The Merlion Star MARCH 17, 2017 - Volume 26 - Issue 6

Table Of Contents

  • Words of Wisdom
  • Navy Region Singapore Partners With Local Community for Water Conservation Efforts
  • No Bystanders - A Message from Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, To All Hands.
  • Pacific Partnership 2017 Makes Inaugural Mission Stop in Sri Lanka
  • Navy Region Singapore Teens Learn The Joys of SCUBA
  • Saint Patrick's Day Fun Run and Community Yard Sale
  • Chaplain's Corner
  • MWR Updates
  • Navy Region Singapore YouTube Clips

Words of Wisdom

"When we fight, we will depend on each other with our lives. The binding energy that allows that to happen is trust. Trust in a teammate's competency to do things right. Trust in their character to do the right things" - - Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson

"Foster those intangible qualities which make the difference - they made the difference in the past and they will make the difference in the future." - - Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Navy Region Singapore Partners with Local Community for Water Conservation Efforts

Story by Marc Ayalin, Deputy Public Affairs Officer, Navy Region Singapore

Navy Region Singapore (NRS) joined with Singapore’s Public Utilities Board (PUB) and local community organizations to celebrate World Water Day (WWD) at Singapore’s Marina Barrage, March 4, 2017.

The annual event, held along Singapore’s scenic skyline, began at 8:30 a.m., and attracted more than 4,000 people from throughout the city-state along with 91 other WWD partners such as Golden Village, Changi Airport, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, WaterWays Watch Society and various elementary schools. This year’s WWD theme was, “Make Every Drop Count.” The theme supports the importance of community involvement in making an impact on water conservation.

“Each year World Water Day affords Navy personnel and tenant commands an opportunity to understand the challenges our host nation faces with respect to water quality, conservation, and security,” said William Davis, Environmental Officer, Navy Region Singapore. “These challenges mirror the issues that we face as U.S. military personnel around the world.”

This year’s event featured multiple dragon boat races, a 2-km walk around Marina Barrage, and a kite making workshop hosted by the Singapore Kite Association. In addition, a performance by the Crestar Education Group’s Nuturestars band ensemble marked opening ceremonies. Having partnered with the PUB for the last seven years, NRS had the opportunity to be a part of a big grassroots effort to promote water conservation and community involvement. This year, the NRS participants formed a dragon boat team and competed against four other teams in races held throughout the day. The NRS team came in third place out of four other competitors in what was a fairly close race.

“The race went well,” said Lt. Cmdr. Cort Stringham, Public Works Officer, Navy Region Center Singapore. “The fact that we placed was a great reflection on the team’s willingness to become united. We did the Navy proud.”

“By understanding and facing a common issue, and achieving water conservation goals together, it can help us continue to develop strong relationships with our host nation and improve the quality of life for our sailors and civilians serving here in Singapore,” - William Davis, Navy Region Singapore Environmental Director

Meanwhile, as part of the region’s participation with World Water Day 2017, Davis accepted a certificate of partnership at the Marine Barrage building. The certificate represents the continued efforts between the U.S. Navy and World Water Day in promoting water conservation and environmental awareness.

According to Davis, the region looks forward in participating in next year’s event with an emphasis in increasing water conservation awareness among the Sembawang military community.

“By understanding and facing a common issue, and achieving water conservation goals together, it can help us continue to develop strong relationships with our host nation and improve the quality of life for our sailors and civilians serving here in Singapore,” Davis said.

No Bystanders

A Message from Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, To All Hands

Team, we have a problem and we need to solve it. Really solve it – not put a band-aid on it, not whitewash over it, not look the other way.

The discovery of on-line sites that degrade the female members of our team has shined a light on the fact that this problem persists. But we get reminders of it every day, when we disrespect women by crude jokes, wisecracks, sexual harassment, and in its worst manifestation, sexual assault – a serious violent crime. Despite a steady effort to get after this, we’re not making progress.

This demeaning activity offends so many of us because fundamentally, this is not how we treat true teammates. This is not how we treat fellow Sailors. We operate, and will fight, in our teams. We will depend on each other to protect and save our lives, to win.

