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Vol. 8 Issue 5


March 29, 2013

Your Source For News: "#1 In The Fleet"



U.S. Navy Photo Illustration by MCSN Michael Forbes

Wasp was awarded the Battle "E" for excelling in the engineering/survivability, logistics management and safety categories. By MC1 (SW/AW) Leslie Tomaino Public Affairs Officer

The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) earned the prestigious Battle Effectiveness (Battle “E”) award for 2012, receiving distinction as one

of the top large-deck amphibious assault ships. Established July 1, 1974, by thenSecretary of the Navy J. William Middendorf, to recognize the best battle-ready ships and aviation


squadrons, the Battle “E” is presented t o co m m an d s t h at de m o n s t r a t e sustainability in six categories of battle efficiency: maritime warfare, engineering/survivability, command and control, logistics management, safety, and efficiency excellence. “The Battle E is simply one indicator of success,” said Capt. Brian Teets, Wasp’s executive officer. “The ability to repeatedly get a ship underway to execute it’s primary mission area shows the knowledge level, command morale, and commitment level of the crew to their jobs.” Wasp excelled in a multitude of inspections and exercises during the 12-month categorical review period, having many record-breaking performances along the way. At the end of the fleet-wide competitive cycle, awards are given to individual ship departments that have achieved outstanding levels of readiness, which are a prerequisite for the winner of the Battle “E” from each respective Type See BATTLE “E”, Page 7

Wasp named winner of 2012 Ney Award; best amphibious ship in the fleet By MC3 Markus Castaneda Staff Writer

The Food Service Department aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) won the 2012 Capt. Edward F. Ney Award Feb. 25. Awards are presented annually in four ship categories: carrier, large afloat, small afloat and submarines for their food service excellence. More than 280 ships in the Navy competed

against each other in 2012, to include east and west coasts and overseas. After rigorous screenings, inspections and evaluations, Afloat Training Group along with the Navy Food Management Team nominates two of the best in each category. “We found out about our nomination last August, and that the inspection could occur anytime from October to December,” said Lt. Jg. John Harrison,

Wasp’s food service officer. “We basically had two months to ensure we were at 100% for the evaluation.” The preparation that led to the victory was a challenging time that proved to be fruitful later on. Long working hours became a standard to make sure proper food service was maintained, supply and engineering departments worked hand in hand to See NEY, Page 7

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March 29, 2013

FRG hosts egg hunt

A message from Command Master Chief Schlicht "Warfare Qualifications"

What have you done for the ship and yourself? We talk a lot about ship, shipmate, self and I know we all look out for our shipmates but what do you do on a daily basis for the ship? Not just cleaning, fixing and painting but what have you learned today and everyday about the ship? Have you completed your warfare qualification? What about your second or third one? When someone looks at you and you have a warfare pin they know they can depend on you to get things done. There is nothing more important in a Sailors career than obtaining your warfare qualification. Everyone learns their trade but you become a warrior when you get your pin. Let’s get busy and get those pins!

U.S. Navy Photo by MCSN Michael Forbes

Wasp Sailors help their children hunt for eggs during a FRG event at Sutter Park, March 23. By MCSN Michael Forbes Assistant Editor

Sailors assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) and their children enjoyed a brief but fun day of crafts and an Easter egg hunt hosted by Wasp’s Family Readiness Group (FRG) at the Captain Slade Cutter Park, March 23. Despite the cold weather, approximately sixty families attended, enjoying a variety of Easter themed activities. FRG events such as the Easter egg hunt create opportunities for families to find a common bond among each other which in turn creates a sense of community while their loved ones are out at sea. “It’s important for these spouses to have a support system and to know that they’re not alone,” said Jamie Robinson, Wasp’s FRG President, and wife of Machinist’s Mate First Class Kenneth Robinson. “Having events

like this are a reason to get to know other spouses who are in similar situations as you.” Parents and children alike participated in craft activities such as the construction of Easter bunny puppets made from paper bags. Meanwhile, other members of Wasp’s FRG such as Chris Deets, Tiguana Beale, Karlee Kehl, and Denis Solis hid eggs in preparation for the two separate age group egg hunts. . “It feels good knowing that my family has a support system while I’m away,” said Engineman Second Class Mathew Deets. “I don’t have to worry about them all the time so I can focus on my work.” The children were gathered together at 11:00 a.m. in preparation for the egg hunt. Excited children squirmed with See HUNT, Page 10

