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COMMAND OMBUDSMEN NEWSLETTER A Word from the Commanding Officer Grey Knight Families, We have reached almost 6 months back at home reunited with our families after our successful 2008 summer deployment. We trust that the time back so far has been well spent and enjoyable. Much has been accomplished in these few short months: we have welcomed back all of our maintainers into VP-46 as of 13 April and officially started flying our own airplanes again as of 5 May. We have two Combat Aircrews that have completed the Advanced Readiness Program (ARP) course and a third that is going through it now. Today we successfully dropped our first torpedo for this training cycle. Our pilots maintain the required proficiency approaches and landings as well as significant number of flight hours to keep us safe. The safe maintenance transition alone is a very significant achievement. The addition of the maintainers doubled the size of the Grey Knight family to about 320 Sailors. The spaces look shipshape; Sailors are turning to and executing VP-46 flight operations with precision; the Chiefs and Junior Officers are leading our Men and Women; our Administrative department is taking care of all of us. All in all we have started off very strong. Even though we are still more than one year away from deploying again, the foundation is set for continued success. We have some great flying opportunities here at Whidbey Island and down in San Diego set up in the coming summer months. The Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force is coming to visit with 4 of their own P-3C Orion aircraft and they will fly Coordinated Anti-Submarine Warfare training events with our P-3s. In addition to the flying there will be time for us to socialize with our bilateral partners as well. As for travel opportunities, we expect some short detachments to San Diego to support a flotilla of ships called an Expeditionary Strike Group providing them a secure Sea Base from which to operate from. VP-46 Return to Flight 5 May 2009 after standing up Grey Knight Maintenance AT3 Wheeler Plane Captain in front of 763 Thank you to those of you who had a chance to attend Friday‟s picnic at Rocky Point Park. Getting a chance to visit with many of you and see some smiling faces enjoy some Whidbey sunshine was a pleasurable experience. We would love to see you at future events. The Spouses are in the habit of organizing free play dates from time to time. It is a great way to talk to some other parents and change up your daily routine. Welcome Back, Maintainers! “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller The VP-46 Commanding Officer welcomes VP-46 maintainers back from CMO VP-46 maintainers at the first safety stand down welcoming them back to VP-46 This being my spouse, Erin, and my last newsletter to you as the Commanding Officer and family, we would like to say Thank You. It has been a pleasure and honor to serve with you over the past two years. We would not want to change a thing. The Grey Knights have been our pride and joy and we know that you will meet every future challenge and achieve optimum results. Naval Aviation is an exciting and rewarding business to be in. You do very well at taking care of each other. That is most important. There is always the next challenge out there and I think this squadron strikes a good balance between work and play. Smiles… and the success of every Sailor…. that is what we strive for. Fair Winds and Following Seas. Squadron Picnic and Physical Readiness Test Day VP-46 Family Picnic 8 May at Rocky Point AWO2 Hauselmann maxing the PRT Sit-ups Can someone get the CO out of the Bouncy House? 99, 100, 101... Family Support Groups If you are interested or have questions about supporting one of the fantastic, Enlisted/Officer, „support/networking‟ groups, please contact one of the Ombudsmen and we will get you in touch with the appropriate people. This is an opportunity to take the uniform and the rank off and get together with other people your own age with children or without and enjoy Whidbey Island. As the weather gets better this summer this is your opportunity to meet Sailors families who have been around and know of some of the fun things to do and see. Meetings are typically family oriented, informal and involve sharing of some of your favorite food with others who bring something to share as well. You will find that we all face