The Merlion Star JAN. 20, 2017 - Volume 26 - Issue 2

Table Of Contents

  • FLC Postal Assist Visit Ensures Compliance, Enhances Capabilities
  • A Sailor’s perspective: take the opportunity to become “tobacco free” in 2017
  • Angel Tree Program Gives Back to Singapore's Disadvantaged Children
  • NRCS Conducts Annual Facility Response Training
  • Tips and Tricks to Lower Stress
  • Navy Region Singapore Promotes Energy Conservation Measures
  • MWR Fit Bits!
  • Martin Luther King Dream Run
  • Chaplain's Corner
  • Navy Region Singapore Video Clips

FLC Postal Assist Visit Ensures Compliance, Enhances Capabilities

Story and photos by MC2Joshua Fulton, CTF 73 Public Affairs

Navy Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Feet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka Site Singapore completed an annual Postal Assist Visit (PAV) January 19, certifying the Site’s adherence to Department of Defense (DoD) regulations and enhancing the skills of post office workers through training opportunities.

“Mr. Mike Kinstle was sent here from our main body in Yokosuka to make sure that our post office is running in compliance with the DoD rules and regulations,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Myra Nortado, logistics specialist at FLC Site Singapore. “The PAV inspection ensures we are knowledgeable in how to handle the community's mail, the mail for any ships that are in port, order supplies, properly handle the financial aspects of a post office, and safeguard the security of the mail.”

Click on photo for a larger image

The PAV is a step-by-step review of the various services and daily operations conducted at the FLC Site Singapore post office, ensuring compliance with postal publications, financial accountability, and familiarity with the newest sources of information. The PAV also provides FLC Site Singapore postal clerks with opportunities to exchange knowledge and best practices for handling the variety of daily responsibilities they have, increasing the efficiency of the post office.

“This visit was very beneficial,” said Nortado. “It certifies that we are following DoD regulations and keeps us accountable while also providing a great opportunity to learn new techniques and approaches to our daily tasks, helping us to better serve our community.”

FLC Site Singapore manages the Navy’s supply system in the region, providing logistical support to surface ships, submarines, aircraft, and expeditionary forces in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).

NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, one of eight fleet logistics centers under NAVSUP Global Logistics Support (GLS), is the Western Pacific region's largest U.S. Navy logistics command. The enterprise networks more than 20 sites and fuel terminals from Misawa, Japan, to Sydney, Australia; Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to Guam, with a mission to serve the Asia-Pacific Region's forward deployed maritime warfighter with 24/7 operational logistics support integrating an extensive service provider network to deliver fuel, material, mail and supply chain services across the U.S. Navy's largest geographical AOR.

A Sailor’s perspective: take the opportunity to become “tobacco free” in 2017

Story by MC3 Madailein Abbott, CTF 73 Public Affairs

It can be very difficult to quit smoking, especially if you’ve been smoking for years. There are many reasons to quit, for your family, your health, even your wallet. Coming into 2017, there are more resources than ever before to help kick the habit of tobacco. Choose this year to be the year that you become tobacco free.

In the 1930’s, smoking was thought to be healthy. It was advertised to men that the smoke would help to relax the throat and to women as a “stay slim” product. We know better today. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco kills 6 million people worldwide and is the top preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S with more than 480,000 deaths annually.

Tobacco smoke contains a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals, 70 of which are known to cause cancer. Its use, of any kind, can lead to nicotine dependency -- which often requires repeated treatments. More people in the U.S. are addicted to nicotine than any other drug.

People who stop smoking can greatly reduce their risk for disease and early death. Diseases and health conditions associated with smoking include heart disease, lung cancer, reduced fertility, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) -- which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

“There is no safe form of tobacco. That is why it's so important to provide tobacco users who are ready to quit with the tools and resources they need to be successful.”- Capt. Loren Masuoka

“Not using tobacco or quitting tobacco is probably one of the best health choices one can make,” said Capt. Loren Masuoka, Senior Medical Officer for Commander Logistics Group Western Pacific. “It will greatly improve the quality and quantity of your life.”

Chewing tobacco has been a popular item in modern military, but is not a safe alternative to smoking because the body absorbs three to four times more nicotine, making it potentially more addictive than cigarettes. Using smokeless tobacco breaks down gum lines, stains teeth and is a prime source of halitosis, or bad breath.

