Sign Navy League’s ‘America’s Strength’ letter to Congress

A statement from the Navy League of the United States:

The Navy League is proud to announce the launch of a new, intensive, two-year campaign – “America’s Strength: Investing in the Navy-Marine Corps Team.”

On Thursday, March 26, we’re delivering an open letter to Congress asking for increased funding for the Navy-Marine Corps team.  Sign your name to show you support the sea services:  http://www.americas-strength.com/.

We also encourage you to share this request with family, friends, shipmates and colleagues who support a strong U.S. Navy-Marine Corps team. A PDF copy of the letter can be found here.

The Navy League’s “America’s Strength” advertising and grassroots campaign will raise awareness of the strain on the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps team and the potentially disastrous consequences for national defense, business and commerce, and on our nation’s ability to provide aid to victims of natural disasters, if current budgetary trends continue.

The Navy League’s “America’s Strength” campaign is supported by a broad and diverse coalition of individuals and organizations who share the belief that a strong U.S. Navy is vital to the nation’s defense, economy and to America’s leadership in the world. We are hosting a major press conference on March 26 in Washington, D.C., to announce the campaign. The campaign will include think tank reports, advertisements, op-eds, letters to the editor and grassroots engagement with Congress. At the Navy League convention in Tampa, we will run a workshop on the campaign and present your council with a media kit, best practices and other materials for effectively running this campaign at the council level.

You will find more information on the campaign website.

Wonderful night in WOXOF

Members and friends of the Tri-City Council enjoyed camaraderie, dinner, and an update on today’s Marine Corps at its dinner March 6, held in the distinctive WOXOF Room at the MCAS Miramar Officers’ Club.

Col. John Farnam, commanding officer, MCAS Miramar, addresses the Tri-City Council dinner.
Col. John Farnam, commanding officer, MCAS Miramar, addresses the Tri-City Council dinner. Photo by John Fontanini

As you can see in the photo above, the ambience of the WOXOF Room is quite unlike the generic look of the other banquet and conference rooms at the O Club. As speaker Col. John Farnam, a Naval Flight Officer, explained, WOXOF is an acronym that stands for “weather obscured, zero visibility, and fog.” That means no flying and when that happens pilots visit the bar.

Dinner attendees. The ceiling is intended to represent the weather conditions described by WOXOF. Photo by John Fontanini
Dinner attendees. The ceiling is intended to represent the weather conditions described by WOXOF. Photo by John Fontanini

Col. Farnam, commanding officer, MCAS Miramar, gave the gathering a status report on Marine Corps manning, described recent USMC activities and exercises, described plans for new hangars to accommodate new platforms, and shared updates on the ever-popular Miramar Air Show. The CO said he would end his time at Miramar in late summer, but stay local, moving to a position at Camp Pendleton, and looked forward to continuing to work with the Navy League.

Airman Elise Odom, Naval Sea Cadet Corps
Airman Elise Odom, Naval Sea Cadet Corps. At right is Bob Rombach, regional director of the Naval Sea Cadet Corps. Photo by John Fontanini

Members of the Gunfighter Squadron, Naval Sea Cadet Corps, based at MCAS Miramar, and one of the youth groups supported by the Tri-City Council, constituted the color guard for the event. Four of them stayed for dinner and shared their experiences with other guests. Airman Elise Odom was especially recognized for her upcoming summer as a Plebe at the US Naval Academy, which she will enter in the fall.

Also receiving special recognition was Mehdi Chitgari, immediate past president of the Tri-City Council. He was presented a placque acknowledging his exemplary service to the Council.

Several representatives of the Council’s community affiliates attended the dinner, including representatives of Classic Chariots, Navy Federal Credit Union, and Miramar Federal Credit Union.

Here is a gallery of other views of the WOXOF Room.

Prior to the dinner, several Council members and friends visited the Flying Leathernecks Aviation Museum, adjacent to the Miramar Officers’ Club. Docents stayed past their usual closing time to describe the wide range of exhibits and static displays of vintage aircraft. The museum is open to the public (accessible without entering MCAS Miramar) and is free of charge. It is a great collection of artifacts and aircraft, hosted by very helpful docents, nearly all of whom are former Marine aviators.

Docent John Pierce, at right, describes one of the guns on display to Ed Languid, area president of the Navy League, center, and Bruce Renne,  v-p for membership, San Diego Council, Navy League.
Docent John Pierce, at right, describes one of the guns on display to Ed Langmaid, area president of the Navy League, center, and Bruce Renne, v-p for membership, San Diego Council, Navy League.

One of the particularly iconic aircraft on display is this CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter.

DSC_0056

It is the very helicopter in which US Ambassador Graham Martin evacuated Saigon, South Vietnam, on 30 April 1975, signaling the end of official US presence in Vietnam. During the several days previous to the ambassador’s evacuation, dozens of Marine helicopter crews had brought 1,373 Americans and nearly 6,000 Vietnamese and other foreign nationals to US ships offshore.

Here is a gallery of some of the other exhibits and displays at the Flying Leathernecks Aviation Museum.