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Tuesday, August 13th

Announcements:

August 19th, 5:00 pm, Board Meeting at the SDYC, 6:00 pm Steak Fry at the SDYC

August 27th, 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at the SDYC

Program:

With many of our expert joke tellers off on summer trips, we encouraged one of our guests in attendance, CAPT Charlie MacVean, USN (Ret), to tell some submarine related sea stories in the “Entertainment” portion of today’s program.  He got some great laughs AND a strong round of applause.  We will have to get him back for more.

Optimist J.C. Agajanian and son working hard retrieving flags on Sunday.

Some additional help retrieving flags was rendered this past weekend by the son of Optimist J. C. Agajanian.  He dutifully tallied the count of 144 flags, and was rewarded with a pit stop at Baskin-Robbins for his hard work.

We received a very nice thank you letter from “Outside the Lens” for our club’s recent donation in support of their “Cameras in the Classroom” program at Dewey Elementary, and for their “Youth Council Photo Workshops” for local high school students.

Our guest speaker, Anne Rudolph, is thanked by 1st VP Jeff Fischbeck.

Thanks to member Doug Cleary inviting an esteemed legal colleague, Anne Rudolph, to be our guest speaker today, we were educated in many of the do’s and don’ts of estate planning.  Ms. Rudolph delivered a terrific, concise, easily understood, and very helpful discussion that emphasized three major points:  Prepare, Communicate, and be Realistic (especially with family members).  As she pointed out, Preparation is not only important for beneficiaries, but also for the person who wants to know how their wishes will be implemented while they still have their full faculties.  Communications with those to be making future decisions are best if they are clear and specific, especially when dividing tangible property or when specifying Advanced Healthcare Directives to one’s doctor.  Realistic approaches are needed in establishing/reviewing estates for law changes, family situations, trustee/executor selections, health care solutions, and a minefield of many other challenges.  It’s obvious that it’s best to call in an expert (and early) when it comes to estate planning.  Many of us left the meeting with “homework” from the many lessons learned today.  Thank you, Ms. Rudolph!

Tuesday, August 6th

Announcements:

August 13th, 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at the SDYC

August 19th, 5:00 pm, Board Meeting at the SDYC, 6:00 pm Steak Fry at the SDYC

August 27th, 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at the SDYC

Program:

We officially said “Welcome Aboard!” today to new member Jason Milosh, Executive Director of the Peninsula YMCA.

1st VP Jeff Fischbeck and Membership Chair Tom Lewis officially welcome new member Jason Milosh.

The slate of next year’s Board of Directors was announced at the meeting.  Thank you to everyone previously serving in these positions, and congratulations to the following Optimists who will be guiding our club in the upcoming fiscal year starting in October:

  • President:  Jeff Fischbeck
  • 1st Vice President:  Chris Jacobs
  • 2nd Vice President:  Gary Correia
  • 3rd Vice President:  Randy Rolfe
  • Secretary/Treasurer:  Jim Dennison
  • 2nd Year Board Members:  Collin Clifford, Jesse Sikorski
  • 1st Year Board Members:  Barry Rogers, Art Curran, Doug Cleary, J.C. Agajanian
  • Immediate Past President:  Steve Doyle
  • Senior Past President:  Jim Seman

Thanking Optimist Doug Cleary for his presentation

Member Doug Cleary volunteered himself as this week’s guest speaker, on a very difficult topic.  His presentation was “Sexual Harassment Law in California After the #MeToo Movement — The Law Has Changed.”  He explained some of the differences between relevant Federal and California law as well as some recent changes, using an actual case study (with fictitious names) to make his points.  We were left with the reaffirmation that this is a complex legal area and one that we should all strive to avoid.  Thank you, Doug, for your presentation.

 

Tuesday, July 30th

New Member Ryan Adams

Announcements:  

Ryan Adams joined the PLOC this morning.  Ryan is a 7 year Point Loma resident and was drawn to the Club because of the flags along Rosecrans!  Ryan is a commercial pilot flying FedEx packages across the country.  Welcome to the Club  Ryan!

