Page 1

Holiday Stress: Turning stress to gratitude! PAGE 4

Frocking Ceremony:

CFC-O 2016:

Check out the frockees!

Still time to give

PAGEs 8-9



December 2, 2016

Vol. 33 No. 45

SECNAV Visits with Sailors at Naval Air Station Sigonella By Nicole Ybarra NAS Sigonella Public Affairs

NAS SIGONELLA, Sicily – Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus visited Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella and held an All Hands Call with Sailors at the NAS II hangar, Nov. 28. Following his remarks, Mabus fielded questions from the audience. At the top of many Sailors’ minds was the recent announcement of the Navy Occupational Specialty Ratings Modernization Plan and how the new plan would affect manning. While overall manning will remain unchanged, Mabus suggested the potential for a very minimal decrease in some rates as a result of Ready, Relevant Learning (RRL). The RRL initiative, put forth by the Chief of Naval Operations, aims to modernize training delivery methods, transitioning them, as appropriate, from traditional brick-and-mortar schoolhouses to mobile, multi-media, multi-platform delivery solutions that leverage science and technology to accelerate the dissemination of critical warfighting knowledge to Sailors. The next question from the audience concerned the impact of the incoming president on the Navy and Marine Corps to which Mabus replied, “This [current] administration is growing the Navy. This administration has substantially strengthened the Navy and its presence around the world. I can’t imagine that changing no matter who the president is, because it gives our leaders options in times of crisis.” The final question asked SECNAV to comment on the recent increase in Russian activity in the European region, noting unsafe intercepts by Russian fighter jets of U.S. aircraft. “We are being engaged at virtu-

Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus responds to a question asked by Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella Commanding Officer Capt. Brent Trickel during an all-hands call, Nov. 28. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Ramon Go/Released)

ally every level. What we have to do, whether at air or at sea, is first, be perpetual, and second, be ready to respond. We are seeing Russian naval activity that we haven’t seen since the Cold War but it won’t keep us from doing our job.” In closing, Mabus conveyed the gratitude of the nation and thanked the Sailors for their commitment and dedication to the mission. “Sigonella, thank you for what you do every day. Thank you for your willingness to wear the uniform, and

thank you for being as good as you are. We have incredibly high expectations of what we expect from you and you never disappoint. America is incredibly fortunate to have you standing the watch.” Naval Air Station Sigonella: "The Hub of the Med," is a U.S. Navy installation and an Italian Air Force base in Sicily, Italy. Just as a ship performs lines of operation that provide a capability, Navy Region EURAFSWA bases perform the same eight lines of operation to provide capability to

the fleet, joint and allied forces. These eight lines of operation are: air operations, port operations, safety, security, housing, MWR, Fleet and Fleet and Family Services and what is called the core: the fuels, water and power that keep the bases running. Through our lines of operation, our installations are force multipliers that maximize combat capability of operational units. For more news from Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia, visit cnre/.

Changes Coming to Base Galley By Nicole Ybarra NAS Sigonella Public Affairs

NAS SIGONELLA, Sicily – On any day, you can smell the aroma of freshly baked bread, rustic Italian pasta and tasty desserts permeating from Ristorante Bella Etna. With the high quality of food on offer, it’s not surprising that the Galley is a popular place to grab a meal. However, the popularity of the Galley combined with an increase in active duty members assigned to NAS Sigonella is unfortunately prompting changes in who is authorized to dine at the Galley. For an extended period of time that began prior to any standing documentation, the Galley permitted the installation to allow civilians to dine in the Galley. However, in April 2016, the base experienced an influx of personnel that has significantly increased the usage of the Galley, and as a result, the Galley is currently operating over their capability threshold. When the Food Service Officer, CWO3 Francisco Marigundon, arrived at NAS Sigonella, patronage at the Galley was around 200 total guests each day. Today, the Galley serves approximately 400 patrons at breakfast, 500-800 during lunch and 400-500 at dinner.

“We have a seating capacity for 221 guests. We are currently well over that capacity. I’ve seen times when people have to stand and wait to eat,” says Marigundon. In accordance with the NAVSUP P486, the Galley is designed, staffed and operated specifically to provide meals to active duty personnel and active reserve personnel. What’s more, civilians are not authorized patrons. As a result, effective Jan. 2, 2017, with the exception of Galley Civilian Personnel, all civilians (both US and Local National) will no longer be eligible to eat in the Galley. Dependents can still dine at the Galley when escorted by the active duty and/or active reserve service member. “At the end of the day, it’s all about meeting the Galley’s intended mission,” says Marigundon. “We are trying to keep up with the demand, and by limiting the Galley to active duty personnel only, we will be better enabled to serve the Galley’s intended and primary patrons.” Civilians will still be able to dine at the Galley during the weekly Sunday Brunch service and periodic Special Meals (i.e. Thanksgiving meal, Christmas meal, Black History Month meal, Navy Birthday meal, Asian Pacific America Heritage Month meal, etc.).