First Call is produced by the USS Wasp public affairs staff. The editorial content of this newspaper and any supplement is prepared, edited and provided by the public affairs office. First Call is an authorized publication for military members serving aboard USS Wasp (LHD 1) and the ships of Amphibious Squadron 6. Its contents do not necessarily reflect the official views of the U.S. government, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Navy or the U.S. Marine Corps and do not imply endorsement thereof. Questions or comments can be directed to the public affairs officer or the editor. All news releases and submissions should be sent to Commanding Officer: Capt. Gary Boardman Executive Officer: Capt. Brian Teets Command Master Chief: CMDCM (SW/AW) Brian Schlicht Operations Officer: Cmdr. Rick Potter VI Division Officer: Lt. Cmdr. Francis Carmody Public Affairs Officer: MC1(SW/AW) Leslie Tomaino

VI Division LPO: MC1(SW/AW) Gretchen M. Albrecht Editor: MC3 Kevin F. Johnson Assistant Editor: MCSN Michael Forbes Staff Writer: MC3 (SW/AW) J. C. J. Stokes Staff Writer: MC3 Markus Castañeda Staff Writer: MCSN Caleb Cooper

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March 29, 2013

Rent to Own: Is it wor th it?

U.S. Navy Photo Illustration by MCSN Michael Forbes

By MC3 Markus Castañeda Staff Writer

A brand new watch, a nice set of rims, or a 3D 80-inch flat screen all sounds nice, right? And with a low price of (insert unbelievably low number here), you, yes you, can have it all! Just sign your name on the dotted line and never mind the fine print. Five minutes later, you find yourself in a 2-year contract with an average 60% interest rate. How did you manage to do that? This is what rent-to-own businesses have to offer: to sell a very low price to a customer only to hook them for the long run with an unbelievable amount of interest. By the time that watch is paid off, it will be covered with scratches and the hands will have stopped moving, that nice set of rims will have shined for a week before collecting dust and dirt in the parking lot, and that 3D 80-inch flat screen will only cause headaches;

prepare the Advil. Still, customers continue to fall for the ‘great’ sale. “Sailors fall for rent-to-own deals because nowadays, it’s about keeping up with the Joneses,” said Legalman 1st Class Carie Sharp, the command legalman aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1). “Sailors want to look good, and they want to look good now rather than taking the time and money to save up for a big purchase.” Most rent-to-own stores are less than forthcoming with their prices. These sales personnel try to avoid the actual cost of an item, to the extent of even hiding the interest rate. Customers then end up paying up to twice as much as what the original item’s price would be. “It’s better to steer clear of rentto-own establishments,” said Chief Logistics Specialist Hassan Earl, Wasp’s command financial specialist. “Rather than paying two to three times

what an item is worth to have it now, you can set aside monthly payments into a savings account and pay cash. You can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars in the long run.” Sailors should always be mindful of every purchase they make and where their hard earned money goes. Before every big purchase, Sailors should utilize their many resources such as command financial counselors available onboard for advice and proper guidance to ensure that they are not falling for a financial trap. “It is much easier for a Sailor with no responsibilities, such as a child or family, to lose track of where their money goes,” said Sharp. “When you don’t have proper guidance on how to spend your money, it’s easier to fall for rent-to-own. We’re always available to provide financial advice to each and every sailor as long as they ask us for it.”