Breakfast meetings are in store for August 6th and 13th.  Speakers will be announced next week.  First VP Jeff Fischbeck will be leading the next two breakfast meetings, as Pres. Steve takes a family vacation.

August 19th will bring a Board Meeting at 5:00 pm and Steak Fry dinner at 6:00 pm.  All meeting to be held at the SDYC.  We look forward to all members joining us at these great get-togethers!

 

Program:  

Claudine Van Gonka, Manager of PR

The PLOC was pleased to welcome Ms. Claudine Van Gonka, the Public Relations Manager for the San Diego Blood Bank to our weekly breakfast meeting.  “Saving lives with quality blood services in partnership with the community, is the Mission of our non-profit group”, Claudine informed us.  The San Diego Blood Bank was established in 1950.  It provides blood services to San Diego and Imperial Counties as the San Diego Blood Bank.  In Los Angeles and Orange County it is known as the Southern California Blood Bank.  What are blood services?  According to Claudine blood services include blood collection, component preparation, platelet­ collection, plasma collection, designated donation services and a reference laboratory­.

In fiscal year 2018, the Blood Bank received over 130,000 donations, made over 2,000 mobile visits and worked with a $45 million budget.  They also are involved with other life saving programs.  “We also have a Mother’s Milk Bank.  Where lactating mothers, with excess breast milk, can provide mother’s milk to children in the NICU at UCSD Hospital.  And, we are participating in the NIH “All of Us Research Program”.  The NIH is collecting 1 million genetic samples, from all corners of the country.  Their goal is to gather data to accelerate research and improve health.  By taking into account individual differences in lifestyle, environment, and biology, researchers will uncover paths toward delivery precision medicine,” Claudine said.

For 50 years, the San Diego Blood Bank was known for its headquarters building on Upas Street, in Hillcrest.  Today, the Blood Bank has six fixed locations (El Cajon, Escondido, Sabre Springs, Vista, Carmel Valley and San Diego.  They also have 10 fully equipped mobile units available for on-site blood drives.  “All our blood service donors are volunteers.  We can provide them with some juice and snacks, but we do not pay for blood.  We also accept donations of money and volunteer efforts,” she told us.  “A unique fact about the San Diego Blood Bank … we were first in getting blood supplies to New York after 9-11.  Our relations with the military and our outpouring of volunteer blood donations, allowed us to take 380 pints of blood to New York on September 12th.”

Thank you, Claudine.  We learned a lot about the San Diego Blood Bank today, and we will drag (kicking and screaming) some our members to your San Diego office to make that volunteer donation!

 

 

Tuesday, July 23rd

Announcements:

July 30, 2019, Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am SDYC, guest speaker is Claudin Von Gonka, from the San Diego Blood Bank

Program:

Peninsula Family YMCA Director Jason Milosh

The Peninsula Family YMCA was chartered in 1970.  Located at 4390 Valeta Street, next to Correia Junior High, the Y is open to the community and providing service to over 8,000 community residents each year.   Jason Milosh is the new Director of the Peninsula YMCA.  He stopped by for breakfast and to give us an update on what is new at the Y.

Jason is a transplanted New Englander.  He came to San Diego in 1997 and decided to stay.  He started at the Y as a fitness instructor worked his way up to become the director.  His goal is to help develop the local youth by training them in healthy living and social responsibility.  “Our Y has over 270 children in our childcare program, and we have over 300 children in our summer camp programs,” he said.  “With 250 volunteers and 140 staff members, we are very busy !”

                               The New Y!

The current structure for the Y was built in 1977.  It is undersized and showing its age.  In 2005, the Board of the Y decided to begin a capital campaign to rebuild the facility.  The new Y will allow them to serve thousands more people with improved effectiveness.  Multiple parking areas, exercise studios, meeting rooms, modern locker rooms, a central courtyard and rooftop deck are just some of the new additions.

