Vol. 65 No. 12 Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Marcell Turns Over Command of VT-3
ing Squadron THREE to Cmdr. Jody G. Bridges. Calling his
time as the commanding officer of the squadron "a distinct
honor," Marcell stepped down during the Mar. 20 ceremony
in front of more than 150 guests, friends, family and fellow
"I have truly lived a dream," he stated as he bid fare-
well to the military personnel under his charge. "The depth
and the breadth of the instructor corps in this squadron is
without peer. I haven't done much other than give a few pep
talks and manage not to mess up the playbook too much.
It is a sign of the joint nature of Whiting field that
an Air Force officer would turn over command to a Navy
t. ristoper arce passes t e raining qua ron officer. Navy, Marine, Coast Guard and Air Force aviators
Pennanat to Cmdr. Jody Bridges during the unit's change of com- can receive training at the base, and VT-3 alternates com-
mand ceremony March 20 at NAS Whiting Field. U. S. Navy photo manding officers from Navy to Air Force. Lt. Col. George
by Jay Cope. Hobson is slated to relieve Bridges in turn after Bridges tour
By Jay Cope, NAS Whiting Field Public Affairs is complete. Marcell enjoyed the tour so much that when
With the symbolic passing of the squadron flag, Lt. (Cont. on Page 2)
Col. Christopher Marcell turned over responsibility of Train-
Whiting Team Helps Cast "On Golden Pond"!
By Naval Air Station Whiting Field ing the summers
Public Affairs at Golden Pond for
Naval Air Station Whiting 48 years, and the
Field personnel are showing a flair play depicts one
for the dramatic during the Panhandle special summer of
Community Theatre's performance of, reconciliation and
"On Golden Pond," March 27, 28 and family remem-
29 at the Milton High School audito- brances.
Half of the play's cast are
members of the Whiting team. David
Cook, the SSSI Safety Coordinator
from Sikorsky Support Services; Trevor
Rowe, the Air Traffic Control Leading
Chief and Jay Cope, the Deputy Public
Affairs Officer take up the tools of the
acting trade for the three-night show.
The play was the source for
the critically acclaimed movie, starring
Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn,
in the lead roles of Norman and Ethel
Thayer. The couple had been spend-
the irascible Nor-
man Thayer, the
part made famous
by Henry Fonda,
while Rowe plays
the new fiance of Ethel (Beverly Hise) warns Norman Thayer (Dave Cook) and Billy
Thayer's daughter (Alec DeLacueur) not to go fishing during a rehearsal of Panhandle
and Cope a fam- Community Theatre's production of "On Golden Pond." Cook is one
ily friend and post- of three people working at Whiting Field in the cast. U. S. Navy photo
by Jay Cope.
man. family conflicts and illness, but also
The play, directed by Lauren
S e a shows how love and relationships help
Sutton, deals with aging, the fear of
f g a i l -t couples persevere. It was those themes
death, finding an identity, long-term (Cont. on Page 7)
From the Deckplate:
Since 1987, March has
been set aside as Women's History
month. This year's theme, "Women
Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet,"
highlights women's roles in ecology,
the sciences, world governance and
national defense. Today at 10:30 a.m.
in the Wings Club Ballroom there will
be a Women's History Month Cel-
ebration Luncheon. The guest speaker
will be Cmdr. Lynne Chapman, Naval
Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field Ex-
CM M Har Sinh ecutive Officer. This event is hosted
by the NAS Whiting Field First Class Petty Officers' Association
and all base personnel are invited.
It is important for us to take time each year to focus on the
many contributions women have made to our world, our country
and our military. In the past the accomplishments of women were
often overlooked by the writers of history, and by celebrating Wom-
en's History Month we have to opportunity to show our daughters
that they truly can accomplish anything.
