over my lifetime, from Nosferatu to Francis Ford Coppola's version and was excited to see the infamous castle. The walkway leading up to the castle

was lined with stands selling everything from Dracula mugs to skillets to fresh goat cheese and home made wine. From the outside, Castelul Bran, as they say in Romania, looked like something more out of a fairytale that a horror movie. Inside, the castle looked like it could be featured in a spread for a home decorating magazine with its ornate furniture, detailed fixtures, spiral staircases and narrow archways. There were several items protected with behind plexiglass with certificates of authenticity from the time period. The views from the castle were so beautiful that I wanted to put a bid in on the castle myself. The only thing about the castle that made it remotely scary was the torture chamber. For a small fee, you can visit a room filled with medievel torture devices and detailed drawings showing how they were once used. The fact that these devices were once in practice is enough to give anyone nightmares.

DECEMBER 20, 2013

THE SIGNATURE

PAGE 15


PAGE 16

THE SIGNATURE

DECEMBER 20, 2013

Notice to the Public ... CONTINUED from PAGE 3 Water, juice, and formula for children under six months of age should not be prepared with tap water. Bottled water or other water low in nitrates should be used for infants until further notice. • DO NOT BOIL THE WATER. Boiling, freezing, filtering, or letting water stand does not reduce the nitrate level. Excessive boiling can make the nitrates more concentrated, because nitrates remain behind when the water evaporates. • Adults and children older than six months can drink the tap water (nitrate is a concern for infants because they can’t process nitrates in the same way adults can). However, if you are pregnant or have specific health concerns, you may wish to consult your doctor. What happened? What is being done? We continue to seek the root cause for the presence of nitrate in the water. The suspected reason is fouling of the reverse osmosis water plant filtration system. We are taking the following steps to further investigate the issue: − Conducting additional laboratory analysis of the source water to ensure nitrate levels have been reduced and, ultimately, remain below the MCL − Reviewing the operational procedures for reverse osmosis water treatment As additional information becomes available, updates will be provided to you via All Hands messages, Facebook updates, the base newspaper and other media. If you have specific health concerns, you should consult your doctor or the U.S. Naval Hospital Sigonella Medical Home Port at 335-578-8077. Please share this information with all other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly. For more information please contact: Justin Lancaster Installation Environmental Program Director 624-2725 justin.j.lancaster@eu.navy.mil •

Sig Citizen logo contest winner MC2 Brian Glunt (far right) and Naval Air Station Sigonella Commanding Officer Capt. Chris Dennis (left) host the Christmas tree lighting ceremony on NAS I, Dec. 6. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Tim Page/Released)

Sig’ Citizen Logo Contest Winners Get to Be CO, XO CMC of the Day By MC2 Brian T. Glunt NPASE -East Detachment Sigonella As commanding officer (CO), executive officer (XO) or command master chief (CMC) of a base such as Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella, a daily schedule can be a bit on the busy side, but I recently found that I had no idea just how busy they really are. Through the Sig’ Citizen logo design competition, Dana Rains, Britton Ivey-Haas and I each spent the day as CMC, XO and CO of the Day respectively. We all had the privilege of receiving a glimpse of what these positions entail. We received tours of NAS Sigonella’s water treatment plant, fire and emergency services’ NAS I firehouse along with conducting barracks room inspections in unaccompanied housing and presenting during the base’s indoctrination course with Commanding Officer

Capt. Chris Dennis, Executive Officer Cmdr. Eric Vosler and Command Master Chief David Graham Being Skipper of the Day, I received the opportunity to host this year’s Christmas tree lighting, attend the Madonna di Loreto Mass in Catania and attend a department head meeting with Capt. Dennis. For me, this experience was very enlightening. The amount of meetings to maintain the operations of this base alone made me wonder how often the Skipper gets a lunch break and he still makes time to go on his daily run. If the opportunity were to arise in the future, I would urge everyone to participate in an event where they could become CO, XO or CMC of the Day. It has been an eye-opener.

