NAVAL WEATHER SERVICE ASSOCIATION

An association of Aerographers & Mates,
Meteorologists & Oceanographers

NWSA President

President 2017-2019:


 AGC Charles "Cap" Casperson, USN RET
president@navalweather.org






NWSA Organization

 

NWSA Elected Officers

  NWSA Committees

    Local Chapters

Source: Aerograph May 2018

Greetings Shipmates,

 

Well, if you missed Reunion 44 last month you missed a great one!  Despite the lower turnout than we expected for such a great location, the venue was great with a wonderful hotel and staff.  This was Lori’s and my first trip to the Big Easy and our Reunion Chair, Gary Cox, along with Libby and Pat O’Brien and the Pensacola Chapter pulled off another successful reunion.  I believe everyone in attendance had a great time.  With plenty of time to relax and visit, Lori and I got to ride the trolleys, see a cemetery or two, visit the French Quarter and Bourbon Street (during the day), walk the River Walk, and taste the wonderful beignets and coffee at the world-famous Café Du Monde.  Très bien!  Of course, there was time to sit and talk or have breakfast, lunch, or dinner with old friends that we normally don’t get to see.

The highlight of the week was the visit and tour of the World War II Museum.  What a huge display of what happened during WWII from Europe to Asia and our part in it when we finally “joined” with our allies.  It continues to sober me as I reflect on all the atrocities of that war and how many people died, both American and the rest of the world.  There just wasn’t enough time to take it all in, but it was a very memorable activity.  Lunch and a Frank Sinatra impersonator show broke up the day with a lot of fun had by all.

 

Thursday night’s banquet topped off the week with a great dinner provided by the hotel.  We had the great fortune of having CNMOC, RADM John Okon as our guest speaker.  His remarks about the advances in technology that are improving the accuracy of our forecasts to the fleet, autonomous vehicles below and above the ocean surface, and advances and differences in training our Sailors was enlightening.  He highlighted the danger of our enemies (and friends) that steal and copy our technology to improve faster than us.  After his remarks he and Command Master Chief Chevalier took questions from our members, most of which related to the difference of having AGs that were Ship’s Company and how it is done now, closer to what most of saw as a Mobile Teams.  It remains clear that our Sea Services continue to stand in harm’s way to protect our sea lanes and continue to keep our country and our allies safe.  All in all, it was a great, informative presentation that was appreciated by all in attendance.

Last year, our First Lady, Lori, said she would look at pricing and scheduling a cruise as you’ve seen in previous issues of the Aerograph.  At this year’s General Meeting, the cruise was overwhelmingly voted down, partially due to cost and partially due to whatever.  At that point it was voted on to hold Reunion 45 in Southern California.  The association has gotten little participation out of the San Diego area, which would be the logical location, for several years so Lori and I with some help from Moon are setting it up slightly north of there in the Ventura County area.

 

So, last year in San Antonio and this year in New Orleans our main event for each was a museum relating to WWII.  Since almost all of us are actual Cold War Warriors, we’ve decided to have the reunion centered around the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, CA.  The rough plan right now will be to tour the Library, followed by our Banquet under Air Force One in the museum.  Since none of this was planned before a couple of weeks ago, we’re scrambling to get locations scouted out.  More information will be found further back in the Aerograph and I’ve asked Gary to delay sending this issue out for a couple of days, so we can give you a better idea of where we will be staying and estimated costs.  Besides the museum, there are many things to do.  We’ll be close to Point Mugu and will see if we can get a tour through the weather office (if there is interest), Point Mugu also has a small building off the base that is a museum, though they don’t call it that, Port Hueneme is close and has a CB museum, lots of golfing available, as well as beaches.  More to come in this issue and more to come next issue.

 

Take care,

 

Cap


Source: Aerograph February 2018

Happy New Year Shipmates!

 

I hope this issue finds you warm and not snow-bound anywhere across this great nation.  This past year has been an odd weather year for California as well as the country.  After record rain and snow last winter that “ended the drought”, we saw devastating fires in northern California’s wine country, an area not normally affected by large wild fires.  Locally, we had an early snowfall in the mountains in early fall, but then no precipitation until this month.  Hot, dry Santa Ana-like winds whipped up multiple wildfires, fed by all the brush and grass growing from last year’s rain, in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, now labeled as the largest wildfire in California recorded history.  While those fires were fought for most of December, before the fire was completely out, we had a couple of days of solid rain that created flooding and mud slides in the burned-out areas, making Christmas and New Year’s a very sad time for many.  While fire and mud slides are old hat for most of Southern California, this disaster hit a lot of people very hard, not just the ones living in their “mansions” on the top or side of a SOCAL hill.  Locally, we received 1.08” of rain during the rain that created the flooding in Santa Barbara County.  That’s a quarter of our annual rainfall out here in the desert, and the first rain we’d seen since September, so we were happy to see it here.