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March 29, 2013

"Life Aboard A Warship"

U.S. Navy Photo by MCSN Michael Forbes DC2 Kylie Burniche hands HM3 Dan Martin fire fighting gear.

U.S. Navy Photo by MC3 (SW/AW) J. C. J. Stokes

U.S. Navy photo by MCSN Michael Forbes

CSSN Prudence Simon mans the grill, preparing food for Sailors aboard Wasp.

Wasp's Morale, Welfare, Recreation (MWR) committee discusses ideas for future events.

U.S. Navy Photo by MCSN Michael Forbes Michael Webster and Betsy Good from Central Texas College conduct training for Wasp Sailors on how to use the Navy to further their education.

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March 29, 2013

U.S. Navy Photo by MCSN Michael Forbes

U.S. Navy Photo by MC3 (SW/AW) J. C. J. Stokes

SR Anthony Yesner chips paint using a hammer.

BM2 Jeffrey Ronchaquira removes Wasp life rafts off a truck.

U.S. Navy Photo by MC3 (SW/AW) J. C. J. Stokes CS3 Jonathan McElveen removes food from the oven to place on the mess line.

U.S. Navy Photo by MCSN Michael Forbes DC3 Roulhac Kierra and DC3 Hayley Sterling perform air quality maintenance checks during a DC inspection.

U.S. Navy Photo by MCSN Michael Forbes BMSA Felicia Reese needle guns on Wasp's well deck ramp.

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Wasp volunteers at elementary school By MC1 (SW/AW) Gretchen M. Albrecht VI Division LPO

Sailors assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) spent time mentoring students at Shelton Park Elementary School during their annual Chief’s Day March 27. Chief’s Day began three years ago as an effort to motivate and inspire students, 87% of whom are affiliated with the military. "Parental involvement is lower in schools these days so to have military leaders come in and work with the students gives them that extra push to do better and shows them that their education matters to more than just their parents," said Shannon Hass, Shelton Park’s partners in education coordinator. "We have gotten a lot of good feedback from the students and the teachers. We would do this quarterly if we could.” Chiefs and First Class Petty Officers started the day by conducting colors followed by story time with students, talking to them about their goals,

U.S. Navy Photo by MC1 (SW/AW) Gretchen M. Albrecht

HM1 Ruben Palacios listens as a 1st grade student at Shelton Park Elementary School practices her reading skills during the schools 3rd Annual Volunteer Chief’s Day.

sharing military experiences, answering a multitude of questions, and exercise time in the gymnasium.

U.S. Navy Photo by MC1 (SW/AW) Gretchen M. Albrecht

HM1 Karla Manuel listens as a 1st grade student at Shelton Park Elementary School reads aloud to her during the schools 3rd Annual Volunteer Chief’s Day.

“I had a great time coming together with my Wasp shipmates and working with the students,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Ruben Palacios. “We got to draw and color flowers in class and all of the students had fun reading their favorite book to me. I think this was a great opportunity for the students and the volunteers.” After spending the morning with the students the school held a luncheon for all volunteers in appreciation for their time and support. "Schools are desperate to have military come and speak because they recognize that you are influential and great role models for their students," said Debbie Patch, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story school liaison officer. "It was so nice to see the volunteers in the class and see how excited the kids were to spend time with them." Haas spoke to all of the volunteers about their impact saying, “This is my favorite day of the year and I have never been let down by the volunteers so thank you so much. It makes me proud to have our military come volunteer and make a difference in these young student’s lives, and the kids all think you are rock stars so thank you all again.”

