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In the Loop - Smithfield Flotilla 59 Newsletter - April 2016

In the Loop is the authorized newsletter of U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 59, Smithfield, VA. It is published monthly as a PDF and emailed to members. Hard copies are available by request from the editor. Members are encouraged to submit articles, photos, and letters. Editor reserves the right to edit all submissions for length and content.

In this issue:

- Henry Troutner fills in at PFB mailroom
- Meet our people: Michelle Thornton
- Full house at boater safety class

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In the Loop - Smithfield Flotilla 59 Newsletter - April 2016

  1. 1. Meet Our People Meet Michelle Thorn- ton, a prior active duty Coastie, qualified as boat crew, air observer and more! page 2 Troutner at PFB Flotilla 59’s Henry Trout- ner is the main point of contact for the Ports- mouth Federal Building mailroom. page 1 Boater Safety Class Flotilla 59 had a full house for their boater safety class at the IW Rescue Squad, with 100% passing. page 3 In this issue: The Newsletter of U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 59 • Smithfield, VA • April 2016 Flotilla 59’s Henry Troutner fills in at PFB Mailroom Meeting Highlights See Troutner, page 2 See Meeting, page 2 Smithfield Flotilla 59 held its monthly meeting March 21, 7 p.m. at the American Legion in Smithfield. Here’s what you may have missed if you could not attend: Awards and Recognition Chuck Mullen, Sr. completed his Search Coordination Specialist course, one of the seven advanced courses leading to AUXOP status. Announcements AUXMU - There is now an Auxiliary Musician program (AUXMU.) Auxiliarists with musical skills who wish to pursue AUXMU qualification should see their Flotilla Commander. FORMS - If you can report your Auxiliary hours on form 7030 rather than form 7029, please do so. It will help the flotilla with budgeting. STATS - Flotilla 59 is number one in the Division for RBS, SAR, PV and PA hours, as well as total hours. Staff Report Highlights PA - Flotilla 59 participated in the Safety at Sea Seminar at the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News. National awards for Public Affairs are now accepting nominations. We will submit our music video from last year. When downsizing and numerous transfers took over half of the U.S. Coast Guard’s mailroom staff in the Portsmouth Federal Building, Smithfield resident and Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteer Henry Troutner stepped in to help. Now, he’s the main point of contact for the centralized office supply window that services over 400 people in the building. Troutner’s mailroom duties include processing, shipping and receiving FedEx Express, Ground and United Parcel Service packages, as well as processing inbound and outbound USPS mail. Troutner also routinely handles over- the-counter drug issues, government vehicle motor pool reservations and maintenance, copier operations and all mailroom operations, working alongside his active duty Coast Guard and civilian counterparts. “Mr. Troutner is an extremely friendly, hardworking and dedicated individual,” said Lieutenant Commander
  2. 2. S M ITHFIELD, V A FLOTILLA SMITHFIELD, VA Troutner cont. from page 1 Meeting cont. from page 1 In the Loop is the authorized newsletter of U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 59, Smithfield, VA. It is published monthly as a PDF and emailed to members. Hard copies are available by request from the editor. Members are encouraged to submit articles, photos, and letters to FSO-PB/FSO-CS Stephen Faleski at stephenfaleski@ Editor reserves the right to edit all submissions for length and content. FC/FSO-MS: R. Anderson Braswell VFC: H. Fred Hetzel FSO-FN/PA/MT: Peter Faleski FSO-CS/PB/SR: Stephen Faleski FSO-IS/PE: George Langdon FSO-HR: Dean Densmore FSO-DV/NS/DCAPT: Michelle Thornton FSO-PV: Charlie More FSO-VE: Lou Bott FSO-OP: Mike Quinn Why did you join the Auxiliary: I joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary in 2006 after becoming a Coast Guard civilian employee. My “boss,” Sector Commander Captain Scott Buschman handed me an Auxiliary application and said you should think about doing this - we have a need for an ASC. It’s always a good thing to do what the boss “suggests” and I have not regretted it since. The Key West Flotilla is very active and they put me right to work qualifying as boat crew, air observer and instructor all in the first year. I started working on my Coxswain qualification and after I moved to Virginia, I completed it. Why did you become an AV: I always wanted to become an Aid verifier but just did not find the time until about six months ago. I see being an AV as a big opportunity to help the Coast Guard ATON teams and also it gets me out on the water or near the water. ATONs are the traffic signals on the water and can sometimes be a challenge to understand, but with continual training and exposure to different types, I will become a proficient AV. Name: Michelle Thornton Hometown: Smithfield, VA Profession: Civilian search & rescue specialist, U.S. Coast Guard Years in Auxiliary: 9 yrs Aux, 9 yrs Active Duty Last/Highest Office: District Captain, Sector Hampton Roads Qualifications: Boat Crew, Coxswain, Air Observer, Instructor, Aids Verifier Meet Our People CS - Flotilla 59’s YouTube music video now has 2,665 views, and our Facebook page is at 850 likes. PV - Division V SO-PV Gary Alvis sent out revised PV standards