December 2, 2016

Direct Line

Commanding Officer Capt. Brent Trickel Happy December, Sigonella: I hope everyone has wonderful plans for a safe and enjoyable Christmas Season. Today I want to discuss a couple of financial topics – one which applies to all of us and one which applies to those of us that will receive a military retirement pension. When was the last time you took a long, hard look at your NAVPERS 1070/602 Dependency Application/Record of Emergency Data (otherwise known as your “Page 2”)? We are required to update it any time information changes (dependent’s information, SGLI changes, next of kin information, life insurance changes, changes to will, etc.) and we are required to verify the Page 2 upon check-in to a new command. At your most recent verification did you go over your Page 2 with a fine tooth comb and make sure all of the entries were 100% correct? Have you ever gone over your Page 2 with your spouse or significant other to make sure you agree on the information and SGLI coverage? I raise these issues due to two incidents that have happened during my career. The first was the tragic attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 in which 125 personnel inside the Pentagon lost their lives. One thing officials found in the aftermath of the attack is that many of the victims had not updated their Page 2. Because of this, several of the victims had ex-spouses listed as their SGLI beneficiary. Therefore, due to an oversight

on the part of the deceased, the tragedy was now compounded for their surviving family when they found out that someone else was entitled to the life insurance. Additionally, many of the Page 2s did not have up-to-date next of kin contact information which delayed notification of relatives. So, I ask that each of you take a close look at your Page 2. Take a copy home and go over it with your spouse or significant other. Is the next-ofkin information up to date? Is your spouse aware of your SGLI coverage? Do you have the correct beneficiaries listed? The second topic I want to cover is the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) which was created to provide a continued source of income for survivors of military retirees. If a military retiree elects to buy into the SBP, their spouse or other eligible survivor will receive 55% of the retiree’s retirement pay after the retiree passes away. This can provide ongoing income and stability for survivors, but it does come at a cost, as retirees must buy into the plan. Without SBP the military retirement pay stops upon death of the service member. At retirement, full basic SBP for spouse and children will take effect automatically if you make no other valid election (e.g. decline the SBP). You may not reduce or decline spouse coverage without your spouse's written consent. The Survivor Benefit Plan is a form of life insurance and annuity. Instead of paying out a lump sum to the beneficiary like most life insurance

policies, it pays out a portion (55%) of the member’s retirement pay each month until the survivor either passes away, or is no longer eligible to receive the payments. It was designed to provide a basic level of support in the event the service member dies prior to the surviving spouse. And lastly, I would like to offer a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to our newly frocked First, Second, and Third Class Petty Officers. Your frocking ceremony made my day/week/month.

Commanding Officer's Suggestion Box The ICE/CO Suggestion Box is for our community and Commanding Officer to discuss, with an eye toward constant improvement, how we are excelling* and how we can improve**. The Signature and NASSIG Facebook Page typically publish comments and responses for the benefit of the Sigonella community. Comments/suggestions are useful when objective, constructive, and specific. ICE/CO Suggestion Box is NOT a forum for mean-spirited attacks. * If you submit a "BZ" about a specific person or department, PLEASE PROVIDE YOUR NAME in order to ensure comment authenticity and therefore publically recognize employees or organizations. ** The Commanding Officer will ensure a response to all signed comments/suggestions and the vast majority of anonymous ones but reserves the right to disregard those comments/suggestions disinterested in the spirit of the program! There are two ways to submit; go to: 1) Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE) home page on a One-Net computer at:, All Sigonella services are found under the Navy Europe Listing in the scroll-down menu. – or – 2) NAS Sigonella's website, go to the "About" drop down menu and click on "CO Suggestion Box".

Interactive Customer Evaluation Comment regarding “VET Customer Service”:

My recent visit to the vet clinic was utterly the worst. I do believe that customer service needs to be a class that this clinic takes. I had an appointment and was treated by the staff like my animal was not even worth the time. I understand that this service is not a right. However, as a paying customer, I believe the least you can do is treat your customers with respect.


I apologize for any rude treatment that you may have experienced during your recent visit. Our staff strives to treat each customer with dignity and respect. Since this comment does not list a specific person, I will address the entire staff to make them aware of this situation. For future questions, you may contact the base veterinary clinic at 624-4443 for that list or by email at Lara.Brennecke@

Comment regarding “Housing Not Being Helpful”:

Our current situation with Housing is inexplicable. We have been given the runaround for almost a month. We requested assistance from Housing for Internet installation. Finally, on Aug. 5 we thought we were going to get Internet service but it received only the phone line. Since then, we have asked Housing repeatedly for their assistance with this issue but instead we get different answers every time we talk to them, specifically, Anna, the utilities representative. We are baffled by the lack of professionalism. Sincerely, Laura Gastaliturri


Dear Ms. Gastaliturri, Housing is currently putting together an Internet vendor listing in order to provide additional options for residents. The time it takes for service to be installed may vary depending on where you live and your provider. Housing staff are only mediators or translators and have very little control over the Internet provider. For every situation like yours we send dozens of emails and phone calls daily with no action being taking by the Internet provider. I apologize for your experience and share in your frustration. In regards to your comment concerning customer service, Housing is in the process of ensuring that its entire staff receives training in customer service. For further questions, please contact the Housing Director, Peter Faulk at 624-4070 or

Comment regarding “VET charging for visits”:

I just wanted everyone to be aware that the vet clinic is charging people for services not rendered. I scheduled an appointment with the receptionist, and when I went to the clinic the local national vet was on vacation. A vet tech saw my dog for a few minutes but I was asked to reschedule my appointment to see the vet. Despite not seeing the vet, I was still charged. I spoke to a helpful vet tech (Colleen) about this and she stated she would try to help resolve the issue. I also saw on Facebook that people were scheduled for appointments when the clinic was closed for training. The clinic’s hours are posted out front and online, yet the clinic was closed. Why state that you are open if you are closed? Thus far my impression of the vet clinic is that it is extremely unprofessional and the staff are rude (with a few exceptions). I also would like to ask/ensure that business practices for charging people be reviewed. This was my first visit to the vet and I was charged for services not rendered. Who knows how many other people have also been charged.