Women have been a strong part of America's national de-
fense since the earliest days of our nation. Margaret Corbin was the
first woman known to have served in the Revolutionary War, and
on July 6, 1779, the Continental Congress voted to award her a pen-
sion for her service. She fought with her husband at Fort Washing-
ton during the Battle of New York, stepping in to his place loading
and firing the cannon after he was killed. She was herself severely
wounded and taken prisoner in the battle that earned her recogni-
tion as the first woman soldier in the American Army.
Not only have women served our country by defending it
through service in the military, but also through their defense of
our environment. Ellen Richards was the first woman in the United
States to be accepted into a scientific school. She graduated from
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1873 and became a
prominent chemist. In 1887 she conducted the first ever water qual-
ity survey in America, which led to the creation of national water
Today greater than 16,000 women serve on active duty in
the United States military. Many work as part of evolving military
initiatives that focus on our relationship with the community and
with the environment. One of the pioneers in this area was Elsie
Munsell, who served as the first ever Deputy Assistant Secretary
of the Navy (Environment and Safety). She helped to develop the
Navy's view on environmental issues into the comprehensive envi-
ronmental strategy that we have in place today.
There are so many others that are worthy of mention, but
these three remind us how important it is to recognize both the his-
toric and current contributions of women each year with Women's
History month. I feel that the only way to ensure equal opportuni-
ties in America is for us all to be aware of the ability for accom-
plishment within every individual, no matter who they are.
VT-3 Change of Command
(Cont. from Page 1)
he understood that a commendation was being put in on his
behalf, he requested the lower precedence Navy and Marine
Corps Commendation Medal to show the joint nature of the
command. Col. Scott Walsh, Commander Training Air Wing
FIVE was happy to comply and praised Marcell's efforts.
"This squadron was the finest training component
in the Chief of Naval Air Training command during his tour,"
he said, "and is a terrific example of the great capability we
During Marcell's 28-month tour first as executive
officer and then commanding officer, the Red Knights flew
more than 55,000 mishap-free flight hours and produced
more than 700 Air Force, Navy, Marine, Coast Guard and
international flight training graduates. Under his tenure
time-to-train was reduced by ten percent and overall student
production was increased by one-hundred fifteen percent
making VT-3 the top squadron in operations efficiency. His
leadership and commitment to safety inspired the squadron
to earn the 2007 Chief of Naval Operations Naval Aviation
Marcell's career spanned approximately 20 years
and included a tour of duty overseas in the United Kingdom
as well as tours in Mississippi, North Carolina, Colorado,
and Whiting Field. He is a command pilot with more than
2,900 flight hours logged in diverse aircraft. As an F-15E
"Strike Eagle" pilot he amassed 200 combat flight hours in
65 combat missions. Marcell has earned the Distinguished
Flying Cross for Heroism, the Air Medal with three Oak
Leaf Clusters, and the Aerial Achievement Medal.
Brig. Gen. Darryl Roberson, Commander 325th
Fighter Wing, served as the guest speaker for the event, and
he spoke briefly about Marcell's contributions.
"One of the hallmarks of a good leader is leaving
the command better than you received it," he stated. "This
command was number one of 16 squadrons in operational
efficiency. That kind of success takes leadership and that is
what Lt. Col. Marcell brings to the fight"
Bridges takes command of the squadron after serv-
ing a tour as the executive officer. He reported to the com-
mand in Aug. 2007 and is a 19 year naval aviator. He has
flown numerous patrols as a Patrol Plane Commander and
Mission Commander flying the P-3C Orion, including mis-
sions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Opera-
tion Iraqi Freedom, and launched more than 6,000 aircraft
while attached to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69)
as the Catapult and Arresting Gear Officer, Air Department
Administrative Office and Hanger Deck Division Officer.
Having served as the executive officer for the past
year, Bridges knows his team well and praised their efforts
and gave them the credit for the squadron being selected as
the first on the base to begin receiving the T-6 Texan air-
"I am humbled to stand here as the commanding of-
ficer of such an outstanding organization...No matter what
you do after this tour, you will remember this fraternity and
the espirit-de-corps here. There are so many here who care
about the mission and you are all the best," he said.