similar family challenges and by getting together we can share and help each other out. As was mentioned above a group of families are meeting regularly now and enjoying visiting together. Upcoming All Hands Event ******************** VP-46 CHANGE OF COMMAND FRIDAY MAY 22nd @ 1000 Spouses/families encouraged. Reception to follow at NAS Whidbey Officers Club. Please do join us for this event. We have planned for everyone to be able to come to the O‟Club and enjoy the Celebration immediately following the ceremony ******************** Tap Into It!! Have you found your way to the www.navylifepnw.com website yet? This site is full of activities, resources, events and entertainment in our area. Select NAS Whidbey under the Home tab, and you are there. Call us, 24x7: 1-800-342-9647 User Name: military Password: onesource 17th Annual Skagit Valley College Whidbey Island Golf Classic Sponsored by Whidbey Island Bank Objective: All money raised as part of the Whidbey Island Golf Classic support programs and students at the SVC Whidbey Island Campus. When: Friday, June 19, 2009 Where: Whidbey Golf & Country Club Time: 11:00 a.m. Registration 1:00 p.m. Shotgun Start, Let's Play Golf! 5:00 p.m. Dinner, Raffle, & Awards Ceremony Please contact Kelli Tolf at 360-416-7870 or Stephanie Greene at 360-679-5230 for additional information. CHART YOUR COURSE WITH COMPASS Attention Navy Spouses-- Have you ever wondered the meaning of all those acronyms that your spouse uses when they come home from work? Would you like to better understand the many benefits available to you as a Navy spouse? Want to FINALLY learn how to read that LES? If so, Compass is for you! COMPASS is a 3-day course (4 hours each day) designed to educate and prepare spouses for the Navy lifestyle. Interactive sessions, led by Navy spouses, cover topics including the Navy mission, history, customs and traditions, rights and benefits, pay, deployments, moving, interpersonal communication, and investing in yourself and the community. COMPASS is also a great way to meet other spouses in the area. COMPASS is FREE, and free childcare is provided, but you must register in advance. The next session will be on May 19-21, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. For more information or registration please call 360.257.2726 or visit the Compass Website at http://www.gocompass.org/whidbeyisland.html Money Saving Tips BANKING TIPS OF THE MONTH: -Pay your bills online to save on postage. -Utilize online bill pay with your bank. It keeps you in much closer contact with your money, as you can keep a very close eye on your balance and be in much less danger of over drafting. It saves you money on stamps and paper checks. -Set up automatic withdrawal to your savings account. This is the simplest and most effective technique of all. If you set up $100/month to your savings account, you will save $100/month. -Try taking enough cash from your account to last you the week without using your ATM card. You'll be surprised how soon you're out of cash, and soon you'll find yourself cutting out the little extras that have been costing more than you realized. MONEY SAVING TIPS FOR YOUR WARM WEATHER PROJECTS: Warmer weather is upon us, and for many that means it‟s time to get cracking on the landscape and home improvement projects that have been hibernating all winter. Whether it‟s home repair, painting, yard work, or energy efficiency, many people are looking to cut costs. What better way to save money than to do it yourself. Here are some basic household tips to help you minimize the cost of your warm-weather projects. -If painting or remodeling, use a single neutral color to paint the trim in every room. You can buy in bulk, which is cheaper than buying a gallon of a different color for each room. Plus you‟ll never have a problem matching the color if you need to touch up. -Turn down the thermostat on your water heater. This is a method that can be used year-round but, since the weather is warm, you may not need your water to be as hot. You can also purchase a thermal wrap for the water heater. This will keep the contents warm without having to keep using energy, saving money in the long run. -Retailers are going to start promoting their spring and summer items. If possible, wait until the off-season to make these purchases. Get your grill, lawn mower, and patio furniture in the fall for big markdowns. Since it‟s warm, now‟s the time to look for the things