Thank you for taking the time to submit your comment. Based on the date of your visit, it appears this incident happened while the vet was on maternity leave and the clinic was short staffed. As a result, a Soldier from the food section had to cover the front desk. Although she is trained on front-desk duties, she may not have been familiar with the exact procedures for entering in charges. She is no longer working at the front desk and the clinic is currently in the hiring process for a new receptionist. The clinic was closed unexpectedly due to personnel shortages and scheduling errors. The veterinarian that was supposed to cover during the vet’s maternity leave was unable to assist, therefore, appointments had to be canceled. This will be fixed in the future and I apologize for any inconvenience. We strive to stay open during posted business hours, however there may be some instances where MWD missions are more important and take priority. As a reminder, the vet clinic is here first and foremost to care for military working dogs, as well as ensure food inspection and sanitation. Consumer pet services are not a primary responsibility of Army Vet Clinics worldwide. For future questions, you may contact the base veterinary clinic at 624-4443 for that list or by email at Lara.

December 2, 2016



THE SIGNATURE U.S. NAVAL AIR STATION SIGONELLA Commanding Officer Capt. Brent Trickel Executive Officer Cmdr. Charles G. McKinney II Command Master Chief CMDCM Mike Kaszubowski EDITORIAL Public Affairs Officer Lt. Andriana Genualdi Assistant Public Affairs Officer Nicole Ybarra Community Relations Officer Dott. Alberto Lunetta PAO Staff Writers \ Photographers MC2 Ramon Go YN2 Gabrielle Milly CONTACT US Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily DSN 624-5440; 095-86-5440 PSC 812 Box 7, FPO, AE 09627-0001 PUBLISHER Stampa Generale S.r.l., Sig. Bruno Brandi, Publisher, Naval Support Activity Capodichino (Naples), Italy Tel. 081-568-7884 Fax 081-568-7887

Name: Petty Officer 1st Class Travis Broach Dept: AIMD Sigonella Hometown: College Station, Texas

Having arrived to Sigonella late 2015 after two back-to-back sea commands (USS George Washington (CVN 73) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)), Petty Officer Broach was looking forward to his time ashore. He received news of his promotion to the next paygrade of E-6 two days before Thanksgiving, adding another item to his list of things to be thankful for this year. Broach, a calibration laboratory workcenter supervisor, leads his Sailors with high standards in the quality of work they produce. "I take pride in the quality of gear we send out of here. Every time I've put a collateral duty inspector stamp with my name on it, I want it to be a quality product because it represents everyone in this workcenter." Broach oversees the calibration of all support equipment, electronics, and all physical dimensional items such as torque wrenches, pressure gauges, micrometers, etc. "I enjoy what I do, I enjoy the people I work with and thus far this has been the best command." December marks his eighth year in

the U.S. Navy, and Broach has already adopted a mindset to make Chief Petty Officer. With another year and a half left in Sigonella, Broach would like to go back to Japan where he was first stationed with the USS George Washington. "I enjoyed my time there, and now I would like to return and bring my family with me to share the experience." But, before he plans his future adventures at another overseas command, he has over a year left in Sigonella with many other countries to explore.

"I've been to Rome, London, and many places around Sicily. You can't beat traveling from here because you can go anywhere in Europe with ease. My favorite so far is London because of the history and culture. You've got to see the changing of the guard ceremony at the Buckingham Palace in London, because it's cool." Three things Broach misses back home: food, football, and family. "I love my Texas A&M college football team, the best Tex-Mex food, and the family waiting for me."

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 advertising in this newspaper, including inserts or supplements, does not constitute endorsement by the DoD or Stampa Generale S.r.l., of the products or services advertised. Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, 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 policy by an advertiser will result in the refusal to print advertising from that source until the violation is corrected. 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: 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 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 any anonymous 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.



December 2, 2016

It's All in How You Look at It: Transforming Holiday Angst into Gratitude From Fleet and Family Support Center

NAS SIGONELLA, Sicily – Here it is again: The holidays season I have to shop. I hate to shop. I have to cook. I hate to cook. The relatives are coming - never did like Aunt Gertrude. Another office party standing around making conversation with people getting loaded just because the booze is free. Visit to my husband's sisters. Never did like them either. I resent buying gifts for adults I don't know or don't like and for kids who are ungrateful. I hate this time of year. It's true that the holiday season can feel relentless. It's true that a whole additional layer of tasks gets piled onto lives that are often too busy, too stressed, and just too full. We're surrounded by lights, advertisements, decorations, and bell ringers. Special events and family expectations compete for our time and our peace of mind. We are reminded daily, sometimes hourly, that this is supposed to be a special time of year. If you're a parent, there are holiday concerts to attend and holiday gatherings in the classroom, at the Scout meetings, and at Sunday or Saturday school. Ready or not, like it or not, we're surrounded by holiday hoopla every year. It's no wonder that we all feel stretched. Most of the advice offered in the "living pages" of newspapers and the women's magazines sold at the grocery store misses an important point. Most of the articles are about cutting down and cutting out stress. Although minimizing stress might be helpful, many people who don't do much to observe the holidays are still miserable. For many of the “Bah-Humbug” folks, they are in a huge fight with the holiday world. It's the fight that's making them miserable, not the time of year. Being grumpy takes a lot of energy. Resenting every minute you're in the mall makes the experience exhausting. Focusing on how much you don't like some of the people going to the party makes the party a downer before you even get there. Being angry at how you're spending the holiday time zaps all the potential joy out of it. Playing Scrooge when those around you are celebrating ensures that other people will keep their distance and leave you alone and lonely.