Another alternative product to smoking, which has become popular in recent years, is the e-cigarette. However, the potential long-term effects of e-cigarettes are not currently known. The number of calls to poison centers for e-cigarette liquids rose from one per month in 2010 to 215 per month in 2014. U.S. health organizations recommend they be strongly regulated or banned.

“There is no safe form of tobacco,” said Masuoka. “That is why it's so important to provide tobacco users who are ready to quit with the tools and resources they need to be successful.”

Quitting tobacco use provides both short- and long-term benefits. Just 20 minutes after quitting smoking, the heart rate reduces. Twelve hours after quitting, the body's carbon monoxide level drops to normal. Two to three months after quitting, heart attack risk drops and lung functions improve.

“A long-term study statistically showed that tobacco use subtracted approximately 10 years from one’s life,” Masuoka said. “Of those who used tobacco and then quit for the long term, most lived to within 1-2 years of their non-tobacco user counterparts.”

Here are some steps you can take to help you stick with your resolution to become tobacco free in 2017:

  1. Make a Plan. Once you decide that quitting is your top resolution, you can make a plan on Ready2Quit - an interactive quit plan, using your computer, tablet or smartphone. You can list your reasons for quitting, decide on a quit method, assess your tobacco use, and make lists to prepare to quit.
  2. Set a Quit Day. Take some time to think about when you want to quit and give yourself enough time to prepare. Consider making your quit day a Monday and give yourself a fresh start with a new work week.
  3. Review the Benefits. It’s important to know just how dangerous tobacco can be, and what you can gain once you quit.
  4. Find a Quit Buddy. Do you know someone else that wants to quit? Quitting tobacco using the buddy system can improve your chances for success.
  5. Commit to Staying Quit. To succeed in your mission, you’ll probably have to change your routine, find other ways to keep busy and, most importantly, get through the cravings and nicotine withdrawal. You can find strategies and tools to help you do this when you make your quit plan in Ready2Quit.
  6. Know Your Resources. Quit Tobacco has free online resources to help service members and their family members quit tobacco. Get answers to your questions about quitting in the resource library. The website also offers a live chat feature, a savings calculator and a support locator to find cessation classes or counseling near you.

“Quitting tobacco is like winning the Super Bowl,” said Masuoka. “Getting the trophy requires desire, preparation, support, the willingness to get back up if there is failure, and the ability to learn from mistakes. Check out the website and your healthcare professionals to put together your winning strategy.”

Angel Tree Program Gives Back to Singapore's Disadvantaged Children

Story and Photos by Marc Ayalin, Navy Region Center Singapore

For several years, the military community in Sembawang has participated in the Angel Tree program, which is a volunteer and giving program that benefits homes where children, for various reasons, are under the care of people other than their families.

In late December, members of the Sembawang military community were opportune in providing a bit of holiday love and cheer to the children of Chen Su Lan Methodist Children's Home. The home’s mission, according to Jonathan Tan, the program coordinator for the children’s home, is to provide loving, nurturing for needy and disadvantaged children of all races and religions and prepare them to be responsible members of family and community. The home currently houses 78 residents between the ages of 5 and 16 years of age and is expanding their services this January.

“We accomplish our mission by essentially breaking the cycle of abuse, neglect and poverty,” Tan said. “The tangible way to do this is to invest in the child’s spiritual and educational well-being because this is the only the way to increase their chances to a better future.”

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During the visit, Sailors and civilian participants handed out sports equipment to several children and also toured the facility led by Tan. This was a different pace from the norm for some Sailors who really enjoyed spending time at the children’s home.

“Being here in Singapore and as a member of the U.S. Navy, being able to participate and give back to the public, especially with the kids here, is a good building tool in establishing strong community relationships,” said Religious Program Specialist 1st Class Michael Caldera, of the Navy Region Singapore Chaplain's Office.

During the tour, Tan emphasized the importance of gaining insight towards each child’s family background both past and present as this paints a better picture for social workers in understanding the negative circumstances of those residing at Chen Su Lan.

“Being here in Singapore and as a member of the U.S. Navy, being able to participate and give back to the public, especially with the kids here, is a good building tool in establishing strong community relationships.” - RP1 Michael Caldera,

In terms of treating and caring for the children, knowing more about what goes on in each child’s home helps provide better knowledge in helping to rehabilitate the children and in helping their parents in problem-solving and coping with difficulties.

