Well, we've finished our first week in Norfolk! I can't say it's been the most pleasurable week of my life, but it has gone fast!
Our Mission Commander, Commodore Lineberry, shifted his flag from his headquarters on Little Creek Amphibious Base to onboard the USNS Comfort.
Almost as soon as he and his staff checked aboard, our computer network went down. Couldn't have happened at a better time. Here we are trying to tie down a million loose ends, everything from getting our crew onboard (even getting them all identified!), getting our supplies here, coordinating the delivery of hundreds of pallets of donated Gifts-in-Kind, finalizing arrangements for our Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) partners, foreign national partners and arrangements with our host nations. Dr. Tim Donahue, our Director of Surgical Services, and CDR Mark Marino, our Senior Nurse Executive had to leave the ship and use their Blackberry's to get work done! (Or maybe they're texting each other, it's hard to tell!).
Our Commanding Officer and Commodore Lineberry went to Florida this week to Brief the NAVSOUTH Commander, RADM Kernan on our preparations to begin our mission. That left me as the Acting CO while Captain Ware was gone. Ah! It's good to be King!
I went out for pizza with several of our folks and took some nice shots of the Mighty USNS COMFORT sitting next to the Mighty USS GEORGE H. W. BUSH. While the BUSH is a little bigger than us, we certainly hold our own next to her!
The week came to a great end when I was informed by our Information Technology team that our network was up! The firewall was properly configured and we were back in business!! What a great way to end the week!