you‟ll need for winter. -Check your roof and gutters for any damage sustained over the winter. Look for curling, shrinking, broken, or missing shingles. -If you don‟t have the tools for a particular job, ask your friends and neighbors for a loaner. Otherwise you can check websites like www.craigslist.org and www.freecycle.com for inexpensive tools and materials, among many other things. COMPANIES WITH MILITARY DISCOUNTS: Below is a list of companies that provide military discounts. Always call your local vendors to be sure they participate in the program. Also never be afraid to ask a store if they offer a discount, even if one is not advertised. You may be pleasantly surprised. Restaurants Cotton Patch Arby‟s Denny's A&W Dunkin' Donuts Back Yard Burgers IHOP (20 percent discount with military identification) Burger King Java Café Captain D's KFC CiCi's Pizza (buffet and a drink for $5.50) Long John Silver Chick-Fil-A Pancho's Mexican Buffet Pizza Hut Gadzooks Quizno's GNC Sizzler Goody's Sonic Great Party Whataburger Happy Harry's Home Depot Services Hot Topic Anheuser-Busch's SeaWorld, Busch Gardens or Sesame Place Jockey Parks (single-day complimentary admission: Lerner http://www.herosalute.com/) Lowe's (10%) AT&T Michael's Budget truck rental (10-20%) NAPA Auto Parts California Cryobank New York & Company (15%) Carnival Cruises (dependant on your time of travel) Pac Sun Choice Hotels (Comfort Inn and Suites, Quality Inn, Clarion Hotel, Payless Shoes Sleep Inn, Rodeway, EconoLodge and MainStay Suite; also allow Play It Again Sports pets) Pure Beauty Continental Airlines Quizno's DIRECTV ($5 off for 6 months) Reebok Geico Sally Beauty Supply Jiffy Lube Spencer's Gifts Meineke Suncoast Sears Portrait Studio Timberland Outlets Travel and Leisure Wilson's Leather Blockbuster Most movie theaters Ripley's attractions and museums Cell Phone Service Discount Professional Sports teams All Federal Employees are able to get a 15% discount on their personal cell phones by calling their carrier and mentioning the "Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 - Discount to Federal Employees Past and Products Present." Aeropostale (10%) Apple Computers (Apple.com) Cingular - 800-319-6393 (17% or 18% off bill and 25% off AutoZone accessories) Barnhill's Sprint - 877-812-1223 Bass Pro Shop T-Mobile - 866-646-4688 Bath and Body Works Nextel - 800-639-6111 Big 10 Tires Verizon - 800-865-1825 (17%) The Buckle You will need to know the military member's supervisor's name, phone Champs Sports number, and full address, so that his/her military status can be verified. Copeland's Sports Dell Websites with lists of military discounts: The Discovery Channel Store www.4militaryfamilies.com/militarydiscounts.htm Dress Barn http://benefits.military.com/DC/DealIndex.jsp The Finish Line Travel deals for the military: http://www.govarm.com/ FootAction Footlocker (10%) Useful Websites… Tri-West: www.triwest.com Tri-West is constantly changing the services that it provides. Please make yourself aware, especially during your time of travel. 1-888-TRIWEST (874-9378) United Concordia: www.ucci.com Visit the United Concordia website or call 1-800-866-8499 with questions or concerns. Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society: www.nmcrs.org “Make Us Your First Resource! Not Your Last Resort!” The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society is a nonprofit charitable organization designed to provide financial, educational and other assistance to members of the Naval Services of the United States, eligible family members and survivors, when in need. The Society can offer: budget counseling, Layettes, Education loans and grants (restrictions apply), and interest- free loans and/or grants to help in certain emergencies. Spouses must either have a Power of Attorney or a Pre-Authorized Form in order to seek assistance. Please call 360-257-2728 or visit their website for more information. Forest City Updates Starting May 1, 2009 security will be issuing citations for vehicles parked on sidewalks in Maylor Point and Western Cape Heart neighborhoods. Forest City has now implemented a parking decal system for all current residents of NAS Whidbey Island community to help with parking congestion. Parking decals are required to be placed on the rear window of the passenger side of the vehicle by Sunday, May 31, 2009 to comply with the Forest City parking guidelines. If you currently do not have