Violation Awareness Date: Date Notice Distributed: Revised Notice Distributed:

Dec. 17, 2013 Dec. 17, 2013 Dec. 18, 2013

Public Notification Certification: This public notification has been provided to our community in accordance with all delivery, content, format, and deadline requirements per DoD FGS for Italy and OPNAVINST 5090.1C. MONITOR FACEBOOK AND ALL HANDS MESSAGES FOR FURTHER UPDATES.

DECEMBER 20, 2013

THE SIGNATURE

What’s Happening Around the navy

PAGE 17

March 2014 E4-E6 Advancement Active Duty E7 Exam Date Change BY Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs WASHINGTON Exams Announced By Katrina Gergely Naval Education & Training Professional Development & Technology Center Public Affairs Pensacola, Fla. The March 2014 Navy-wide enlisted examinations for Active Duty, Full Time Support and Canvasser Recruiter Sailors who are advancement eligible to the paygrades of E4-E6 have been announced in Naval Administrative Message (NAVADMIN) 312/13, released Dec. 11. Each Navy examination consists of 25 Professional Military Knowledge and 150 job-specific technical questions. The examination dates are March 06, 2014 (E6), March 13, 2014 (E5) and March 20, 2014 (E4). Examination results are posted on the Navy Enlisted Advancement System (NEAS) website. "The best way to prepare for an advancement examination is to know your job better than your peers," said Master Chief Electrician's Mate Eric Riddle, command master chief of the Naval Education and Training Professional Development and Technology Center (NETPDTC). "When the rating Subject Matter Experts develop your examination content, they are instructed to write questions that Sailors need to know in order to perform their jobs," said Riddle. "With that in mind, I would strongly recommend Sailors study with the intent of increasing job knowledge and not study solely for the exam." During Advancement Examination Readiness Reviews held at NETPDTC, visiting E7 and above fleet SMEs in each enlisted rating ensure all examination questions can be linked to references and publications. As rating SMEs select questions for the examination, an examination bibliography is developed based on the source reference for the question. NAC updates bibliography information as fleet instructions and manuals change, and it is recommended that candidates check their bibliography a few times prior to the exam administration date. Study material for advancement examination preparation is available six months prior to the administration dates. To download the bibliographies for an upcoming exam, go to the Navy Advancement Center's Web portal on NKO at https://www.nko.navy.mil/group/navyadvancement-center/exam-bibliographies. The NEAS website enables Education Services Officers to verify and correct the list of eligible candidates for their command, delete and forward examinations when necessary, and confirm examination ordering information. The NEAS Web address is https://neasos.cnet.navy.mil. For more information about the Navy Advancement Center and NEAS, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Navy-AdvancementCenter. Additional information on the Naval Education and Training Command can be found on the NETC website: https://www.netc.navy. mil. For more news from Naval Education and Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnet/.

The Signature Staff wants your opinion Please take a moment to fill out this short 10-question survey and tell us what you think of The Signature. Thank you! Go to www. surveymonkey.com/s/X6KVMLT

Chief of Naval Personnel officials announced in NAVADMIN 308/13 that the Cycle 222 Active Duty E7 exam date has been changed from Jan. 16 to Jan. 14. The change is to avoid disruption of the testing process due to a potential lapse in government funding. Personnel Support Detachments staffed by civilians and contractors could be forced to reduce services without funding, making exam administration unfeasible. Roughly 35,000 first class petty officers are scheduled to take the exam, changing the date will ensure the process is fair and orderly for all involved. For information on exam guidance and requirements, read NAVADMIN 288/13 at www.npc.navy.mil.

Perfect Holiday Gift: A Designated Driver by Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs MILLINGTON, Tenn. December has been designated as National Drunk and Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness about the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, announced Dorice Favorite, director, Navy Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Office. "The month of December is one of the busiest on the nation's roadways, and also one of the most dangerous, due to a high incidence of alcohol and drug-related traffic crashes," said Favorite. "According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 25 people die each day in drunk driving crashes during December." That means approximately 775 people aren't making it home for the December holidays. "Impaired driving crashes are one hundred percent preventable," continued Favorite. "Everyone can practice responsible drinking and Keep What They've Earned." It's within everyone's ability to make and keep to a plan, whether at a party, at the bar, or anywhere that will require you to travel home. If you decide to drink this holiday season, designate a driver that will not drink any alcohol that night. A designated driver will help you get home safely. Have a plan. Make the decision on who will be the designated driver before going out, and stick to the plan. Know how much you are going to drink in advance and stop when you reach your pre-planned limit. Be a good shipmate. "If you notice someone who is about to drive or ride with a driver who is impaired, take the driver's keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely," concluded Favorite. "Simple planning in advance can bring everyone through December safely." For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnp/.


