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Volume 11 Issue 14 Oct. 29, 2013

Fall Festival

FRG & FCPOA Team Up for Wasp Families

Hispanic Heritage

Wasp Celebrates Hispanic Contributions to the Navy

Clean The Base Beautifying Naval Station Norfolk

Halloween Safety Tips For Having a Fun and Safe Halloween




CMC’s CORNER Travel & ORM:

The Perfect Pair

FIRST CALL STAFF Commanding Officer Capt. Brian Teets

Executive Officer Capt. Kurt Kastner

Command Master Chief

CMDCM(SW/AW) Brian Schlicht

Operations Officer Cmdr. Rick Potter

VI Division Officer

Lt. Cmdr. Francis Carmody

VI Division LPO

MC1(SW/AW) Gretchen Albrecht


MC1(AW) Erik Siegel

Layout & Design

MC2 Kevin F. Johnson

Staff Writers

MC3 Markus Castaneda MC3 Caleb Cooper MC3(SW/AW) J. C. J. Stokes MCSN Michael Forbes

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


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Shipmates! With the summer days long behind us, the holiday season is just around the corner. It is a time for being with our friends and families, getting some much deserved rest and relaxation as we sit down around the table with a giant turkey in the center. But getting together with friends and families also means a lot of travel. Travel which can be potentially dangerous if we do not hold to our operational risk management principles. For instance, especially in the Hampton Roads area, is it worth getting somewhere 15 minutes sooner if it means endangering your life and the lives of others because you’re driving

15-20 mph over the speed limit? If the driver ahead of you is going 60 mph in a 55 mph zone, is it worth the risk to dart around him? In both cases, shipmates, the answer a big “no!” Let’s stick to our ORM guidelines. Make sure you are weighing the risks every time you get behind the wheel, whether or not we’re in a busy holiday season. Also, don’t forget, for those of you traveling outside of our duty station area, NKO has the TRiPS tool. The Travel Risk Planning System helps you calculate the safe distances you can drive over the course of a day, when you should take breaks, and how much rest you should get before beginning your journey. Thanksgiving is just the kick-off of the end-of-the-year holidays. So if you do travel, remember ORM and come back safely. We are Wasp!

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On the cover: Andrew Albrecht, son of Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Gretchen Albrecht, throws a bean bag into a plastic urn during the 2013 Wasp Fall Festival. (U. S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Erik Siegel.)

Wasp Holds Hispanic Heritage Celebration

CSC John Miranda gives the invocation at the Hispanic Heritage Rememberance hosted by the Wasp Multi-Cultural Committee.

By MC3(SW/AW) J.C.J. Stokes Staff Writer

Sailors and Marines assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) took part in a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration aboard the barge designated APL 29, Oct. 4. Wasp’s Multi-Cultural Committee (MCC) hosted this year’s celebration in recognition of the contributions made by the Hispanic population in America’s military service. The event coincided with a month-long observance from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. “The celebration is important to me as a Sailor, because it took me a long time to understand what it meant to be a Hispanic American,” said Senior Chief Quartermaster Jonathan Rivera, the event’s guest speaker. “Growing up I was exposed more to the AfricanAmerican community and the only time I would hear Spanish was at home from my parents.” Rivera, who is half Dominican and half Puerto Rican, was born in New York and raised in Miami. “Growing up was rough. My mother told me that I could not stay in her house and do nothing, I had to get a

job,” said Rivera. “I graduated with a 1.8 G.P.A and entered the Navy with a 32 ASVAB. I did not think I was smart at all, but there were people in the Navy who helped mentor and guide me.” According to Rivera, he did not let his past dictate his future. “A chief told me that I should study everyday while I am underway and I would know just as much as a 2nd Class if I did,” said Rivera. “I did just that and was able to pick up rank pretty quickly in the Navy. Preparation, hard work and the grace of God is what has allowed me to succeed in the Navy, earn my Bachelors of Science degree with a 3.5 G.P.A. and be the man that stands here before you today to tell you it is not about where or how you start, it is where you would like to end up.” Also, included in the HispanicAmerican heritage month celebration was a cake cutting ceremony and a flag display on the ship’s mess decks from the various countries that incorporate central and south America as well as the Caribbean islands. The purpose of the MCC is to help raise awareness and promote cultural diversity among Sailors aboard Wasp.