In less than three months, we’ll be gathering in New Orleans for Reunion #44!  Gary, Libby, Pat (and apparently much of the Pensacola Chapter) have been working hard putting together a great reunion for us.  With only one Reunion activity scheduled (other than meetings, Welcome Aboard Party, and the Banquet) you will have plenty of time to sight-see, go to lunch/dinner with fellow attendees, or do anything else you’d like.  This is the first time Lori and I have been to New Orleans, so we’re excited to have this opportunity.  Signups, as indicated on the web site have been slow, so please get your registration in as soon as possible.  If you register before 1 February, you’ll be in the running for a free room!  I’m looking forward to seeing many of you there.


This past year, we have lost several of our members.  Most recently we lost a stalwart of the Association, LCDR Morry Summey from our Southern California Chapter in San Diego.  Morry worked tirelessly to serve the Association and Chapter and made it to almost every Reunion in the recent past, accompanied by his loving daughters.  His smiling face and charming personality will be missed by many in the Association and in the other organizations he served in the San Diego area.  Rest in Peace Morry.


As you know, Libby will be turning over the reins of Secretary/Treasurer after this reunion to AGCM Tom Miovis.  Libby has served the association superbly and for far longer than is expected of one of our Association officers.  While Tom will replace her, he has some huge shoes to fill.  Thank you so much for your service Libby!  Also needing a replacement this year is our Finance Chair, Captain Chuck Steinbruck.  Chuck has been a great help to Libby and when I was a member of the Finance Committee, his mentorship and advice made it easy to serve with him on that committee.  Thank you so much for your service Chuck!  That being said, I am looking for a replacement for him and will be reaching out to members to fill that position.


During and after Reunion #43 last year we asked for someone on the Left Coast to step up and put together a Reunion committee and venue for #45.  No one has stepped forward from the San Diego, Monterey, Pacific Northwest areas to host a reunion.  After some discussion in San Antonio, Lori agreed to research costs and ideas for a NWSA Cruise for Reunion #45 in 2019 with a possible backup in the SOCAL area.  Her research is found in this issue, but we’ll be sending out a survey to get a better idea of preferred dates, type/length of cruises, and port of debarkation by Reunion #44.  It is likely going to be more expensive than our normal venue, but since most everything would be part of the cruise package, it may even out your costs.

 

I wish you all a safe and prosperous new year and I look forward to seeing you in a couple of months.  Laissez Les Bon NWSA Temps Rouler!

In Service,

 

Cap Casperson



Source: Aerograph November 2017

Happy Autumn Shipmates!


I can’t believe it is November already, seems like just last week I was writing this note for the summer Aerograph.  Even out here in the high desert of California though, the leaves on the few trees here are starting to turn colors.  I know many of you have already seen the leaves turn, fall off, and for some, get covered by early snowfall, at least temporarily.  My parents and sister in northwest Montana and brother in Idaho have already experience several good snowfalls while we swelter in near-summertime heat the last half of October.  Who’d expect the first game of the World Series to be played in near-100 degree heat as Santa Ana winds and temperatures affected the Los Angeles basin, even keeping the temperatures well above normal in the high desert under the high pressure over the great basin area of the West?


We had the opportunity to observe the total eclipse of the sun in August at my brother’s home in Idaho Falls, within eight miles of the centerline of the path of totality.  It was amazing how dark it got and how much the temperature dropped.  Surrounded by Lori, our daughter, grandson, brother, sister-in-law, and nieces and nephews; it was a great treat.  Not sure how much the little ones will remember, but at least we can show pictures when they’re older.


Extreme weather and natural disasters have been the primary news stories this quarter as hurricanes devastated parts of Texas, Florida, and Caribbean Islands.  Forest fires in southwest Canada and the Pacific Northwest kept WA, OR, MT, ID, and WY under a heavy blanket of smoke affecting visibility and air quality in those states.  California had its usual number of wildfires in the Sierra’s, but some that impacted areas in Los Angeles, Orange, and Santa Barbara Counties where the population is much denser.  Most surprising and scary for those of us out west was the huge, aggressive fire in Marin County and Wine Country.  I know we have many members along the Gulf Coast and Pacific Northwest that may have been impacted, though I haven’t heard of any that were directly affected.  Our prayers go out to everyone that lost their homes in or were affected by the 2017 weather events and natural/man-influenced disasters.

While one of those tropical storms tried to hit New Orleans, it went ashore east of there with little impact, at least to New Orleans.  Fortunately, Gary, Libby, Pat, and the rest of the Reunion Committee have made great progress on preparing for Reunion #44!  The reservation form is available online and in this issue and the hotel reservation has been available since this summer.  Please get your reservations in as soon as possible so we can plan the best event possible.  We’re still researching a cruise-type event for #45 in 2019 and will provide more info to you as soon as possible to get your input and help you plan.


Please check out the Bellinger List this issue to see if you have shipmates that have dropped off or aren’t there and invite them back as well as confirming that your information is updated and correct.  I look forward to seeing you in New Orleans in April.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas season.  Please email me any thoughts or questions you may have to grow/improve our association or how I can serve you better as President.