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Commander (TYCOM). As a result of the crew’s work, Wasp earned command excellence awards in three categories, to include engineering/survivability, logistics management, and safety. “Last year we did so many operations, just watching the crew at work tells me we’re a great crew,” said Command Master Chief Brian Schlicht, Wasp’s senior enlisted leader. “It takes all Sailors onboard taking personal


March 29, 2013

responsibility and doing the right thing each and every day.” Although Wasp is being recognized for the Battle “E” award, Teets said it’s important to note that this award is brought about by a crew attitude of “ship, shipmate, self”. “We are honored to have been selected for the Battle E,” said Teets. “With this selection we are inspired to never be satisfied with our current success but rather to seek improvement

to attain an even higher level of combat excellence next year.” Wasp is now eligible for the Battenberg Cup which honors the top afloat command in the Atlantic Fleet. All three TYCOMs, Commander, Naval Submarine Forces, Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic and Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic, will submit their number one Battle “E” winner to represent them in the competition.

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ensure the equipment was fully functional for the inspection. All the while, they were still expected to perform their daily duties. “It was a lot of work, I’m not going to lie,” said Chief Culinary Specialist Donnie Townsend, Wasp’s Food Service Leading Culinary Specialist. “When it comes down to it, it’s just muscle memory of standard operating procedures. The fact that this ship is more than 20 years old and still able to compete with newer ships says something. The equipment does not account for talent, and the talent of the CSs aboard Wasp far exceeds a lot of people I have seen in my career.” Being a nominee by itself is already an honor, but of course every food service department’s goal is to bring home the bacon. Townsend had promised his CSs that they would win the Ney before he transferred, and that’s exactly what they did. “I knew the caliber of talent my first day on the ship,” said Townsend. “I knew what they were capable of, and we pushed beyond those limits. I transfer in a month and I can’t say that the crew won’t be missed. We’ve worked hard for this, we wanted this, and it is definitely a great feeling to be rewarded.” Wasp has been 2nd place for two consecutive years before Harrison took over. Prior to reporting to Wasp, Harrison was an evaluator and part of

U.S. Navy Photo by MC3 (SW/AW) Andrew Church

CS1 Eligio Santos reviews Wasp's food inventory with an inspector during the 2012 Ney inspection.

the Navy Food Management Team. With both leaders sharing the same passion accompanied by the talent of the crew, Ney was only but an arm’s reach. “I was very excited when I found out we won,” said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Gideon Ige. “This is my first command and ship, it’s definitely a great feeling to say that we’ve won the Ney. What we have to do now is maintain this standard, so come next year, we will win that too.” The Secretary of the Navy and the

International Food Service Executive Association established the Ney Award in 1958. The award recognizes overall food service excellence and sets up guidelines to become a legendary fivestar galley. “Knowing you’re the best of the best, nobody can take that away from you,” said Harrison. “It’s like winning the Super Bowl, everybody knows that you’re the best and will be gunning for your spot. The crew played a major part of this achievement and we couldn’t have done it without them.”

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#1 In The Fleet

Published by ADC (AW) Troy Eads Editor: LT. Richard Slade                                                                              M  I  S  S  I  O  N        F  I  R  S  T  -­‐-­‐  S  A  F  E  T  Y      A  L  W  A  Y  S  

March 2013


WELCOME! This is the first of the Safety Department’s new monthly newsletter. This is a new tool we’re going to use to highlight safety concerns for Sailors, Marines, and their families on and off the ship. Feedback is welcome, so feel free to email ADC Eads and myself at For our first edition, we’re taking a look at traffic and motorcycle safety. So far, FY 13 has been a rough year for WASP Sailors on the road. There have been 16 motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) reported since 1 October 2012, and these wrecks account for 30% of all injuries suffered by WASP personnel. Compare this with 26 MVAs for all of FY 12, and you can see we’re on track to break a record that shouldn’t be broken! Why such an increase? The simple answer may be that having more ships in port means more people on the road, heavier traffic, and more opportunities for a crash. We’re all out on the highways with over 40,000 other cars loaded with people who got up really early—just like us—to drive to NOB. In the afternoon, we do it all again on the way back, except now we add in the fatigue of a long day at work and the perceived pressures to get home. Sometimes we run late going one way or the other, causing us to drive more aggressively and take more risks. Frustrations mount and tempers flare. Maybe we start losing situational awareness. Maybe in our haste we end up tailgating that slow SUV in front of us. Maybe we forget to take a look beside and behind us before we switch lanes. The possibilities are endless. Year after year, the stats show that the biggest killer of Sailors and Marines is not enemy fire, aircraft crashes, or industrial accidents. The most dangerous thing we do is drive a car or motorcycle. The big question is “how do we do this better and safer?” Hopefully, this newsletter will give you some good ideas for making your drive a better experience—and by “better” I mean “not involving a body shop, tow truck, fire truck, or ambulance!” Very Respectfully LT Slade


