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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

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In the Loop - Smithfield Flotilla 59 Newsletter - Aug. 2016

  1. 1. Division Commander Division V’s immedi- ate past Division Com- mander, Al Coke, is also a Flotilla 59 staff officer and the AQEC. page 2 Flotilla Wins DSAR Flotilla 59 “threepeated” as winners of Dist. Five, SR’s SAR Competition taking first place the third year in a row. page 1 Video Anniversary Flotilla 59’s music video was released one year ago Aug. 4 to coincide with the USCG’s 225th anniversary. page 3 In this issue: The Newsletter of U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 59 • Smithfield, VA • Aug. 2016 Smithfield Flotilla Places 1st, 2nd in DSAR Meeting Highlights 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 service. Fred Hetzel received his Auxiliary letter of commendation as an Aux. Prevention Outreach Specialist. Mark Middlecoop is now a boat crew trainee. Announcements 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 Legion. 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
  2. 2. S M ITHFIELD, V A FLOTILLA SMITHFIELD, VA DSAR Win 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: Vacant FSO-DV/NS/DCAPT: Michelle Thornton FSO-PV: Charlie More FSO-VE: Lou Bott FSO-OP: Vacant 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 visits. 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 to safety. 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 District Commodore. jump in the water using the proper survival techniques, before the boat was totally submerged. This year, Flotilla 59 chose to field two separate teams, both of which included members of winning teams from previous years. 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 to help.” 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.”
  3. 3. Commander’s Corner Flotilla - Anderson Braswell Flotilla Commander 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 Search-and-Rescue Championship. 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 per year. 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 counts. 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 Guard. 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 and community. 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.