PAGE 18

THE SIGNATURE

DECEMBER 20, 2013

Sigonella Middle/High School NJROTC U.S. Naval Academy 2014 Students Attend Basic Leadership Training Summer STEM Program

Looking For Students Story by LT Teng K. Ooi, PhD U.S. Naval Academy

Sigonella NJROTC Cadets line up for basic leadership training graduation. (Photo by Brandi Goergen) By James M. Burke

Twenty-one Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) Cadets recently traveled on a military airlift to Naples, Italy to attend a four-day basic leadership course. The Sigonella Cadets were joined by students from Rota, Spain and Naples, Italy, totaling more than 80 NJROTC Cadets. The Cadets left from NAS II early on the morning of Nov. 14 and returned Nov. 17 via a military DC-9 aircraft. The leadership training was hosted by the NJROTC unit at Naples American High School. The Naples area Chief Petty Officers conducted the training which was held at Carney Park. While at the leadership course, the Cadets participated in various events including; early morning physical training, unarmed drill, uniform inspection, team building skills and field manual exams. Army soldiers from the Joint Forces Command conducted an orienteering exercise, where the cadets had to navigate 2.5 miles through the wooded terrain to the top of the extinct volcano. In addition, demonstrations from various commands included firefighting, first aid and dog handling. Sigonella Cadets finished at or near the top in all evolutions. In particular, first year Cadets Peter Cauble and Shaina Lucio were awarded Honor cadets for the respective Platoons.

Each year in June, the United States Naval Academy launches a Summer Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Program to expose young people to STEM concepts and technologies. The United States Naval Academy’s 2014 Summer STEM Program is designed to encourage 8th-11th graders to pursue a course of study in STEM-related subjects throughout high school, college, and beyond. The aim is to integrate STEM-focused concepts across the curriculum and pave the way for students to succeed academically in mathematics and science and help put them on a path towards successful STEM careers. An effective and practical way to stimulate student interest in STEM is to show how mathematics and science are applied to create exciting technologies. The 2014 STEM program will showcase the latest in technological advances in a wide variety of science and engineering topics to include energy and light, infrastructure, transportation, cybersecurity, environmental challenges, flight and fluids, automation, simulation and modeling, biometrics and robotics. Students are able to participate in project-based modules using a hands-on, real-world approach to solving design and analysis problems in the Naval Academy’s world-class laboratory facilities. This unique learning environment promotes engineering “habits of mind” such as systems thinking, optimization, innovation, creativity, and team work. It exposes students to a problem-based environment, outside the traditional classroom. Our 2014 Summer STEM Program will be a great start to your career in science and engineering. APPLICATIONS OPEN JANUARY 6, 2014 at www.usna.edu/admissions/stem. 2014 Session Dates: June 2 - June 7, for Rising 8th & 9th Graders; June 9 - June 14, for Rising 10th Graders; June 16 - June 20, for Rising 11th Graders.

The Signature Staff wants your opinion Please take a moment to fill out this short 10-question survey and tell us what you think of The Signature. Thank you!

THE SIGNATURE

DECEMBER 20, 2013

PAGE 19

ON THE GO WITH MWR

Calling All Youth: Do You Have Plans For Winter Break? School is almost out for the much-anticipated winter holiday break, and MWR has tons of fun activities planned to keep children and youth of all ages busy! Sigonella School Age Care is offering a Winter Camp for children in kindergarten through 12-years-old and the Youth Complex has some great activities planned for the 12 - 18-year-olds. Also throughout the break, Midtown 2 Theaters has lots of FREE showings, and the Library even has prizes for reading. See the details below for more details and as always, don’t forget to check out our website SIGMWR.com! and 4 p.m. That's not all! We will be giving away free popcorn and drinks while supplies last. Please check the movie schedule below. Dec. 26 and 27: Show at 2 p.m. Midtown 2 Theaters will be offering an early 2 p.m. showing. Please check the movie schedule below. New Year's Day, Jan. 1 The theater will be open on New Year's Day. See the movie schedule for details.

