Navy Media Awards


Truman Sailor Shares Short Story

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Lindsay A. Preston,
USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Public Affairs

Time management – a way to balance the tasks we have to do with the tasks we want to do. For one Sailor aboard aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), finding the right method to manage his time was the key to achieving his life long goal of becoming a published writer.

Aviation Electrician’s Mate 1st Class D. Avera is slated to release his 22nd alternate history short-story, “The Telsa Gate” in the anthology, “Alt. History 102”, Jan. 31. Proceeds will be donated to children’s literacy programs.

“Applying a little time each day toward a bigger goal is the best way to tackle projects—whether it’s a qualification, studying for advancement or writing a book,” said Avera. “I’m sure everyone can relate to the grinding feeling when you are neglecting something. Putting it off only makes you feel worse about it. If you want to do it then you have to make time for it.”

Avera grew up reading comic books. At age 16, he was inspired by comic book writer and novelist Peter David to put pen to paper and share his own story.

“It was the first time I found reading someone’s work to be as enjoyable as the comic books I loved,” said Avera. “From there the seed was planted to write a book.”

Avera grew up in Meridian, Miss and enjoyed watching the Navy Flight Demonstration Team, the Blue Angels, at air shows every year. Inspired by their impressive displays and the opportunities that lie before him, Avera joined the Navy at 17-years-old as an aviation electrician’s mate, placing his passion for writing on hold.

“It wasn’t until I turned 30 that I realized I had not accomplished all I wanted to with my writing,” said Avera. “Often, time escapes us and we lose sight of our personal goals that are put on the back burner.”

Avera is married and has two daughters, ages 12 and 8, and said part of his motivation stems from wanting to be a good role model for them – a model of patience, persistence, and perseverance to achieve your goals and not give up on your dreams.

“I wanted to prove that I could do it and set a positive example for my children,” said Avera. “Encouraging words only go so far, but demonstrating how to achieve a goal will remind them that anything can be done if you set your mind to it.”

Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class N. Payne has known Avera for more than a year and said he is very impressed with Avera’s stories and his ability to achieve his personal and professional goals.

“Everything is a choice and there are only so many hours in a day,” said Payne. “It’s a test of self-discipline to be able to balance time and effort to achieve your goals in such an arduous work environment. Avera is a prime example that anything can be achieved. You just have to set a goal, break it down into smaller pieces and focus each day to accomplish what you need to get closer to achieving that goal.”

Avera discovered a contest through National Novel Writing Month where winners who wrote 50,000 words within 30 days would receive five free copies of their work in paperback.

“That is every writer’s dream, to hold their book in their hands,” said Avera. “That is what it took for me to settle in and focus on my goal. Twenty-three days later I finished my first book, ‘The Dead Planet Series.’”

Avera has published more than 20 stories over the course of three years and said he is grateful he can pursue his two passions – writing while still serving in the Navy.

“In the world of self-publishing I have found many Sailors doing the same things I am doing,” said Avera. “Some are retired Navy and are now full-time writers. I still have a ways to go, but half the fun is the journey to get there.”

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Engineering Department in the Spotlight

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman A. O. Tinubu,
USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Public Affairs

Beneath the waterline of the ship, Sailors toil in an inferno of noise and heat. Their coveralls cling to them, sticky with sweat, in sharp contrast to the cool, crisp attire of their shipmates on the flight deck above. No breeze relieves them; no sunlight touches them. Nevertheless, they labor on, determined and hardened to their purpose.

The Engineering department consists of approximately 300 Sailors from various rates, including machinist’s mates, machinery repairmen, damage controlmen, electrician’s mates, hull maintenance technicians and yeomen.

These rates band together to maintain the ship- safely departing Norfolk was only the first task on the agenda. Engineering department continues to support every aspect of the ship as Truman conducts its overseas mission.

“Teamwork plays a large role in daily work in Engineering department,” said Master Chief Machinist’s Mate W. Ponder. “The wealth of knowledge between all our rates is immense, and with that knowledge we’re able to tackle any problem that may occur.”

When required parts for machines are not readily accessible, machinery repairmen are available to make them. The department provides a machine shop where these components are constructed.

Electrician’s mates receive trouble calls to make repairs throughout. Their tasks range from electrical safety checks on personal equipment to removing exposed wires.

“We believe in working as a team to get to get the job done,” said Electrician’s mate Fireman N. Williams. “We all look out for one another. We make it a habit to work in pairs.”

