Saturday, January 31, 2015

February 2015 Commander's Corner


Looking at the 2015 calendar it’s no surprise we have a full agenda in store and are ready to go, we hope you will join us for a great year.

The planned activities include fund raising, parades, Smoky Point Rest Stop event, the Tolling ceremony, annual Christmas lunch, and other events too numerous to mention. Typically they require a good deal of coordination and hard work, we are grateful to the shipmates who help make it happen.

Several of these events have imbedded costs that add up. To be candid, the rolling balance in our Base account, currently at around $3000, is on a negative curve. Specifically, the treasury has been a in a slow decline, averaging a reduction of about $612 per year or about $50 per month. Over time this is not sustainable and is the “Elephant in the Room” for our organization. For the record, we do have a special account of $5000 set aside as a rainy day fund but at best it generates a very modest return.

We raised this issue during our January meeting, but until Jim Harper actually crunched the numbers we were not fully aware of the situation.

Bottom line; perhaps we need to make some hard choices by collectively strategizing how to increase the Base account balance.

Unfortunately, and as a last resort, we might be required to reduce commitments to a few worthy causes. However, the board and Base officers shouldn’t make arbitrary decisions on these vital issues. We need all hands on deck to offer some suggestions and direction to solving this short-term issue. Please feel free to contact me, John Roberts, or Pat Householder with your suggestions. We intend to revisit this problem at the next meeting.

On a more positive note, I would like to offer our gratitude to Jim Lindley for an engaging account of World War I at our January meeting. It was very much appreciated; Jim is always welcome to return.

The guest speaker at our February meeting will be Mr. Jeffery Honeycutt, the Director of the Puget Sound Healthcare System – Volunteer Services. Jeff will be providing some insight to the vast workings of the VA system and some of the remarkable services it affords millions of veterans like you. You may find you are entitled to some benefits you may not be aware of. Be sure to invite any of your friends that are veterans too, so they can learn about their potential benefits.

Come and join us at the next meeting on February 18, we need to see you.

Dick Gonzalez
Seattle Base USSVI Commander

Sunday, January 25, 2015

January 2015 Meeting Notes

We started off the January meeting with Tolling the Boats lost in January, followed by birthday wishes for our members, officer reports, and introductions.

We also want to remind everyone that annual memberships ran out at the end of 2014 and Seattle Base and USSVI National dues for 2015 are due.

Old and New Business: 
Seattle Base Holiday Luncheon – We had a short recap of the Holiday Luncheon. Everyone seemed to enjoy the lunch and Meydenbauer Bay Yacht Club. We are hoping to return there in 2015. If you have any feedback about the lunch or venue, please feel free to pass them along to any Base officers.

Meeting Venue Changes – Base Commander Dick Gonzalez told us he has been talking with members that don’t usually come to our meetings and that many said that the location of the meeting was part of the reason they did not attend. He suggested that we consider alternative locations for some of our monthly meetings. There was general agreement that we could look into this.

Seattle Base Funding – At the last meeting we talked about ways to increase the Base membership, this month we talked a little about ways to generate additional revenue for the Base. Over the past few years the Base treasury has been decreasing at a rate of around $300 per year and we want to figure out how to reverse that trend. We talked about several different ideas and it was suggested that we talk through the issue more at a future meeting instead of having a presentation. If you have suggestion of how we can increase our revenue, please contact Base Commander Dick Gonzalez or bring them up at a future meeting.

January Program:
The program for January was a presentation by Jim Lindley on the birth of the air war during World War I. Jim is docent at the Museum of Flight, he served with the US Military Command during the Vietnam War and later as a commercial airline pilot with Northwest Airlines. He started out the presentation with a discussion of the origins of World War I and the early fighting actions. He went on to talk about the stalemate on the Western Front and the development of trench warfare. Jim then talked about how aircraft became involved in the war, starting with early observation planes and early attempts to arm aircraft leading to the development of true fighter aircraft. He talked about further aircraft developments, including improvements in engines and weapons. Jim also talked about the involvement of the United States in the air war, including the American volunteers with Lafayette Escadrille. He wrapped the presentation with a short discussion of the questions regarding what to do with airpower after the war. It was an interesting presentation on the different aspects of airpower during World War I
Base Commander Dick Gonzalez presents Jim Lindley with a certificate of appreciation for his presentation

Good of the Order: 

Steve Shelton let us know that he has the dates for this year’s Smokey Point Rest Stop Event. This year we will be at the North bound rest stop on July 1 – 3. He will have sign-up sheets available at a future meeting.