Missoula Children's Theatre: "Blackbeard The Pirate" Auditions: Dec. 23, 10 a.m. - Noon (arrive 9:45 a.m.) Knights Hall. Ages: Kindergarten through 12th grade Performance: Dec. 28 Time: 2:30 pm at Knights Hall What starts as a lazy day at the beach, quickly turns into mystery and adventure when the search for Blackbeard’s treasure begins! For more info call Christopher McKibbin at DSN 624-3242 or 335-42-5074.

Youth: Bowling & Movie at Midtown Dec. 26 at 1:30 p.m.* Ages: 12 - 18 with updated registration forms. Looking for something to do during your Christmas vacation? Meet us at the Youth Complex at 1:30 p.m. if you need a ride to NAS I, or you can meet us directly at the theater around 1:50 p.m. Directly after the movie we will be heading to SpareTime Bowling Center. *Space for rides is limited.

Sigonella School Age Winter Camp Dec. 23 – Jan. 3 Join School Age Care (SAC) for fun-filled winter days. Numerous activities planned. During Winter Camp, attend either two weeks or one week. If you don't need a full week of care, that's okay, too. Hourly care is also available if space permits. For more information call SAC at 624-3712.

Field Trip to the AFN Studio Dec. 30 at 11 a.m.* Ages: 12 - 18 with updated registration forms. Do you want to learn how to make a radio broadcast? Do you want to go behind the scenes at AFN? Join us as we venture to the AFN Studio to learn all about the equipment and as we prepare to make our very own radio broadcast. Please meet us at the Youth Complex at 11 a.m. if you need a ride to NAS I, or meet us directly at the AFN studio at 11:30 a.m. *Space for rides is limited.

Library: Kid's Reading Posse Dec. 23 - Jan. 3 Roundup some good reading at the library in December and stop by to get your own deputy badge and start reading! Prizes for each book read during December. Midtown 2 Theaters Christmas, Dec. 25 The theater will be showing current releases for FREE on Christmas at Noon, 2 p.m.

Go to www. surveymonkey.com/s/X6KVMLT

Midtown Movie Theaters Schedule &  Descriptions

Wednesday, Dec. 25 - Christmas Friday, Dec. 20 *Breakfast: Rolled Oats, Grilled Sausage Patties, Oven Fried Bacon, Asstd Omelets, Eggs to Order, Roasted Potatoes, Waffles. *Lunch: Cream of Mushroom Soup, Lasagna, Stuffed Baked Fish, Rissole Potatoes, Calico Cabbage, Carrots Fresh, Cake, Cookies. *Speed line: Grilled Cheese/Hamburger, Baked Beans, French Fried Potatoes. *Dinner: Egg Drop Soup, Spareribs BBQ, Fish Portion, Rice Pilaf, Southern Green Beans, Cake. Saturday, Dec. 21 *Breakfast: Farina, Grilled Ham Slices, Oven Fried Bacon, Assorted Omelets, Eggs to Order, Roasted Potatoes, Buttermilk Pancakes. *Brunch: Breakfast Items, Chicken Rice Soup, Roast Pork, Roasted Potatoes, Cauliflower Au Gratin, Brown Gravy, Cake. *Dinner: Chicken Rice Soup, Assorted Pizza, Penne Alfredo, Baked Potatoes, Glazed Carrots, Cake.