Unless you are willing to go into some dark hole from pre-Thanksgiving to New Year's, you are going to be confronted with the holidays in ways large and small every day. If the holidays are inevitable, and they certainly seem to be, why not find ways to enjoy it? An attitude transplant isn't as hard or as time consuming as it may seem. It doesn't take more time. It takes changing how you use your time from working up your anger to allowing for peace. Here's how: • Drop the fight. Remind yourself that no one is really making you do anything. The holidays don't victimize anyone. They just are. You can choose to find moments of happiness in the season or you can make yourself miserable. It's up to you. • Quit trying to change other people. You can't make anyone else do anything either. When you don't like what's going on, you only have two choices: Leave or change yourself. How people you know are likely to behave is not new information. • Plan ahead. Think of a graceful exit strategy for yourself if things get too intense. Option two is to set something new in motion by changing your own reaction. See what happens if you act interested instead of annoyed; if you make a joke instead of acting angry or hurt. • Meditate. Pray. Observe a little silence each day. Use whatever way you find most helpful to get in touch with something larger than yourself. Remind yourself what the holidays are really about. • Count your blessings. Angry at having to buy presents for family? Be glad you have family to buy presents for. Unhappy that you have to go to an office party? Hey – you have a job! Stressed about how many people are vying for your time? Be happy that you are wanted and needed. Make a list of all your complaints and transform them into appreciations. Now read your new list. Feel better? • Find a role model. Don't know how to act like a happy person? Think of someone you know who genuinely loves the holidays. How does that person walk through a room? How does he or she talk about holiday time? Try zipping yourself into that person's "personality suit." Really focus on taking on that

person's approach to life for an hour or two. Chances are it will feel better than the suit you've been wearing. • Surround yourself with positive people. If you lean towards the negative yourself, hanging out with bitter, depressed, or resentful people will only reinforce your worst tendencies. Spend time with people who have a sunnier point of view. • Exercise. Go for a walk or a run. Work out at the gym or to your favorite DVD. Put on music and boogie. Get those endorphins going and you'll feel better. • Be helpful. Do something for someone who needs a break. Being generous feels good. Reaching out to help someone else, especially when we don't particularly feel like it, has been found to be very healing. • Don't drink. Contrary to what a lot of people think, drinking doesn't make unhappy people happier. Alcohol is a depressant. If you tend to feel depressed, it will only make you feel worse. The Fleet and Family Support Center offers counseling for individuals, couples and families to help develop healthy relationships, positive coping strategies and the skills to navigate life stressors. Learn more by contacting the Fleet and Family Support Center at DSN: 624-4291, Commercial: 095-56-4291.

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 the Nurse Advice Line at 800-877-660 (local/Italy only) Need a medication refill or results from your Provider? Create an account with Relay Health using your PCM... (click: register, patient, then add PCM)