News and Notes
Fishin' With a Mission The United Way of Santa Rosa
County will host their "Fishin' With a Mission" bass tournament
and family festival April 11 at Carpenter's Park. Registration be-
gins Feb. 17 at the United Way offices at 6576 Caroline St or 6479
Highway 90 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Top prize is anticipated to be $3,000. Call 623-4507 or check out
firstname.lastname@example.org. Rusty Whitfield will be the pre-
miere performer for the family day at the park.
Softball Tournament NAS Whiting Field Military Appre-
ciation Softball Tournament. $150.00 entry fee per team. T-shirts
for first place team. Don't miss out on the Home-Run Derby.
Teams must be registered by Monday, April 20th for gate access.
Attached is the flier. Call or e-mail Todd Mooneyham (MWR,
Sports Coordinator) at 850-623-7502 ext.23 / todd.mooneyham@(
navy.mil for all of the details (home-runs, bats, cleats,...etc.) This
Tournament is open to everyone including civilian teams.
Universal and Disneyworld Ticktes ITT now has the
free universal tickets & Disneyland tickets free tickets for active
duty, reservist, or retirees, and we also have the family and friends
tickets. For more information contact: 623-7032 Monday-Friday
9-5 and Saturday 9-12.
Sesame Street Special "Coming Home: Military Fami-
lies Cope with Change" will air nationwide on PBS at 8 pm. This
primetime special, presented by Sesame Workshop and featuring
Queen Latifah and John Mayer, tells the stories of service mem-
bers returning home with injuries-both visible and invisible-and
explores the heroic struggles their families face on the path to
finding a "new normal." With help from Elmo, Rosita and their
Sesame Street friends, "Coming Home" gives voice to the children
as they play a central role in the family's adjustment process, and
encourages them to be what they are: kids. Check out "Coming
Home" on April 1st, 2009 on PBS at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 7
p.m. Central and Mountain Time (check your local listings).
Golf Tournament The NASWF Leadership Council Golf
Tournament will be held on Fri, 24 Apr 09, at the NAS Whiting
Field Golf Course. Tee-off time will be at 1000. This is a 4-man
scramble, $120.00/team. Prizes for will be given to the top 3 teams,
longest drive and closest to the pin. Mulligans 3 for $5.00 per
nerson Tee-Buster $3 00 ner nerson Fee includes green fees,
ia~lSIIg a IlllICi cllut
Cub Scouts from Pack 400 in Pace, Fla. planted about 300 longleaf
3ine seedlings Saturday Jan. 31 on board NAS Whiting Field. The
youths wanted to participate in a beneficiali ecological project and
is an added benefit, earned their forestry badge. U. S. Navy photo
:ourtesy of NAS Whiting Field Public Works.
I'S Al Acauemic
Alethia Christian Academy sent 75 students to NAS Whiting Field on
a field trip to learn about the base. They were introduced to the T-34
and TH-57 aircraft as well as the base firehouse. U. S. Navy photo by
2nd Lt. Nicholas Uzelac.
cart and light lunch. Pre-pay or pay the day of the tournment.
Contact LTJG Sirjoo, (850) 449-0360, or ABHC Perry, (850) 623-
7220, for reservations. Pre-pay or pay the day of the tournament.
Animal Adopt-A-Thon Santa Rosa County Animal Ser-
vices with sponsors Mediacom, Soft Rock 94.1 and WXBM 102.7
will hold its 5th annual adopt-a-thon on Saturday, April 18 from
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the shelter located at 4451 Pine Forest Road
in Milton. For this special event, the adoption fee is $15 for cats
and $20 for dogs with a spay/neuter voucher provided at no cost
for any unaltered animal. Pets on leashes are welcome to attend.
Free food, local rescue organizations, vendors, children's activi-
ties, contests and drawings will be offered during the adopt-a-thon.
For more information call (850) 983-4680.