12:00 PM Frozen 3D PG 2:00 PM A Madea’s Christmas PG-13 4:00 PM The Best Man’s Holiday R

Tuesday, Dec. 24 *Breakfast: Farina, Oven Fried Bacon, Sausage Patties, Assorted Omelets, Eggs to Order, Hash Brown Potatoes, French Toast, Biscuits and Gravy. *Lunch Spanish Soup, Beef Tacos, Burritos, Chicken Fajita, Mexican Rice, Refried Beans, Calico Corn, Broccoli, Jalapeno Cornbread, Cookies Oatmeal. *Speed Line: Grilled Panini Sandwich (Salami/Turkey), Chips Potatoes. *Dinner: Cream of Broccoli Soup, Veal Steak, Spaghetti Carbonara, Carrots Slices, Cake. Wednesday, Dec. 25 Christmas Day *Breakfast: Rolled Oats, Creamed Ground Beef, Oven Fried Bacon, Assorted Omelets, Eggs to Order, Roasted Potatoes, Pancakes. *Snack: Sandwiches Ham and Cheese, Chips. *Dinner: Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, Cream of Asparagus soup, Roasted Turkey, Baked Ham, Rib-eye Roll, Mashed Potatoes, Scalloped Sweet Potatoes and Apples, Boiled Shrimp, Turkey Gravy, Savory Bread Dressing, Green Bean Casserole, Waldorf Salad, Potato Salad, Salad Bar, Assorted Fruit, Raisin Sauce, Cranberry Sauce, Assorted Hot Rolls, Assorted Cakes and Pies, Ice Cream.

Sunday, Dec. 22 *Breakfast: Rolled Oats, Grilled Minute Steak, Oven Fried Bacon, Assorted Omelets, Eggs to Order, Roasted Potatoes, French Toast. *Brunch: Breakfast Items, Cream of Broccoli Soup, Baked Chicken , Cheddar Cheese and Broccoli, Corn O’Brien, Cookies. *Dinner: Chicken Rice Soup, Fishwich, Mashed Potatoes, Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce, Mixed Vegetables, Natural Pan Gravy, Cookies.

Thursday, Dec. 26 *Breakfast: Hominy Grits, Ham Sliced, Oven Fried Bacon, Assorted Omelets, Eggs to Order, Hash Brown Potatoes, French Toast. *Lunch: Vegetable Supreme Soup, Roast Pork loin, Teriyaki Chicken, Roasted Garlic Potatoes, Seasoned Mix Vegetables, Club Spinach, Cake. *Speed Line: Hot Dogs , Onion & Pepper. *Dinner: Tomato Vegetable Soup, Spaghetti w/ Meat Balls , Grilled Ham & Cheese, Oven Brown Potatoes, Natural Pan Gravy, Corn Kernel, Cake.

Monday, Dec. 23 *Breakfast: Rolled Oats, Minced Beef, Oven Fried Bacon, Assorted Omelets, Eggs to Order, Roasted Potatoes, Waffles. *Lunch: Chicken Gumbo Soup, Beef Stew, Savory Baked Chicken, Steamed Rice, Oven Browned Potatoes, Green Peas, Seasoned Summer Squash, Cake. *Speed Line: Assorted Pizza. *Dinner: Minestrone Soup, Chicken Parmesan, Penne Amatriciana, Pork Fried Rice, Broccoli Parmesan, Cake.

Friday, Dec. 27 *Breakfast: Rolled Oats, Grilled Sausage Patties, Oven Fried Bacon, Assorted Omelets, Eggs to Order, Roasted Potatoes, Waffles. *Lunch: Chicken Corn Chowder, Lemon Baked Fish, Meat Loaf, Rice Pilaf, Glazed Carrots, Broccoli Fresh, Cookies. *Speed Line: Grilled Cheese/Hamburger, Baked Beans, French Fried Potatoes. *Dinner: Chicken Noodle Soup, Pasta w/ Fish, Yankee Pot Roast, Tossed Green Rice, Corn O’Brien, Cookies.