a parking decal sticker for your vehicle you can go into the local Neighborhood Management office and register your vehicle by providing the make, model and license plate number to a neighborhood coordinator. Feel free to call the office with any questions at (360) 679-4241. Island Disposal will no longer be accepting glass in your recycling. If you would like to recycle glass products, please take them to one of the two dumpsters in town. One is located on Kettle Road right behind Sears and the other one is at Albertsons. Calendar of Events May 13th: Memorial Day Run/Walk on Seaview Trail, 11:30 a.m. Free to run, $10 for t-shirt. Call 360-257-2433 May 14th: Ready Readers: Preschool Storytime, Oak Harbor Library, 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Children ages 3 to 5 years enjoy stories, songs and getting ready to read with a parent or caregiver. A playtime or craft may follow. For more information on all Oak Harbor Library events, please see www.sno-isle.org/ May 14th: Adult Oak Harbor Library Book Group, 5:30 p.m. Join the discussion of "The Maltese Falcon" by Dashiell Hammett. Books available at the library. May 14th: WorkSource Job Fair, Oak Harbor Elks Lodge, 12-4 p.m. Meet face-to-face with employers: Safeway, Aviation Technical Services, US Customs Border Protection, Embry-Riddle, Waste Management and more. For more information call 360-675-5966. Bring your resume, dress professionally, and be ready to interview. May 16th: All Hands Family Luau, Officers Club, 5-8 p.m. Admission is free…games, luau music and limbo contest, crafts, and prizes. BBQ on the deck $8.95 for adults and $4.45 for kids. Open to all hands and all commands. Sponsored by Officers‟ Spouses Club of Whidbey Island. May 16th: Penn Cove Water Festival, Coupeville Water Front, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tribal Canoe Races, Native Arts and Crafts, Storytelling, Creative Children‟s Activities, Dance Performances, Cultural Demonstrations, Native and Northwest foods. www.penncovewaterfestival.com May 16th and 17th: Anacortes Waterfront Festival, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. www.anacortes.org/wff/waterfrontfestival2009.cfm May 18th: Oak Harbor Anitakus Anime and Manga Club, Oak Harbor Library, 3 p.m. Teen Program. Are you a fan of anime and manga? Share your enthusiasm with other teens and discuss your favorites. Bring your art to work on, too! May 18th: Sugarloaf Mountain After-work Hike with Crescent Harbor Adventures, 4:30-8 p.m. Free. Sign up by May 15. Call 360-257-4842. May 21st: Oak Harbor Farmer’s Market—Opening Day! Hwy 20 next to NWMS Track, 4-7 p.m. Oak Harbor Farmer‟s Market is open every Thursday and features fresh produce, locally handmade goods and delicious food and treats! May 28th: Adult Mystery Book Discussion Group, Oak Harbor Library, 3 p.m. Discussion of the mysteries of physician Michael Palmer. May 28th: Write Away Teen Program, Oak Harbor Library, 6:30 p.m. Are you a creative writer? Join other teens to share your writing and improve your craft. New members always welcome. Take a number….. Auto Hobby Shop 257.4842 Flower Shop 257.0538 NEX-Seaplane Base 257.0600 Auto Parts Department 257.0629 Flying Club 679.4359 Officer’s Club 257.2521 Auto Repair (NEX) 257.2829 Golf Pro Shop 257.2178 Outdoor Recreation 257.4842 Auto Service Center 257.0628 Gym & Fitness Center 257.2420 Package Store 257.0564 Barber Shop (Ault Field) 257.0511 Hospital Information 257.9500 Police Emergency 911 Barber/Beauty (Seaplane) 257.0530 Housing-Trouble Calls 257.3358 Recycling 257.5481 Bowling Alley 257.2074 Kegler’s Kafe 257.1567 Security Police (on Base) 257.3122 Chapel 257.2414 Laundry (Ault Field) 257.0512 Self Help (Housing) 257.2388 Child Development Center 257.3302 Laundry (Seaplane) 257.0526 Service Station (Ault Field) 257.2829 Commissary 257.3318 Marina 257.8541 Skywarrior Theatre 257.5537 Chief’s Club 257.2891 MWR Information 257.2432 Tipsy Taxi 257.2827 Duffer’s Deli 257.5050 Navy Lodge 1.800.628.9466 Veterinary Clinic 257.2001 Environmental Affairs 257.1009 Nor’Wester Activity 257.2432 Youth Center 257.3150 Family Service Center 257.6289 NEX-Customer Service 257.0554 Job Information 1.800.763.8143 Command Ombudsman Mrs. Teal McWhirter Mrs. Teresa Para Phone: 360.720.2530 Phone: 360.682.6129 Email: email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Please contact one of the ombudsmen if you have comments or suggestions for this newsletter.