According to Tan, of the 78 children currently staying in the facility, approximately 60 percent of them come from single-parent families with either no access to relatives to offer support.

“I think most of the homes in Singapore aren’t lacking in funding or money, it’s at the family or parenting level that more effort needs to be done,” Tan said. “Remembering that the parents may have been victims of abuse or may have other deeply-rooted problems that the individual doesn’t realize is a problem - that takes more time.”

If you are interested in participating in future community relations visits to Chen Su Lan Methodist Children's Home this year or any other community relations event, please contact the Chaplain’s office at +65-6750-2361.

You can read more about the Chen Su Lan Methodist Children's Home and their mission by visiting:

NRCS Conducts Annual Facility Response Training

Story and photos by Marc Ayalin, Navy Region Center Singapore

The Environmental Department for Navy Region Center Singapore (NRCS) along with members of the British Defence Singapore Support Unit (BDSSU), conducted their annual Facility Response Training (FRT) Certification, Jan. 10, 2017, to hone spill response techniques and capabilities.

The NRCS Environmental Department hosted and sponsored the certification course, which included an in-class training session and a practical application event for both first responders assigned to the BDSSU and U.S. Navy staff assigned to the region. For NRCS, this was an opportunity to conduct annual training with the British and also to ensure safety measures for new real-world emergency scenarios were in place.

“The threat of oil spills occurring in our port is very real,” said Chantry Davis, NRCS Environmental Director. “The waterways between Singapore and Malaysia are busy shipping areas and we must be prepared to contain any oil or fuel spills in a matter of minutes.”

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Each year dozens of U.S. Navy ships dock at Navy Region Center Singapore to refuel and resupply. Therefore, it is a vital task in sustaining a high level of alertness in responding to spills - despite the multitude of safety measures taken during refueling and resupplying.

According to Bill Tageson, the contract course instructor from Naval Facilities Command, Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center, Port Hueneme, Calif., the certification course training tests the capabilities of responding to a fuel, oil or hazardous materials spills specific to the Sembawang Naval Installation.

“The threat of oil spills occurring in our port is very real. The waterways between Singapore and Malaysia are busy shipping areas and we must be prepared to contain any oil or fuel spills in a matter of minutes.” - Chantry Davis, NRCS Environmental Director.

“We practiced with three training scenarios that included placing a 140-foot boom around a simulated ship that spilled fuel, secondly we cordoned off the entry to the wharf completely with a larger boom to isolate the spill, and thirdly, we anchored that boom at an angle so that the spill could travel to one end of the pier for recovery operations,” Tageson said.

In Tageson’s view, the training event was successful. In terms of environmental responsibility, the successful training validates that NRCS staff members and BDSSU first responders are able to handle any future oil, fuel or hazardous materials spill if it were ever to arise.

For the British leadership, this was an excellent opportunity to see how his team communicates and responds to future emergencies.

“Lessons learned – fighting spills is not as easy as it looks and we need to be more responsive to scenarios that arise quickly,” said Chief Petty Officer Ricky Roberts, BDSSU. “We’d like to do this more on a regular basis and ensure that personnel are well-versed and well-trained in the roles that are expected of them.”

Tips and Tricks to Lower Stress

Story by MC3 Madailein Abbott, CTF 73 Public Affairs

Mental health, depression and stress are issues that are constantly discussed throughout the military. From deployment-related stress, family concerns, loneliness and operational security measures, many service members experience some type of anxiety or depression at some point in their time in service. At Navy Region Singapore (NRS), there are several ways to help service members who may be under stress and to help them back on their feet.

To ensure a ready fleet, leaders and Sailors must work to develop skills in recognizing and responding to stress while fostering a cultural shift in which Sailors recognize the importance and acceptability of seeking help early when dealing with operational stress.

"Stress will always be a part of our jobs,” said Lt. Charles Ferguson, Chaplain for Commander Logistics Group Western Pacific (COMLOG WESTPAC). “In fact, the right amount of stress is healthy and necessary for us to find meaning and purpose in our jobs. Too little stress and we tend to feel that we aren't contributing fully to the mission.”

