Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!

To all aviators, sailors, marines and coast guards across Second Life naval service (more on this soon), Second Life's United States Navy Third Fleet wishes a Happy New Year 2018. May you have a great year. Please feel free to come and enjoy the fireworks at Miramar, at GMT Midnight and SLT Midnight tonight. We highly recommend Cougar's terrace as viewing point and dance floor, although on this occasion special dance ball repeaters will be placed at several points around Du Sud Isle. The champagne is on NAS Miramar and so is the music.

Central teleport moved to Cougar's for tonight only!
Happy New Year and God bless us everyone.

CAPT. Asra "Cougar" Kron

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The proud and the few...

It gives me great pleasure to announce the inclusion of Major Dominique van Dongen, call sign "Albatross", in the ranks of this Third Fleet. Maj. van Dongen will be intern with the NFDT Blue Angels with #8 in mind, to become the squadron's logistics and human resources officer. As a US Marine, she retains her rank and will streamline where possible but must complete a number of missing training stages to achieve full status. Being a rotor certified naval aviator, she will be assigned to HS-4 Black Knights, the squadron NASM shares with NAFEN.

Welcome aboard, Marine.
Welcome home.

CAPT. Asra Kron

Sunday, December 24, 2017

2017 Miramar 3rd Fleet Christmas Run

Thor all packed and good to go on Miramar's East apron with "Cougar", "Mistell" and "QB", the Flyin' Reindeer.

"We come bearing gifts and we're not Greek!"
Yes 'tis the season for flying reindeer and this year's Miramar Third Fleet Christmas Run went on as scheduled on December 17. Following the run's tradition, the volunteer Christmas detail visited naval service locations and handed gifts to the local crews, leaving behind the season's gift dispensers. This year the Flyin' Reindeer were CAPT. Asra "Cougar" Kron, LCDR. An "Mistell" Rainbow and LCDR. Jenny "QB" Kaz. We visited Third Fleet, Seventh Fleet, Second Fleet and (Virtual) U.S. Coast Guard locations. As usual, Patron 4 Embraer 120 "Thor" AK-901, BuNo 16034, was picked for the mission (see here).
Here is the photographic record and report of the mission.

Christmas gift dispensers locations
3rd Fleet - N.A.S. Miramar - main gate
3rd Fleet - N.A.F. Eagles Nest - main landing
7th Fleet - CV-63 U.S.S. Kitty Hawk - enlisted mess
2nd Fleet - N.S.T.C. Velinissimo - South gate at Southern Cross airfield
2nd Fleet - N.S. Bull Rock - West pier
SLMC - MCAS Chase Field - main landing
(v) U.S. Coast Guard - CGAS Majipoor - HQ building

Note: As usually, click on the images to see enlarged version.

Ready or not, Ho Ho Ho! "Mistell" and "Cougar" in the cockpit with "QB" standing by and... a hula girl dashboard doll?

First stop, snow covered CGAS Majipoor in Corsica, where the U.S. Coast Guard headquarters is located. The flyin' reindeer were received by Admiral Toxic Lemon and several of his crew members, who greeted us in Santa hats to match the mission spirit. The officers present got their gifts and we enjoyed our short visit to one of the oldest naval service institutions in Second Life. Founded 2008, the Virtual Coast Guard is finally embracing the call and assuming real life like United States Coast Guard protocols and procedure, which brings it to the SL United States naval service fold. We gladly welcome the coasties and are happy to see how the VCG tradition matches the (v)USCG new image. Later the dispensers were placed indoors in the headquarters building hall.

                                                     Top: Reindeer salute, a Chistmas tradition we are proud to hold.                                              Bottom: Patron 4's Thor warms up for taxi and take off from CGAS Majipoor to MCAS Chase Field and VADM Eliza Belis checks the dispensers indoors later that week, sporting the ladies' gift "Proud to Serve" jacket.
The flight to MCAS Chase Field from CGAS Majipoor was not without "twabble" and the crew braved rough SL weather and stupid zero second security orbs all the way through. Well, some braved it harder than others...

