2014-03-27 / Naval Community

Naval Community Briefs

Brazil Honors NUWC Newport Employees

Three employees of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Newport were recently awarded Brazilian Tamandaré Medals in a ceremony at the Brazilian Naval Commission in Washington, D.C. Computer scientist Michael Sullivan, electrical engineer Rodney Santos, and engineering technician Lawrence Webster were recognized for their distinguished service to the Brazilian Navy. The award is comparable to the U.S. Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

These individuals were selected as representatives of a sustained collaborative effort, which began in October 2007 when the United States entered into a foreign military sale with Brazil for weapons and combat systems that will improve the capabilities of the Brazilian Navy’s submarines.

Dual Graduations

Officer Training Command will hold two graduation ceremonies on Friday, April 4. Officer Development School will graduate 41 in a 9 a.m. ceremony at the Marine Detachment, and the guest speaker will be Capt. Grant Wallace, executive officer of Naval Health Clinic Newport England.

Officer Candidate School will commission 61 ensigns in a ceremony in Kay Hall at 10:30 a.m. Capt. Guy Vilardi, commanding officer of Coastal Riverine Squadron Eight, will address the graduates. For more information, call 401-841- 1171.

Walk-In Customer Service to End April 1

Walk-in service at the Naval Health Clinic New England Newport TRICARE Service Center (TSC) will no longer be available as of April 1. This only applies to customer service and does not affect patients’ benefits or health care delivery. Find out more at tricare.mil/ TSC.

NHCNE patients have a wide variety of secure, electronic customer service options available through tricare.mil. The new “I want to…..” feature puts everything beneficiaries want to do online right on the front page.

When walk-in service ends on April 1, beneficiaries who want personal assistance can call Health Net Federal Services LLC, at 1-877-874- 2273, for enrollment and benefit help. All health care, pharmacy, dental, and claims contact information is located at tricare.mil/contactus. Beneficiaries can get 24/7 TRICARE benefit information at tricare.mil and make enrollment and primary care manager changes and more online at tricare.mil/enrollment.

Walk-in customer service is the most expensive possible customer service option. By eliminating walkin customer service at TSCs, the Department of Defense estimates savings of approximately $250 million over five years.

SNA 5K By The Bay

Registration is being accepted for the Surface Navy Association’s annual 5K By The Bay run scheduled for Friday, May 16 at 5 p.m. The USATF-certified course draws runners from across New England for the scenic race around the naval station. Trophies will be awarded to the first male and female runners and best overall team, and medals will be presented to the top three finishers in each age group. For more information or to register, visit sna5k.org.

Lenten Series at Chapel of Hope

The Chapel of Hope is hosting a Lenten series on Wednesday evenings through April 9. Enjoy soup and bread at 6 p.m., followed by the program “Walk as Jesus Walked” at 6:30 p.m., led by Chaplain Carl Trost. For more information, call the chapel at 401-841-2234.

Veterans Services

Whether you are retired, a veteran, or just thinking about leaving the service, the Veterans’ Activities Office is available to assist you. Counselors, who are also veterans, are available to help with questions concerning military benefits, rights and privileges. They can address concerns about retired pay, survivor benefits plan and other issues, often directing clients to the proper source for redress.

The office is located in bldg. 690 and is open 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday-Friday. Call 401-841-3030 for information.

NUWC Mathematician Honored

Richard Thornton, a mathematician at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Newport, has been named the winner of the Department of the Navy Test and Evaluation (T&E) Award in the Small Program Outstanding Tester category. The award recognizes a military and government civilian who has provided exceptional T&E execution and support for a small program, including urgent operational needs projects. Candidates from all Naval Sea Systems Commands and Navy and Marine Corps operational test agencies that are involved in the acquisition of defense systems are considered.

Thornton is the alteration installation team manager and test director for several critical submarine projects and has played an essential role in the accomplishment of programmatic milestones and delivery of systems to fleet operators. In 2013, he spearheaded fleet testing of two highly complex warfare systems, both of which expand the Navy's unmanned systems capability into previously uncharted areas. He led a diverse Navy, laboratory and contractor team that successfully demonstrated unmanned undersea vehicle launch and recovery, and also headed a governmentcontractor group demonstrating the torpedo tube launch and transition to flight of a fuel-cell powered unmanned aerial system from a submerged submarine.

Eight Bells Lecture

The Naval War College Museum’s Eight Bells Lecture Series will continue on Thursday, April 3 with George Daughan presenting “The Shining Sea: David Porter and the Epic Voyage of the USS Essex During the War of 1812,” at noon.

A few months after the outbreak of the War of 1812, Captain David Porter set out in the USS Essex on a 17-month cruise to the South Seas. His cruise brought glory to the fledgling American navy, cemented Porter’s reputation as a daring and talented commander, and has long been celebrated as one of the greatest maritime adventures in U.S. history. Daughan’s biography examines the terrible price that the crew of the Essex paid for their captain’s ambitions. His search for glory ultimately cost him his ship and the lives of over two-thirds of his crew.

The Eight Bells series is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and advance reservations are strongly suggested. To reserve and arrange for base access, call 401-841-7276 at least one work day prior to event.

Great Decisions Series

The Newport Council for International Visitors will host the next seminar in the Great Decisions Series on Tuesday, April 1 on China’s foreign policy. Dr. Paul Smith, professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval War College, will present.

China has gone to great lengths to emphasize the “peaceful” nature of its meteoric rise. Few dispute that China is the dominant regional power in Asia – and in recent years Beijing has begun to flex its muscles regionally in order to advance its strategic interests. What does the rapid rise of this new superpower mean for other countries in the region, and are there potential points of conflict with the U.S.?

The seminar will be held at the North End Steakhouse, Best Western Mainstay Inn, 151 Adm. Kalbfus Rd. The presentation and discussion are free. A special menu will be available. Social hour begins at 6 p.m., followed by the program at 7 p.m. and discussion at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit newportciv.org or call Anne Huot at 401-487- 9414.

ID Card Scanning Update

The new ID scanning system continues to be implemented at the Newport Naval Station. To date, almost 11,000 ID cards have been scanned at the gates; but the project is ongoing and personnel should allow extra commuting time during the process. All hands should have their cards out and ready to hand to the sentry before approaching points of entry to facilitate smooth access.

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