In teams, there are no bystanders. We are all in, every one of us. We have high expectations of each other, hold each other accountable, and we treat each other with respect. We build our teammates up to make them stronger. We definitely don’t allow anybody to disrespect another teammate – we close ranks and protect.

I’ve heard hundreds of times that “these actions are being taken by only a small minority.” Prove that. If that’s true, then the vast majority of men and women need to stand up and smother this behavior. To become intolerant. To act to put a stop to this. And if you’re one of that minority that just won’t get it, then it’s time for you to leave the Navy.

As a commander, your entire team counts on you leading a winning team, that INCLUDES a culture of dignity and respect, consistent with our core values and attributes. Without this trust, we will fail.

I expect COs and each level of leadership to challenge your command leaders at the small team level. Division Officers and Chiefs talking to their divisions, branches talking to branches, Chief’s Mess to Chief’s Mess. Talk about what respect for our teammates looks like at work, at home, and online. Make it clear that individuals who can’t live up to our professional standards in competence and character are not welcome in our Navy. Make it clear that our standards call us to a higher commitment than the law – we are better than that. And finally, I expect you to make it crystal clear that to remain the world’s most powerful Navy we must be 100% focused on staying ahead of our competition, which starts with leadership and teamwork, built on trust and respect. This is a challenge to all Navy leaders – particularly junior leaders. Own this problem. Solve it.

There is no room in our Navy for toxic behavior. It makes us weaker, and cedes advantage to the enemy. Direct involvement of commanders and small unit leaders will help us stamp this out. We are a team. We are Sailors. We are the United States Navy. I’m counting on you. Let’s get to it.

Admiral Richardson sends.//

Pacific Partnership 2017 Makes Inaugural Mission Stop in Sri Lanka

By Lt. j.g. Emily Wilkin, Pacific Partnership Public Affairs

HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka (NNS) -- Pacific Partnership 2017 made its initial mission stop in Hambantota, Sri Lanka, March 7, with the arrival of Military Sealift Command expeditionary fast transport USNS Fall River (T-EPF 4).

This marked the first mission to Sri Lanka in the 12-year history of the annual civil-military operation, and the Pacific Partnership mission in Sri Lanka continues through March 18 and will make follow-on mission stops in Malaysia and Vietnam.

Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, and aims to enhance regional coordination in areas such as medical readiness and preparedness for man-made and natural disasters.

Participating in this year's Sri Lanka mission are partner military and non-government personnel from the United States, Australia, and Japan.

While in Hambantota, Pacific Partnership personnel will work side-by-side with Sri Lankan medical professionals, participate in civil engineering projects, conduct HA/DR readiness drills, and partner in community engagements.

Lt. Cmdr. Robert Pipkin, the American officer in charge of the Sri Lanka mission, said he was excited about the inaugural arrival of Pacific Partnership to Sri Lanka.

"This mission stop will include engineering projects, medical subject matter expert exchanges, public band performances, and community relations events," said Pipkin. "We aim to learn from each other and develop better ways to work together in this mission, which will better prepare everyone to respond in a crisis or natural disaster."

"The United States is ready to help Sri Lanka respond more quickly to humanitarian challenges, and the Sri Lankan people are able to share their valuable lessons learned from past natural disasters. This is a partnership in the truest sense," - U.S Ambassador Atul Keshap.

Pacific Partnership medical personnel will team up with Sri Lankan doctors and nurses to conduct subject matter expert exchanges at Tissamaharama Base Hospital, the General Hospital and Nurse Training School in Hambantota, as well as other local clinics and hospitals. Mission doctors and nurses will also conduct medical clinics in select cities.

"We are excited to be working with our friends in Hambantota and throughout the greater southern region during Pacific Partnership's first visit to Sri Lanka," said Capt. Stanfield Chien, Pacific Partnership mission commander. "We will be closely collaborating alongside our Sri Lankan counterparts conducting numerous medical exchanges, engineering projects, and community events. Our time in Sri Lanka is about building relationships and the capability and capacity to work together for the future."