"Cougar" muttering words not suitable for publication. "... And while Asra was in a life raft..." someone was ordering margaritas.

The crew shifted to Southern Cross for recovery and would take the chance to place the Naval Service Training Center dispensers there. Due to the current relations between Third and Second fleets it was a way to extend our Christmas greetings to all who serve at NSTC and neighboring North valley.

       Top: The Flyin' Reindeer place the dispensers by NSTC's South gate and pose for a photo at Southern Cross airfield.        Bottom: "Mistell" tries to smuggle an add on to the official outfit, but the monkey gave it away. Thor hot and static at SC.

MCAS Chase field was going through changes, but the detail carried out the deed and later the Christmas gift dispensers were placed securely after the removal of the command building that still stood on December 17. Since then the air station saw some improvements to maximize resources.

Left: The dispensers by the old command building at MCAS Chase Field. Right: Later on with Col. Kangas, securing them.

Next on the list was a 2nd Fleet location that is also home to the Bull Rock Hornets, N.S. Bull Rock in the Blake and Islands continent. The local XO, LTJG. Sara Llewellyn greeted us and got her gifts, plural, as this year the girls get to wear the boys gift but the reverse is not true! Always good to visit CDR. Connie Mistwalker's command and the Hornets home. All being set, the Christmas detail headed to Southeast Asia.

LTJG. Sara Llewellyn salutes the Flyin' Reindeer at Naval Station Bull Rock.

LCDR. An "Mistell" Rainbow had to leave due to the late hour but the remaining reindeer finished the job, this time switching to the more suitable HS-4 VK-07 Huey that serves with the Blue Angels in the Indochina regions. Taking off from Phu Yen, we landed on the Battle Cat deck and were greeted by the skipper, CAPT. Sidney Pobieski, and LCDR. Bambi "BamBam" Baxter, themselves already in Secret Santa party attires (see here). The season spirit was all around and the skipper got her camera for "Here is a photo op if I ever saw one."

Top to bottom, clockwise: "Cougar" and "QB" aboard the VK-07 at Phu Yen airfield. Flyin' Reindeer on the Kitty Hawk deck. Unloading the gift dispensers. CAPT. Pobieski poses with Miramar Third Fleet's Christmas Run detail.

The Skipper oversees the dispensers placement in the enlisted mess. Happy Holidays 7th Fleet!

We were most pleased to be able to keep this tradition and again fly the skies of SL as reindeer to bring gifts to all who serve in this great Navy and happy to extend the mission to include the Marines and the U.S. Coast Guard. It is, as always, our privilege to serve in this Fleet and this Navy. Merry Christmas to all and to all a happy New Year! Hooyah!

CAPT. Asra "Cougar" Kron

From last year: 2016 Miramar Third Fleet Christmas Run. (click link)

Friday, December 22, 2017

Forged By The Sea

United States Navy launches new image.

Navy Press Release:

The genesis of the new campaign was in the spring of 2016, when the Navy selected a new marketing agency, known as the Navy Partnership — led by Young & Rubicam (Y&R) — and directed it to create an enduring and authentic brand identity, tagline and unified marketing strategy to inspire and motivate potential recruits to join. […]

“What we found was that there was nearly 100 percent awareness of the Navy, but zero percent understanding of the Navy’s full mission, reach and influence,” said Ken Dowling, head of the Navy Partnership and managing director at Y&R Memphis. “Centennials saw the Navy’s purpose as one dimensional and strongly tied to defense and combat. The things that set the Navy apart from other branches of the military weren’t well-defined and there was limited awareness of the wide range of career opportunities the Navy offers.” […]

Armed with its research, the Navy Partnership began the creative process, considering a variety of brand identities and thousands of taglines before eventually narrowing the options to six. The taglines and brand elements were tested not only with Centennials but also current enlisted Sailors, officers, Navy veterans and key influencers.

