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Change of Watch
Flotilla 59 held its annual
change of watch dinner
and ceremony at Wharf
Hill Brewing Company
in downtown Smithfield.
Highlights from FSO
staff reports and
anything else you may
have missed at the last
A word from our new
for 2016, Anderson
The Newsletter of U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 59 • Smithfield, VA • Feb. 2016
Change of Watch 2015
Smithfield Flotilla 59 held its
annual Change of Watch dinner and
awards ceremony Monday, Dec. 21,
2015, 5 p.m. at the Wharf Hill Brewing
Company in downtown Smithfield.
Highlights from the evening included
the announcement of the Flotilla’s
Auxiliarist of the Year, Chuck Mullen,
Sr., and New Auxiliarist of the Year,
Henry Troutner, and the frocking of the
Flotilla’s new Vice Flotilla Commander,
Additional awards presented that
evening included the following:
Stephanie Faleski, wife of outgoing
Flotilla Commander Peter Faleski,
received an award for her work writing
and directing a promotional music
video for the Flotilla, which made its
debut on YouTube in early August
2015 and received over 2,000 views
by the end of the year.
Auxiliarist Chuck Mullen, Sr.,
received his Coxswain device and
See COW, page 2 See Meeting, page 2
Smithfield Flotilla 59 held its first
monthly meeting of 2016 on Jan. 18,
7 p.m. at the American Legion in
Smithfield. Here’s what you may have
missed if you could not attend:
Awards and Recognition
Chuck Mullen, Sr. and Henry
Troutner received their Coast Guard
Meritorious Team Commendation
letters and ribbons for participation on
the DSAR 2015 team.
and Stephen Faleski received their
Coast Guard Meritorious Team
Commendation letters and ribbons
for serving as support staff for DSAR
Smithfield Flotilla 59 received
a best in show award for the rescue
vehicle category from the Town of
Smithfield for participation in the
Town’s 2015 Christmas Parade.
There is a boat show coming up
Jan. 29-31 in Virginia Beach. Division
V is looking for help with public affairs
on Friday, Jan. 29 from 10 a.m. to 9
Auxiliarists Fred Hetzel and Henry
Troutner received their boat crew
Incoming Flotilla Commander
Anderson Braswell received his fourth
sustained service award for a total
of over 3,000 hours of service to the
Auxiliarist Henry Troutner received
his vessel examiner certification and
Auxiliarist Tom Sparling receiving
his food service qualification.
Outgoing Division Commander Al
Coke received his seventh sustained
service award for a total of 5,250
hours of Auxiliary service.
Auxiliarists Chuck Mullen, Sr.,
Fred Hetzel, John Curry, and Henry
Troutner received their 60 hour
Annual Service Performance Award
Auxiliarist George Langdon
receiving his Annual Service
Performance Award for Public
Faleski received a commemorative
plaque honoring his service as Flotilla
Commander for 2015.
cont. from page 1
Meeting, cont. from page 1
In the Loop
is the authorized newsletter of U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 59, Smithfield, VA. It is published bi-monthly
as a PDF and emailed to members. Hard copies are available by request from the editor. Members are
encouraged to submit articles, photos, and letters to FSO-PB/FSO-CS Stephen Faleski at stephenfaleski@
gmail.com. Editor reserves the right to edit all submissions for length and content.
FC/FSO-MS: R. Anderson Braswell
VFC: H. Fred Hetzel
FSO-FN/PA/MT: Peter Faleski
FSO-CS/PB/SR: Stephen Faleski
FSO-IS/PE: George Langdon
FSO-HR: Dean Densmore
FSO-DV/NS/DCAPT: Michelle Thornton
FSO-PV: Charlie More
FSO-VE: Lou Bott
FSO-OP: Mike Quinn
p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 31 from 10 a.m.
to 5 p.m.
Division V is also now requiring
all flotillas to appoint a rescue survival
systems staff officer in writing.
The Mariner’s Museum will hold a
Safety at Sea Seminar Feb. 28, 8 a.m.
to 5 p.m.
Flotilla 59 received permission
to set up a recruiting booth outside
Harborview Theater during opening
weekend (Fri., Sat., Sun. Jan. 29-31)
of The Finest Hours. (see Above.)