“Everyone wants to be acknowledged,” said Fire Controlmen 2nd Class Kanaan Goldstein, MCC vice president. “It is very important to bring culture to Wasp Sailors. It is through events and programs like these that help us as individuals to understand and appreciate the differences and commonalities we all have and bring us closer.” Hispanic Americans have displayed courage and valor in our Navy, serving in virtually every at-sea conflict in American history from the War of 1812 to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. The month-long recognition originated in 1968, when President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed a National Hispanic Heritage week to coincide with the anniversaries of the independence of several Latin American countries like Costa Rica, Mexico and Nicaragua. The Hispanic population contributes heavily to our naval force with more than 50,000 active duty and reserve Sailors, as well as almost 15,000 Hispanic civilian that serve in naval support.

First Call


FRG Fall Fest By MC1(AW) Erik Siegel Editor

A fairy princess, Spider-Man, and a knight in shining armor, along with several other colorful characters, descended on a gymnasium in Norfolk on Oct. 19. Decorated in all manner of Halloween bric-a-brac, the gymnasium was filled with squeals of delight from the children in attendance at the 2013 Wasp Fall Festival. “We wanted to find a way to get the families together, just like always,” said Jaime Robinson, Family Readiness Group president. “With the Fall Festival it was a way for all the families to get together, to have treats for the kids, to have games for the kids, pumpkin decorating in a safe environment where it’s trusting people; you know where the candy came from, and you know the other families around.” The Family Readiness Group (FRG) hosts events like this several times a year. However, this year’s Fall Festival had help from outside of its ranks. “The president of the FCPOA (First Class Petty Officer Association) contacted me and wanted to get involved with what kind of events we


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had coming up and we were planning on,” Robinson said. “We started talking about the Christmas party and then I had filled him in on the Fall Festival and they instantly wanted to be involved. We bounced ideas back and forth and I told him what we were planning and what we talked about at the meetings and then he had brought up different ideas and stuff with his group and we just coincided to see who wanted to take over which responsibilities.” For the FCPOA president, HM1 Ruben Palacios, collaborating with the FRG was not only an easy decision, but also a chance to get more involved with the Wasp families. “The FRG got this thing going and they had a strong start to begin with,” Palacios said. “They’ve been doing fundraising all year long, like bake sales and they made t-shirts and stuff like that. So all the revenue they’re generating they’re putting into projects like this.” The FCPOA decided to donate the pumpkin giveaway, the candy, and they donated the manpower for setup, breakdown and to run the carnival games. “It was a lot of planning over the

course of this past month, we just kept a steady stream to make sure it all came together in the end,” said Palacios. With Wasp in the yards, events like this provide a welcome diversion to Sailors and their families. “I think this is great, because it gives the families an opportunity to really set roots in here before the ship has to leave again,” said Robinson. “So, while their spouses are still here and their families are all together they can really get to know other people on the ship. That way when the ship does have to leave again, they already have their support system and they’re not scrambling and anxious when the ship is gone. So I really think it helps bring everyone together as a whole.” While one great event certainly deserves another, this is an idea the FRG and FCPOA are taking to heart as they look forward to their next partnering. “We want to work with FCPOA again for the children’s holiday party. We want to do a breakfast with Santa sort of deal, crafts and games and some treats,” said Robinson. “We want to do it the first weekend in December; that’s what we’re hoping for.”

First Call



AO1 Gerald Johnson helps gather trash with Lt. Cmdr. Leszek Sikorski on Naval Station Norfolk during “Clean the Base.”

Was p S a ilo r s C l ean The Base

By MCSN Michael T. Forbes Staff Writer

Every year, Sailors from many commands across the waterfront volunteer their time to help clean the base of unwanted trash. Over the course of a year large amounts of trash build up from Sailors and civilians alike. According to Lt. Cmdr. Leszek Sikorski, Wasp Chaplain, this was a good opportunity for Sailors to help clean their mess. “I like to think of it this way: I am messing it, so I am cleaning it. Meaning sometimes we don’t intentionally litter, sometimes we do. We create a mess for ourselves so we should be responsible for our mess.”