[…] Getting the support of current Navy personnel and veterans was essential to creating a genuine brand identity and tagline “Forged by the Sea” was overwhelmingly selected as the new tagline by the various focus groups. It effectively communicates that the Navy has evolved in response to the sea, and that Sailors are tested and shaped by the Navy and their sea experience, becoming better versions of themselves.

Starting January 1, 2018, Second Life's United States Navy Third Fleet will start replacing the old logo in all PR material with the updated image. We will also, where necessary, replace the old font by the new one. This re-branding effort keeps us in line with the continued effort to represent as accurately as possible our real life counterpart. Go Navy!

CAPT. Asra Kron

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Secret Santa at Bambi's

'Twas a week before Christmas, and all thro' the ring, all the creatures were stirring, some even with bling! The barrels were placed by the tall tree with care, in hopes that Secret Santas would rest their butts there. The children were dancing well away from their beds, while a red flying saucer flew over their heads. (...)

This alternate start to "twas the Night Before Christmas" may not sound so strange to those who were fortunate enough to share LCDR. Bambi "BamBam" Baxter's Secret Santa party at her place in Agrippa! Third Fleet was invited and we sure enjoyed it very much. 'Tis the season to be jolly and bright at heart and moments like these deserve a little memento, or two or three... So here they are.

Full ring at Bambi's place with DJ Kate spinning.
On the ice ring below, Col. Woodrunner shows his style on blades.
The (shameless!) hostess, LCDR. Bambi "BamBam" Baxter, Angel 2. ( see here )
Me: "I want peace on Earth and good will towards men." Santa: "How about a kiss?"
CAPT. Pobieski: "What did this poor gnome do to deserve this?"
Gathering for Secret Santa hour. No gifts for the elf gnomes.
George Newberry was eager to get his gift but not enough to drop his Guiness!
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne...
Me: "So what did he do anyway?" BamBam: "Who...?"
The skipper gets a hug!
Back on the dance ring. Not Christmas without Guiness and Smirnoff.
The Boss ponders... Irish or Russian? Ireland won.
Meanwhile, in a galaxy close close by...
Gifts away! The skipper shows her talent as bomber pilot.
Dancing 'till the end of time again. Happy Holidays!

Thank you, BamBam. Merry Christmas!

CAPT. Asra Kron

Friday, December 15, 2017

Cougars' Blake Run

[ Updated 2017/12/16 ]

The Blue Angels 2017 Season comes to a close with a last and very special performance over the Blake Sea. The squadron will fly between Nautilus City and Second Norway via Crows Nest and back a few times, giving all our friends and the global Second Life community a chance to see the unique blue, white and gold Grumman F9F Cougars one last time as front line team jets. For the next season, the Blue Angels are being equipped with the new Boeing F/A-18C and F/A-18D Hornets, and the Cougars will become part of history, to be used on heritage flights only.

So grab your cameras, pack some lunch and cool drinks and head on to the Blake Sea this Saturday, December 16, between 11:00 and 13:00 hours SLT (11 am to 1 pm). The Blues will be using the corridor between Hassti and Snug Sea, and will fly over Crows Nest's lighthouse a number of times in traditional diamond or delta tight formation. Please enjoy the show and remember to stay clear of the flight path, especially if you choose to watch from your boat!

Mistell, QB, Cougar, Hawk, BamBam and Speed at SNO.

The Blues will take off from SNO International, perform the run and return to land there. The starting and finish point will be on the South apron, to the right of the landing runway, if you'd like to come say high before or after the run. Third Fleet will deploy a surface vessel with seats available on the waters near Crows Nest. The SLUR to that location will be posted in the usual SL Aviation news outlets and groups. Thank you all for a great ride this year. It is our privilege to perform for you again as we celebrate two years of Cougars with the Blue Angels.
See you at Crows Nest!

SLUR to the USS Defiant audience pad on Nelson, South of Crows Nest - CLICK HERE!