Sunset Stampede The Zoo at Northwest Florida's 1st An-
nual Sunset Stampede 5K Run/Walk will be held on Sat, May 21
at Navarre Beach. The race begins at 6 p.m. with a Kids Fun Run
beginning at 5 p.m. The first 500 people to sign up get a t-shirt.
Cost: $20.00 thru 4 Apr, $25.00 after. See www.zoosunsetstam-
pede.org online for more information.
Passport Fair The Santa Rosa Clerk of Court's Office is host-
ing a Passport Fair in Milton, FL, on Saturday, March 28, 2009,
from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. to provide passport information to
U.S. citizens and to accept passport applications. Beginning June
1, 2009, U.S. citizens must present a passport book and/or other
travel documents approved by the U.S. government to enter the
United Stated from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda
at land borders and sea ports of entry. Information on the cost and
how to apply for a passport book and/or a passport card is available
at travel.state.gov. U.S. citizens may also obtain passport infor-
mation by phone, in English and Spanish, by calling the National
Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778.
Country Fest WXBM's Country Fest will serve as the Na-
tional Military Appreciation Month kick off event! for the Pensac-
ola Area. Come spend the day with Your Country 102.7 WXBM as
we bring Country Fest to life in Pensacola at Five Flags Speedway.
This all day family fun music festival features great music, ven-
dors, activities, attractions and so much more! Gates open at 9am
- show starts at 10am. Tickets are only $25.00 for adults, children
12 are admitted free. Featuring Artisits Craig Morgan, James Otto
and Whitney Duncan. For details call studios: 850-994-5357.
Fleet and Family Support Center Classes
Car Buying Strategies Tuesday, March 31, from 1:00 3:00 pm
Many people begin the car buying process by visiting a dealership, which should be one of the last things you do. Come find out why.
Class will be held at the FFSC conference room. For more information, contact a Work and Family Life Specialist at 623-7177.
If you are a flight student, or anyone else desiring to improve your reading skills, the speed reading program at the FFSC can help you
learn how specialized eye movement exercises and other techniques can dramatically increase your reading rate. The program will target
both speed and comprehension skills. You can check out the CD at the front desk and utilize the program in our computer room.
Ten Steps to a Federal Job Monday, April 6, from 8:00 10:00 am
"Is it worth your while to invest your time and effort in searching and applying for a Federal Job?" If your answer is "yes", then you
need to attend this class in order to learn how to prepare the best application possible. You will learn how to read an announcement,
analyze core competencies for language, analyze vacancy listings for keywords, and how to apply for jobs. Class will be held at the
FFSC conference room. For more information, contact a Work and Family Life Specialist at 623-7177
Your Insurance Needs Tuesday, April 7, from 1:00 3:00 pm
A 60 90 minute interactive program suitable for all audiences, designed to develop knowledge and skills that will enable participants
to make informed consumer decisions on the basic types of insurance, and to determine their personal need for life insurance. Class will
be held in the FFSC conference room. For more information, contact a Work and Family Life Specialist at 623-7177.
Anger Management Wednesday, April 8, from 1:-00 2:00 pm
Is anger affecting your health, your relationships or your work performance? Learn to understand the causes and effects of unhealthy
anger and how to express and release that anger in a healthy way! Class will be held at the FFSC conference room. For more information,
contact a Work and Family Life Specialist at 623-7177.
Security Has New LED Stop Signs Installed at NASWF
By Ens. Andrew Stephenson, NAS
Whiting Field Public Affairs
The Naval Air Station (NAS)
Whiting Field Security Department re-
cently installed five new stop signs con-
taining Light Emitting Diodes (LED's).
These signs were requested by security
for the base in order to increase driver
awareness and safety at several on base
Eight flashing red LED lights
surround the outside border of the signs
and are battery powered, with the bat-
tery charged by solar cells mounted to
The lighting makes the signs
easier to see, especially at night and
during inclement weather. Addition-
ally, complacency can be a major driv-
ing safety concern, especially on a base
such as Whiting Field where many
drivers cover the same route daily.