In addition, local Sri Lankan organizations working together with U.S. Navy civil engineers, will complete renovations of the Divisional Hospital Ambalantota, Wishaka Mahila Preschool, Sri Gunananda Preschool and multiple Maternity and Child Clinic Centers. The U.S. 7th Fleet Band will perform at the Hambantota Beach Park, Galle Fort, Matara, and the Tangalle City Center.

"The United States is ready to help Sri Lanka respond more quickly to humanitarian challenges, and the Sri Lankan people are able to share their valuable lessons learned from past natural disasters," said U.S Ambassador Atul Keshap. "This is a partnership in the truest sense."

Now in its 12th year, Pacific Partnership continues to enhance regional partnerships and host nation relationships through civil-military cooperation, medical exchanges, and intergovernment agency coordination.

For more information, visit,, or

For more news from Commander, Task Force 73, visit

Navy Region Singapore teens learn the joys of SCUBA

By Marc Ayalin, Deputy Public Affairs Officer, Navy Region Singapore

The Child and Youth Programs department of Navy Region Singapore (NRS) and local diving instructors held a Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) familiarization class March 11, 2017.

The three-hour session, which was held at NRS’s Terror Club swimming pool, began at 9:00 a.m., and attracted more than a dozen teenagers from throughout the Sembawang military community. The intent of the course was to offer teens an opportunity to become familiar with recreational diving and provide a first-time experience in learning about the techniques and equipment used for underwater breathing. According to Nina Delucchi, Navy Region Singapore Child and Youth Programs Leader, the purpose of coordinating this type of class was to spark interest in outdoor activities.

"I want the youth at the Teen Center to experience life and get them outside of their comfort zones and expand their horizons,” Delucchi said. “SCUBA diving in South East Asia is some of the best diving in the world and I hope this class will inspire them to explore life underwater. This entry-level class is only the first step to a life of undersea exploration."

For the instructors of Gillman Divers, the local dive school that facilitated the class, having the opportunity to train and instruct the class was a good way to promote underwater diving as well as raise awareness in the joys of outdoor activities. Meanwhile, there were some challenges that are common to most beginners. For Yee Yang, a master diver and instructor for Gillman Divers, the day’s challenge was breathing.

“The biggest challenge most beginners face is breathing through the regulator,” Yang said. “Typically, when people are forced to breathe through the mouth only, they can kind of get mixed up and confused.”

Despite these challenges, one participant, who has always wanted to learn SCUBA, expressed his interest, fears and future joys of the class.

“The biggest challenge most beginners face is breathing through the regulator. Typically, when people are forced to breathe through the mouth only, they can kind of get mixed up and confused" - Yee Yang, master diver and instructor for Gillman Divers

“This was something that my dad and I always wanted to do back in the Philippines,” said Deguire. “So, when this opportunity came up, I decided to jump on it and it’s what I expected. Using the equipment is very basic but requires some mental preparedness in that I am used to breathing through my nose and with the SCUBA equipment, you have to breathe through your mouth. For me the challenge was more about doing certain things you’re not used to that can make you feel uncomfortable and freak out but knowing that you have to always remain calm.”

The Child and Youth Programs department of NRS coordinates events and activities such as these regularly. According to Delucchi, the CYP department and the Teen Center looks forward in coordinating underwater dive events in the future.

Navy Region Singapore holds St. Patrick's Day Fun Run and Community Yard Sale

Photos by Wendy Martin, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Marketing

Navy Region Singapore (NRS) held a St. Patrick's Day Fun Run and Community Yard Sale at the Terror Club March 11, 2017. The event drew more than 100 participants for a 2K and 5K walk/run and buffet breakfast immediately following.

The winners of the first place 5K, in both male and female categories, were Jim Ryan and Melissa Nelson. The winners of the first place 2K were Jackson Warkentien and Sally Jeter.