CAPT. Asra "Cougar" Kron
Angel 7

Last Newbie of Seventeen

LCDR. Bambi "BamBam" Baxter joins the Blues as the year's last newbie to receive her helmet and wings, 12/15/2017.

It had been a dream of LCDR. Bambi Baxter to be part of the Blue Angels. Head surgeon with 7th Fleet, serving aboard the Battle Cat, Doc joined the squadron as intern this season and as the year approaches its end, the Blues decided it was time to reward her hard work and tenacity by welcoming her as a full member. She will be flying as Right Wing in the Diamond, Angel 2, replacing LT. Chardy "Hinch" Oak, who has been placed in reserve due to real life matters, that always come first. Given her call sign while serving with the Angels, appropriately by the one she is replacing, LCDR. Bambi "BamBam" Baxter starts her first year with the team with a long and hard path ahead, and determined to clear her newbie year with flying colors. In the traditional private ceremony, held today at NAS Miramar, she received her helmet and wings cases.

From left: "Speed", "Cougar", "QB", "Bambam", Yoda (!) and "Hawk".
Yes, you read right. Yoda. LT. Blueskind's new "pet".
A tradition maintained. "BamBam" gets to paint her Cougar. BuNo 131222.
Well earned, "BamBam". But you need to keep it, as all Blues do.

It is our privilege to serve in this role, honoring the real life Blue Angels squadron, and we take it very seriously. Just as we take seriously representing the United States Navy in this virtual world, both in the Blues and in our regular SL USN assignments. To become a Naval Aviator in this Third Fleet as well as in 7th Fleet, from where our pilots come from, takes patience, work, dedication and resilience. It is a responsibility and it comes with work not many are wiling to do in a world where most get everything for very little or nothing. And that is where the major factor to be accepted by the squadron comes into play: hard work.

LCDR. Baxter, like all of us, was evaluated by her skill but most of all by her will. And she has cleared the test. Earning a place among the Blues is just the first step, and some achieve it with matching skill, talent and determination, others need to work harder to make the final cut, when they are recognized by their peers as a full fledged Blue Angel, once their first season ends, but all need their will to be unquestionable and true. Such is the process in this Second Life's US Navy. And so we were very pleased to say "WELCOME TO THE TEAM, ASSHOLE!" to one of the hardest working and determined naval aviators that ever joined us.

Well done, "BamBam". Now it begins.

CAPT. Asra "Cougar" Kron
NFDTXO/Angel 7

Monday, December 11, 2017

Happy Holidays from The Blues!

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all members of United States Navy inspired groups in Second Life, their families and friends are the best wishes of the Navy Flight Demonstration Team, Blue Angels.

Blue Angels 2017 team composition - December 2017 formation.

Angel One - CDR Vickster "Speed" Kuhn - Team Leader
Angel 2 - LT Chardy "Hinch" Oak - Left Wing
Angel 3 - LTJG Matter "Hawk" Blueskind - Right Wing
Angel 5 - LCDR Jenny "QB" Kaz - Lead Solo
Angel 6 - LCDR An "Mistell" Rainbow - Opposing Solo
Angel 7 - CDR Asra "Cougar" Kron - Narrator / Opposing Solo and Slot Alternate (Angel 4)

Enjoy the Holidays!

CDR. Asra "Cougar" Kron
NASMCO, Angel 7

Friday, December 8, 2017

Something just like this...

When you reminisce on years now past and the radio happens to be on... ( LISTEN HERE )

I've been reading books of old, the legends and the myths...
Achilles and his gold, Hercules and his gifts,
Spiderman's control and Batman with his fists,
And clearly I don't see myself upon that list.
But she said, where do you want to go? How much you want to risk?
I'm not looking for somebody with some superhuman gifts...
Some superhero, some fairytale bliss...
Just something I can turn to, somebody I can kiss...
I want something just like this...

Yours trully,
Asra Kron