According to Master at Arms
First Class Robert Ward, NAS Whit-
ing Field Security Department Lead-
One of live new LED stop signs recently in-
stalled on the base by Public Works is shown
above. The solar panel charges the LED lights
at each point of the sign. U. S. Navy photo by
Ens. Andrew Stephenson.
ing Petty Officer, "This is a small base,
with small speed limits, and we want to
increase driver awareness."
The flashing lights serve as a
reminder to come to a full and com-
plete stop at all stop signs and be aware
of possible crossing traffic. An inde-
pendent study done by the Texas Trans-
portation Institute in 2004, showed
that installing flashing LED stop signs
resulted in a near thirty percent reduc-
tion in vehicles not fully stopping, and
a greater than fifty percent reduction in
the amount of vehicles passing through
the intersection without slowing.
The signs are made by Traffic
and Parking Control Co., Inc. (TAP-
CO). The life of each sign battery is up
to five years and the battery can power
the sign in continuous operation for
fourteen days without a charge. Each
LED has a life expectancy of greater
than eleven years and they are placed at
each comer on the octagon shape of the
sign, highlighting the shape of the sign
in addition to drawing drivers' attention
to it by flashing. Reflective coatings on
(Cont. on Page 5)
.. .. .
Deadline for Creating Electronic
Service Records Approaches
By Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW) Maria
Yager, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- As of March 19, more
than 128,000 Sailors have established a self-service elec-
tronic service record (ESR) account as the April target date
The chief of naval personnel released a NAVAD-
MIN Feb. 5 announcing the requirement for all active duty
and Reserve personnel to establish and maintain a self-ser-
vice ESR account within 60 days.
"Having a self-service account is necessary for
updating emergency contact information. Self-service ac-
counts contain other important features, such as enabling
Sailors to directly submit PCS (permanent change of station)
travel claims upon PCS transfer, update race, ethnicity, and
religion information, and view all other ESR service record
information," said Vice Adm. Mark Ferguson, chief of naval
personnel in NAVADMIN 043/09.
The requirement date for Sailors serving at sea and
without connectivity to establish an ESR is 60 days upon
return to homeport.
The Navy first implemented ESRs in 2006. The
ESR provides individual Sailors, Personnel Support Activity
Detachments (PSD) and personnel offices holding service
records with secure, worldwide Internet access to person-
nel, training, and awards data. Navy Operational Support
Centers and customer commands of PSDs can also use the
"Eventually, the enlisted field service record will be
phased out and we will use only these electronic systems, so
it's important for all Sailors to establish an ESR account,"
(Cont. on Pae 6)
DoD Provides Guidance on
Travel to Mexico
Due to the increased violence of Mexican drug traf-
ficking organizations along the Mexican border regions, Navy
Region Southeast, per guidance provided by the Department
of State, the Department of Defense (Northern Command and
U.S. Fleet Forces Command), has issued atravel advisory for
U. S. Navy active duty military, civilians, and contractors.
As a matter of personal safety for region personnel
and their families, the following safeguards have been insti-
Navy Petty Officer First Class or below will need a
leave or liberty chit signed by a Commander (0-5) or above
in the traveler's chain of command to authorize travel to
Navy Chief Petty Officers and above must notify
their chain of command of intent to travel to Mexico.
All Navy military, civilian, and contract employ-
ees must have completed the Level I Antiterrorism Training
within the previous 12 months.
The training is available at www.at-awarenews.org or from a
certified Level II Antiterrorism Officer.
All Navy military personnel on liberty or leave in
Mexico must have in their possession the following numbers
in case of emergency:
(Cont. on Page 7)
(Cont. from Page 4)
a convention stop sign can only been seen from a half mile
away, while the lighted signs can be seen two miles away. The
solar cells used for recharging the batteries do not need direct
sunlight to operate and will generate a charge even on cloudy
The new stop signs have replaced standard signs at
intersections where security felt traffic safety would see the
largest benefits. There have not necessarily been frequent ac-
cidents at these locations, but the signs will serve to make
drivers more aware in these high traffic areas. New lighted
signs are located near North Field on Saratoga Street, near the
NAS Whiting Field Golf Course, and two signs near South
Field on Lexington Circle.
