Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Commander of the Naval Rescue Ship is an African-American Female!


*How bout this sista?! PRAISE THE LORD!!


Whoa! Nope, this is one you SURE DIDN'T HEAR on the news. The ship that rescued
the Maersk-Alabama's captain was skippered by a BLACK FEMALE REAR ADMIRAL?
Get OUT of here!

If you're like me, you briefly saw her in some news clips, and (like me)
probably figured she was some medical tech. You GO, girl!

On the other hand, in an ideal world, no this SHOULDN'T BE "news." Anymore
than that it should be "news" that we have female B-52 pilots or black
admirals, or (say) a black President.*

GULF OF ADEN (April 5, 2009) Rear Adm. Terence McKnight shakes hands with Rear Adm. Michelle Howard after she assumed command of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2 and Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, aboard amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). McKnight served as Commander, ESG 2 since November, 2007 and Commander, CTF 151 since January, 2009. Boxer is the flagship for CTF 151. CTF 151 is a multinational task force established to conduct counter-piracy operations under a mission-based mandate throughout the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) area of responsibility to actively deter, disrupt and suppress piracy in order to protect global maritime security and secure freedom of navigation for the benefit of all nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John J. Siller.)

GULF OF ADEN (Apr. 5, 2009) - Rear Adm. Michelle Howard relieves Rear Adm. Terence McKnight as commander of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2 and Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 aboard USS Boxer (LHD 4), April 5. Boxer is the flagship for CTF 151. CTF 151 is a multinational task force established to conduct counter-piracy operations under a mission-based mandate throughout the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) area of responsibility to actively deter, disrupt and suppress piracy in order to protect global maritime security and secure freedom of navigation for the benefit of all nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Laura A. Moore.)

Dispatches from the Front:

USS BOXER, At Sea, April 5, 2009 -- Rear Adm. Michelle Howard assumed command of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2 during a ceremony held on board USS Boxer (LHD 4) today and relieved Rear Adm. Terence McKnight, ESG 2’s commander since November 2007.

In addition to relieving McKnight as the ESG 2 commander, Howard assumes command of several U.S. 5th Fleet task forces, including Combined Task Force (CTF) 51 and 59, as well as CTF 151, an international maritime coalition created to disrupt, deter and thwart piracy.

“I’m very fortunate to follow behind Admiral McKnight,” said Howard. “He and the staff have done a terrific job in standing up CTF 151. His leadership will be missed on the waterfront.”

As commander of ESG 2, McKnight was responsible for all of the amphibious assets based on the U.S. East Coast and upon deploying to the U.S. 5th Fleet’s area of operations in January 2009, he assumed command of CTF 151.

McKnight said commanding ESG 2 has been an incredible experience and one he will never forget.

“This has definitely been one of the more exciting assignments of my career,” he said. “Not only did I never think I’d be sailing the ocean chasing pirates, I certainly never thought I’d be doing it alongside the navies of so many different countries, especially Russia and China.”

“My time at ESG 2 has been amazing,” McKnight continued. “In addition to all the exercises and contingencies we were involved with before we deployed, I was privileged enough to have hosted a Great White Fleet event in New York City along with my staff and we also played a big part in the grand re-opening of the Intrepid museum during Veterans Day Weekend 2008. Those two events will certainly remain cherished memories when I look back at my career.”

As the first African-American woman to command a U.S. Navy ship, Howard said she understands the magnitude of bridging cultural and international gaps.

“ESG 2 has executed the three missions they’re responsible for without missing a beat,” she said. “My top priority right now is to deter piracy here in the Gulf of Aden. I want to continue the extensive international coordination Admiral McKnight started. That’s the true key to defeating piracy. Piracy is a problem that affects all maritime nations and requires an international solution. I’m looking forward to working with naval professionals from around the world on this vital mission.”

CTF 151 is a multinational task force established to conduct counter-piracy operations under a mission-based mandate throughout the CMF area of responsibility to actively deter, disrupt and suppress piracy in order to protect global maritime security and secure freedom of navigation for the benefit of all nations.

Howard previously served as Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy.

(Report by Lt. John Fage, Expeditionary Strike Group 2 Public Affairs.)

Rear Admiral Michelle Howard
Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2.

Rear Admiral Michelle Howard is a 1978 graduate of Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo. She graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982 and from the Army’s Command and General Staff College in 1998, with a master's degree in Military Arts and Sciences.

Howard’s initial sea tours were aboard USS Hunley (AS 31) and USS Lexington (AVT 16). While serving onboard Lexington, she received the Secretary of the Navy/Navy League Captain Winifred Collins award in May 1987. This award is given to one woman officer a year for outstanding leadership. She reported to USS Mount Hood (AE 29) as chief engineer in 1990 and served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. She assumed duties as first lieutenant onboard the USS Flint (AE 32) in July 1992. In January 1996, she became the executive officer of USS Tortuga (LSD 46) and deployed to the Adriatic in support of Operation Joint Endeavor, a peacekeeping effort in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. 60 days after returning from the Mediterranean deployment, Tortuga departed on a West African Training Cruise, where the ship’s Sailors, with embarked Marines and U.S. Coast Guard detachment, operated with the naval services of seven African nations.

