Vol. XIII No. 26
Friday July 1 - July 7, 2005

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Fun City By The Sea

Updated every Friday
by Saichon Paewsoongnern

 

 

 

FEATURES
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]: 

U.S., Royal Thai Navy divers share techniques

7th Fleet Band crosses language barrier with music

U.S., Thai sailors deliver smiles to school children

Students from Pattaya School Number 8 tour USS Paul Hamilton

Dusit Sports Club entertains members and guests

U.S., Royal Thai Navy divers share techniques

Chief Journalist Melinda Larson,
Commander Destroyer Squadron One Public Affairs

U.S. Navy and Royal Thai Navy (RTN) divers practiced standard diving techniques June 21 using USS Safeguard (ARS 50) as a dive platform at Chuk Samet pier here.

The divers are sharing their skills during exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2005. CARAT, a bilateral series of military training exercises with several Southeast Asian nations, is designed to strengthen the interoperability of the sea services. In the precarious underwater world of Navy diving, a strong trust for fellow divers is the cornerstone of every operation.

With the help of U.S. Navy counterparts from USS Safeguard (ARS 50), a Royal Thai Navy (RTN) diver dons a MK-21 dive helmet in preparation for a combined U.S. Navy and RTN indoctrination dive June 21. Safeguard and RTN divers went through the familiarization process in preparation for an open ocean dive during the at-sea phase of exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2005. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Journalist Melinda Larson)

“We need to get comfortable with each other in the water. Sometimes there’s a language barrier so we have to figure out other ways of communication such as hand signals,” said Engineman 1st Class Joseph Moebius a Safeguard diver, who was on the first of 10 dives with a RTN counterpart.

During each of the 10 dives, wearing MK-21 helmets, two divers from each Navy were lowered over the side of the Safeguard on a dive platform to a depth of about 30 feet. The pier side practice is in advance of a scheduled wreck dive in open waters during the at-sea phase of CARAT.

(Photo Right) Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class (Diver) Daniel Smith (right) secures a MK-21 dive helmet for a Royal Thai Navy diver with help from another RTN diver aboard USS Safeguard (ARS 50). Divers conducted a combined training exercise on board the ship during exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training 2005. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Journalist Melinda Larson)

“The indoctrination dives are a requirement for us before open water dives,” said Lt. j.g. Nicholas Parker, a Safeguard dive officer. “It’s also a chance for us to dive together in a controlled environment and increase our confidence in each other’s capabilities.”

Trust in fellow divers is critical because when the unthinkable happens, such as a ruptured air hose or a diving injury, a diver has to trust the person underwater with him to make the right moves.

“There’s a lot more trust coming from the Thai divers because they’re on our systems,” noted Parker.

Working in an environment with divers whose second language is English also built the confidence of the U.S. divers.

“If you can teach it, you know it. Teaching the Thai divers helps build the confidence of men on my team because they can teach U.S. dive techniques to a non-English speaker,” said Parker.

Dive supervisor Chief Hull Technician Cliff Morin (First Class Diver), foreground, monitors the descent over the side of U.S. Navy diver Engineman 1st Class Joseph Moebius (left) and a Royal Thai Navy diver during a combined indoctrination dive from USS Safeguard (ARS 50). The divers are preparing for an open ocean dive scheduled during the at-sea phase of exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2005. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Journalist Melinda Larson)

Because the Royal Thai Navy does not have a salvage ship in its fleet, it’s important to train with the Safeguard divers in the event of a future mishap.

“We may be tasked to do diving or salvage operations with the Thai Navy. By building relations with our Thai counterparts through training exercises, we’ll be ready for a real event,” said Senior Chief Boatswain’s Mate (Master Diver/Surface Warfare) Jeffrey Samson.

The Safeguard is one of four ships in the CARAT task group, which arrived in Thailand June 17 for the Thailand phase. Rear Adm. Kevin M. Quinn, commander of Logistics Group Western Pacific is responsible for overall CARAT coordination for U.S. participants in his executive agent role as Commander, Task Force 712. Capt. Buzz Little, Commander Destroyer One, leads the CARAT ships while embarked in USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43). The guided missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) and the guided missile frigate USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) are also part of the CARAT task group.

Commodore Little’s staff is based in San Diego. Fort McHenry and Safeguard are forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan. Paul Hamilton is homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and Rodney M. Davis in Everett, Wash.


7th Fleet Band crosses language barrier with music

Chief Journalist Melinda Larson,
Commander Destroyer Squadron One Public Affairs

Musicians from the 7th Fleet Band Orient Express and Royal Thai Marine Corps (RTMC) came together for a series of performances June 20-22 during the Thailand phase of exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT).

Musician 3rd Class Jason Stark of the 7th Fleet Band Orient Express plays alongside a Royal Thai Marine Band counterpart during a performance at the Singsamut Elementary School. The concert for hundreds of students was a scheduled event of the Thailand phase of exercise CARAT 2005. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Thomas J. Brennan)

“Music crosses all language barriers. We’re speaking the same language through our music,” said Musician 1st Class Alex Gowland, Orient Express’ unit leader. He and the five other members of the band are communicating through their music with the Royal Thai Marine Corps (RTMC) Band.

The two bands practiced with the RTMC band before performing separately and then together as a group at the Thai Austrian Technical College and the Singsamut Elementary School in Pattaya June 20 and 22.

Playing popular jazz, blues, and rock songs together, Orient Express musicians were challenged by the Thai tunes.

“The forms are a little different but you just have to focus and stay on the chords,” said Gowland who plays lead guitar. “I love Thai music. It makes you feel good because the melodies are uplifting, even the slower ballads.”