The Y serves the whole community.  Their members are as  young as 5 months and as old as 96 years.  Inclusivity is not just word, it is way of life around the Y.  “It is important that everyone feels welcome and part of our family at the Y,” Jason told us.  Thanks Jason.  We are proud to be supporters of the Peninsula Family YMCA and to welcome you, as a new member of our Point Loma Optimist Club!

 

Tuesday, July 9th

Announcements:

July 15th – Annual Golf Tournament at River Walk Golf Course, Noon check in and lunch, 1:00 shotgun start.  Awards ceremony and Steak Fry at 6:00 pm, SDYC.  Scheduled Board Meeting continued until August 19th.

July 23rd – Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am SDYC, Speaker will be Jason Milosh from the Peninsula YMCA

July 3oth – Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am SDYC, Speaker will be Claudine Von Gonka from the San Diego Blood Bank

Program:

Outside the Lens is a San Diego based organization that provides photography and digital media programming to youth and the community.  Their Mission is simple, to empower youth to use digital media to create change within themselves, their community and the world.  They target underserved and at-risk youths in grades K-12 throughout San Diego County in coordination with local schools.  But their reach is much greater as they also work with educators in Columbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Africa and Mexico.

Member Ken Stimeling, Program Director Lucy Eagleson and Pres. Steve Doyle

Lucy Eagleson, the Program Director for Outside the Lens, visited with the Optimists this morning to share her passion for photography, digital media and children.  Lucy was born and raised in Escondido, CA.  She got her undergraduate degree from the University of San Diego and her Master of Fine Arts in Film and TV Production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts.  She also spent three years living and volunteering at an orphanage in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  “I bring film and digital arts into the classroom,” she said.  “Our programs help children find a voice, share a story and make a difference.  We work with children from Dewey Elementary School and High Tech High here in Point Loma.  It is a very rewarding program and I have had the privilege to be involved with Outside the Lens for the past five years.”

Outside the Lens is a 501(c)3 organization.  Founded in 2001, they have delivered their curriculum to over 16,000 children in weekly classes, after school programs, summer sessions, workshops and teacher trainings.  Children get to tell their stories using photography, video and other digital media forms.  They are guided by writers, journalists, filmmakers, photographers, artists and teachers.  They learn valuable life skills such as problem solving, collaborative thinking, use of technology, perspective and communication skills.  They explore early photographic methods and cutting edge digital media programs.  They share their stories, their thoughts and their dreams in ways that give them hope and confidence.

“Our programs include, Camera in the Classroom, where photography and video means are used to help explain complex subjects.  Cameras in the Community allows students to show and share their views of life where they live.  Cameras Cross Cultures allows students in different geographic regions to share their cultures and traditions,” Lucy told us.  The goal of Outside the Lens is to help the student to understand their own identity, their family relationships, their community relationships, their environment and their world.  It is a big goal and a worthy one.

The Point Loma Optimist Club is proud to be a supporter of Outside the Lens and we thank Lucy for sharing more about this wonderful group with us this morning.

Tuesday, June 25th

Announcements: 

July 2nd, 7:00 am; Breakfast meeting at SDYC, Speaker to be announced

July 9th, 7:00 am; Breakfast meeting at SDYC, Speaker to be announced

July 15th, Noon, Annual PLOC Golf Tournament, River Walk Golf Course, get your foursome organized NOW!  6:00 pm, Steak Fry and Awards Banquet, SDYC

Pres Steve Doyle and New Member Rodney Eales

The Board of Directors met last Monday night and we approved a $1,000 donation to the Outside the Lens.  They provide camera equipment and training to Point Loma elementary school and high school students.  We also approved a $1,000 donation to the Point Loma High School Cheer Boosters for new uniforms.  They helped us with merchandise sales and logistics at the OptimisTiki Luau.    Thanks to Vince Glorioso and his Youth Works Committee for their fast action in reviewing these applications and getting them to the Board in time for approval!