“Sometimes our schedule, job demand, or a host of other factors beyond our control can lead to a high level of stress when we feel 'stressed out.' Usually this is a short term feeling.” - Lt. Charles Ferguson

Below are sources which can help NRS members to help manage their stress level:

- Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center (NEHC) Leader's Guide for Managing Personnel in Distress Web page

- Military OneSource hot line 1-800-342-9647 and Web site

- Navy Suicide Prevention Program web-site:

- Support personnel such as chaplains, medical personnel and mental health professionals can assist leaders in operational stress control functions.

The effective management of operational stress is imperative to mission accomplishment. Navy leaders, at all levels, are responsible for promoting and building resiliency in their Sailors and their families.

“Sometimes our schedule, job demand, or a host of other factors beyond our control can lead to a high level of stress when we feel 'stressed out.' Usually this is a short term feeling,” said Ferguson. “Regardless, when one feels they are on the extreme end of stress (too much or too little), engage the resources available for stress management to help you get the right balance so you feel not only a valuable member of the team, but also one that can perform under the right amount of stress so that the worry and concerns of the job don't consume all of your energy."

Some people may experience sleep disruption, loss of energy, loss of appetite and feelings of guilt when dealing with stress and anger. In today's operational environment, many Sailors and their families are coping with stress-related injuries and illnesses that can be treated effectively if caught early.

A useful method of identifying stress is the stress continuum, which is a model that identifies how Sailors and Marines react under stressful situations. The continuum is a color-coded map to identify behaviors that might arise from serving in combat, in dangerous peacekeeping missions and in the highly charged day-to-day work that is required of today’s military. While its primary use is for individual service members, the continuum can be a valuable tool to track behaviors of military families as well as commands.

"There are a number of lifestyle choices to alleviate stress and help you build resilience such as regular exercise, eating balanced meals and getting enough sleep,” said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Vilma Rodriguez, attached to COMLOG WESTPAC. “Limiting caffeine intake can also help, as well as staying away from alcohol. These are small changes that you can do but are effective tips that help to keep your mind focused and would benefit in the long run in decreasing your stress levels."

Stress can affect anyone, anytime, anywhere. It’s important to know the signs and to seek treatment as soon as possible. Services are available for all NRS military members, Department of Defense employees and family members to lower stress and return to a positive quality of life.

Navy Region Singapore Promotes Energy Conservation Measures

Public Works, Navy Region Center Singapore

Presidential Executive Order 13693 has mandated reduction of energy use in federal facilities. In accordance with this mandate, utilities funding across the Department of the Navy has been reduced by over $100M this fiscal year. All installations are being asked to find ways to tighten our belts and conserve energy through better implementation of existing conservation plans and by finding new and creative ways to reduce energy consumption. Here are some strategies to reduce energy at work and at home.

• Use lights and air condition only when necessary. For instance, use partial lighting to suit the staff present, rather than the whole floor area. Adding automatic sensors or reducing lighting in overly lit areas can help as well. Talk to your assigned building manager or call Public Works at 6750-2541 for information.

  • Switch equipment off when it is not in use. Even in standby mode, your equipment still consumes energy. Computers can be powered off at the end of the workday; they are remotely booted at night for software updates.
  • Use the energy saving features of modern IT equipment like printers and copiers.
  • Unplug electronics such as cell phones and laptops once they’re charged. Adapters plugged into outlets use energy even if they’re not charging.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with high-efficiency LED or fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Use window blinds. Closing window blinds during direct sunlight can help reduce AC demands.
  • Calculate and assess your energy consumption. Consider that, in a household, using ten 40-watt bulbs operating for 12 hours per day costs about $30 per month.
  • Consider using a fan instead of the air conditioner for conditioning small areas.
  • Use the sun’s energy to dry your clothes when the weather permits. Use indoor and outdoor drying racks (for example, in the void decks). There is no energy cost and your clothes smell fresher.
  • Only air-condition the rooms you currently occupy. Set them to 78F (26C) which will help you be more comfortable moving between indoors and outside in our hot, humid climate. Turn off air conditioners when you aren’t home.