Lois Mezek told us that one of the other organizations she is part of will be disposing of worn-out flags in June. If anyone has an old U.S. flag that is ready for retirement, you can bring it to a future meeting and give it to her.

Remember that efforts to move the USS Clamagore to Knoxville Tennessee are moving forward and you can follow developments on Facebook at:

Saturday, January 17, 2015

January 2015 Meeting Reminder


The next Seattle Base meeting is this coming Wednesday, January 21. We will meet at VFW Post #2995 (4330 148th Ave N.E., Redmond WA 98052). Social hour starts at 6 PM with business meeting at 7PM.

We hope you can join us to kick off the first meeting of 2015. We expect to have a lively meeting with lots to talk about.

Our guest speaker is Mr. Jim Lindley, former President of the Cascade Chapter Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), secretary of the Washington State Chapter of the War of 1812 and docent at the Museum of Flight. Jim served and flew the US Military Command during the Vietnam War and had a distinguished career as a commercial airline pilot with Northwest Airlines. 
Camel vs. Albatros - by Roy Cross
Jim has great has a keen interest in the history of the air conflict during World War I and this will be the topic of his presentation. I know you will enjoy the company of a fine gentleman and his historical overview of World War I.

Dick Gonzalez
Seattle Base Commander

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Navy Names New Submarine after Rickover

On January 9, 2015 Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that the U.S. Navy will name the fifth Block IV Virginia-class nuclear attack boat (SSN-774) after the father of the nuclear submarine — Adm. Hyman Rickover.

The service is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the first U.S. nuclear sub USS Nautilus (SSN-571) first journey under nuclear power.

The announcement from the Pentagon came ahead of Mabus’ formal announcement at the Washington Navy Yard.

USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-795) will be the second Virginia boat to break with naming the class after states. The Block III boat John Warner (SSN-785) is scheduled to deliver to the service next year. Previous to SSN-795, the service named a Los Angeles - class attack boat, SSN-709, after Rickover.

Here is the complete announcement from the Department of Defense on January 9, 2015.
Navy Names New Virginia-Class Attack Submarine 
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today that SSN 795, a Virginia-class attack submarine, will bear the name USS Hyman G. Rickover.

Mabus named the submarine to honor U.S. Navy Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, the man credited for developing USS Nautilus (SSN 571), the world’s first operational nuclear-powered submarine.

Virginia-class submarines provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. They have enhanced stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities, and special warfare enhancements that enable them to meet the Navy’s multi-mission requirements.

Virginia-class submarines have the capability to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters or other sea-based forces. Other missions include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare; mine delivery and minefield mapping. They are also designed for special-forces delivery and support.

Each Virginia-class submarine is 7,800 tons and 377 feet in length, has a beam of 34 feet, and can operate at more than 25 knots submerged. It is designed with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship, reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

January - February Dolphin Brotherhood Posted

USS Hampton (SSN-767) in the Arctic in 2004 (US Navy photo)
I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday season.

The January – February issue of the Dolphin Brotherhood has been posted to the Seattle Base website.

This issue has photos from the 2014 Auburn Veterans Day Parade and the Seattle Base Holiday Luncheon, along with the usual base news and other submarine related articles.

Hardcopies of the newsletter are in the mail and should arrive early next week. I hope you all enjoy it.

Additionally, we’re introducing a way for you to get copies of the Dolphin Brotherhood sent directly to your email inbox. If you would like to get the PDF, full-color, version of the newsletter by email, just send a message to the email address: with the subject “Subscribe” and include your name in the message. Alternatively, you can just speak with me (Dave Schueler) at a base meeting or event.

As always, don't forget to check back here on the blog for base updates and other articles of interest. You can find old issues of the newsletter at: Dolphin Brotherhood Archives, which is also a link on the right side of the blog. 

Dave Schueler
Seattle Base Newsletter Editor