Flotilla 5-10 (Suffolk) also participated
in the recruiting effort.
The Flotilla’s budget for 2016 has
been submitted and approved.
Anyone who contributed items to
the Flotilla’s garage sale in Nov. can
take their donation as a tax deduction.
Send your name and address to Peter
Faleski, FSO-FN and you will receive
a letter acknowledging your donation.
The Flotilla plans to hold another
garage sale this year.
Dave Adams, Chief of Staff, will go
on patrol with Flotilla 59 in Feb.
Al Coke will be running DSAR
2016. DSAR will be sometime in Aug.
Flotilla Commanders Larry Pennington
of 5-10 (left) Anderson Braswell of 5-9
(right) recruited at Harbourview Grande
Theater in Suffolk during opening week-
end of The Finest Hours.
Troutner receives his New AOY award.
In 2003, Derek Jeter took the
reins as Captain of Major League
Baseball’s infamous New York
Over the next nine seasons,
Jeter’s club would earn six
Division Titles and one World
Was this the result of superior
leadership on the part of Jeter? Of
course not. It was the result of one
part Yankees tradition, mixed with
one part vastly superior talent on
In the past four years, Flotilla
59 has rocketed to the top of the
Division in almost every relevant
category, and dominated the
Mid-Atlantic SAR competition for
two consecutive years. We have
very quickly created a tradition of
excellence in Smithfield, Suffolk
and Surry through our actions and
accomplishments, and the active
duty leadership has taken notice.
Tradition, however, sprouts
from those who earn it. Whether it
is leading the Division in Program
Visits, or leading the Division
in Operational Missions, the
members of Flotilla 59 have each
exceeded the expectations of the
Coast Guard year after year to
breed the tradition we enjoy today.
As we look ahead to 2016, we
must continue to nurture and build
on that tradition, and continue to
expect excellence from each other.
Fortunately, the members of this
Flotilla do not know how to be any
other way. It is an honor to serve
in Flotilla 59. I look forward to yet
another winning season in 2016.
- Anderson Braswell, FC
Flotilla 59 had an eventful year in
2015, from recruiting new members
to winning the Mid-Atlantic District
Search and Rescue competition
(DSAR) for the second year in a row.
Here are a few of the highlights from
this past year:
We began 2015 with a new Flotilla
Commander, Peter Faleski. Several
e l e c t e d
a n d
D i v i s i o n
M i c h e l l e
e l e c t e d
District Captain for Sector Hampton
Roads, and Anderson Braswell, who
was appointed to head up Coast
Guard District 5 Southern Region’s
Communications Services as the new
District Staff Officer (DSO-CS.)
The Flotilla was featured in
numerous newspaper articles
throughout the year in various local
publications, including The Smithfield
Times, The Suffolk News Herald, and
the Virginia Pilot.
The Flotilla also participated
in two local television broadcasts.
Suffolk News Happenings, a local
news broadcast produced for the City
of Suffolk via Prime Media Productions
and Charter Cable Channel 190,
interviewed Anderson Braswell,
alongside two representatives from
Air Operations Flotilla 5-10, Larry
Byers and Paul Woche. Later, Braswell
also participated in an interview for
Smithfield Today, another local news
broadcast on Charter Cable 189
hosted by JoAnn Hall.
In May, the Flotilla kicked off
National Safe Boating Week with a
visit from Coastie the Safety Week by
partnering with the Isle of Wight Arts
League to put on a “fashion show”
Au x ilia r y
u n i f o r m s
s a f e t y
at The Arts
C e n t e r
A l s o
active duty USCG Mid-Atlantic Blog
published a spotlight on Flotilla 59’s
Chuck Mullen, Jr. In June, the Mid-
Atlantic Blog featured Anderson
Braswell, who was awarded honorable
mention as a National Auxiliarist of the
Year for 2014.
In early August, the Flotilla
released a music video on YouTube
featuring four Auxiliarists from Flotilla
59. The video quickly gained over
1,000 views and was featured in
two local newspapers as well as on
Smithfield Today TV.
On Aug. 14-15 the Flotilla
participated in DSAR, and took first
place for the second year in a row. The
team included three new auxiliarists
and a coxswain who had only recently
earned his qualification.
2015: a Year in Review