December 2, 2016





December 2, 2016

2016 Top Christmas Markets in Italy Christmas Markets in Italy are popular both with locals and visitors from all over the world. The markets known in Italian as Mercatino di Natale are not as numerous or on the same grand scale as the network of markets in Germany. Nevertheless, a visit to an Italian Christmas Market is one to remember, whether it is the Piazza Navona in Rome or one of the smaller Italian Christmas Markets in the Italian Alps, for example the Trentino region. Italians pride themselves on the elaborate nativity scenes on display at many Italian Christmas Markets. As with any Christmas Market, the Italian stallholders will have mouth-watering displays of local food and drink plus, of course, the usual array of locally manufactured seasonal gift items. Trento Christmas Market (Open from Nov. 19 – Jan. 6, 2017, piazza Fiera and piazza Cesare Battisti) The Trento Christmas Market, featuring over 70 wooden booths, has made the town of Trento one of the top destinations for holidaymakers looking for a Christmas atmosphere. Booths sell traditional decorations for Christmas trees and nativity scenes, crafts, cakes, local products, original gift ideas, and gourmet specialties in a special food section. In keeping with tradition, at the middle of the main square, a gourmet section will be dedicated to the specialties of Trentino. Food specialties include apple strudel, "treccia mochèna" (plaited pastry cake), "polenta brustolada" (grilled polenta), traditional recipes (sweet and savory) from the Trentino and the Tyrol regions and local dishes such as "tortel di patate" (potato cake). There are many more mouth-watering treats including organic cheese and goat cheese, "goulash zuppe" (goulash soup), "speck" (smoked ham), "canederli" (dumplings) and filled pasta, as well as sweets, pastries and hot chocolate. Drinks include the very popular "vin brulè"(mulled wine) of Trentino and "parampampoli" (hot toddy). For more information and detailed schedules visit Piedimont Christmas Market (Open from Nov. 26 – Dec. 26 in piazza Castello) The 10th edition of the “Magical Land of Christmas” returns to the towns of Govone, Canale and Castello di Monticello d'Alba in Piedmont on Saturday, lasting until Dec. 26. In addition to traditional Christmas markets, spectacular entertainment and theme shows for the whole family, the event boasts tasting sessions of some of the most delicious foods of the region. (Italianinsider) For more information, visit Christmas Markets in Lombardy Christmas Casa, Santa Casa Cantu, Lake Como, (Open from Nov. 19 – Jan. 7) With Christmas on the way, let's look at some notable festive events in Lombardy! First up, how would you like to pay a visit to the home of Santa Claus? Well, Santa's opening his house to visitors as Lake Como plays host to Santa Casa Cantu. Santa's Casa es su Casa this season between 19th November 2016 and 7th January 2017. There will be a number of events taking place including workshops, creative face painting sessions and stories that will keep the young ones entertained, educated and also delighted. It's a special experience for young visitors to Santa's abode. They will be able to meet the man himself, tell him what they want for Christmas and look forward to the Christmas season in earnest. Santa's elves will also be on hand to help, so come on over to pay a visit to the magical abode of Santa. Medieval Market Place Bagnaria Christmas Market, Dec. 8 For a medieval backdrop for Christmas in Italy, why not pay a visit to the village of Bagnaria? The Christmas Market of Bagnaria has been a runaway success in 2014 and 2015, and 2016 looks set to repeat the massive acclaim as the market comes back on 8th December. It's an enjoyable market for everyone. Kids can bring along their letters to Santa, as they count down the days until a big pile of presents arrives under the tree on Christmas morning. There's plenty of food for everyone, with a nice selection of sandwiches, sweets, tea, hot chocolate (and mulled wine for the grown ups!). There's a real festive flair about this market. In addition to the unique gift opportunities available from local craftsmen, artisans and producers, there will be a free concert in the Church of San Bartolomeo, nativity scenes, and of course, genuine Christmas music as performed by pipers – a preferable alternative to the omnipresent Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade. Milan Magnificence Oh bej! Oh bej! Region of Sforza Castle, Milan, Dec. 7 Oh bej! Oh bej! This is one of the best known Christmas events in Lombardy, taking place in Milan around the date of 7th December. The history of this event

Christmas markets in the Dolomite Mountains areas are visited every year by thousands of people. The markets begin at the end of November and last until the beginning of January. Many cities and villages in South Tyrol, Trentino and Bellunese turn into wonderful Nativity Scenes, where you can experience the typical Christmas atmosphere and the old traditions. Squares are filled with wooden houses offering crafts, typical food, gift ideas and much more. Christmas markets were probably born in the 14th Century, when goods, objects and agricultural products were only sold in fairs: the Advent market was the most important fair in the whole year. (Photo by Dolomiti)

spans a considerable amount of time. Originally, its origins can be seen in the latter part of the 13th century. Because Dec. 7 coincides with the day of the patron saint of Milan, Ambrose, celebrations are also held in the saint's honor (the event is also referred to as Fiera do Sant'Ambrogio). Back in the 13th century, festivities were also held in Ambrose's name, but the first recorded Oh bej! Oh bej! was said to have occurred in 1510, when delegate of Pope Pius IV, Giannetto Castiglione, came to Milan on that specific date bearing sweets and toys for the children (as a way of finding favor with the locals). The gambit paid off and a warm welcome was given to Castiglione, and since then, the event has been a mainstay of the Milan festive calendar. The celebrations are varied and hugely enjoyable for all. Crafts, antiques, toys and decorations (plus much more) are available to look at and buy, while foods can be consumed in great quantities – sweets are especially popular. There's a real

"CHRISTMAS" continued on Page 14

December 2, 2016



Six Things to Know about Blended Retirement System From Chief of Naval Personnel

Today, the Navy released NAVADMIN 259/16 which serves as the official notification of eligibility to opt-in to the Blended Retirement System (BRS) additionally, the Navy plans to send emails to all eligible Sailors notifying them of the retirement system choices they may have to make during 2018. Here are six things Sailors should know about opting in to BRS. 1. BRS new retirement option for some Sailors. The Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act created a new military retirement system that blends the traditional legacy retirement pension with a defined contribution to service members’ Thrift Savings Plan account. Some Navy members may have the choice to stay with the legacy retirement system or opt into the BRS. No service member will be automatically moved to the BRS. 2. Who can opt-in to BRS. While Sailors with a Date of Initial Entry into Military Service (DIEMS) on or before Dec. 31, 2017 are automatically grandfathered under the current retirement system, some may be eligible to choose to opt-in to BRS depending on their length of services. Active duty Sailors are opt-in eligible if their DIEMS is on or before Dec. 31, 2017 and they have less than 12 years of service as of Dec. 31, 2017, based on their Pay Entry Base Date (PEBD). Reserve component members, including Full Time Support members, are optin eligible if their DIEMS is on or before Dec. 31 2017 and they have accumulated fewer than 4,320 retirement points as of Dec. 31, 2017. United States Naval Academy, Reserve Officer Training Corps Midshipmen and Delayed Entry Program members are opt-in eligible if their DIEMS is on or before Dec. 31, 2017.

individual circumstances. That is why all Navy commands must ensure that opt-in eligible members complete the Blended Retirement System Opt-In Course. This course will be available in January 2017 on Joint Knowledge Online (JKO) and Navy E-learning. Though this course will be accessible by all service members, it is mandatory for opt-in eligible service members. 6. Required training for Navy leaders and Sailors not eligible to opt-in to BRS. In an effort to facilitate a smooth transition to BRS, Navy members not eligible to opt-in are required to complete the BRS Leader’s Training course that is now available on JKO at (course #: J3OP-US1330) and the Navy E-learning website at (course #: JKDDC-BRS-LTI-1.0). For the most up-to-date information on BRS and links to training go to the Uniform Services Blended Retirement web page at http://militarypay.defense. gov/BlendedRetirement/ For complete information on BRS opt-in requirements and notification read NAVADMIN 259/16 at .