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As Wasp Sailors walked up and down their areas of responsibility, they filled their bags with trash. Piles of bags dotted the roadside; which shows the amount of accumulated litter on the base. “Seeing trash around the base makes me feel bad,” said Ships Serviceman 1st Class Danielle Bradford. “I know it’s not always the Sailors that are trashing the base. It makes me feel like we should clean the base more often.” According to Information Systems Techician 1st Class Seporia Burns helping clean the base helps people take pride in where they work. “We want to take pride in where we work and not see trash lying around,

it’s an eye sore, especially the cigarette butts.” Cleaning the base wasn’t all Wasp Sailors did. For Operations Specialist Senior Chief Tremaine Mitchell it was also an opportunity for mentorship. “It’s good that the chiefs get out and talk with the Sailors and get to know Sailors from different departments,” he said. “I look at it as a mentorship time as well as a time to clean up around the base.” When the event ended the difference in appearance from when the cleaning crews began was noticeable; all thanks to the Sailors who volunteered their time.

AOAN Gary Faries helps gather trash on Naval Station Norfolk during “Clean the Base.”

First Call


Halloween Safety: Tips for Having a Fun and Safe Holiday

By MCSN Michael T. Forbes Staff Writer

It’s the time of year where someone can dress up like Dracula, Miley Cyrus or Beetlejuice and have a good time of it. Yes, shipmates, Halloween has finally arrived. Halloween is the one time of year where you can dress up in weird, scandalous, or just plain awesome costumes, and it’s socially acceptable. Who doesn’t want to dress up like Darth Vader swinging a light saber about? But before you walk around pretending to duel people, there are a few things you must keep in mind. For Virginia and Norfolk, the law states that any persons above the age of 12 engaging in “trick or treating” will be guilty of a class four misdemeanor. Also, any persons “trick or treating” after 8:00 p.m. will be guilty of a class four misdemeanor, even children. Below is the law about this. CITY ORDINANCE: Sec. 29-4. Prohibited “trick or treat” activities. MORE INFO AT: http://www. For the parents who are planning on taking out their children, here are a few safety tips: • Walk on sidewalks, not in the street. • Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic if there are no

sidewalks. • Walk, do not run, from house to house. • Do not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards. • Never let your children trick or treat alone. Costume safety tips: • Choose bright colors or add reflective tape. • Make sure the costume’s not a tripping hazard. • If it’s cold outside, wear warm clothes under the costume. If your children “trick or treat” without you, here are a few safety tips to give them: • “Trick or treat” in familiar neighborhoods or homes of people you know. • If approached by a stranger, go to the nearest well lit house and find an adult. • Do not trust anyone you don’t know or recognize. For those of us who have no children and nothing to do, fret not: I’m here to help. The following events are some of the things you can do out in town during this Halloween season: A Nightmare on Gilbert Street Wednesday, October 30 From 5-10 pm at Bldg. C-9 FREE! Open to active duty and one

guest age 18 or older - Haunted House - Fortune Teller - Costume Contest - Pumpkin Carving Food, Band, Contest and Prizes! For more information call 757444-4033 THE WOMAN IN BLACK - Wells Theater Tuesday, October 22nd through Sunday, November 10th Wells Theater, 108 E. Tazewell St. CARRIE: THE MUSICAL Generic Theater Friday, October 18th through Sunday, November 10th Generic Theater, underneath Chrysler Hall If I haven’t mentioned anything that will make you want to jump up and put on your nearest chicken mask then I’m sorry, I’m sure you’ll find something non-destructive to do. But for those of us who will be participating in the “trick or treating” awesomeness, keep these times in mind when you make your plans to go out with your little one(s). Virginia Beach: Dusk to 8 p.m. Chesapeake: 5 to 8 p.m. Norfolk and Suffolk: Ends at 8 p.m. Portsmouth: 6 to 8 p.m. Be safe and have fun!

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