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In the Loop - Smithfield Flotilla 59 Newsletter - Aug. 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:
- DSAR Teams Hope to “Threepeat"
- Meet Lou Bott, Flotilla 59’s and Division V’s Staff Officer for Vessel Exams
- USCGC Barque Eagle Makes Port in Norfolk
In the Loop - Smithfield Flotilla 59 Newsletter - Aug. 2016
Division V’s immedi-
ate past Division Com-
mander, Al Coke, is also
a Flotilla 59 staff officer
and the AQEC.
Flotilla Wins DSAR
Flotilla 59 “threepeated”
as winners of Dist. Five,
SR’s SAR Competition
taking first place the
third year in a row.
Flotilla 59’s music video
was released one year
ago Aug. 4 to coincide
with the USCG’s 225th
The Newsletter of U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 59 • Smithfield, VA • Aug. 2016
Smithfield Flotilla Places 1st, 2nd in DSAR
DSAR Win, page 2 See Meeting, page 2
Smithfield Flotilla 59 held its monthly
meeting July 18, 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, Jr. received his
membership award for five years of
Fred Hetzel received his Auxiliary letter
of commendation as an Aux. Prevention
Mark Middlecoop is now a boat crew
SCORECARD - A six-month flotilla
scorecard was emailed to all members,
indicating Flotilla 59 continues to lead
the Division in marine patrols, member
training, total RBS hours, recruiting, ATON
verification and total missions.
Staff Report Highlights
FN - Flotilla 59’s annual yard sale
will be Saturday, Oct. 8 at the American
PA - Flotilla 59 assisted with the annual
Kiwanis Fishing Clinic Tuesday, July 19 at
Buckroe Beach, Hampton, providing CG
coloring books to the kids and operating
Henry Troutner of the first place DSAR 2016 team prepares to throw a heaving line across the bow of a
simulated boat in distress for the heaving line / towing exercise at the District 5 Southern Region Search and
Rescue Competition (DSAR.)
Smithfield’s Flotilla 59 of the USCG
Auxiliary “three-peated” at the U.S. Coast
Guard District Five’s annual search and
rescue competition, DSAR, winning first
place for the third year in a row.
The competition was open to the
entire southern region of Coast Guard
District Five, which includes Maryland,
Virginia and North Carolina. It was held
at the Coast Guard’s Training Center in
Yorktown Aug. 19-20.
Teams were tested on a variety of
search and rescue skills including first
aid, seamanship, navigation, heaving line
throws and operation of a P-6 de-watering
pump. Speed and accuracy were both
factors in scoring.
New to the competition was an
“abandon ship” exercise, in which each
team was given the scenario that their
boat was sinking and they had less than
10 minutes to decide what to do, and then
cont. from page 1
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@
gmail.com. 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-DV/NS/DCAPT: Michelle Thornton
FSO-PV: Charlie More
FSO-VE: Lou Bott
FSO-MA: Anne Coke
Why did you join the Auxiliary:
I joined following a casual
conversation with George Perez, our
former flotilla staff officer for program
What were your duties and main
goals as Division Commander:
My main theme as Division
Commander was to encourage the
flotillas to focus first on the single
thing they were good at and “pour it
on.” Then move to the next one.
Do you intend to run for an elected
officer position again:
No, I intend to focus on Flotilla
activities underway, my main goal is
to perfect boat crew operations.
What do you do as the AQEC?
I am the Area Qualification
Examination Coordinator. I have 12
Qualification Examiners who report
to me for Sector Hampton Roads.
They are the people who qualify
boat crews. I was appointed by the
Commander of DIRAUX, who I work
for. We operate independently from
the AUX Chain of Leadership. To be
a QE you must have high operational
hours, a bunch of credentials, and
lots of boating experience.
Name: Al Coke
Hometown: Columbia, MS
Current City: Smithfield, VA
Family: Anne (wife)
Profession: Retired U.S. Army
Years in Auxiliary: 6 years
Last/Highest Office: Division
Commander - Division V
Qualifications: Boat Crew,
Coxswain, AUXOP, Vessel Examiner,
Program Visitor, AQEC
Meet Our People
Coastie the Safety Boat.
PE - Flotilla 59 will teach at least two
more classes this year. The Carrollton Fire
Dept. has requested we teach a class
in their facility. Plans are in the works to
offer “Suddenly in Command,” a course
intended for spouses, friends and family
members of boaters to teach them what
to do if the main boat operator is injured
or otherwise unable to pilot the boat back
OP - There will be no waivers issued
for boat crew requirements or jewelry to
anyone seeking to go out on patrol. DSAR
was Aug. 19-20 at Coast Guard TRACEN
Yorktown. Our new OTO will accompany a
boat crew from Flotilla 59 out on patrol in
August for a check ride.