  

In Service,

Cap Casperson



Source: Aerograph August 2017

Greetings from the upper Mojave Desert of California!  I can’t believe it’s already been a quarter of a year since Reunion 43!  I feel like it was just yesterday that I was just greeting our many friends in San Antonio. 


I’ve spent the last three months hopping back and forth across the country, mostly to the DC area, but also to northwestern Florida.  I’d love to meet with any chapters that meet when I’m in your area.  Although I missed meeting with Potomac Chapter President Tom Berkeridge when I spent the week at National Harbor, MD in June (we’ll get together next time, Tom), I was able to meet with many of the Pensacola Chapter folks for dinner thanks to Libby setting things up.  I thoroughly enjoyed having dinner with Larry and Nancy, Pat and Libby, Bernie, Ed and Patty, and Paul in Pensacola in July.  Bernie, thanks for dinner!  Following dinner, I even got to attend a Pensacola Blue Wahoos baseball game with Libby, Pat, and Bernie; and they even won with a rally in the 8th inning!  I primarily only get to Arlington, VA and sometimes northwest Florida in my current job, but my primary responsibility is western US; China Lake, Point Mugu, Edwards AFB, Hill AFB, Fort Worth, MCAS Yuma, and Luke AFB.


I received a number of great comments from my report in May regarding the problem of bringing new members into our association from the active duty members of the Navy.  CDR Chuck White wished me well as he agreed that the problem of new “blood” was one that has plagued the Association for a long time, even when he was President.  LCDR Adria McClain a METOC Officer provided a good synopsis of our problem, “the Naval Weather Service Association is virtually unknown (at least in my experience) among both Active and Reserve METOCs and AGs.  In my 16 years of service (10 Active Duty plus 6 and counting in the Reserve) – all as a METOC Officer – I never once heard mention of NWSA.  I found out about it purely by chance via a Google search on military meteorology.”  I apologize for quoting you without your permission, but I believe this is a significant reason why we’re not seeing new Sailors join.  Adria’s excitement about being a METOC Officer in the new Navy is refreshing, especially in light of what our active duty 1800s and AGs get to do to protect our country.  AGCM Belt talked with me in Pensacola about his AGC son who works alongside the SEALS when they deploy, providing critical weather/oceanographic data that determines go/no-go decisions for our Sailors deploying at the pointy end of the spear.  Adria expressed similar thoughts and how exciting is it to be an 1800/AG today!  Many of you had similar experiences in Vietnam, but I would guess that the majority of us were far-removed from harm’s way, even if that distance was onboard a warship that had plenty of its own dangerous (how many of us have observed or participated in flight deck operations?).  Adria suggested that we could get significant visibility if we invited the several commands at Stennis Space Center.  We tried to get participation from the Admiral when we were at Pensacola, but maybe we try again?  We also received email from (a letter to the Editor in this issue), and I had a good conversation with, LCDR Robert Josephs who has submitted suggestions before and has some good ideas.  I look forward to having him help us be a better organization that can grow and thrive.  

Speaking of the Editor; Gary Cox, who is also our Reunion 44 Chair, really needs relief by the end of the year so he can properly chair the reunion next spring.  We need one of you great members to step up and take over the Aerograph Editor position as soon as possible.  Gary will be talking about the amount of time and what is involved in being the editor in this issue.  Another advantage of taking on this critical job is that we will pay your way to New Orleans for Reunion 44!  Raise your hand now…

I also heard from a submarine historian about my comment of the Flier.  Bruce DeWald has provided me additional information on lost submarines of WWII.  Thanks Bruce.


Lori and I were honored to meet with Lloyd and Daisy Corbett for dinner in Ridgecrest a few weeks ago, though the reason for their visit was less than optimum as they were here for the funeral of Daisy’s brother.  Lloyd was my mentor when I got to China Lake 24 years ago and I am forever indebted to him for his counsel and friendship then and continuing through today.


Gary and the O'Briens are lining up a great reunion in New Orleans.  I’m looking forward to having fun on Bourbon Street (or someplace close to there).  How do you earn those beads, again?


Lori (your First Lady) is considering chairing the 2019 Reunion (45) since we haven’t had a chapter step up to host it.  She has had several conversations with members and is looking into a cruise (not haze gray) for Reunion 45, probably sailing out of Florida.  Though many of the cruises are more expensive than a hotel in a specific city, they are all inclusive and can have a lot of activities that we don’t have to provide as an organization.  Please send an email to lcasperson@me.com with your thoughts yes/no, destination/departure point, ideas, etc. so she can make a decision that the majority of us can agree with.


This association is not growing as much as we want, but that doesn’t mean it is dying.  We have a vibrant core of members that will continue to meet and enjoy each other’s company.  This is a social organization.  We don’t provide services like the FRA or DAV, but we do offer the ability to meet with fellow Sailors that stood the same watches, attended the same schools, sailed the seas of the world or operated to keep us and the world as free as possible.  I look forward to hearing from you and possibly seeing you in the next port.

Take care,

 

Cap