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VR-55 holds memorial for fellow sailor Petty Officer 1st Class Kim McLendon

Stephanie Finmark (right), mother points to photographs of Yeoman 1st Class Philip Fischer, Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 55 (VR-55) after his memorial service. Finmark reminisces with Vice Adm. Robin Braun, Chief of Navy Reserve and Commander, Navy Reserve Force, family and friends of the time the photos were taken. Fischer passed away July 14, 2013, while training with fellow Sailors at Point Mugu. The somber event was planned by VR-55 to give Fischer’s family and his Navy family a chance to mourn together. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kim McLendon)

NAVY BASE VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. – During a visit to the California coast Aug. 10-11, Chief of Navy Reserve Vice Adm. Robin Braun served as an honored guest at various ceremonies at Navy Base Ventura County (NBVC) then travelled to Fort Hunter Liggett to observe Seabee field training exercises, making this a welcomed visit from one of the Navy’s top reserve leaders.

Braun attended a memorial service at the Point Mugu chapel for Yeoman 1st Class Philip Fischer, Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 55 (VR-55), who passed away July 14 while training with fellow Sailors.

Following the service, Braun headed to Port Hueneme, where reservists and families from 39 units kicked off their Deployment Readiness Training (DRT), a requirement for imminent and voluntary Navy reservists prior to deployment. During this visit, Braun presented Command Master Chief Terry Delacruz, NOSC Ventura County, with the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, commemorating his end of tour with the NOSC.

"It was an honor to have Vice Adm. Braun at NOSC Ventura County,” said Delacruz. “Having her present my award during the DRT made the award more special.”

The goal of DRTs is to provide reservists and their families access to the various resources and support programs available to them before, during and after deployments.

“It’s great that she took the time to talk and spend time with those of us who were overseas,” said Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Ryan Cotter, who recently returned from Task Group Trident in Afghanistan. “She’s a busy lady and she took time to be with us.”

The day included promotions for Naval Air Systems Command officers, re-enlistments and award ceremonies at NOSC Ventura County and VR-55, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorating the opening of NOSC Ventura County training center, following the 2012, NOSC Port Hueneme and NOSC Point Mugu merge into a single consolidated Navy Operational Support Command, NOSC Ventura County, under the command of Capt. Ronald Oswald.

According to Oswald, consolidating the two smaller reserve commands required a herculean effort to close once facility, Mugu, and refurbish another, Hueneme, while adding capability and capacity to continue all missions for the 39 reserve units and their roughly 1,200 sailors.

“This was a momentous occasion, not only due to the grand opening and culmination of two years of work to achieve consolidation, but also due to our most senior reserve leader’s presence to recognize and honor the many sailors and civilians who made it all possible,” said Oswald.

During the final leg of her visit, Braun made the 400-mile trek up the coast to Fort Hunter Liggett to spend the day with reservists from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 25, based in Fort McCoy, Wisc., and NMCB 28, based in Barksdale, La.

Both units, totaling more than 1,000 Seabees, were tested and evaluated by Naval Construction Group 1 (NCG 1) while training in “full mission profile” field exercises with contractors from Tatitlek, to provide a realistic pre-deployment training and role-playing experience.

"It was a wonderful opportunity to have Vice Adm. Braun visit us," said Cmdr. Jennifer Donahue. "As NMCB 25 prepares for mobilization to CENTCOM next year, this exercise is critical for our tactical readiness. Moreover, the troops really appreciated Vice Adm. Braun here to see us in action."

For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, visit www.navy.mil/local/nrnpasew/.


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Public Domain Mark
This work, RESFOR commander visits Westcoast, by PO1 Kim McLendon, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:08.11.2013

Date Posted:08.28.2013 17:25

Location:PORT HUENEME, CA, USGlobe

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