Thursday, Dec. 26 2:00 PM 5:00 PM 5:30 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM

Friday, Dec. 20 5:00 PM 5:30 PM 7:30 PM 8:30 PM

Walking Dinosaurs 3D PG A Madea’s Christmas PG-13 Anchorman 2 PG-13 Delivery Man PG-13

Saturday, Dec. 21 2:00 PM 2:30 PM 4:30 PM 5:00 PM 7:30 PM

Walking Dinosaurs 3D Frozen Anchorman 2 The Hobbit Part 2 Dallas Buyer’s Club

PG PG PG-13 PG-13 R

2:00 PM 2:30 PM 4:30 PM 5:00 PM 7:30 PM

Frozen 3D PG Walking with Dinosaurs PG The Hobbit Part 2 3D PG-13 Dallas Buyer’s Club R The Best Man Holiday R

Sunday, Dec. 22

Tuesday, Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve

As a reminder, all dependents are always welcome at the galley! Please provide any negative or positive feedback. There is a suggestions box near the entrance to the galley, next to the serving line.

5:00 PM 5:30 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM

Free Birds 3D Ender’s Game Catching Fire About Time

PG PG-13 PG-13 R

The Santa Clause Thor: Dark World 3D Delivery Man American Hustle Last Vegas

PG PG-13 PG-13 R PG-13

Friday, Dec. 27 2:00 PM 5:00 PM 5:30 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM

The Grinch PG Saving Mr. Banks PG-13 Walking with Dinosaurs PG Dallas Buyer’s Club R Homefront R

Saturday, Dec. 28 2:00 PM 2:30 PM 4:30 PM 5:00 PM 7:30 PM

Black Nativity Frozen The Hobbit Part 2 3D Anchorman 2 Homefront

Sunday, Dec. 29 2:00 PM 2:30 PM 4:30 PM 5:00 PM 7:30 PM

PG PG PG-13 PG-13 R

Walking Dinosaurs 3D PG Black Nativity PG Saving Mr. Banks PG-13 The Hobbit Part 2 PG-13 American Hustle R

AMERICAN HUSTLE ... R STARRING: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper A con man along with his British partner is forced to work for a wild FBI agent. (138 m.) ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES ... PG-13 STARRING: Monica Calhoun, Morris Chestnut, Melissa De Sousa With the 70s behind him, San Diego's top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy, returns to take New York's first 24-hour news channel by storm. (119 m.) BLACK NATIVITY ... PG STARRING: Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson A teen from Baltimore who has been raised by a single mother travels to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged relatives. (93 m.) DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB ... R STARRING: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto In 1985 Dallas, Ron Woodroof works the system to help AIDS patients get medication after he is diagnosed. (117 m.) HOMEFRONT ... R STARRING: Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder A former DEA agent moves his family to a quiet town, where he soon tangles with a local meth druglord. (100 m.) SAVING MR. BANKS ... PG-13 STARRING: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Annie Rose Buckley Author P. L. Travers reflects on her difficult childhood while meeting with filmmaker Walt Disney during production for the adaptation of her novel, Mary Poppins. (125 m.) WALKING WITH DINOSAURS 2D & 3D ... PG STARRING: John Leguizamo, Justin Long, Tiya Sircar See and feel what it was like when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, in a story where an underdog dino triumphs to become a hero for the ages. (87 m.)

Movie Premiere

Free Movie

Same Day Release

Last Show

Movie schedule is subject to change. Please call to confirm. Movie Hotline: 624-4248


THE SIGNATURE

DECEMBER 20, 2013

GAME ZONE

ANGEL BELLS BETHLEHEM CANDLES CANDY CANE CAROLS DECORATIONS EGGNOG FAMILY FRANKINCENSE FRIENDS FRUITCAKE GABRIEL GIFTS GOLD GREETING CARDS HOLLY ICICLES JESUS JOSEPH LIGHTS

MANGER MARY MISTLETOE MYRRH ORNAMENTS POINSETTIA SANTA SHEPHERDS SKATES SLEIGH SNOWFLAKES SNOWMAN STABLE STAR STOCKING THREE WISE MEN TOBOGGAN TOYS TREE WREATH

THE SIGNATURE

PAGE 21

SUDOKU

CO Detector Information by John Roush NAS Sigonella Fire & Safety

Find and circle all of the Christmas words that are hidden in the grid. The remaining letters spell a secret message.