The New Year has begun!! The Fitness Center has changed its hours. The new hours of operations are Monday through Friday 0500-2000. Saturday and Sunday, 0830-1730, and Holiday hours 1000-1500. We have started charging for gear issue (i. e. bicycle, tables, pop -up tent rentals, etc..). All pricing is listed at the Front Desk of the Fleet Gym. Be aware of your return dates if you currently have any equipment rented. There is a $3.00USD late fee charged per day on all items as of 02 Jan 2017.

All Group Exercise classes are now $3.00 for single ticket purchasers and $1.50 if you decide to purchase the punch card with 30 classes on it. Group exercise classes are free for US Active Duty and their dependents, Allied Forces, Reserve, and Retired Military. Please be aware that the only dependents to not pay a fee for the classes are US Active Duty dependents.

Fleet Fitness Center is now offering personal training sessions!! Come out and let our personal trainers help you reach your fitness goals for 2017.

You have the option to do a 1 on 1 session, or come in with your fitness buddy and get an additional discounted group rate! The initial Assessment is just $25.00 USD per person! All prices for PT Sessions are listed in our brochures, and at the front desk in the Fleet Fitness Center. Please call the Fleet Fitness Center for more information on pricing at 6750-2482.

There will be a new Pilates Boot Camp beginning 06 Feb 2017! Come try out our free trial Pilates class 30 January 2017 @ 0900 to see if you like it! Sign-ups for the boot camp sessions begin the same day. There will be 10 sessions excluding Presidents day and the week of Spring Break for a total cost of $120.00 USD. Payment must be made by 03 Feb 2017 before the session begins. There are only 15 spots available, first come first serve! So come on out and build stamina and strength in all muscles including your core!

Pick up soccer games held at TC Field every Wednesday 1600. All authorized patrons are welcome to come out and play.

There are still AC renovations being done in the Racquetball Court and Family Fit Room until the middle of January. We apologize in advance for any inconveniences this may cause.

Aquatics is offering a Splash course for those of you who enjoy an outdoor workout with water and weights. The class is Saturdays at 0915, and it's FREE!! Just a friendly reminder to protect your non-swimmers. Water wings and other inflatable floats and devices are not designed to save your child, nor allowed in Navy MWR Aquatics facilities. Only U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices are authorized for use. For more information see - Stay safe and have fun!

The 2017 Admiral's Cup kicks off this month! Come out and support this awesome year-long sports event. Below is the year's schedule along with the scoring calculator. For more information, please contact

Martin Luther King Dream Run

Photos by Wendy Martin, Morale, Welfare, and Recreation

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr Day! Thank you to all those that came out to setup, run, cheer and be a part of a supportive and rallying force in our community. Shoes were flying off as runners enthusiastically dashed from the starting line. An appearance by our Chiefs made the morning extra special.


Now that we have made it through the holiday season with all the parties, food and time off we find ourselves back to work catching up and looking at a busy schedule ahead. Despite the frantic pace at which the world seems to spin right now, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the reason for the holiday we experience each January. Every year we take a day to reflect upon and honor the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. King’s life embodied one of our own core values: courage. Dr. King drew from his personal faith to envision a community in which every member’s talent counted and would add value to the community. He believed so strongly in this that he repeatedly put his life on the line. He showed the world that a new reality was not only possible, but necessary, for people to reach their full potential to improve the nation. Many of us know Dr. King’s dream from his famous speech in Washington, DC in 1968. However, we sometimes fail to remember the courage it took for him to proclaim a country’s failings standing among our national monuments.

Dr. King endured countless death threats in every state he visited across the country for his views. He was beaten numerous times for standing up for his beliefs. He was derided by members of his own community for bringing unnecessary attention upon them, most of which was violence. Himself a pastor, he even stood up to and called out fellow religious leaders of all faiths for not standing with him. He experienced friends disown him for his beliefs. He spent many nights in jail on trumped up charges because of his dream. And not once did he raise his hand in violence. Dr. King persevered and, ultimately after his death, his vision has become realized in ways he may not have even thought possible. When I reflect on Dr. King’s moral courage I am humbled by the fact that we as a country stand on the shoulders of giants such as him. Sometime this month I would hope you find the time to explore some of his writings such as “Letter From Birmingham Jail” or view the documentary series “Eyes on the Prize” (you can find it on YouTube), which explores King’s movement and effect on our nation. We should all reflect on how Dr. King’s moral courage can influence our lives and how a moral center can provide the courage to change the world.



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