3. Opt-in enrollment window. The enrollment window for Sailors to opt-in to BRS is Jan. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2018. Opt-in eligible Sailors must be in a paid status at the time of enrollment. If Sailors meet the opt-in requirements but are not in a paid status during the election window, they will be given an opportunity to enroll during their first period of paid status. Hardship extensions to the enrollment window for opt-in eligible members who are unable to enroll in BRS during the 2018 enrollment period will be considered on a case by case basis. 4. Notification of BRS opt-in eligibility. Eligible Sailors will receive notification of opt-in eligibility via email at their email address in the Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System (NSIPS). Additionally, commands should notify all opt-in eligible members within their command. Command administration departments should contact their personnel support divisions on a regular basis to access a list of all opt-in eligible members within their command. 5. Making the opt-in decision. The decision to stay in the current retirement system or opt-in to BRS is an important and irrevocable decision that eligible Sailors must make based on their

WASHINGTON (Sept. 27, 2016) The Blended Retirement Pocket Card arms leaders with information to help answer Sailors questions on the new Blended Retirement System. (Department of Defense Graphic/Released)



December 2, 2016

Congratulations to our newly-frocked petty officers!!!




December 2, 2016







All Hands News Bulletin:

December 2, 2016


USNH Sigonella is underway with major renovations to increase the functionality, quality, and safety of the building for our patients, staff, and the community. The hospital will receive new flooring in all spaces, an upgraded domestic water piping system, and new public and patient restrooms. Our goal is to limit disruptions to patient care and inconvenience to our patients. All departments will remain operational for the entire period of construction. Please see our facilities and the quarterdeck for further construction details. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this construction may cause. If you have any concerns regarding safety or have questions about the construction in general, please contact our Customer Service Officer via an ICE comment under "Hospital Staff / Customer Relations". We are excited to provide these facility improvements to the community.

Command, Department or Organization: NAVY-MARINE CORPS RELIEF SOCIETY Date of Event: 3 DEC 2016 Time of Event: 0900-1200 Location of Event: COMPASS ROOM, NAS 1 Point of Contact Name: Brittany Sadler Point of Contact Phone Number: 624-4212 Point of Contact Email Address: Additional Information: It is that time of year again! NMCRS will be hosting its annual Santa's Helper Workshop and we need elves to make it successful and fun for the children! Santa's Helpers Workshop gives children an opportunity to shop for unique, affordable gifts for their families from a selection of our thrift shop items. We need volunteers to set up, help the children shop, wrap gifts and break down. To sign up as a volunteer Elf, email Brittany.

Sigonella Religious Ministries Department Worship Services Phone Numbers: NAS I 095-56-3975, NAS II 095-86-9049, Chaplain Duty: 335-831-4493, RP Duty: 335-786-1950. Facebook page: Air Station Sigonella Chapel

NAS 1 Mondays AA Meeting: 1800-1900 Tuesdays Protestant Women of the Chapel......0900-1100 Daily Mass: ..........................................1130-1230 AWANA: ..............................................1645-1900 Youth for Christ (YFC) Youth Meeting: .....................................................1200-1430 Wednesdays Protestant Men of the Chapel: ..........0600-0700 Daily Mass: ..........................................1130-1230 Catholic Ladies' Guild (3rd Wednesday): .....................................................1600-1800

Thursdays Daily Mass: ..........................................1130-1230 Youth for Christ (YFC) Youth Meeting: .....................................................1200-1530 Choir Practice: 1630-1800 The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA): .........................1800-2030

Catholic Religious Education (DoDDS): .....................................................1045-1200 Protestant Service: ..............................1100-1200 Latter-Day Saints Service: .................1330-1600


Fridays Daily Mass: ..........................................1130-1230 First Friday Mass and Holy Hour: ....1700-1830

Wednesdays Knights of Columbus (1st Wednesdays): .....................................................1700-1800 Protestant Women of the Chapel (PWOC): ....................................................1800-2100

Saturdays First Saturday Rosary and Mass:.......1100-1200

Thursdays AA Meeting: ........................................1800-1900

Sundays Catholic Mass: .....................................0900-1000

Sundays Protestant Service and Fellowship:....1800-2000

Weekly Traffic Report: Nov. 21-28, 2016

Ristorante Bella Etna

Breakfast: $3.45 Mon - Fri: 6:30 - 8:30 a.m. Weekend / Holiday: 7-9 a.m.

Lunch: $5.55 Mon - Fri: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Weekend / Holiday: 11 a.m. -1 p.m.

Dinner: $4.85 Mon - Fri: 4 - 6 p.m. Weekend / Holiday: 4-6 p.m.