She took command of USS Rushmore (LSD 47) on 12 March 1999, becoming the first African American woman to command a ship in the U.S. Navy. Howard was the Commander of Amphibious Squadron 7 from May 2004 to September 2005. Deploying with Expeditionary Strike Group 5, operations included tsunami relief efforts in Indonesia and maritime security operations in the North Persian Gulf.

Her shore assignments include: course coordinator/instructor for the Steam Engineering Officer of the Watch course; action officer and Navy’s liaison to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Military Services in the Bureau of Personnel; Action Officer J-3, Global Operations, Readiness on the Joint Staff from 2001-2003; executive assistant to the Joint Staff Director of Operations from February 2003 to February 2004; and deputy director N3 on the OPNAV Staff from December 2005 to July 2006; deputy director, Expeditionary Warfare Division, OPNAV staff from July 2006 to December 2006.

She was the senior military assistant to the Secretary of the Navy from January 2007 to January 2009 and currently serves as Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2.

Updated: 21 April 2009

LETTER: Tennyson doesn’t know history


As I read Howard Tennyson’s letter April 22, I could not believe the garbage he was spouting. To say that the way southern blacks were treated is hogwash, phony and just ignorant. He wrote that he lived in Montgomery. Did he participate in the march or was he someone on the sidelines? Did he grow up being denied a decent education based on the color of his skin, or was he in a nice, warm schoolhouse within walking distance of his home, not having to be bused 30 miles because of the color of his skin? Was he denied access to certain places strictly because of skin color or was he accepted anywhere? How could the government “blow everything out of proportion” about the treatment of “African-Americans” when there is documented proof in pictures and photos, newsreels, letters and memos?
My father is from Marion, Ala., and all of these things happened to him, his family and friends. I have heard the stories, so don’t tell me it didn’t happen. Not all African tribes participated in the slave trade, so don’t try to generalize an entire nation that this is a mess “our own kind created.” Yes, the Native Americans — you insult them by calling them “Indians” — have gotten a raw deal, but guess who did it? The same people that introduced slavery. Get some facts straight and maybe even read a couple of history books.
Kimberly Valentine

LETTER: Indians Treated Worse than Blacks


Concerning a study about the effects slavery had in Tennessee, if this is the most important issue our state has to worry about, we are in deep trouble. Wy should we take the blame for racial problems when blacks raided villages, captured and sold other blacks to slave trackers?

I lived in Montgomery, Alabama during the march from Selma. It was not nonviolent on the part of the blacks as well as the whites. Having lived there during this time, I can assure you all this hogwash about how the blacks were treated is phony. Sure there were some small instances that happened, but the government blew every opne of them way out of proportion, and now the blakcs want the taxpayers to pay the relatives of the slaves for the mess that their own kind created.

This country was take from the American Indians that owned it for thousands of years before we came. They were slaughtered, marched as POW's to camp,s starved and separated from their own tribes and families, the women were raped and the children killed. They are the people we should be studying and thinking about, not only in this state, but our nation as a whole.

Howard G. Tennyson

Monday, April 20, 2009

Kingsport should mull ward system--LETTER TO THE EDITOR

I have no problem with any of the candidates that are running for alderman. But I do think that the city of Kingsport has grown large enough to consider having wards, or the city could use the districting that the school system uses now for the students of the school system. With the people that we have running for the aldermen seats, it is possible that the city could end up with two people from the same subdivision serving on the board.
Douglas S. Releford

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Paranoia Has Set In


I just want to thank all of you for your educational e-mails over the past year. I am totally screwed up now and have little chance of recovery..

I no longer open a public bathroom door without using a paper towel or have them put lemon slices in my ice water without worrying about the bacteria on the lemon peel.

I can't use the remote in a hotel room because I don't know what the last person was doing while flipping through the channels.

I can't sit down on the hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.

I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pastime while driving alone is picking ones nose (although cell phone usage may be taking the number one spot).

Eating a little snack sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of trans fats I have consumed over the years.

I can't touch any woman's purse for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public bathroom.

I MUST SEND MY SPECIAL THANKS to whoever sent me the one about poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.

ALSO, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.

I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and St. Theresa's Novena has granted my every wish.

I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

THANKS TO YOU I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

BECAUSE OF YOUR CONCERN, I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer can buy gasoline without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm pumping gas.

I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put 'Under God' on their cans.

I no longer use Saran Wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

AND THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW I can't boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face... disfiguring me for life.

I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or Fed Ex since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.

I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support our American troops or the Salvation Army.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica , Uganda , Singapore , and Uzbekistan.

I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.

THANKS TO YOU I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites me.

AND THANKS TO YOUR GREAT ADVICE I can't ever pick up $5.00 dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.

I can no longer drive my car because I can't buy gas from certain gas companies!

I can't do any gardening because I'm afraid I'll get bitten by the brown recluse and my hand will fall off.

Oh, by the way..

A German scientist from Argentina , after a lengthy study, has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity read their e-mail with their hand on the mouse.

Don't bother taking it off now, it's too late....................