DIFFICULT

Merry Christmas

DECEMBER 20, 2013

EASY

PAGE 20

A carbon monoxide detector or CO detector is a device that detects the presence of the carbon monoxide (CO) gas in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. CO is a colorless, tasteless and odorless compound produced by incomplete combustion of carbon containing materials. It is often referred to as the "silent killer" because it is virtually undetectable without using detection technology and most do not realize they are being poisoned. Elevated levels of CO can be dangerous to humans depending on the amount present and length of exposure. Smaller concentrations can be harmful over longer periods of time while increasing concentrations require diminishing exposure times to be harmful. CO detectors are designed to measure CO levels over time and sound an alarm before dangerous levels of CO accumulate in an environment, giving people adequate warning to safely ventilate the area or evacuate. Smoke detectors detect the smoke generated by flaming or smoldering fires, whereas CO detectors detect and warn people about dangerous CO buildup caused, for example, by a malfunctioning fuel-burning device. In the home, some common sources of CO include open flames, stoves, space heaters, water heaters, blocked chimneys or running a car inside a garage. In the event your CO detector activates follow these safety tips; • Evacuate your home • Dial 911 (095-86-1911) • Leave your doors and windows shut until fire department personnel arrive to investigate. Leaving the doors and windows open will let the gas escape and give gas detectors a false reading and homeowners a false sense of security. • Ventilation should be done after Fire Department has completely conducted their investigation and declares the area fire safe. Important phone numbers: Marinai Help Desk: Day hours, DNS: 624-1731, after hours (335-739-1578) and NAS I, NAS II Trouble Help Desk: Day hours, DSN: 624-6013, after hours, DSN: 624-5354.


THE SIGNATURE

PAGE 22

IL

M ERCATO

AUTOMOBILES 1963 Volkswagen Beetle (same model used in Disney's "Herbie the Love Bug"). Fully restored. Original parts. All official documents. Pearl white, 4 speeds, 6 volts, 1192 cc. €11,000, negotiable. Call Adriana: 349-1539139. 2000 automatic Toyota Sienna, 140k miles, new battery, windshield wipers, fluids. Asking $3,200. Call: 366-7798429. Email: lester.brett@gmail.com. American spec AFI car. 300 ltrs Fiat

HGT sport. $2,500 OBO. Excellent condition. New rim/tires, AC, power windows, power steering ABS, 4 disk breat, city car. Call Eleonore: 6246198 or Tino: 329-0786555. 1972 Fiat 500L with a 650cc engine. €3,950. Comes with an extra engine original 500cc plus other spare parts. Call Joe: 346-6082330.

NOTICES The deadline for refunds for gas coupons is Dec. 31.

The Signature Staff would like to hear from you! Please take a moment to fill out this short 10-question survey and tell us what you think of The Signature. Thank you! Go to www. surveymonkey. com/s/X6KVMLT

SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIM ADVOCATE HOTLINES: Sigonella SAPR VA Hotline: 335-642-8312. DoD Safe Helpline: 001-877-995-5247 (From cell phones and off-base telephones)

Or: 19020 (toll-free access code) 1-877-995-5247 (From DSN lines)

DECEMBER 20, 2013 All classified ads are free to the community for advertising personal property for sale, trade or giveaway. Ads must be sent to thesig@eu.navy.mil no later than 5 p.m. of the Friday before the week of publication and must include POC name and phone number. For more information, call 624-5440, 624-2798 or 095-86-5440/2798 or stampagenerale@tin.it.

PAID ADS Adopt while stationed overseas International & fostercare adoptions, homestudies. www.adopt-abroad.com Rent apartment in villa, Misterbianco (10 km from NAS I - 20 Km from NAS II) Description: in very quiet area, renovated apartment in villa (110 sq. mts.). A large kitchen, 2 main bedrooms, 1 large living room, laundry room ready for use of dryer and washing machine, restrooms, 2/3 parking lot reserve, 2 A/C systems already installed, AFN/SKY Tv/ Telecom systems arranged in advance, individual heating system in all rooms, private garden lot, pets allowed. Contact for all details or info: Amendola Lorenzo - by email: amendolalorenzo@yahoo.it or call mobile phone +39 335 69 78650. For Sale Receiver, Sony Digital Audio/Video Control Center 7.1, AV Processor STR-DG 820 & Klipsch Quinet SL 6 speakers w/bass & monster cables. System is new & sounds better than Bose. GREAT Christmas gift. Paid $2,000, sell $700. Call Gary at 335-706-5400 or stop by Commissary.