As a reminder to everyone: There are no PTUs allowed at the Galley. Appropriate athletic gear is authorized at the discretion of the Galley staff. Please remember that for sanitation purposes and for the consideration of other customers, if you have been out for PT, been working out at the gym, or have just been engaged in any physical activity where you and or your clothing has become soiled or sweaty you will be asked to turn around.

December 2, 2016





December 2, 2016


December 2, 2016

GAMEZONE Restaurant







Find and circle all of the Restaurant words that are hidden in the grid. The remaining letters spell an additional word.



"CHRISTMAS" continued from Page 6 party atmosphere in the air, partly because of the festive aspect of the event, and partly because it's a great homage to Saint Ambrose. Tradition at Mercatini di Natale, Late November – Early January (Dates TBD) Another superb Lombardy Christmas market that's high on tradition and enjoyment is Livigno's Mercatini di Natale, which is happening between the end of November and the conclusion of the festive season. This is another bumper Christmas market that's packed to the limit with goodies such as festive talismans, jewels, herbs, essences and furnishings. Another notable offering is that of the traditional carpets, Valtellina's Pezzoti – plus wooden statues of the traditional Nativity scene. Santa will fit this event into his busy schedule and will be on hand to proffer goodies such as apple pancakes, mulled wine and roasted chestnuts to visitors. There will also be music from pipers, a retelling of the Nativity story, and also late night shopping which will give everyone the chance to sneak in some lastminute Christmas gift hunting. For more information visit http://www.turismo. Florence Christmas Market (Open in piazza Santa Croce from Nov. 30 – Dec. 18) Year around Christmas several squares in the city of Florence house the city’s Christmas markets. These markets are known for their elaborate nativity scenes and décor, delicious local foods and wonderful seasonal gifts. The first market will be a traditional German market held at Piazza Santa Croce. Another Christmas market, Firenze Noël, can be found at the Stazione Leopolda Firenze. This old railway station will be transformed into a true winter wonderland. Other markets include the ‘Fierucola’ in Piazza Ss. Annunziata and the benefit market in Piazza Santa Maria Novella. More info are available at http:// The Christmas Market in Bolzano (Open from Nov. 24 – Jan. 6) The Christmas Market in Bolzano in South Tyrol is Italy's biggest Christmas market. For almost two decades now it has attracted countless visitors every year to the magnificently decorated Piazza Walther, with its uniquely special Advent atmosphere. So Bolzano is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe during the winter romantic Christmas time. For almost a month, festive aromas fill the streets and picturesque alleyways in South Tyrol's regional capital; the shimmering sparkle of romantic lamps and flickering candles bathes Bolzano in a magical light for a short period. Even when Mother Holle turns Bolzano with some snowflakes into a white winter splendor the winter fairy tale is perfect! If group travels, couples or families with children: The Christmas market in Bolzano offers for everyone magic and unforgettable moments. For more information visit http://www.mercatini-natale. com/bolzano-mercatini-natale/


Christmas Markets in Rome (Open from Dec. 12 – Jan. 5) (by Besides the numerous outdoor markets which create an enchanting Christmas atmosphere around the city’s famous squares and streets, there are also several indoor bazaars, held at international schools and churches. Here shoppers can purchase handmade and second-hand items as unique Christmas presents, as well as discover international Christmas traditions. Most markets offer fun activities for children and typical live entertainment, such as music by classical pipers. PIAZZA NAVONA Dec. 1 – Jan. 6 Piazza Navona hosts this famous open air fair, which ends with a traditional parade for La Befana(the witch who bring sweets for all children) on 6 January. Numerous stands sell handmade Christmas presents and toys, sweets and biological products as well as decorations for the Christmas tree and crib. If you search you can still find nativity figures made out of terracotta instead of plastic. Children can ride on the merry-goround in the centre of the square. 09.00-23.00. ICE PARK AT TOR DI QUINTO Dec. 1 – Jan. 6 Viale Tor di Quinto is the location for the Christmas village, with a large ice-skating rink for children and adults, as well as children’s fun park Bimbilandia, laser gamess, cafes and other entertainment. Mon-Sun 10.00-24.00. Viale Tor di Quinto 57, tel. 0698260443, AUDITORIUM PARCO DELLA MUSICA Dec. 4 – Jan. 6 Ciu Ciu Bosco and Flavia Donà dalle Rose organise this annual Christmas bazaar, better known as Caravanserraglio, around the outdoor spaces of the Auditorium. A 300-sqm tent hosts over 50 exhibitors, who display their original Christmas presents and bijoux, characterised by high quality and innovative style, and created by Italian craftsmen, artists and designers. 10.30-21.00. Spazio Serra, Viale Pietro de Coubertin, tel. 3392314592, 337728681, RESTAURANT CASA NOVECENTO Dec. 15, 22 – Jan. 5 Rome on Demand hosts the second edition of this outdoor Christmas market at Casa Novecento. On sale are hand-baked cakes, scented candles as well as handmade bags and shoes, jewellery and clothes. Via Guglielmo Marconi 32, tel. 3397544585, for further information contact AMERICAN OVERSEAS SCHOOL OF ROME Dec. 15 The American Overseas School of Rome holds its annual Winter Bazaar with numerous stands offering pottery, mosaic tables, iron craftwork, traditional food, wine, jewellery, toys, candles and artwork. 11.0016.00. Via Cassia 811, tel. 0633438300, MOS MAIORUM Dec. 15 The cultural association Mos Maiorum hosts this