You like your face. I actually overheard someone once day “I don’t drink and drive because I like my face.” I know, shallow yet wise.


You like your limbs and other body parts.


You like your life. Even if you hate your life right now, you’re not better off dead.


You like your freedom. Jail seems like it really sucks.


You like your money. Lawyers are expensive.


You appreciate that other people like their face//limbs/body parts. The only thing worse than messing up your own life is messing up someone else’s….make that an innocent someone else.


You appreciate other people’s lives. Actually, there is one thing worse than messing up someone else’s like- TAKING IT!!!

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WHAT IS DISTRACTED DRIVING? Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include: • • • • • • • • •

Texting Using a cell phone or smart phone Eating and drinking Talking to passengers Grooming Reading, including maps Using a navigation system Watching a video Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

But, because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction. The best way to end distracted driving is to educate all Americans about the danger it poses. On this page, you’ll find facts and statistics that are powerfully persuasive. If you don’t already think distracted driving is a safety problem, please take a moment to learn more. And, as with everything on, please share these facts with others. Together, we can help save lives.






Safety Officer:  LT.  Slade       Safety  LCPO:  ADC  (AW)  Eads     Safety  LPO:  AO1  (AW)  Baliey      

Safety Specialists:   MM1  (SW/AW)  Iannitelli   BM1  (SW)  Smith   ABF2  (AW)  Holdahl    

         Safety  office  is  located  02-­‐104-­‐3-­‐Q   LOOK  FOR  THE  GREEN  AND  WHITE                                                                                                DOOR!!!     J-­‐DAIL  X  7334/7603          

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Health Week held aboard Wasp By MC3 (SW/AW) J. C. J. Stokes Staff Writer

Sailors aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) completed their command’s health/fitness week March 22. To ensure Wasp’s Sailors are ready for the physical fitness assessment (PFA) in the coming weeks, the command fitness team hosted a fitness week, which included work out tips, proper dieting and camaraderie. “Wasp is reemphasizing the culture of fitness to our Sailors” said Chief Yeoman Lahuann Moore, Wasp’s command fitness leader, from Nashville. “The PFA is coming up and no one wants to see anyone fail because it is one team one fight aboard this ship.” According to Moore, fitness week came about from Sailors asking him and the assistant command fitness leaders (ACFLs) questions about nutrition, dieting and ways to stay fit. “The ACFLs and I are qualified to answer our Sailors questions, but we do not know everything so we thought it would be a great idea to get the experts to come down to Wasp,” said Moore. “We called in a registered dietitian from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth to talk about dieting and nutrition and we also had fitness experts from Morale, Welfare and Recreation to help Sailors with new fitness routines and to show them how to use equipment in the ship’s gym.” Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Tonio James, from Brooklyn, NY, was one of the 25 Sailors who took advantage of the nutrition brief where they learned about foods to limit or completely eliminate


U.S. Navy Photo by MC3 (SW/AW) J.C.J. Stokes

Cmdr. Paul Allen explains proper portion sizes to CSSN Prudence Simon following a brief.

