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    NASK celebrates Navy's 245th Birthday under COVID 19

    Teamwork key in Navy Birthday paintball battles

    Photo By Rod Hafemeister | Teammates engage the ‘enemy’ in a paintball battle. Orange spots on the inflatable...... read more read more



    Story by Rod Hafemeister 

    Naval Air Station Kingsville

    The Navy had a birthday this month – but Naval Air Station Kingsville had to come up with ways to celebrate while still under COVID 19 safety protocols.
    “On Oct. 13, 1775, the Continental Congress decided to purchase two armed vessels to attack British supply ships and keep their supplies from reaching British soldiers in the Colonies,” said NASK Command Master Chief Jacob Bristow.
    “In 1972, one of the greatest things established by Admiral (Elmo) Zumwalt was the designation of Oct. 13 as the Navy official birthday.
    “This year’s theme, ‘Victory at Sea,’ conveys the notion that every sailor is shaped and strengthened by service in the Navy.”
    Traditionally, Navy units celebrate the birthday with a formal Navy Ball. And for NAS Kingsville, recent years have included a Navy Night at a Texas A&M Kingsville football game, including an opening coin toss by the air station commanding officer.
    But for 2020, those events were impossible because of COVID restrictions.
    Instead, the command and the base recreation committee came up with a week of events to celebrate while still protecting against the pandemic.
    It started Sunday, Oct. 11, with NASK joining Navy Region Southeast in a week-long Navy Birthday Virtual 5K Run, with the top three male and female runners receiving medals.
    Monday was a federal holiday, but NASK personnel supported the remembrance ceremony for the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the USS Cole. Kingsville native Mess Management Specialist 3rd Class Ronchester Santiago and 16 other sailors died in the attack.
    Tuesday, the actual Navy 245th birthday, was honored by the recreation committee traveling around the air station distributing cupcakes in lieu of the traditional pieces of cake. At a Navy Ball, the oldest and youngest sailors present cut a cake and serve each other the first two pieces.
    The NAS Kingsville Facebook page also presented a Navy Birthday video that included Kingsville sailors saluting the birthday and the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.
    On Wednesday the Chief Petty Officers’ Mess prepared and conducted a brisket plate drive-thru.
    Thursday brought a Navy Golf Tournament with air station military and civilian personnel and community supporters.
    Friday brought the end of summer with rain and cooler weather – but that didn’t stop a paintball tournament. Teams of five braved the wet to blast each other with paintballs.
    The evening ended with a movie, the classic World War II “Midway,” in the Captain’s Club with socially distant seating.
    Later this month, Navy personnel will take part in building a ramp for a local mobility challenged veteran.
    “For 245 years, the United States Navy has been the mainstay of our national defense,” said Capt. Thomas Korsmo, NASK commanding officer.
    “Happy birthday, Navy!”

    (This story previously appeared in the Kingsville Record on Oct. 22, 2020.)



    Date Taken: 10.22.2020
    Date Posted: 10.23.2020 16:51
    Story ID: 381674
    Location: KINGSVILLE, TX, US 

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