NAS Jacksonville has also installed these new light-
ed stop signs and credits them with reducing accidents at one
intersection by one-hundred percent in a recent ten month
period. Naval Station Mayport has installed an LED lighted
crosswalk sign at a busy pedestrian crosswalk.
In the future more signs on base may be updated with the
new lighted signs, depending on their availability, in order to
create the safest driving environment possible here at NAS
"We would like to see no one get ticketed for running
a stop sign and no accidents at these intersections as a result
of these new signs," says Ward.
" AmeriThe Great
(g American Clean-Up
Ready to pitch in and help your
Saturday, April 18, 2009
8 am through Noon b
Milton Milton High School
Pace Pace Assembly of God
Navarre NatureWalk Park
Avalon Christian Life Church
Munson Blackwater Baptist Church
Floridale Bliss Way
Bagdad-Bagdad Museum (Church St)
For more information call 623-1930
(Cont. from Page 5)
said Dwight Stanton, military personnel
records manager at Navy Personnel Com-
Self-service accounts can be cre-
ated at https://nsips.nmci.navy.mil or on the
Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System
(NSIPS) ESR server on board ship.
Commanding officers, executive of-
ficers and command master chiefs can obtain
command-level, view-only access by com-
pleting the NSIPS/ESR system authorization
request and contacting their local NSIPS area
manager. This access provides the user view-
only capability for all ESR accounts within
their unit identification codes.
All commands responsible for service
record entries are required to initiate updates
in NSIPS ESR, however official military per-
sonnel file requirements remain unchanged.
NSIPS ESR is the data entry point for
electronic service record maintenance. Sail-
ors are responsible for the accuracy of their
ESR and must contact the servicing person-
nel office if any information is incorrect.
For more information read NAVAD-
MIN 043/09 at www.npc.navy.mil.
On Golden Pond
(Cont. from Page 1)
that attracted Cook to the play. an interest in community theatre," she
"The play shows relationships said.
and how they change through the years. The remaining cast includes Beverly
You put up with things because you Robinson Hise as Norman's wife Ethel.
love the person you're with," he said. Jane Shell is their daughter Chelsea,
"People can stay together, but you can't and 10-year old Alec LaDouceur is her
wait till forever to fix the problems." new son Bill Jr.
Cook wasn't really planning This will be the first PCT play to
to tackle the play, however. He hadn't be performed outside of the confines
performed in one of PCT's productions of the Imogene Theatre. Due to the
before, but he works with the commu- downtown fire in Milton this past Janu-
nity theatre group in other facets. Cook ary and the resulting damage to the
Ethel (Beverly Hise) comforts Norman (David Cook)
was at auditions to speak to Sutton Imogene, PCT has made arrangements
during a rehearsal for "On Golden Pond." Cook and
about a summer youth theatre project Hise reprise the roles made famous by Katherine Hep- with Milton High School to utilize their
and out of curiosity about how the au- burn and Henry Fonda in the movie. U. S. Navy photo auditorium facility for this produc-
ditions were run. He was urged to read by Jay Cope.
during the auditions and walked away
with one of the lead roles.
"Floored" was the word he used to describe how he
felt when he read the script and saw the size of the role.
This is also Rowe's first experience acting with PCT.
His role as son-in-law Bill Ray has many of the play's funniest
moments and Sutton praised his efforts.
"Trevor has been a pleasant surprise. I am amazed at
how talented he is given he had no previous experience
Sutton admits to not knowing that three of the cast members
were from Whiting Field until after the roles were selected. She
had worked with Cope in last year's performance of "Dearly
Departed," but the others were new. She was happy for the
""I am just delighted that our neighbors at Whiting are taking
tion. PCT is donating a portion of the
proceeds to the Milton and Pace High
School Drama departments as a way of saying "thank you" to
the Santa Rosa County District School system.