from their diets like soft drinks. “I enjoyed this week,” said James. “I learned many things this week especially from the dietitian who came on Tuesday. One of the things he talked about that made me sad was when he said I had to stop or limit drinking Pepsi. I love Pepsi, but I love being in the Navy even more and if Pepsi is what I have to give up to stay within standards then Pepsi it is.” Another Sailor who participated in Wasp’s fitness week was Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman David Latham from Philadelphia, who was being trained by the MWR fitness experts in using the TRX fitness system. “I had a great time this week,” said Latham. “It was that extra push I needed to help keep me motivated in getting in shape. One of the workouts that I enjoyed was the TRX. You could feel

your muscle really getting a workout. It I hope this is something Wasp will continue to do because it made working out fun. It is helping me to stay on track with being fit for the summer and when I get out of the Navy later this year.” Wasp’s fitness week concluded on Friday, but it is not the end of staying fit and keeping within Navy fitness standards. “The weather is changing and those New Year’s resolutions of getting into shape for the summer our Sailors made will not die out on my watch,” said Moore. “We want to keep those dream alive, we want to make working out fun and not seen as burdensome. However, it is up to the individual to want it for themselves and if they are committed, truly committed, then their New Year’s resolution will be fulfilled.”

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anticipation, ready to gather as many eggs as fast as their little hands could. On the command of “Go!” all the children with parents alongside ran in all directions gathering the bright colored eggs. At the conclusion of the hunt the

children were gathered for a group photo just before an early end to the hunt due to inclement weather. Although the Easter egg hunt didn’t last very long the event was a success on other accounts. Wasp families gathered

together and bonded, which is one of the main purposes of FRG. For more information about USS Wasp’s FRG contact the FRG President Jamie Robinson via email at

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Ship Store Spring Cleaning Sale


Easter Sunday Protestant service will take place at 0830 and Easter Sunday Catholic service mass of the The ship store is slashing prices on resurrection will take place at 1100 almost all emblematic inventories aboard Wasp . from March 20 to April 3. Some items will be offered at over 50% Wasp Afloat Culture off. All sale prices will be posted in Workshop the store on the first day of the sale. if you have any questions, please Wasp will be participate in an afloat culture workshop April 1-5. contact the Sales Officer at 7324. The workshop will focus reducing mishaps in a work environment. Foreign Language Groups sessions will be broken Proficiency List down by rank. Sailors will discuss The Joint Intelligence Center must different hazards and obstacles that update the ships Foreign Language prevent tasks being accomplished List. If any language other than safely. Groups sessions will remain English can be translated verbally or confidential and results and written please contact IS2 Hudson recommendations will be published in JIC via email. Please provied rate/ to the Commanding Officer upon rank, department, division, j-dial, completion of the ACW. berthing, rack number, which language and a PRD.

Palm Sunday Services All Wasp Sailors are invited to participate in this year's Palm Sunday services. Good Friday Catholic service celebration of the Lord's passion will take place at 1130 aboard Wasp, March 29.


Navy Adds MilitaryNutrition Environment Assessment Tool

The Navy has introduced an assessment tool that measures how work centers, commands and bases are doing with regard to supporting healthy eating. M-NEAT is an appraisal system that uses DoD food program standards and other evidence-based recommendations to identify where commands are doing well, and areas for April is Sexual Assault improvement. The process is Awareness Month designed to bring a coalition of The Navy has announced the theme community members together to for April Sexual Assault Awareness develop actionable steps to make Month, "Courage". The Navy's positive changes theme "Courage" will support that support our service members, the Department of Defense's families and Navy employees. For theme "We own it...we'll solve it... more information go to


What are you doing to prepare for the PRT?

SN Deseree Willis: "Working out and watching what I eat."

together." The goal is to empower commands to take ownership of this problem. Each week the Navy will highlight a subtheme - courage to learn, courage to prevent, courage to intervene, courage to support and courage to commit. For more information visit mil.

OS2 Corey Neal: "Insanity everyday."


MM2 Julian Seohannes: "Doing the PRT 3 times a week."

D e c k p l at e s

PR3 Codi Adams "Work out at least 3 times a week. I stay away from sodas, sweets and carbs."

OSSN Jacob Davis: "Running and swimming at least 3 times a week."

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