The appearance of advertising in this newspaper, including inserts of supplements, does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense, the Navy (or Marine Corps), (name of command) or (name of publisher) of the products and services advertised. “Everything advertised in this newspaper shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation or any other non-merit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the publisher shall refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation is corrected. Published by Stampa, a private firm in no way connected with DoD, the U.S. Navy (or Marine Corps), under exclusive contract with the U.S. Navy (or Marine Corps).

NOTE: Ads run for two weeks on a space available basis and must be sponsored by active duty military members, family members or Italian/ American base employees. AFTS/AFN decoders must be sold only to another authorized individual: active duty or retired U.S. military, DoD direct-hire employees or their spouse. Ads that profit a business or individual, such as housekeeping or baby-sitting services considered commercial ads. Commercial ads are not accepted. Requests for commercial ads must be made to Stampa Generale: 081-568-7884 or stampagenerale@tin.it

THE SIGNATURE

DECEMBER 20, 2013

Cha-ching-a-ling!

Being a Savvy Holiday Shopper by fleet & family support center The holidays are upon us, and the shopping season is in full swing ... at least for the majority of us. According to the National Retail Federation (www.nrf.org) only five percent of Americans had completed their holiday shopping as of November. Americans have spent their holiday dollars averaging between $700 and $800 on gifts for family, friends and co-workers. If you are a savvy shopper then you probably already know how to save money by finding the greatest sales in stores, online and waiting for those last minute bargains. But retailers are always trying to find ways to get you to spend more of your hard earned dollars. Think about your last shopping trip to a department store…The first thing a cashier may ask when you approach the register is, “will that be cash or credit?” The second question is usually, “would you like to open a credit account with our store today? You could save 10 percent off of your purchases today.” Hmmm… During my last shopping trip in the states I decided to turn the tables around and ask what the interest rate was for the store card. Most department store credit cards are usually 21 percent or higher so you may save 10 percent today, but take into account that most credit card holders usually carry a balance and the 10 percent savings usually gets eaten by the interest rate. For example, if you were to buy $300 worth of clothes and take the 10 percent discount, your bill would be $270. But if you're unable to pay the balance by the due date, you'd pay $56.70 in interest, which would totally wipe out your $30 savings. And the interest charges would continue at 21 percent until you pay it off, which means that you could end up paying for the $270 purchase over a few years. So how do you become a savvy holiday shopper? We have a few suggestions for you to help you prepare for next the holiday season: • CREATE A SPENDING PLAN: Creating

a financial plan can help you control your money and reach your goals – all year! Think of Christmas as an expense like any other such as new tires for the car or buying new furniture for the living room. The cost should be estimated, and planned for throughout the year. (See your Command Financial Specialist for help with completing a financial planning worksheet to get started). • SAVE IN ADVANCE: Take a few dollars from each paycheck throughout the year and put it into an interest paying holiday savings club at your financial institution. Example: If you spent $1,200 this year for holiday shopping you would need to save $100 per month for 12 months. • TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SEASONAL BARGAINS. Be on the lookout for end of the year sales after the holiday season. • TALK ABOUT IT: Take some time to sit down with your family and discuss your holiday plans. • Family Conference • To do lists • Top priorities • Dollar amounts per person • So what are the benefits of financial planning? A good plan will help you: • Reduce Stress • Live within your means. • Realize goals. • Maintain a good credit history. • Get more for your money. • Achieve financial freedom. A financial plan is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. It will help you get more for your money, lower stress, and show you how to achieve your goals. For more information on how to prepare your own financial spending plan contact your Command Financial Specialist or the Fleet and Family Support Center at 624-4291.

PAGE 23


PAGE 24

THE SIGNATURE

DECEMBER 20, 2013

The Signature (20DEC2013)  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you