Patrons will have the chance to designate which school
they would like a dollar from each ticket sale to benefit.
" On Golden Pond" will be performed Friday and Satur-
day evenings, March 27 & 28 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, March 29
at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $12 each. No reservations are needed.
You may purchase your ticket via credit card (Visa, MC or Dis-
cover) in advance by calling (850) 450-2566.
The play's themes are universal and appropriate for all
ages. Sutton even stated that they are relevant for all ages.
"Everyone can relate to the relationships between these
characters. We have all had those conflicts at different stages in
our lives and everyone can connect with those challenges."
DoD Guidance on Mexico
(Cont. from Page
American Counsel General
At Ciudad Juarez: Avenida Lopez
- 924-N Telephone (011) (52)
At Guadalajara: Progresso 175
Telephone (011) (52) (333)
Naval Criminal Investigative Ser-
vice (NCIS) Corpus Christi (361)
U.S. Border Patrol Texas
Marfa Sector (432) 729-5200 or
Rio Grande Valley Sector (956)
Laredo Sector (956) 764-3200
Del Rio Sector (830) 778-7000
El Paso Sector (915) 834-8350
Local Command Duty Officer
All Navy military personnel will
use the buddy system which includes any
individual, military or civilian, over the age
of 18. The name of the individual will be on
the request chit.
All Navy military personnel will
receive a country-specific (Mexico) secu-
rity brief from their local Navy security
department or NCIS office for the area(s)
of travel prior to the start of leave or lib-
All Navy military personnel will
register online with the American Consul-
ate prior to travel to Mexico at
Navy active duty military personnel who
reside in Mexico or have immediate fam-
ily (father, mother, brother, sister) living
in the northern border areas of Mexico
are not restricted in traveling, but are
requested to inform their chain of com-
mand of travel plans and provide contact
Family members, DON civilian
employees, and contractors are highly
encouraged to abide by this travel advi-
sory. Region personnel are advised to
cooperate fully with official police or
military checkpoints when traveling on
Mexican highways. Personnel who visit
the U.S.-border region, including the cities
of Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Nogales,
Matamoros, and Monterrey should remain
alert and be aware of their surroundings at
all times. These cities have been designat-
ed by the U.S. State Department as "areas
For questions about traveling to
Mexico, please contact your local Secu-
rity/Force Protection Office, or the local
Elite Athletes Challenge Themselves in SEAL Fitness Challenge
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (PJ) Michelle Kapica, Naval Special Warfare Public Affairs
PHOENIX (NNS) -- More than 330 athletes took the opportunity to see how they stacked against America's elite, special opera-
tions warriors at the first SEAL Fitness Challenge of 2009, held at Arizona State University in Phoenix, March 14.
Men and women ages 13 and up tested themselves against the tough, physical fitness standards of Naval Special Warfare
operators, including Navy SEALs, Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC), explosive ordnance disposal technicians
and Navy divers. The focus of the free event, hosted by Naval Special Warfare Recruiting Directorate (NSWRD) in association
with I-High Marketing, was to challenge athletes to maximize their performance in individual tests of strength and endurance.
Participants competed in five events starting with a 500-yard swim, immediately followed by push ups, sit ups, pull ups
and a 1.5 mile run. All competitors were scored and ranked against each other. Participants received a free white commemorative
T-shirt, while athletes who met the minimum SEAL standards received a tan T-shirt for their efforts. To be competitive, athletes
worked toward a goal of under 10 minutes for the swim, 80 push ups, 80 sit ups, six pull ups and a swim time of under 11 minutes
- and some competitors did just that earning a highly-coveted blue T-shirt.
"It's all about pushing yourself," said Capt. Adam Curtis, commander, NSWRD. "As SEALs, we're all about pushing
ourselves every day. This event gives us the chance to give people a taste of what the SEALs are all about that's what makes it
a fun and challenging event."
In addition to testing their physical fitness, participants were able to speak to SEALs and SWCC to find out what life is
really like as an operator.