December 2, 2016 annual indoor Christmas market, held in the beautiful surroundings of the Hotel Courtyard by Marriott. Over 60 exhibitors offer a great selection of handmade Italian produce at bargain prices. The stands range from haute couture and clothes to accessories and vintage jewellery. There is entertainment for children from 15.30 to 18.30. 09.30-19.30. Via Moscati 7, tel. 3393609602, 3343315211, www. MERCATO MONTI Dec. 14, 21, 22, 28, 29 This well known urban market in the heart of the central Monti district is holding a number of Christmas editions during December. Since 2009 it has provided new ideas for affordable high quality presents, exclusively made in Italy, as well as promoting young design talents and offering an alternative shopping experience. Its stands focus on fashion, design, vintage and many other creations by Italian makers and craftsmen. On 15 Dec the market is also holding a special event at the Radisson Blu Es Hotel on Via Filippo Turati 171, from 12.00 to 22.00. Sat-Sun 10.0020.00. Conference Hall Hotel Palatino, Via Leonina 46 (Metro B, Cavour stop), Christmas Market in Vipiteno (Open from Nov. 25 – Jan. 6) The Christmas Market of Vipiteno is a popular meeting point in Christmas time. It takes place in the center of the city by the Torre delle Dodici tower that overlooks the town. Another highlight of the Christmas Market of Vipiteno is of course the Christmas Nativity Scene exhibition with handmade products in the Torre delle Dodici. The market booths More information available at Merano Christmas Markets (Open From Nov. 25 – Jan. 6) From November 25th to January 6th, Merano hosts a series of events and activities for Merano Christmas Market. The market fills the town center with a magical atmosphere that enchants thousands of visitors every year. In addition, children and their families can have fun in the ice skating rink in Terme Square, walk through the town’s historic center, enjoy Christmas concerts and much more. Part of the program is specifically dedicated to children: pony rides, do-ityourself workshops and many other activities. During Saint Nicholas’ Parade – Patron Saint of Merano – well-behaved kids are given gifts. As usual, visitors can also buy handcrafted objects made by South Tyrolean artisans or take part in workshops to learn how to sew felt or how to make a Christmas wreath. The five original South Tyrol Christmas Markets have been awarded the “Green Event” certification, because of their eco-friendly organization and the use of regional products. Decorations are made by local school students, workshops and gardeners from South Tyrol. For more information and detailed schedules visit http://


December 2, 2016


“Christmas Trees Tips” From Safety Department

• When you buy your tree, have the vendor make a fresh cut an inch from the bottom; this will help the tree drink. • Make sure your tree stand holds plenty of water, and don't let it run out. Well-watered trees are not a problem. Dry, neglected trees are. • If you buy your tree early and keep it outside, store it away from wind and sun, and keep the bottom in a bucket of water. • Make sure your lights are safe. If you need outdoor lights, make sure the ones you buy are meant for outdoor use. Make sure your lights carry certification from a testing laboratory. • Don't use electric lights on a metal tree. • Discard any strings of lights that are frayed or broken. Christmas lights are cheap. • Unplug your Christmas tree before you leave or go to bed. • Don't buy a tree that is dry and dropping needles. To check for freshness, loosely grip the end of a branch and pull your hand over it. Only a few needles should fall off. • If your tree seems wobbly, center it in the stand more securely and redo the bolts or screws. If your tree stand is unstable, buy a larger, stronger one. • If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it is fire-retardant. • Keep your tree at least three feet from furnaces, radiators and fireplaces. • Try to position it near an outlet so that cords are not running long distances. Do not place the tree where it may block exits. • When Christmas is over or when the tree starts to drop needles, dispose of it. (Don't leave it in your house or put it in your garage.) • Keep a close eye on small children and pets when they are around the tree; many small decorations and ornaments are sharp, breakable and can be swallowed. For more information please call the safety office at 6245630 or 624-6261

Spanish Detachment from EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia Develops its Work at NAS Sigonella From EU Naval Force Med Operation SOPHIA, Media and Public Information Office

NAS SIGONELLA, Sicily – The Spanish contingent at Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella was established in September 2015 and a P-3 Orion of the 22nd Group flew for the first time in a reconnaissance survey mission over international waters off the coast of Libya. More than one year later, the D-4 VIGMA of the 801st squadron takes off nearly every morning to patrol for suspicious activities related to human smuggling and trafficking in the Southern Central Mediterranean sea, as part of EUNAVFOR MED. In the past year, the Spanish contingent

has flown more than 1,200 hours, in a total of 153 missions, contributing effectively to the detection and identification of boats involved in suspicious activity. It reports the information to the Commander of the Task Force at sea. Through these efforts, the Spanish detachment “Grappa” has helped to save countless lives at sea. The air assets are a key part of operation SOPHIA and has been an integral player in the detection and prevention of human trafficking. Thus far 93 suspected smugglers and traffickers have been prosecuted by the Italian authorities. Additionally, 334 boats have been seized and

prevented from being re-used by smugglers and, consequently, more than 28,600 migrants have been rescued directly by SOPHIA assets. In total more than 41,000 lives have been saved at sea thanks to the contribution of EUNAVFOR MED assets, among them, the Spanish Detachment Grappa assets.



December 2, 2016

The Signature, Dec. 2, 2016  

In this week's issue: SECNAV Visits with Sailors at NAS Sigonella; Changes Coming to Base Galley; and Congratulations to NAS Sigonella's New...