Hull maintenance technicians repair ruptured pipes and sewage pipes and conduct sheet metal work and welding.

“Plumbing may be overlooked as a minor problem, but it can be detrimental to the health and comfort of the entire ship if it isn’t taken seriously,” said Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class C. Carbonetto. “I love knowing what I do everyday will eventually help thousands of people.”

Flying Squad is the ship’s primary casualty response team. Consisting of mostly Engineering department Sailors, Flying Squad fights fires, responds to toxic gas leaks, controls flooding, and stands ready at a moment’s notice to combat any other damage control casualties that could arise aboard the ship.

Damage controlmen are responsible for damage control equipment aboard Truman. To ensure the participation of all hands if any damage control casualties occur, damage controlmen conduct training with the crew, from Basic DC at Damage Control University, to Advanced DC, and Damage Control Petty Officer Training.

“Teamwork is huge because when we’re called away for casualties we have to be able to trust each other,” said Damage Controlmen 3rd Class M. Treadway. “We need to have confidence that all of our shipmates know what to do in the face of an emergency. Teamwork and training go hand in hand as a damage controlmen.”

Aboard an aircraft carrier where maintenance may seem like an endless task, preserving the material condition of the ship is an all hands evolution.

To support this, Engineering department Sailors regularly conduct Maintenance and Material Management training for those seeking their initial maintenance qualification, or seeking work center supervisor qualifications.

3M Training is designed to provide ships and applicable shore stations with a simple and standard means for planning, scheduling and performing maintenance on all shipboard systems and equipment. The primary objective of 3M is to manage shipboard maintenance in a manner that will ensure maximum equipment and system operational readiness.

“It’s very hard to perform maintenance on an aircraft carrier,” said Cmdr. B. Drennan, Truman Chief Engineer. “There’s so much to be done and a great deal of responsibility that goes along with being in Engineering.”

At this stage in the deployment, Truman has suffered no major equipment casualties thanks to the combined skill and knowledge of Sailors in Engineering department, said Drennan.

“As the head of the department it gives me great satisfaction to know that the Sailors in Engineering can do anything and fix anything aboard the ship,” said Drennan. “I’ve always loved being an Engineer in the Navy, but this is probably the best engineering department I’ve ever worked in.”

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VRC 40 Support FS Charles De Gaulle


By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Adelola O. Tinubu,
USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Public Affairs

Aircraft assigned to the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group provided logistics support to French aircraft carrier FS Charles De Gaulle (R 91) Jan. 29.

C-2A Greyhounds, assigned to the “Rawhides” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40, conducted carrier qualifications in early January in preparation for the carrier onboard deliveries (COD) to Charles De Gaulle. These logistics support operations showcase the interoperability of U.S. and French assets unified under U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Task Force (CTF) 50.

“The logistics missions not only support Charles De Gaulle, but also increase the coalition’s war fighting capabilities in support of Operation Inherent Resolve,” said Lt. Cmdr. Duane Bogatko, VRC 40 detachment officer-in-charge.

In 2014, French ships, including Charles De Gaulle, and the Truman executed five weeks of combined carrier strike group operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.

French Navy Capt. Jerome Origny, a liaison officer assigned to aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), said the CODs support Charles De Gaulle’s needs such as replenishing critical parts for helicopters.

“The CODs become very useful in these instances because they decrease the duration of delivery time,” said Origny.

The alliance between the two nations demonstrates a shared commitment to regional security and amplifies the interoperability of the partner’s maritime capabilities.

Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, maritime security operations, and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.

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Suprise Reunion


By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman L. A. Preston, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Public Affairs

Pulling into port gives Sailors the opportunity to enjoy different cultures, relax and recharge after weeks of long working hours. Some say it is a refreshing experience, just enough to maintain focus and motivation before heading back to sea. If pulling into port can have such a positive impact, how would it feel to see a family member during deployment?

Operations Specialist Seaman B. Dutary experienced that feeling when his brother, Operations Specialist 1st Class R. Dutary, assigned to the 609th Combined Air Operation Center (CAOC) in Qatar, embarked aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Jan. 11 as part of a collaborative trip of 20 personnel visiting from the CAOC.

“I had no idea my older brother was coming,” said B. Dutary, who has been aboard Truman for almost two years. “When my supervisor woke me up, he said I had to report to my chief to discuss something very important. I thought I was in really big trouble when I was escorted to the commanding officer’s in-port cabin—that’s when I saw my brother and I didn’t know what to do. Pulling into port is very refreshing but it’s nothing compared to seeing your family.”