This morning, the Point Loma Optimist Club welcomed a long time Point Loma resident as our newest member.  Rodney Eales Joined the Club this morning.  Membership Committee Chair, Tom Lewis presided over the induction.  Member Bert Barkley recruited Mr. Eales.  And, President Steve Doyle provided Rodney with his official membership badge and a plaque recognizing his membership.  Welcome Rodney, we hope you enjoy a long and fruitful membership with the Club!

 

 

Program:

Jim Seman, Neil Senturia and Pres Steve Doyle

The quintessential Renaissance Man, he writes, he builds, he creates, he teaches and he visualizes opportunities.  Neil Senturia has done all these things, and many more.  “I guess I started my career as a writer for Hollywood,” he told us.  “I did some writing for M*A*S*H, Alice and Tony Randall, but it is such a strange place, I knew I wouldn’t last there.”  In 1980, Neil moved into the financial services and real estate syndication business.  “But, I wanted more and needed more, so in 1985, I started developing and building condominiums, office projects and hotels.  That was a fun!  I built about 2 million square feet over 10 years!”  Then Neil put his mind to entrepreneurial efforts in technology.  “Remember, this was 1995 and the Internet was just starting.  Email was new and exciting.  I got together with some friends and we came up with the idea for an Internet kiosk in airports.  You know, check your emails between flights!  We called the company Atcom.”  The idea was good, but Neil soon realized his costs were out of line with his profits.  A young technician working for Neil suggested he take the technology and offer it to hotels.  “You never know where a great idea will come from,” he reminisced.  “But it taught me a great lesson, listen to all the ideas presented.  You never know when a really good one will come along.”  And with that change of direction, Neil’s company grew quickly and was sold for a nice profit.  The entrepreneurial spirit was on fire!

Neil has started multiple technology companies since Atcom.  Some of these companies he has sold.  Some he still owns.  And one in particular failed, Digital News Co.  “I learned more from that failure, than from most of my successes.  I also pivoted off that failure to become a consultant!” he shared.  “But being a good consultant is not as easy as it sounds.  So a friend of mine told me I needed to write a book.  Thus was born, “I’m There For You Baby …The Entrepreneur’s Guide to the Universe“.  What that book did was not make me a great consultant, it got me started into another career as an author, writer, and blogger.”  Then the writer gig got Neil into teaching and mentoring.  He became involved with Defy Ventures, a program designed to teach inmates how to take control of their lives after prison.  He started teaching at SDSU.  Then he picked up a job writing a column in the Business section of the San Diego Union Tribune.  And, just so he doesn’t get bored, Neil still runs Blackbird Ventures, a company he started in 2005 to invest in new technology start-ups.  The Renaissance Man never sleeps!

I’m There For You Baby” is now in its 3rd update.  “I think I have learned some things in my life,” he said.  “If I could pass a couple of them along, they would be… #1 Return every phone call or email.  You never know when one of those communications will provide you with a golden opportunity.  #2.  Networking is a profession, be good at it.  It is rare someone will accomplish great thing all by themselves.  A network provides you with contacts to people who can help you grow.  And #3.  Go to all those events and meetings you get invited to.  Especially the ones that don’t seem to mean anything to you.  It makes you available again, to great ideas, contacts and who knows, maybe even the love of your life!”  Neil has not slowed down.  He is full of life.  He is constantly thinking about new opportunities and new ideas.  We could use a few more like Neil Senturia!

Thank you Neil, for sharing a small piece of your world with us this morning.  We are glad to have added you to our network!

Tuesday, June 11th

Announcements:

June 17th, 5:00 pm, Board Meeting at the SDYC, 6:00 pm Steak Fry at the SDYC

June 25th, 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at the SDYC, Speaker is Neil Senturia, columnist for the UT Business section

July 15th, Noon – 5:00 pm, Annual Golf Tournament, River Walk Golf Club; 6:00 pm Awards program and Steak Fry at SDYC.  Get your foursomes together!

Program:

So you spent 12 years of your business career focused on “the Largest Private Waterfront Development on the West Coast” (according to Market Insider, October 30, 2018), and all you got to show for it is a great big hole in the ground?  So what gives???

Perry Dealy and the Manchester Pacific Gateway project.