After the run, participants enjoyed a breakfast buffet and an opportunity to purchase used items from a community-wide yard sale held at the Terror Club. Check out the photographs below to see more about the day's event.


We’ve blinked and it’s already March. Perhaps it’s the unchanging weather that makes the weeks and months seem to go a bit faster. Back home we’d be looking forward to the end of the cold weather, or maybe lamenting the passing of another season of snow skiing while here in Singapore it’s the same hot and humid weather.

And with Spring rushing towards us, many of us will begin to see a large rise in the tempo of our work as we gear up for major ship visits, exercise planning and execution, and major maintenance projects both here on base and on the ships we support. When we throw in the crazy schedule of our families and planning for travel over Spring Break this month, it can seem like there will never be enough time in a day, much less a week.

Back in the States, many of us would engage in a bit of Spring Cleaning around the house to freshen up the place we may have hid from a cold winter. We’ll hold yard sales in conjunction with our frantic efforts to clean and declutter. During that process, there are always moments of looking at something and wondering how that particular item found its way into our home (most likely in a closet). Frequently, we forget to clean out the excess in our schedules.

All of us (including the Chaplain) have scheduled events that just don’t seem to fit or have us wondering, “when/why did I agree/sign up/RSVP for this?” In the same way we declutter our homes by giving things we forget why we have in the first place, let us use the approach of Spring as a time to declutter our schedules. Take a look at your priorities, whatever those individual priorities are for you and your family, and balance your schedule against what you value. From there you can free up some schedule space to devote to what you find important. Your schedule may end up with more free time, but even if no free time emerges you’ll be focused on what you value and that will help make even the busiest schedule seem lighter.



Monthly Photo Contest

Community Recreation has a monthly vacation Photo Contest. Morale, Welfare and Recreation Authorized Patrons are invited to submit 1 favorite photo from a recent vacation to with "Vacation Photo Contest" in the subject line. Include a photo description with your name, phone number, and command. The winner will receive a voucher for US$10 at the Terror Club! The winning photo will be featured on the NRS Fleet & Family Readiness Facebook page and in the ITT Office and in the Merlion Star. Submissions are due by 2 p.m. on the third Friday of each month.


  • March 22, 2017 Ultimate Frisbee Admiral’s Cup at Terror Club field at 1600. -
  • Pick-up basketball at the Fleet Fitness Center starting March 28 every Tuesday/Thursday at 1630, grab your friends and come out and play!
  • Pick-up Soccer at Terror Club field every Wednesday at 1630


  • New Pilates 6 week session starting up on 10 April 2017. You can choose from either one ($60.00USD per session), two ($120USD per session), or three ($180.00USD per session) classes a week in order to fit your schedule. Sign up at the front desk Fleet Fitness Center starting March 27th! Any questions, please email them to the fitness manager at
  • Morning Lap swim at Terror Club pool starting 17 April 2017 from 0600-0700. Four lanes available, first come first serve! Come out and get your Aquatic workout on before work and feel great all day long!!
  • Spring break is coming up and the Pool classes will be cancelled from 18-25 March. Also there will be no Shred Classes on 20 and 22 March. Sorry for the inconvenience, please feel free to come in and try our virtual trainer!! Any staff member can assist you if needed
  • Please be aware when playing on the Terror Club multipurpose field if and when there is a sign of any inclement weather i.e. thunder or lightning, you are to clear the field immediately for your safety and protection. Help us to keep a safe and fun environment when participating in field sports.


Physical Training now offered at Fleet Fitness Gym for minimal fees. You can choose the session that bests suites you, either come in with a buddy, a group, or just on your own. All are offered at Fleet Fitness. Please contact the front desk staff for any questions at 6750-2482 or email the fitness manager at If you are interested you can pick up a Personal Training packet at the front desk to fill out and pay the $25.00 USD fee for your initial assessment and get started!

Please call the Fleet Fitness Center for more information at 6750-2482.

For Tennis, its a final match today as Jack Collins takes on Haroon Mazhar in what expects to be an exciting battle. coke out and watch the game. For more information, please contact

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.