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September 6, 2013 / iDriveWarships

SURFPAC Chief Selectees Explore Naval History, Heritage at Air & Space Museum

Chief (select) GSM Anthony Butler watches a video about the Centennial of Naval Aviation at the San Diego Air & Space Museum

By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) Donnie Ryan, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

A group of 10 chief petty officer (CPO) selectees from the staff of Commander Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SURFPAC) visited the San Diego Air & Space Museum in San Diego’s historic Balboa Park today as part of CPO 365 Phase II training.

The museum contains dozens of unique exhibits, including one that honors the Centennial of Naval Aviation (CAN) in 2011. The center of the CNA exhibit is the museum’s flyable Curtiss A-1 Triad, representing the very first aircraft purchased by the U.S. Navy in 1911 and flown in San Diego Bay.

During the visit, the group also learned about naval aviation ranging from its humble beginnings to modern day jet aircraft. Navy and Marine Corps aircraft on display at the museum included the North American P-51D Mustang, Douglas SBD-4 Dauntless as well as the Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat and F6-F Hellcat.

Chief (select) Logistics Specialist Angel Delgado said he especially enjoyed the CAN exhibit because in 2011 he was assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) in San Diego and took part in the local celebrations.

“Knowing the past helps us maintain those naval traditions,” said Delgado. “And then as chiefs, we can pass that knowledge down to our junior Sailors.

Naval history and heritage are part of SURFPAC’s CPO 365 Phase II training and are specifically included in the curriculum to help participants develop a sense of heritage—one of the seven guiding principles of a CPO.

The CPO 365 training program was first launched in 2010, under then Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Rick West. Current MCPON Michael Stevens revised the program, amending course curriculum and reinforcing a year-round training schedule for all first class petty officers.

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