Friday, July 03, 2015

Reminder to be safe, vigilant during holiday weekend

By David Beecroft, Deputy director of Security Forces / Published July 02, 2015

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- As we enter this holiday weekend and enjoy the activities celebrating our nation’s independence, commanders and supervisors will remind us to focus on safety as we participate in cookouts, fireworks and outdoor fun.

The safety of our Air Force communities and our families is paramount. While we encourage everyone to enjoy their July Fourth celebrations, please remember to exercise vigilance at all times, especially through the upcoming holiday.

While we've received no new specific threat information, these large gatherings in the United States or overseas are attractive targets to violent extremists. For that reason, we’ve captured some tips we believe will be helpful for you and your families.

Don’t cancel your plans, but do remind everyone at work or at play to exercise appropriate operational security and force protection procedures while taking part in activities — real or virtual.

Whether you’re at work, home or an outside activity, report suspicious activity to your local law enforcement agency, base police or Office of Special Investigations. Suspicious activity that warrants reporting may include:

• Individuals with new or increased interest in critical buildings and landmarks with no reasonable explanation

• Suspicious observation of or unusual questions about maintenance or security procedures

• Loitering, parking or standing in the same area over multiple days with no reasonable explanation

• Individuals wearing clothes not appropriate for the weather or season

• Attempted or unauthorized access to potentially sensitive areas

• If it looks suspicious or out of place, report it

As a general rule, when you’re online, think about what you’re posting. Keep current on evolving privacy restrictions on social media accounts and be aware of online mentions of locations and activities, especially surrounding federal holidays and military events.

Never broadcast private contact information or list your e-mail address or phone number in any public site, like your profile page, a blog, public forum or photo caption. Be suspicious of unsolicited email messages or phone calls from individuals asking for personal information. If an unknown individual claims to be from a legitimate organization, try to verify his or her identity directly with that organization.

The July Fourth weekend is intended to provide us with time for rest, reflection, relaxation and fun as we gather with family and friends to celebrate the independence of this great nation. Others, like our security forces, firefighters and other first responders, will be on the job. We need your help every day. Have a safe Fourth of July weekend.

GW Sailors Trained to "Step Up, Step In"

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Shayla D. Hamilton, USS George Washington Public Affairs

PHILIPPINE SEA (NNS) -- Bystander intervention, as defined by training facilitators on board the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), is having the courage to get involved when a fellow Sailor is in trouble.

Sailors aboard George Washington attended Bystander Intervention to the Fleet (BI2F) training sessions throughout this calendar year where they learned about the importance of intervening, regardless of rate or rank, along with four different techniques to intervene.

"We just want everyone to be well-versed and prepared to handle every type of situation," said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Joshua Payne, BI2F facilitator. "From E-1 to O-10, we're all responsible for one another. The biggest thing we've noticed is junior-enlisted Sailors being too afraid to confront higher-ranked Sailors on their wrongdoings. That's why we have a chain-of-command for situations where we don't feel like it's our place to correct."

Bystander intervention is commonly associated with sexual assault prevention and response, but BI2F covers topics ranging from prevention of alcohol abuse to hazing and can apply to everyday scenarios.

"Bystander intervention is simply stepping up and stepping in," said Yeoman 2nd Class Jose Cervantes, George Washington BI2F facilitator. "Think of what you would want someone to do if you were in an uncomfortable situation."

During BI2F training, Sailors were shown videos that showcased different scenarios along with ways to effectively handle them, and included time in between for open group discussion.

"The most rewarding part about facilitating this training is having the opportunity to reach out to other Sailors on my ship and share knowledge that will benefit them in the long run," said Payne.
Sailors also learned four intervention techniques they could use to help them navigate through any conflict or situation that contradicts the Navy's core values.

"The worst thing you can do in a heated situation is nothing," said Cervantes. "Ask yourself, would I rather stand by, watching as something escalates, or get it under control before it spirals out of control? It's not easy. It will never be. But it's our responsibility to take action. I'd much rather be put into an awkward situation of having stepped in and prevented something major from happening, than to allow it to happen and risk possibly losing a life. These are the things we must take into account."

George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, are on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. George Washington will conduct a hull-swap with Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) later this year after serving seven years as the U.S. Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier in Yokosuka, Japan.

Navy Region Singapore Services Help Sailors and Their Families Enjoy Southeast Asia

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jay C. Pugh, Commander, Task Force 73 Public Affairs

SINGAPORE (NNS) -- Sailors and their families stationed in Singapore are taking advantage of improved Morale, Warfare, and Recreation programs offered through the Navy Region Singapore (NRS) staff to enhance their experience of living and serving in the Lion City.

The number one mission of NRS is to support the military community in Singapore and visiting fleet Sailors during their routine port visits.

According to Nelson Sinnappan, NRS community activities manager, MWR supports NRS's mission by providing the most updated information to community members and deployed visiting forces on travel, tours, outdoor activities, hotels stays, site-seeing and local travel tips.

"We want the community here and visiting Sailors to know that when they are in Singapore, they have a reliable MWR and ITT office to provide them the best information, best rates and best services to ensure their stay is memorable, entertaining and safe," said Sinnappan.

The MWR and ITT office at NRS made numerous improvements in the last year including the grand opening of a new office location last fall between Navy Federal Credit Union and Subway Restaurant in headquarters building for Navy Region Center Singapore. MWR and ITT now offer a one-stop-shop for eligible patrons to find discounted tickets to attractions such as Universal Studios, Singapore zoo, the city aquarium and waterpark. Sinnappan also emphasized the addition of self-guided, cultural tours to include Little India, Chinatown, Malay Village and Sentosa.

"Since we opened the new operational location, many people have benefited. We've contacted many businesses and restaurants and were able to get discounted prices. We often have better rates than customers who search for activities at hotels or travel agencies," said Sinnappan.

Scott Jungk, director of NRS Fleet and Family Readiness, expressed his enthusiasm for the increased capabilities of NRS' MWR and ITT programs. According to Jungk, in the last three years, NRS has met the demand from the community for a more robust MWR program with a finger on the pulse of what Sailors and their families are interested in doing.

"Seeing the results from getting the right folks in the right positions to improve the programs here in Singapore is phenomenal," said Jungk. "Not only in terms of where we were and where we are now, but in terms of where we're going in supporting our Sailors and their families."

MWR and ITT are also working to provide more organized trips so service members can take advantage of their opportunities to experience Southeast Asia and its culture.

"Our goal is to provide Sailors and their families great quality of life initiatives and services to include our MWR programs, the Navy Exchange, and comfortable housing and first-rate facilities that make serving here in Singapore rewarding and productive," said Capt. Scott Murdock, commanding officer, Navy Region Center Singapore. "We also want to continue to make improvements in all these areas so that Singapore continues to be a great place to serve and a once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience of living and serving our Navy in Southeast Asia."