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    A Safe and Sweet Celebration: Navy Birthday Onboard NSA Naples

    A Safe and Sweet Celebration: Navy Birthday Onboard NSA Naples

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Donavan K Patubo | Lt. Cmdr. Joselito Tiongson, a U.S. Navy chaplain assigned to Naval Support Activity...... read more read more



    Story by Alicia McNeely 

    U.S. Naval Support Activity Naples

    NAPLES, Italy – Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples hosted a virtual celebration for the 245th birthday of the U.S. Navy, Oct. 13.

    In years past, NSA Naples has held a formal Navy Ball in October in recognition of the Navy birthday, amongst other in-person heritage events. However, in order to prioritize the health and safety of personnel and families amid the coronavirus pandemic, an evening dance was replaced with an online affair.

    Debuted as a Facebook Premiere event and streamed on Instagram TV, NSA Naples shared an original video commemorating the momentous date. Community members were able to tune in at 7 p.m. to watch together and engage in a social media celebration.

    To kick off the festivities, NSA Naples Commanding Officer Capt. James Stewart welcomed viewers to the evening and reflected on the Oct. 13, 1775 congressional resolution that established what is now the U.S. Navy. Stewart also introduced guest speaker Adm. Robert P. Burke and this year’s theme, “victory at sea.”

    “Not only are we celebrating the 245th birthday of the U.S. Navy, but also the 75th anniversary commemoration of World War II,” said Stewart. “Since 1775, through today, American Sailors have stood the watch with honor, courage and commitment. Armed with honor, courage and commitment 75 years ago, ‘The Greatest Generation’ achieved victory at sea in World War II.”

    Adm. Robert P. Burke, commander, Naval Forces Europe-Africa, and commander, Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Naples, spoke on the Navy – since its very beginnings – continually succeeding in the fight to protect the rights and liberties Americans experience today. Burke encouraged Sailors to remember those who served in prior conflicts, embody their values and work hard each day to carry out the mission.

    “In the midst of our great power competition against increasingly capable adversaries, those traits displayed by our Sailors at Normandy and Anzio, and on the high seas of the Atlantic and Pacific during World War II, traits like courage, innovation, and resolve may once again be the critical factors that ensure victory for our Navy,” said Burke.

    He also remarked on celebrating as a meaningful form of observance.

    “Celebrate our heritage like we’re doing now, joining together in gratitude of the freedoms Sailors have preserved for 245 years,” said Burke. “Thank you. Thank you for everything you’re doing. You really are making a difference, and I am so proud to serve alongside of you. Happy 245th birthday.”

    In his speech, Burke noted he was grateful to be able to come together as a community to recognize such a significant moment in naval history while staying safe.

    “I want to give a special thanks to our terrific Navy Ball committee who put together a great program,” said Burke. “I am glad we can still come together to celebrate our Navy while being mindful of taking every precaution to keep our force healthy and ready.”

    Following Burke, the broadcast also shared the Navy birthday messages from Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Kenneth J. Braithwaite, and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday and wife Linda Gilday, respectively.

    In keeping with tradition, NSA Naples conducted a bell ringing ceremony to honor Sailors of the past and mark the beginning of a new year. U.S. Naval Forces Europe Band played “Eternal Father Strong to Save” while the bells sounded, and they continued to perform throughout the remainder of the broadcast.

    Service members and employees stationed onboard NSA Naples, Aviano Air Base, Comando Aeroporto Capodichino, and JFC Naples led toasts to each branch of the U.S. armed forces, as well as the Italian president and military. For the final tribute, a few enthusiastic barks from a tail-wagging military working dog were captioned, “A toast to the U.S. Navy!”

    Like any proper birthday party, the celebration ended on a sweet note with a star spangled cake generously donated by the USO. Wearing service dress blues and face masks, the oldest and youngest active-duty Sailors onboard NSA Naples used a sword to slice the cake along to an instrumental accompaniment of “Happy Birthday.”

    Although masks were a new addition to the attire, this cake caking is an annual custom onboard NSA Naples and across the Navy. In this way, along with inspirational speeches from leaders and toasts for comrades, even as a video presentation with digital interaction, the spirit of the Navy birthday celebration prevailed. The community came together to remember and cheers to a 245-year legacy of honor, courage, commitment and victory at sea.

    NSA Naples is an operational ashore base that enables U.S., allied, and partner nation forces to be where they are needed, when they are needed, to ensure security and stability in Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia.

    For more news about NSA Naples and the Sailors who serve aboard the installation, please follow us on Instagram @NSANaples and Facebook at



    Date Taken: 10.21.2020
    Date Posted: 10.22.2020 03:42
    Story ID: 381466
    Location: NAPLES, IT 

    Web Views: 31
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