NS - The Coast Guard XPO is
requesting Auxiliarists to help with admin.
work in the office.
Division & District News:
Flotilla, Division and District elections
are coming up. There will be a flotilla
leadership class available soon for anyone
considering running for Vice Flotilla
Commander or Flotilla Commander.
Michelle Thornton and Joe Sefranek
have submitted letters of intent to run
for District Chief of Staff. Dave Adams
has submitted a letter of intent to run for
jump in the water using the proper survival
techniques, before the boat was totally
This year, Flotilla 59 chose to field two
separate teams, both of which included
members of winning teams from previous
The winning team included 2015
DSAR champions Fred Hetzel, Henry
Troutner, and Chuck Mullen, Sr., who
served as coxswain. Flotilla 59’s second
team, which took second place in this
year’s competition, included 2014
champions George Langdon, Peter
Faleski and Anderson Braswell, who
served as coxswain.
Mullen’s team placed first in 10 out
of 13 events. Mullen attributes his team’s
success to practice and proficiency.
“You can’t just show up and expect
to win,” Mullen said. “My team and I
have been practicing since early June.
Our flotilla emphasizes proficiency in
all our operational skills so when we do
encounter a stranded boater, we’re ready
Commander Bowen Spievack,
Executive Officer of Training Center
Yorktown, was impressed with the
teamwork of every team.
“I feel like I need to join the Auxiliary
now,” Spievack said. “It’s fantastic that
you’re able to do this.”
- Anderson Braswell
Smithfield Flotilla 59
Coast Guard Day
Flotilla 59’s FSO-FN Peter Faleski operates Coastie the Safety Boat to entertain and
teach the children of active duty, reserve and auxiliary Coast Guard personnel about
recreational boater safety during Coast Guard Day at CG Station Portsmouth Aug. 6.
Photo by Michelle Thornton, DCAPT.
Music Video Celebrates Anniversary
Did You Know....
As the old adage goes, “If
something is worth doing, it is worth
doing right”. As one of the most
active operational units in the 5th
District, Flotilla 59 rounded out
another boating season by bringing
home our third straight Mid-Atlantic
This year’s team of Chuck Mullen,
Fred Hetzel and Henry Troutner
put in lots of hard work and careful
preparation for the big event, and
executed when the time came.
Proficiency in our operational
program, as well as our success
in SAR, does not come solely
from preparing for an upcoming
competition or for a check-ride. It
comes from executing every detail
properly, every single time, 12 months
Unlike DSAR or check-rides, you
don’t know when the next distress call
is coming. When the phone rings at
3am, we must be ready to execute
our mission, correctly, on the first
try. There are no “do-overs” when it
I would like to take a moment to
recognize the extraordinary efforts
of our FSO-FN/MT Peter Faleski. A
member of our 2014 Championship
team, Peter coached both the 2015
and 2016 Championship teams.
As if that wasn’t already above
and beyond the call, he stepped in to
fill a vacant roster spot and assemble
a second team from F59 only a few
days before the event....which still
finished as the 2016 runner-up. Thank
you for your exemplary service, Peter!
One year ago, a team of U.S. Coast
Guard Auxiliarists from Smithfield’s Flotilla
59 completed their production
of a music video and
released it on YouTube
the following day, Aug. 4,
to promote awareness of the
many services the Auxiliary
provides and to celebrate the
225th anniversary of the Coast
Filmed locally at the Smithfield Station
marina and other locations throughout
Hampton Roads, the video “Flotilla 5-9!”
features a lively hip-hop rhythm and
Flotilla 59 members engaged in activities
that promote recreational boater safety,
including vessel safety checks, boater
safety classes, river patrols and search
and rescue operations.
Since its launch, the video has
received 3,503 views on YouTube and
29 likes. On Facebook, it received 1,561
views and 22 likes. Several DVD copies
were also produced and are often
shown during the Flotilla’s boater safety
classes to introduce the boating public
and potential new members to
the Auxiliary, its missions, and
the many opportunities in the
Auxiliary available to people who
want to serve their country
Aug. 4 is recognized
nationally as the official birthday of
the U.S. Coast Guard for being the date
U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and “father”
of the Coast Guard Alexander Hamilton
founded the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service
in 1790, which merged with the U.S.
Lifesaving Service in 1915 to become the
U.S. Coast Guard.
• If you boat in Virginia, you automatically consent to be tested
for Boating While Intoxicated.
• When dropping anchor, the correct length of line/rope is 7 to
10 times the depth of the water.
• It is illegal to Moor or attach a vessel to buoy, beacon, light, or
any other navigational aid, including bridges.
• 2016 marks the 75th anniversary of the U.S. Coast Guard
Reserve, which was founded Feb. 19, 1941 with the Reserve
and Auxiliary Act.