It has been more than a year since the two brothers, raised in Fayetteville, N.C., have seen each other. R. Dutary, age 32, is six years older than his brother and has been in the Navy for eight years.

“We were never close before but I believe it’s never too late to start fresh,” said
R. Dutary. “Now that we share the same rate in the same branch of service, we have so much to relate to. Seeing my younger brother in the same uniform brings back memories of when I first joined the Navy and makes me feel proud that I was able to be a positive influence.”

Dutary, formerly undesignated, struck operations specialist a month ago and said he loves having the opportunity to learn something new every day.

“I really wanted a rate where I could advance and my older brother was a big  factor in why I chose this rate,” said B. Dutary. “He gave me insight to how day-to-day life would be. I’m learning new things and I feel very motivated to finish my qualifications and advance to third class.”

Dutary is now in the reserves and hopes to use the skillsets he learned in the Navy toward a civilian career.

“The Navy continues to treat me well and being able to have this opportunity to see my brother is another great experience I have been fortunate enough to have since I’ve been in,” said R. Dutary. “Now that I’m in the reserves, I want to move back home and find a career very similar to the one I had while I was active duty. I hope my little brother advances and does well during his career in the Navy. I’ll always be here to give him advice when he needs it.”

During their reunion, the brothers were able to catch up on time spent apart and dine together in the wardroom. Although the trip was for only a day, they were
very appreciative of having the opportunity to see each another. They plan to stay in touch through email and will reunite again after Truman’s deployment.

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Media Department in the Spotlight: Tell the Navy’s Story

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman L. A. Preston, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Public Affairs

A Sailor walks toward an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter on the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). As the force of the wind from the blades rushes over them the excitement builds. Once they climb in and the door closes it’s as if they have entered a whole new world. The helicopter sways side to side as it lifts off the flight deck. Looking to the right, the aircraft carrier is suddenly unbelievably small. Strapped into a gunner’s belt, the door flies open and their goggles are almost ripped away from their face. Looking through the lens, a faint click is heard only by the photographer and the moment is captured in an image.

Photography is one of the many jobs Mass Communication Specialists are responsible for during their time at sea. After completing a six-month “A” School, they journey into the fleet traveling world wide to gain real-world experience in journalism, photography, videography, public affairs and graphic design.

Truman’s Media department consists of Mass Communication Specialists and Public Affairs Officers who provide public affairs support, videographic, photographic, printing and design services for the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group.

“What we do, we do for the betterment of the crew – to make the Truman team stronger,” said Chief Mass Communication Specialist D. Withrow, Media department’s leading chief petty officer.

Withrow said his Sailors in Media make up a unique department because the products they provide start with nothing – a blank sheet of paper or screen that is transformed into something that will bring knowledge, encouragement or enjoyment to Sailors aboard Truman.

“Truman’s Media department is the best in the fleet because of five things: passion, talent, perseverance, integrity and a phenomenal crew,” said Lt. Cmdr. C. Tresch, Truman’s public affairs officer and Media department head. “That combination provides the content and the expertise to tell the stories that make a difference.”

Media department provides the crew with important information and valuable training through the Shipboard Information, Training and Entertainment TV system, the ‘Give ‘Em Hell Herald’, the ‘Truman Show’, posters and various other products. In just one week, Media department created 162,000 copies, hosted 38 reporters, 22 distinguished visitors, released 53 photos to a worldwide audience, produced 10 video projects and published six stories to support training, maintenance and other critical functions.

Media also creates lasting memories with photographs and videos of promotion ceremonies, awards at quarters, pinnings, reenlistments, retirements and other keepsake moments.

In addition to printed products, Media department is responsible for Truman’s social media program. Truman’s Facebook page has more than 86,000 followers. Through social media, families are able to live vicariously through the photographs and videos of their loved ones.

“The importance of our job extends beyond providing pictures and articles; we bring families into our world, even if we are thousands of miles away,” said Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class M. Gillan.

PAOs and MCs also manage the distinguished visitor program, providng political and military leaders from around the world an opportunity to strengthen partnerships. Additionally, they train collateral duty public affairs officers for commands that do not have a PAO aboard in order to support DV programs by planning and executing the visits, answer media queries, and maintain public outreach.

“Truman is a floating city,” said Tresch. “With more than 5,000 people there has to be a way to bring everyone together, to communicate in a dynamic environment—media is one of those ways.”

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