"I got to learn more about how hard the Navy SEALs work and what they do for our country," said Rebecca Cady, a
student of Central Arizona College. Cady is in the delayed entry program and is scheduled to enlist in the Navy in March. "The
guys helped motivate me a lot."
SEAL and SWCC Scouts gave athletes a sample of military training with some loud, verbal encouragement.
"Phoenix is a very fit city," said Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Darek Laviolette, a SEAL Scout, nicknamed
"Chief Pain." Laviolette said he was impressed with
everyone's enthusiasm and never-quit attitude.
"They're really stepping up to the plate.
They are pushing themselves which is all you can
S2, 2 ask," Laviolette said.
S H Members of the Olympic swim and water polo
teams came out to support the event, including Lac-
ey Nymeyer, who won silver in the 400-meter relay
Sin Bejing and three-time medalist, swimmer, Matt
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"This humanizes the SEALs for me," said
Grevers. "It's less intimidating knowing that they're
just cool, normal guys even though they're still
The SEAL Fitness Challenge has inspired
many participants to improve their fitness, includ-
ing 14-year-old Manhattan Beach resident, Laura
Hagedorn who competed in last year's Los Angeles
event. Pull ups was the hardest event for her, so she
asked for a pull-up bar for her birthday. Less than a
year later, Hogedorn came back for more fun and to
show off the fruits of her labor.
"Last year I had to have assistance," said
Hagedorn. "Now I can do nine pull ups!"
As a special treat for athletes, the U.S.
Navy Parachute Team, the Leap Frogs, gave a freef-
all-parachuting demonstration that got the crowd
cheering. The team also attended the event to share
their Navy experiences with athletes and spectators.
Three more SEAL Fitness Challenges are scheduled
across the U.S. this year. The next event is slated
May 9 in Dallas. For more information, visit: www.
Congrats to TAW-5 Wingers and Scholars
First Row: Cmdr. Mark Murray, Lt. j.g. Caitlin Mitchell, 1st Lt. John Pross, 1st Lt. Jacob Ashbolt, 1st Lt. Joshua Smith, Ens. Robert Filosa,
Lt. j.g. Fabio Mariani, Ens. Jason Kreutter, and Col. John Walsh. Second Row: Lt. Col. Clay Stackhouse, 1st Lt. Michael Vigen, Ens. Kevin
Teague, Ens. Kate Huppmann, Ens. Ross Conley, Lt. j.g. Vincenzo Labile, Ens. Emily Lapp, Ens. Bejamin Andreas, Lt. j.g. Robert Merin, 1st
Lt. Michael Whiteford, Lt. j.g. Jeremy Hall, and Brig. Gen. Timothy Hanifan. Third Row: Cmdr Christopher Heaney, Ens. John Zilai, 1st Lt.
Corey Healey, Lt. j.g. Asher Goldenberg, 1st Lt. Stephen Gilley, 1st Lt. Paul Jones, and Lt. j.g. Riccardo Chericoni.
Left Photo: Ens. Zachariah West, USN; 1st Lt. Russell Stanton, USMC; and 2nd Lt. Charles Chambers, USAF; stand with their Com-
mendations for Outstanding Academic Achievement citations. West and Stanton received theirs for Advanced Helicopter training
while Chambers received his for his success in Primary Flight training.
Right Photo: (From L to R) Ens. Juan Oquendo II, USN, Ens. Ryan J. Brack, USN, Ens. William F Carey, Jr., USN, Lt. Charles K
Wilson, USCG, Lt. Brian C. Schmidt, USCG, 1st Lt. John M. Dexter USMC, Lt. Edward L. DiPierro, USCG, 2nd Lt. Mark A. Pinker-
ton USMC, Ens. Zachary R. Vojtech, USCG, and 2nd Lt. Robert B. Wilkins USMC receive their Academic Achievement Awards or
Advanced Academic Achievement Awards March 20 at Training Air Wing FIVE Headquarters.