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In the Loop - Smithfield Flotilla 59 Newsletter - May 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:

- Two Smithfield Police officers complete AUX SC&E
- Meet Our People: VFC Fred Hetzel
- National Safe Boating Week Begins

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In the Loop - Smithfield Flotilla 59 Newsletter - May 2016

  1. 1. Meet Our People Meet Vice Flotilla Com- mander Fred Hetzel, re- cently retired with over 30 years total active duty and reserve CG service. page 2 AUX SC&E Two Smitihfield Police Department officers completed the AUX Search Coordination & Execution Course. page 1 Safe Boating Week Flotilla 59 kicked off National Ssafe Boating Week with on-site vessel exams at Smithfield Station. page 3 In this issue: The Newsletter of U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 59 • Smithfield, VA • May 2016 Smithfield Police Complete AUX SC&E Meeting Highlights See AUX SC&E, page 2 See Meeting, page 2 Smithfield Flotilla 59 held its monthly meeting April 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 Peter Faleski received his instructor qualification and certificate. Challenge coins were awarded to Peter Faleski, Al Coke, George Langdon, Michelle Thornton, Anderson Braswell, Henry Troutner, Fred Hetzel, Lou Bott, John Curry, Mike Quinn and Chuck Mullen, Sr. Mike Quinn’s and Al Coke’s facilities received bronze and silver decals for operational hours. Henry Troutner was recognized by LCDR Colleen Symansky of Station Portsmouth for volunteering in the PFB Mail Room. Announcements TRAINING - Flotilla 59 is one of the top five flotillas in the district for completion of mandated training. There is a district award for having 90% of members complete the training by June 1. DIVISION - The Coast Guard Auxiliary was invited to present on boater safety Two Smithfield Police Department officers, along with Auxiliarists Chuck Mullen, Sr. and Henry Troutner, completed AUX SC&E - an advanced search and rescue course and authorized elective for the AUXOP program - taught by Michelle Thornton. Following three months of intensive coursework, four members of the Smithfield community completed the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Search Coordination and Execution course (AUX SC&E) - an advanced level search and rescue course taught to hundreds of active duty Coast Guard and Auxiliary coxswains and air commanders each year. Joshua Powell and Paul Bancroft of the Smithfield Police Department, and Coast Guard Auxiliarists Henry Troutner and Chuck Mullen, Sr. received their certificates of completion Thursday, April 28 after passing a two-part written and practical exam. Smithfield Flotilla 59’s Michelle Thornton, who also serves as District Captain for Sector Hampton Roads, taught the course and proctored the exam. “AUX SC&E is intended as an advanced course of study and practice
  2. 2. S M ITHFIELD, V A FLOTILLA SMITHFIELD, VA AUX SC&E 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 Why did you join the Auxiliary: I joined the Auxiliary to do some of the jobs I was not able to do, because of my OS rating, in the Coast Guard. Now, I get to ride around on other people’s boats for free! I’m glad I joined Flotilla 59. It’s close to home, it’s very active, and has a great roster of members. What do you like best about being Vice Flotilla Commander: Being the Vice Flotilla Commander has opened my eyes (somewhat) to the inner workings of the Auxilliary. It takes a lot of dedicated people a lot of time and energy to maintain the high quality of personel, missions, and service the Auxiliary provides to the country and the “Gold” side of Team Coast Guard. Future plans: My long-term plan is to earn the Trident pin in Marine Safety. I say “long-term” because the qualifications take a minimum of five years to complete, and I just started them this year. Name: Fred Hetzel Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA Current City: Smithfield, VA Family: Jeanne (wife) Profession: Retired (IBM, USCG) Years in Auxiliary: 15 months Aux, 33 yrs Active Duty & Reserve Last/Highest Office: Vice Flotilla Commander, Flotilla 59 Qualifications: Boat Crew, AUXOP (pending) Meet Our People during a Dept. of Defense stand-down day in May. Staff Report Highlights IS - Flotilla 59 once again had 100% of its members turn in 7029 and 7030 hours on time. PA - National Safe Boating Week (NSBW) began the week of May 22. The Saturday prior, Flotilla 59 set up a booth at the Smithfield Farmer’s Market Saturday, May 21 and at the Windsor Castle Park kayak launch Sunday, May 22. The Flotilla will offer on-site vessel exams the following weekend at Jones Creek. CS - The Flotilla has entered its music video “Flotilla 59” on YouTube for entry into the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s National Public Affairs Contest in the video production category. MT - Flotilla 59’s boat crew qualified members will be doing dockside training at Smithfield Station on June 4. New members interested in becoming boat crew qualified are encouraged to attend. Flotilla 59’s Henry Troutner and Chuck Mullen, Jr. recently completed and passed the AUX