Fivella recalled the concerns she had as a young girl when her father, an Air Force veteran, departed on deployments.
"I didn't know anything," Fivella said about the deployment process.
She said an event like Operation: Hele On would have reduced her stress.
The operation begins like most military deployments. First, these young service members check-in, receive gear and are issued dog tags. Teams are made up of 16-18 young recruits and volunteer active-duty military acting as recruit division commanders and training instructors. The active-duty volunteers conduct a thorough basic training by teaching their teams military drills, marching techniques and customs and courtesies.
Operations Specialist 2nd Class Simone Ridgell, leader of Team Seals, found the opportunity to volunteer for Operation: Hele On to be rewarding. Being dual military and having a 6-month-old daughter, Ridgell said she hopes her child will one day have the opportunity to participate in an event like Operation: Hele On.
"I would love for her to do something like this so that she can better understand deployment," said Ridgell.
The highly trained children came to attention upon the arrival of Navy Capt. Stanley Keeves Jr., commanding officer of Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam. He welcomed and encouraged the children to absorb as much of the experience as possible as they enthusiastically represented their teams throughout the day.
Eight-year-old Kaila Augare of Team Falcons expressed her excitement about Operation: Hele On.
I wasn't nervous about Hele On because my dad told me all about what a deployment is, and it was cool to see what he goes through" said Augare.
Augare looked forward to the obstacle course and felt prepared for the day, and said she could see herself joining the military one day.
The children had a full range of military experiences during Operation: Hele On. The day was packed with exciting events including an obstacle course built by the Navy's construction battalion and field demonstrations from the Navy Mobile Dive and Salvage Unit 1. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provided damage control training with firefighting equipment and basic seamanship with line handling.
Hele On is the platform to give the youth a voice as well as show them that their parents' commitment is appreciated because "they build a sense of pride within themselves," said Natasha Pitts, coordinator of the 2015 Operation: Hele On.
At the conclusion of Operation: Hele On, all teams were recognized for their participation and awards were given to the Sky Warriors for their performance on the Obstacle Course, the Falcons for their team spirit, and the Wild Cats for their drill presentation.