KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- Twenty-three Kings Bay command master chiefs, chiefs of the boat, the local command sergeant major and senior enlisted advisors signed a 101 Critical Days of Summer Proclamation, May 26.
"There's several different programs out there that are presented with the same fundamental message," said Command Master Chief (SS) Randy Huckaba, Submarine Group 10 command master chief. "This proclamation is a summary of our commitment in writing and our acknowledgement by signature to our crews and service members of Kings Bay that we care and that we stand behind them."
"We wanted to put word out of our vision for summer safety in Kings Bay," said Master Chief Electronics Technician (SS) Mike McLauchlan, Trident Training Facility command master chief and the proclamation's writer. "[The senior leadership] cares about our Sailors and crew. We want everyone to have fun, but remain safe."
The senior enlisted leadership here based this proclamation off of elements from already established safety and awareness programs, and incorporated them into one combined statement. Some of the strongest bullet points that most directly speak to the Kings Bay community were used from Navy programs the leadership team believed to have excellent messages.
"From the Right Spirit campaign to the Naval Safety Center's 'Live to Play, Play to Live' program, to the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions' Stop and Think effort, all of these programs' goals are to keep Sailors and their families safe while still having a good time," said Chief Machinist's Mate (SS) Michael Adams, Submarine Group 10 Alcohol and Drug Control officer. "[The Travel Risk Planning System, or TRiPS] is another great program that boasts an impressive success rate. If a Sailor takes the time to type in some data into the program, TRiPS will provide some great information to help the Sailor and his family plan a safer trip. It's a self-assessment program that helps Sailors make smart decisions about driving long distances."
According to the Naval Safety Center website, 14 Sailors and 14 Marines worldwide lost their lives last summer, some of which could have been prevented. Additionally, the Coast Guard reported six Coast Guardsmen died or faced permanent disabilities from summer-related incidents last year. The goal of the proclamation is to prevent these incidents from ever happening so that no command, or more importantly no family, has to endure any loss of life, injury or incident that takes time away from either home or work.
One of the reasons for summer month incidents is alcohol. As of May 20, the numbers for driving under the influence (DUI) in Kings Bay are trending the wrong way. After a successful, across-the-board drop in DUIs last fiscal year, fiscal year 2011 has already seen almost three-quarters of the DUIs that fiscal year 2010 did.
"I think it's important that the message is put in writing," said Yeoman 1st Class(SS) Owen Fitzgerald, USS Georgia (SSGN 729)(Blue) leading yeoman. "It gives us leading petty officers a basis to go off of when we're talking to our guys and ensures that all necessary topics are covered. Whenever you're talking to the junior Sailors, this will open up a variety of topics that may not normally be covered with your Sailors. I am confident this will give me a more directed guidance to help me make my Sailors more aware of summer safety."
"The most important message we want to get to the Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, everyone here, is to have a plan to get back home and back to work in one piece," said McLauchlan. "There's a lot fun to do in this part of the country during the summer, and we want everyone to enjoy those activities for many years to come."
Submarine Group 10 is commanded by Rear Adm. Barry Bruner and is the Nation's preeminent provider of sea-based strategic deterrence, strike and unique Ohio-class guided missile submarine special operations capabilities.
For more news from Commander, Submarine Group 10, visit www.navy.mil/local/csg10/.