Well, for that answer we went to the man himself, Perry Dealy!  Perry is President and CEO of Dealy Development.  He is a Marine/Vietnam veteran who holds a masters degree in Architecture with Urban Planning/Design Emphasis from North Carolina State University / UNC Chapel Hill.  He also has 44 years of real estate experience and is the Development Manager for the Manchester Pacific Gateway project.  “For 11 years, this project suffered through one lawsuit after another.  We had to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, before we were able to put the legal challenges behind us.  Now, it is on to construction!” he told us.

Construction will include, seven new buildings on eight city blocks.  The first building is the 372,00 sf U.S. Navy San Diego Headquarters.  This building is currently at its eighth floor of steel framing and is scheduled to be completed by October 2020.  When completed, the Navy will relocate from their current building (circa 1920) at the northwest corner of the property.  After moving into their new space, the old building will come down, to make way for a new 1.9 acre park.  Remaining buildings include 888,000 sf of class A office space; 1,400 rooms of hotel(s); 275,000 sf of retail, restaurants, entertainment and cultural space; 3,000 subterranean parking; and, 3.6 acres of plazas, paseo and open space.

“I would love to tell you we will immediately be constructing the rest of the property, but that schedule will depend on financing partners and tenants,” Perry said.  “We will be working on the site development for the $1.6 billion project, including demolition work, underground parking, street frontage, the Navy office building, utilities and utility relocations, in the interim.”

Developer Perry Dealy and Pres. Steve Doyle

One of the unique aspects to the property is the ownership and approvals.  The Federal Government owns the property.  They offered to lease the property to private parties, in return for the development of their new headquarters office building.  Doug Manchester was selected by the Navy and began the process to develop the site in 2005.  Soon after the lawsuits started.  Challenges were made to the approvals by the City of San Diego, the Coastal Commission and the Federal government.  All of which failed, but cost the project extensively in time and money.

For a glimpse of the future Manchester Pacific Gateway project CLICK HERE.

Perry Dealy has hands-on experience in all aspects of real estate development.  He is a licensed architect, general contractor, and fiduciary representative.  He brings a broad set of skills that have been crucial to his success in strategic planning, acquisitions and development.  We look forward to seeing more “steel in the air” as the Manchester Pacific Gateway continues to come out of the “big hole in the ground”.  Thanks for sharing with us this morning, Perry!

Tuesday, June 4th

Announcements:

  1. June 11th, Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am at SDYC, developer Perry Dealy will be the guest speaker
  2. June 17th, Board Meeting @ 5:00 pm SDYC, Steak Fry @ 6:00 pm SDYC
  3. July 15th, Annual Gold Tournament at River Walk GC, Lunch at noon, Shotgun Start at 1:00 pm, get your foursomes together now!
  4. Bruce Denham reports progress with the Patriot Half Marathon permitting.  One more permit to get, from the Port Authority.  Anyone who can help Bruce please reach out and let him know… bruce@Patriots Half.com

    VP Chris Jacobs, VP Jeff Fischbeck and Principal Marco Drapeau

  5. The Club made a grant presentation at the Ocean Beach Elementary School’s Volunteers and Community Partners Breakfast on June 5th.  The money will be used to create an outdoor Reading Garden for the children.  Club Vice Presidents, Chris Jacobs and Jeff Fischbeck were there to make the presentation to Principal Marco Drapeau.

Program:

Chris Keifer, Jim Seman and Ken Stipanov

Mr. Chris Kiefer, Chief Financial Officer of the NTC Foundation was our guest speaker this morning.  The NTC Foundation was established in 2000, as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to enrich the lives of San Diegans by renovating a portion of the closed Navy Training Center (NTC) San Diego and creating, facilitating, and operating ARTS DISTRICT as a 80-acre creative district.  As San Diego’s newest cultural mecca—a destination for arts and culture, with 16 of 26 historic buildings completed, ARTS DISTRICT is home to over 120 tenants, including artists, galleries, creative businesses, museums, and nonprofits serving San Diego. Over 800,000 people visit ARTS DISTRICT annually, adding economic impact and jobs to what was once a shuttered Navy base. “Every day we have Arts coming alive,” Chris told us.  “Check out our schedule of events!  You will be blown away by all the activity going on.”  Click Here for Events Schedule.