Musician 3rd Class Jason Stark of the 7th Fleet Band Orient Express answers questions from students at Singsamut Elementary School, prior to performing with the Royal Thai Marine Band at the school. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Thomas J. Brennan)

Whether playing a slow Thai ballad or the obscure 1976 disco hit “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry, the members of both bands proved their diversity.

“Every once in awhile it took a little extra effort to understand but eventually it gets through and the music just happened,” said Gowland, who gave an RTMC band guitarist a distortion pedal. “A fellow musician gave me a pedal once and I wanted to pay it forward.”

The pay off of the joint band performances was simple.

“We just wanted to be musicians and play our music together,” said Lt. Arvoot Chananavin, officer in charge of the RTMC band.

CARAT is series of bilateral military training exercises with several Southeast Asian nations designed to enhance the interoperability of the respective sea services.


U.S., Thai sailors deliver smiles to school children

Disbursing Clerk 3rd Class Terri Kirkman, Commander Destroyer Squadron One Public Affairs

Smiles were seen and laughter was heard at two elementary schools here June 21-22 as U.S. and Royal Thai Navy (RTN) Sailors delivered soccer balls and candy to students.

More than 500 students from Ban Nean Sao Thong School and Ban Sattahip School received the gifts during an exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) community service project.

Senior Chief Fire Controlman (Surface Warfare) Michael Manning from USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) uses his height to pass a ball over the net to a student at Ban Neon Soa Thong School. Manning, along with other Sailors from his ship volunteered for the community service project during exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2005. (U.S. Navy photo by Disbursing Clerk 3rd Class Terri Kirkman)

“Being able to help someone else gives a person a good feeling. Being here today made me feel good and made me miss my own children,” said Chief Boatswain’s Mate (SW/AW) Mauro Guevara from the USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60).

U.S. Navy Sailors from the CARAT task group ships volunteered their time over two days to spend with these students and staff.

“I had a lot of fun today interacting with these children, and I am glad I was able to attend today’s project; however they wore me out,” said Fire Controlman 3rd Class Jeremy Bonka, a USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) crew member.

The RTN provided security for the U.S. Navy Sailors during the project, which was a surprise for the kids.

Fire Controlman 3rd Class Jeremy Bonka of USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) tosses a ball to a little girl during an exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2005 community service project at Ban Neon Soa Thong School. Sailors from USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) and USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) also volunteered for the project, where they distributed more than 100 balls to the school. (U.S. Navy photo by Disbursing Clerk 3rd Class Terri Kirkman)

“We are very glad and excited that the Sailors are here today and we want to thank them for coming. We didn’t tell the students ahead of time because we wanted them to be surprised, and they were,” said Sunit Tubtimtong, Ban Sattahip School director.

CARAT is a series of bilateral military training exercises with several Southeast Asia nations. The Thailand phase began with the arrival of the four-ship U.S. task group, Paul Hamilton, Rodney M. Davis, USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) and USS Safeguard (ARS 50) June 17.


Students from Pattaya School Number 8 tour USS Paul Hamilton

Sattahip, Thailand (June 19, 2005) Ensign Lacey Popson from Wyoming, Pa. answers questions from a group of students from Pattaya School Number 8 while giving a tour of the bridge on board the USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) during the Thailand phase of exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2005. CARAT is a regularly scheduled series of bilateral military training exercises with several Southeast Asia nations designed to enhance interoperability of the respective sea services. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Thomas J. Brennan)

Ensign Lacey Popson from Wyoming, Pa. explains the counter measures capabilities of USS Paul Hamilton (DDG60) while leading a tour for a group of students from Pattaya School Number 8 during the Thailand phase of exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2005. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Thomas J. Brennan)


Dusit Sports Club entertains members and guests

A Sunday BBQ was held at the courtyard outside the Dusit Resort’s Sports Club, with the super-fit Sports Club staff strutting their stuff for members and guests last weekend.

It was easy to differentiate the guests from the members, just on physical shape. Instead of well turned muscular calves, it was well turned tummies, whose musculature was definitely doubtful.

This little one doesn’t need to worry about calories.

However, it was the children who probably enjoyed the BBQ lunch most, having their own special buffet, pizza slices with mushrooms and ham, mini hot dogs, mini chicken burger, breaded fish fingers, spaghetti with tomato sauce and Pat Kapau pockets and, it wouldn’t have been complete without ice cream, though many of the well-padded dads were seen licking the odd ice cream cone in between a cooling ale or three.

The egg throwing contest on the beach showed that the Dusit’s fitness fanatic David Garred in the Mexican hat was more of a tosser than a catcher, which was pointed out by his (ex)mate Moose, who came down from Bangkok for the event.

David adds some energy calories, which he will no doubt work off later.

Restaurateur Av Khanijou (Indian by Nature) celebrated part of her birthday at the BBQ, while Graeme Moore, complete with wife Sam and children, just celebrated being in such healthy surroundings, and hoped that some it would rub off. However, all that rubbed off appeared to be egg yolk and chocolate ice cream. The Dusit Resort’s RM, Stefan Heintze, was also seen enjoying the event, sipping on a cola, but despite taking off his suit coat, did not come out in trainers and lycra leotard.

While all the eating and drinking and games continued, in between these, the Dusit’s fitness demonstrators showed what could be done with the human body, if you didn’t neglect it, providing visual examples of young fit people in their prime. Dave Doll said he would join up after they could show him another gentleman of his shape and that indeterminate age doing ‘pencil turns’ to music in the air-conditioned exercise areas inside the club. David Garred is currently out looking for someone who could fit the description.

Face painting fun for the kids.

Sawadee kha, gringo...

The Dusit fitness team looks happy and healthy.

Janine Tillmans has a gander at the good food laid out for the party.



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