Our guest speaker, LCDR Doug “Rabbit” Kay, gave us a good rundown of operations at Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron Three Five and his work as OIC of DET ONE aboard USS Fort Worth (LCS-3). This was the first deployment of a helicopter detachment aboard the new class of ships. From Doug’s perspective it went pretty well. See the write up by Dick Fields in this issue of the OpPlan.
We were also honored to have the Mayor of Garden Grove, Bao Nguyen, in attendance. The Mayor got to visit with our members, the guest speaker and two WWII Aces, Bill Hardy and Fred Dungan along with Joan Dungan, Bob Helton and Bobs Olds, who were also seated at the Speaker’s Table. Mayor Nguyen spoke a few words to the assembled guests and then made a presentation to our speaker on behalf of the City of Garden Grove. See the photos elsewhere in this OpPlan.
This month we will be honoring the Sailors of the Quarter at the Seal Beach Weapons Station. We hope that many of you will attend the ceremony and take the time to meet some top-notch Navy personnel. Come early and take the opportunity to talk to the Sailors, their Chiefs and the Executive Officer at NWSSB, CDR Erik “Reno” Franzen. Please bring guests with you and help in the recruiting effort on behalf of Gramps.
You may have noticed the article (page 41) on Gramps in the latest issue of Wings of Gold. Thanks goes to Dick Fields and Hal McDonnel for making sure that materials suitable for publication were provided to the Editor of WOG. Also, thanks to George Del Gaudio for working so hard to make the SOQ Awards Program go smoothly in February. And thank you too, to CDR Franzen who handled much of the production in the absence of the Senior Chief, Jeff Reeder, and Sel Ramsey, both of whom were attending the WEST Conference down in San Diego. And special thanks to Sel who “worked the room” at WEST and came up with a number of contacts who will make excellent speakers for Gramps on later dates.