to all flotillas. New rules mandate at least one program visit per flotilla per month. PVs must notify their FC or VFC before going on visits for insurance purposes, even if not in uniform. You are only required to wear your uniform for the first visit but are strongly encouraged to wear it for every visit. PE - George Langdon taught the free, state required boater safety course April 21-22, 6-10 p.m. at the Isle of Wight Rescue Squad. OP - Flotilla 59 had eight patrols last month. Three facilities went out for a SAR support event and two provided support to the Navy on the James River. There is now a monthly PPE check required. Next meeting, anyone who has any gear needs to bring it and have it inspected. If gear is not inspected, the OTO can disqualify the flotilla from going out on patrol. Mark all gear with initials (first, middle and last) plus the last four digits of your member ID. Do not loan your gear - gear must be officially re-issued if it is given to someone else. Colleen Symansky, Facilities Engineering Department Head at Coast Guard Station Portsmouth. “He is vital on days when we have personnel absences and are short handed for customer service.” Facilities Operations Specialist Gary Robinson also offered high praise for Troutner. “Henry is a great asset to the office services at Portsmouth Federal Building mailroom, taking good care of LANTAREA/District Five,” Robinson said. The Portsmouth Federal Building mailroom handles all incoming and outgoing mail for the Coast Guard’s Atlantic Area District Five Southern Region Commands and Joint Task Force East Staffs. In addition to working in the mailroom, Troutner is also an active member of U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Smithfield Flotilla 59, where he serves as boat crew on the Flotilla’s river patrols and as a vessel examiner, providing free vessel safety checks.
  3. 3. Commander’s Corner Flotilla - Anderson Braswell Flotilla Commander Smithfield Flotilla 59 Patroling the “Ghost Fleet” Coast Guard Auxiliarists who qualify as Boat Crew have the opportunity to work alongside active duty personnel and see some parts of the Hampton Roads community that are ordinarily off-limits to civilians, such as an up close and personal view of the “Ghost Fleet” or James River Reserve Fleet docked at Fort Eustis. Pictured: FSO-VE Lou Bott. Full house at boater safety class Upcoming Events: FREE BOATER SAFETY CLASS A total of 27 students took Flotilla 59’s free, state-approved basic boater safety course, offered two consecutive nights April 21-22, 6-10 p.m. at the Isle of Wight Rescue Squad Building in Smithfield. All 27 passed and were awarded their DGIF boater safety course proof-of- completion cards. The course satisfies the Virginia state law mandating that all motorboat operators complete an approved boater safety course and carry their proof-of-completion DGIF card at all times when on the water effective July 1. Boating safety instructors George Langdon, Peter Faleski and Scott Lauder taught the course. “The feedback we received at the end of the course was that they much preferred the two-night, four-hour sessions on weekdays over an all-day class on a Saturday,” Faleski said. “Also, I would like to extend special thanks to the Isle of Wight County Volunteer Rescue Squad for the use of their excellent facility.” The Flotilla’s next free, state- approved boater safety course is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24 and Wednesday, May 25, 6-10 p.m. at the Norfolk Collegiate, room B31, 7336 Granby St., Norfolk. The course will be presented in partnership with the Norfolk Anglers’ Club thanks to the efforts of Auxiliarist Henry Troutner. It is a well-known fact that I personally place the WW2 generation on a pedestal right next to Superman and beside Mount Olympus. Recently, I was fortunate enough to share a drink with a member of the Greatest Generation, who dove into the subject of community service. “You always hear about the captain going down with the ship,” the Navy veteran said. “But the moral of the story is sacrifice.” He explained that sacrifice is the virtue most forgotten in modern times- the ability to give up your own desires to aid another. While I listened intently, expecting a (justified) rant about “kids these days,” things took an unexpected turn. The elderly man looked at me and very confidently said, “Holding on to your stuff seems like a good idea now, but the more tightly you try to hold on, the less happy it makes you. You just want more, and you feel empty.” So does that mean we give away our worldly possessions and buy a cabin on the shores of Walden Pond? Of course not. We make our sacrifice through community service and we donate our time. Our service has the potential to transform lives, communities, and even us personally. Observing students pass a class gives you a feeling of satisfaction every time. Performing a rescue quickly puts your own problems in perspective. Meeting new people in the community breaks down prejudice. Being part of a team helps you find yourself. The US Coast Guard Auxiliary’s service has, such as during WW2, helped change the nation. Presented by: REGISTER AT: WWW.AUX59.ORG • 30 SEATS AVAILABLE STATE LAW REQUIRES ALL BOAT OPERATORS COMPLETE A BOATER SAFETY CLASS BY JULY 1, 2016 MUST ATTEND BOTH DAYS TO COMPLETE THE CLASS AND RECEIVE YOUR DGIF BOATER SAFETY CARD U.S. COAST GUARD AUXILIARY FLOTILLA 59 S M ITHFIELD, V A FLOTILLA SMITHFIELD, VA WHEN: TUES. & WEDS. MAY 24-25, 6-10 PM WHERE: NORFOLK COLLEGIATE, ROOM B31 7336 GRANBY ST., NORFOLK