“We are also moving ahead, looking to complete the renovations for the remainder of our District.  Generally, you can tell, if the building is still the old, faded yellow color, we have not renovated it yet.  Once the building is renovated, it will be painted in the light brown color.”  The next building up is #178.  The is the old Commissary building.  The plan is to create two theaters (a 300 seat and a 50 seat venue).  The theaters will be used for dance, music, digital arts and other productions.  The goal is to have the renovation completed by 2021.  There is also a plan to create a Boutique Hotel within buildings 4, 5, 18 and 25.  The City processing for permits is underway and the goal here is for a 2021/22 opening.

“We want to make art a see it, feel it, touch it and engage in it activity.  We can do that with our First Friday events,” Chris explained.   This popular free arts event takes place on the First Friday of every month from 5-9 pm throughout the 28 acre campus. After 10 years, it has grown into San Diego’s biggest innovative arts event! Meet working artists, enjoy dance, theatre and music performances featuring community partners and discover intriguing public art installations. Wander and explore the galleries, museums, artist studios, distinctive shops and dining at historic Liberty Station.

There are Summer Camps, Art Shows, Concerts, and so much more.  There are restaurants, museums, a golf course, a movie theater and a special events center.  You can spend all day enjoying the ARTS DISTRICT at Liberty Station, and still come back the next day, and the next day to finish exploring.  Meet the artists, talk to the craftspeople, wonder at the historic exhibits or just stretch out on the lawns and catch some rays.  Whatever floats your boat (yeah, they got a couple of those too!) the ARTS DISTRICT is a great place explore and enjoy!

Thanks to Chris Keifer for sharing his insights on this gem of Point Loma.

Tuesday, May 28th

Announcements:

June 4th, Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am SDYC, Speaker Chris Kiefer, CFO of the NTC Foundation

June 11th, Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am SDYC, Speaker to be announced

June 17th, Board Meeting, 5:00 pm SDYC; Steak Fry, 6:00 pm SDYC

July 15th, Annual Golf Tournament, River Walk Golf Course

Program:

The 2019 Youth Appreciation Breakfast

With all the challenges this world has to offer, we are very happy to know the next generation of leaders will bring us something special!  Seven of the eight winners of the 2019 Point Loma Optimist Club Youth Appreciation Day with their families, joined their teachers, principals and Club Members for a delicious breakfast and award presentation celebration.  These fourth and fifth grade children represent the local elementary schools on the Peninsula.  They were nominated by their teachers and principals for their outstanding citizenship, academic achievement and optimistic spirit.  Their accomplishments are those to be lauded, celebrated and shared.  Your 2019 winners are:

“And the winners are…”

Club member, Vince Glorioso, chaired the committee for the Point Loma Optimist Club and was the Master of Ceremonies for the event.  Vince asked each of the winners to introduce the family members, teacher and principal seated at their table, and to tell the audience which school they attended.  “It is really a delight to talk with these young leaders and watch them shine in this special spotlight”, he said.  Vince also called each of the winners up to the podium, then read the summary of why the student was so deserving (as provided by the teachers) to the audience.  Each winner received a framed Citation and a cash prize as recognition of the accomplishment.  (The eighth winner was on a school sponsored class trip to Disneyland this morning.  Vince will make a personal presentation of their award at an upcoming school assembly.)

Thank you to the Principals and Teachers for their efforts with all their students.

The Point Loma Optimist Club is proud to support youth activities on the Peninsula.  This Youth Appreciation Celebration is one of many ways we recognize, award, celebrate and sponsor our youth and youth programs.  The Point Loma Optimist Club provides needed school supplies and equipment.  We hold Oratorical Contests.  We support athletic, arts, STEAM and reading programs.  We award graduating high school students with scholarships.  We also set up and take down the United States Flags along Rosecrans Street on every Sunday, legal Holiday and for special occasions (like returning submariners to Ballast Point).  If you are interested in learning more about the Point Loma Optimists Club, drop by for breakfast (our treat) on most Tuesday mornings at the San Diego Yacht Club.  You will find the schedule at the top of this article.