Search Coordination and Execution (SC&E) course, along with two Smithfield police officers. This advanced-level course is part of the AUXOP certification program (the highest proficiency rating an auxiliarist can attain.) in navigation, the duties of a search and rescue unit, how to prepare for missions and carry out a search action plan, and some of the unique communications encompassed in SAR missions,” Thornton said. “Students also learned about local, national and international search and rescue systems and the laws and policies that govern each body of those systems.” According to Thornton, the two Smithfield Police Department officers who took the course did so to build a stronger relationship with their local Auxiliary and Coast Guard units and to strengthen their seamanship and boating skills. Troutner and Mullen, as fellow Auxiliarists, took the course as one of the authorized electives in the prestigious AUXOP program of study. “The AUXOP program has sometimes been called the ‘Ph.D. of the Auxiliary,’” Thornton said. “Members who achieve AUXOP status should be justly proud of their accomplishment and increased utility to the Auxiliary and to the Coast Guard. Members who complete their training are authorized to wear the AUXOP device.” As a follow-up to the course, the two Smithfield Police Department officers who completed the course and every member of the Smithfield Police Marine Unit will be invited to the Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads Command Center and USCG Station Portsmouth for a guided tour facilitated by USCG Auxiliary Smithfield Flotilla 59. Pictured: AUXOP uniform device
  3. 3. Commander’s Corner Flotilla - Anderson Braswell Flotilla Commander Smithfield Flotilla 59 Boater Safety Class Flotilla 59’s George Langdon and Peter Faleski taught the state-approved basic boater safety course to the Norfolk Angler’s Club Tuesday, May 24 and Wednesday, May 25, 6-10 p.m. - 26 people passed and received their DGIF cards. State law will require all motor boat operators to complete the course and carry a card by July 1. National Safe Boating Week Begins Upcoming Events: DOCKSIDE TRAINING Well, it is finally here - May - that time of year we get to pack up our drysuits, roll up our ODU sleeves (properly), and spend even more time out on the water. One thing we should be mindful of going into “busy season” is maintaining focus. I recently listened to story about a seasoned Marine who is a decorated combat veteran and expert marksman going to the range to qualify. His recollection was “I’ve done this a million times. No Sweat... BANG. I wonder what’s for dinner tonight… BANG. Is the mess even open today… BANG.” He awaited his score figuring at least a 28/40, but more likely his usual score of +30. He scored a nine. Nine out of 40. Proficiency does not come from one attempt. It doesn’t even come from hundreds of attempts. In addition to knowledge and repetition, proficiency demands your full concentration and mindfulness. Similar to the Marine, Flotilla 59 has put in a vast amount of time on the water and fields a wealth of experience amongst our crews. It is easy to slip into the trap of “I’ve done this hundreds of times,” lose focus, and create an incident. As we head into the busy summer months, lets all remember the old adage “If it is worth doing, it is worth your full attention.” ORDERS APPROVED FOR THE MARY RILEY ORDERS REQUESTED FOR THE PATRIOT AND WITCH DOCTOR 4 HOURS + PATROLS WITH 2-BOAT TRAINING MORNING AND NIGHT MISSIONS AVAILABLE WHEN: SATURDAY, JUNE 4 WHERE: SMITHFIELD STATION MARINA 415 SOUTH CHURCH ST., SMITHFIELD Saturday, May 21 marked the official start of National Safe Boating Week, an annual safe boating awareness campaign intended to mark the start of the traditional recreational boating and water sport season. According to U.S. Coast Guard statistics, every year, on average, 700 people die in boating- related accidents, and eight out of every 10 of those fatalities was not wearing a life jacket. Flotilla 59 kicked off the first two days of National Safe Boating Week with free vessel safety checks at the Smithfield Station marina on May 21. The Flotilla also set up a public affairs booth at the Windsor Castle Park kayak launch on May 22, which included displays of safety information, free identification labels, and safety whistles for life jackets. A certified vessel examiner was also on-hand to award vessel safety check decals to properly outfitted kayaks. “Our vessel safety checks are always free, no-consequence exams,” said the Flotilla’s Staff Officer for Vessel Examinations, Lou Bott. “We check to make sure you have the right number of life jackets, portable flotation devices and other supplies on board either on-site at a boat launch or at the location and time of your choosing as a courtesy to keep you and your family and friends safe on the water. We’re not law enforcement, so you won’t get a ticket if something is missing.” Flotilla 59 will close out National Safe Boating Week the following Saturday, May 28 at the Jones Creek boat launch by again offering free vessel safety checks. The Flotilla’s vessel examiners are also available year-round by appointment.