Thursday, June 27, 2013

Until they are home

SAVANNAKHET PROVINCE, Laos (May 29, 2013) – U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Vladimir Potepenko, Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command forensic photographer, takes a break after his dig shift at a recovery site. JPAC recovery teams conduct global operations in support of achieving the fullest possible accounting of individuals lost as a result of the nation’s past conflicts. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Kathrine McDowell, U.S. Air Force/Released)

There are over 83,000 American servicemembers still missing from past conflicts.

MC2 Vladimir Potopenko, formerly my Nimitz shipmate, is working with the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, or JPAC, in searching for these remains.  Looks like it's pretty hands-on.

Navy divers, assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2, Company 4, and the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, stand with the American flag, and the POW/MIA flag on the wreckage of a B-17 bomber that was shot down and sank during World War II. The team is deployed alongside JPAC aboard the USNS Grapple (T-ARS 53) as part of a 30-day underwater recovery mission for an unaccounted-for service member who went missing during the crash.

You remember MC2 Marty Carey?  He took this photo a while back, during his work with JPAC.

Check out JPAC's website for more information.


Location:  Albuquerque, NM    Miles traveled: 2,292

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Staying sane

We're pretty limited in recreation choices on the ship.  Luckily, working six days a week, 12 hours a day, means we don't have to worry about down time much.  They're playing some crazy card game in the background, while MC2 Cotter sings the entire plot to Jurassic Park.

 Total addiction to Super Mario Kart, the OLD version on Super Nintendo. It's all about games people can play in groups.  As deployment wears on, the crew will retreat to alone time more and more, but two months in, the Mario tourneys were going strong.

This is a CBR (Chemical Biological Radiological) drill.  It's never fun to spend any period of time in an uncomfortable gas mask, in a crowded, hot room. This is why we sing the plot to Jurassic Park.


ROAD TRIP:  After visiting friends in Lost Angeles and San Diego, I headed to Williams, this creepy-Route-66-fake-western-town that sits about 60 miles south of the Grand Canyon.  The population is roughly 86% tourist.  One of them was retired Army Sergeant First Class Lou, and he was really good at that game we're playing, whatever it's called.

THE GRAND CANYON! (I'll probably have that shirt on in a lot of upcoming shots.)

I'd recommend getting there early, by late morning the crowds were thick. I had the feeling that without several hundred people squawking in a hundred languages, the Grand Canyon would be a really peaceful place to look out on.

Location: Grand Canyon, AZ   Miles traveled: 1,836

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Change: A new chapter begins


September 2010:  The first day in Coronado, waiting for Nimitz to arrive... 

(I put my bags down after a minute.)


 Not happy at all about my new bed...

Look at that haircut!

Wow that seems like so long ago. But change is what the military's all about, and it's time to move on. To all my friends still on deployment, hang in there and know that you are appreciated. Stay safe over there.


Okay, so I'm back on dry land and headed cross country to my next duty station, Syracuse University.  Starting at the end of July, I'll spend two semesters (10 months) enrolled in their Motion Media program, learning all sorts of cool video stuff.  They only accept four MCs a year, so it's a huge honor to get in. There will also be four MCs studying under the photography program.

I have a bunch of photos from the last two months, so as I stop at hotels and to visit friends I'll try and get a post up showing you what life is like on a deployed carrier.  Also, some quick and dirty Android video shoots captured some of my favorite Nimitz Sailors.  Check out the first video below!

Oh yeah, and I can't pass up the opportunity to do one of those cool dotted line 
travel map thingies...

So I'll start where I left off, running the newspaper.  After much whining on my part, I actually did pretty well.

GODFATHER: My newspaper minions loved me and lamented the inevitable turnover to new management that had to happen once I got orders to Syracuse.

DRY ERASER MAZE: I won't miss managing the onslaught of stories pouring in every hour.  For not producing a thing personally, being a workcenter supervisor kept me running all day.  It's all about time and people management.

RELIEF: MC2 Jason Behnke, a 10-year veteran, begins taking over my job.  I am happy.

MAN LOVE: With several weeks left, my new role is succumbing to the ever-increasing displays of affection from a certain large Asian man.  "DAMN IMMA MISS YOU SLAUGHTER!"

Location: Stockton, CA    Miles traveled: 827

Personnel Specialist Seaman Abdul Feteke
Caution, raw video-not edited for language!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Return from paradise

I just flew in from Thailand a few hours ago, and am officially detached from USS Nimitz. More to come with updates on the media department and what port calls are like in the Navy.

Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G Touch