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2019 Youth Appreciation Awards.  We are proud to recognize your accomplishments!

 

Tuesday, May 14th

Announcements:

Monday, May 20th, Board of Directors Meeting, 5:00 pm, Steak Fry 6:00 pm San Diego Yacht Club

Tuesday, May 28th, Annual Youth Appreciation Breakfast, 7:00 am San Diego Yacht Club

Tuesday, June 4th, Breakfast Meeting, Speaker to be announced, 7:00 am San Diego Yacht Club

Program:

Run Silent. Run Deep. That 1958 movie classic about the submarine service in WW II brought to the attention of many people the trials, tribulations, and dangers of life on board a submerged boat.  Today’s submarine force is the pride of the US Navy.  70 of these invisible defenders circle the globe to protect, defend and secure lives of American citizens and our allies.  The Mission Areas of the submarine force include strategic deterrence, strike warfare, special operations, and intelligence gathering.

Pres Steve Doyle and Captain Chris Cavanaugh

This morning, we had the honor to hear from Captain Chris Cavanaugh, the Commander of Submarine Squadron 11, based here in San Diego at Ballast Point.  Captain Cavanaugh is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and has received masters degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and the Catholic University of America.  During his 26 year year career, he has served on four submarines, including command of the USS Albuquerque (SSN 706).  He has also spent time serving under the Chief of Naval Operations, the Chief of Naval Personnel and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Captain Cavanaugh recently deployed to Argentina as Commander, Task Group 46 to lead the search and rescue efforts for a missing Argentinian submarine, ARA San Juan.  On November 15, 2017, the ARA San Juan went missing somewhere off the eastern coast of Argentina.  The Argentine Navy began to search on the 16th, and the Argentine government request assistance from the US on November 17th.  A multi-national group from Argentina, UK, US, Chile and Russia provided assistance in the search efforts.  Captain Cavanaugh led the group (except Russia) to coordinate the search efforts.  By early January 2018, the search was called off.  “While the effort failed to find the lost submarine, there were many valuable lessons learned through the mission,” he told us.  Eventually, the submarine was found, providing additional evidence the boat was likely lost to a battery fire and explosion on November 15, 2017.

Headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, the submarine service has approximately 10% of the US Navy manpower (21,000 people).  Their home ports include six US cities, one US territory and three foreign countries.  In San Diego, currently five Los Angeles Class fast attack submarines are assigned.  Over the next several years, that number is scheduled to increase to eight or nine boats.  Historically, San Diego has been home port for as many as 22 submarines, but with the physical growth of the size of submarines, and the specially required servicing of the boats, that number is no longer practical.

Submarine Squadron 11 includes the unique floating dry-dock ARCO Floating Dry-Dock and the Undersea Rescue Command (see the discussion above about the ARA San Juan).  Submarine Squadron 11 Command is also a key component of the Diesel Electric Submarine Initiative.  This is a cooperative effort between the US Navy and the navies of Peru and Chile.  Each year, Squadron 11 interfaces with a diesel submarine and crew from Peru or Chili, to improve the overall operations of both services.  This year, Chile will be sending a diesel submarine to San Diego to partake in this Initiative.

Captain Cavanaugh was asked about quality of submarine services of other nations.  He believes the Unites States Navy still has the best overall submarine service.  He also believes that the Russian navy is close in quality, but lacking in capacity.  While the Chinese navy is building capacity quickly, they fall behind in quality.  “No matter how you look at it, we need to be vigilant in our pursuit of quality in the submarine service and continue to maintain our overall capacity,” he told us.  From what we see today, we should all be proud of Captain Cavanaugh, the US Navy’s submarine fleet and the 21,000 other people serving on board and onshore in the submarine force!

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