Photo courtesy of Submarine Group 9, taken following the "Tolling of the Boats" ceremony.

The Annual United States Submarine Veterans Western Regional Roundup was held from April 10, 2024 to April 13, 2024 at the Silverdale Beach Hotel in Silverdale, Washington.
Activities included a tour of the USS Nebraska (SSBN-739), a tour of the US Naval Undersea Museum, a Welcome Roundtable, a Tolling of the Boats Ceremony at Deterrent Park, a Welcome Luncheon with guest speaker Commander Dick Taylor, USN (ret), and a Banquet Dinner with guest speaker Lieutenant Commander Amber Cowan, USN, Executive Officer, USS Kentucky (SSBN-737), the first woman to serve as a U.S. Submarine XO.

Other activities included silent and live Memorabilia Auctions, a Submarine Movie Night, and several presentations and workshops.

“Homeport” for the 2024 Western Region Roundup was the Best Western Plus Silverdale Beach Hotel in Silverdale, Washington.

THE HOSPITALITY ROOM

The Hospitality Room served two purposes. The new arrivals would register and it was a convenient place to meet up.

Bravo Zulu for the special effort by the Host Base, Bremerton Base, for keeping the Hospitality Room staffed as people arrived throughout the Western Region Roundup.
Credit and thanks to Mike O’Brien for providing these photos.

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The first day, Wednesday, 4/10/2024 was simply getting registered and meeting old friends.
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The second day, Thursday, 4/11/2024, included 35 of the Roundup attendees taking a tour to the USS Nebraska (SSBN-739). “Go Big Red!” Due to security restrictions, no photos are available, although the Commanding Officer gave each of us a signed “Welcome Aboard” photo and some of us purchased ballcaps or challenge coins that support the crew’s recreation fund. Following the USS Nebraska tour, we were given a tour of the Triton Training Facility, where we observed the missile maintenance training center, the torpedo training center, and the ship’s navigation practice simulator. One of the highlights of the navigation simulator was climbing into the bridge in the sail, which offers a IMAX style view of other ships (a.k.a., targets) and even the wind in your face!
Cameras were not permitted, so we have no photos at the boat, but thanks to Mike O’Brien, we do have some photos taken at the hotel as we were getting ready to leave.

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The second day, Thursday, 4/11/2024, most of the other Roundup attendees took a tour to the US Naval Undersea Museum at the Kitsap Base.

Special thanks to Ed McCarthy, Gold Country Base, and Mike O’Brien, Dolphin Base, who provided the photos.

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The second day, Thursday, 4/11/2024, afternoon, a workshop was conducted on “Increasing Base Membership,” including both recruitment and retention ideas. The workshop was led by Barry Wyatt, however the product was developed by each group of about 6 members, each from a different Base. Each group selected a “COB” and a “yeoman.” The COB led the brainstorming for the group and then the “yeoman” presented the results to the entire workshop.

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WELCOME ROUNDTABLE

The second day, Thursday, 4/11/2024, evening, was the Welcome Roundtable.
The Welcome Roundtable is a great way to meet other Western Region Roundup participants. Those who come to the Roundup tend to spend their time with other former shipmates or other members from their own Bases. The Roundtable event rotates everyone with others that they may not know. Each table tells each other about themselves and then rotate after a preset time to another table and cycle repeats until everyone has met everyone else.
Barry Wyatt and Waylan Shropshire signed in the participants and made the initial table assignments. Barry Wyatt then kept time and coordinated the rotations.

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The "RULES OF ENGAGEMENT"

In the morning of the third day, Friday, 4/12/2024, the Bremerton Base hosted a Tolling of the Boats Ceremony at Deterrent Park on Naval Submarine Base Kitsap, Bangor. The ceremony was conducted from the USS WOODROW WILSON (SSBN-624) sail and upper rudder. The narrative was read by Phillip Paugh, the naming of the lost boats was performed by C.J. Smith and Mark Guillory, and the bell was tolled by Dan Inman.

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FRIDAY LUNCHEON

After the Tolling of the Boats Ceremony on third day, Friday, 4/12/2024, we had a luncheon. The luncheon included an award of a dolphin plaque and “silver hammer” to Bremerton Base Commander Ileene Davis, pinning of dolphins on ET Duncan on his qualification in submarines, and a presentation by guest speaker Commander Dick Taylor, USN (ret) of his experience deep diving in the bathyscaphe DSV Trieste.

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A bunch of hungry SubVets!
Western Region Roundup Chair Barry Wyatt welcomes the attendees.
Perch Base (Phoenix, AZ) member Don Unser gives the invocation.
The Western Region Roundup Board gives awards to Bremerton Base Commander Ileene Davis.(l-r:) Barry Wyatt, Tim Carlisle, Ileene Davis, Pete Juhos, Jim DeMott, Mike O'Brien.
Tim Carlisle presents Ileene a "Silver Hammer" as the first female Base Commander, thus breaking the "Glass Ceiling."
Tim Carlisle presents Ileene a dolphin plaque in appreciation of the effort put forth by Bremerton Base to make the Western Region Roundup a success.
Chief Romesburg introduces ETVSN(SS) Blake Duncan who is receiving his submarine qualification dolphins.
Bremerton Base Holland Club member Dick Litscher, qualified 64 years ago, pins the dolphins on newly qualified submariner Duncan as his shipmates look on.
Bremerton Base Commander Ileene Davis congratulates ETVSN(SS) Duncan.
Duncan thanks the group.
Ileene Davis introduces the guest speaker Commander Dick Taylor, USN (ret)hipmates look on.
Dick discussed his experiences on the deep diving in the bathyscape DSV Trieste.
Ileene presents a plaque of appreciation to Dick.

USSVCF-CHARITABLE FOUNDATION PRESENTATION

On third day, Friday afternoon, 4/12/2024, we had a presentation on the United States Submarine Veterans Charitable Foundation (USSVCF). A very special Bravo Zulu to Michael Talpai, the Bremerton Base Charitable Fund Ambassador, who stepped in and gave an excellent and informed presentation when Ken Earls, the expected speaker, was unable to attend the Western Region Roundup. For information, visit the USSVCF website at https://www.ussvcf.org/

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Michael Talpai, Bremerton Base Charitable Fund Ambassador

SUBMARINE MOVIE NIGHT

The third day, Friday evening, 4/12/2024, was Submarine Movie Night. We laughed as we watched “Down Periscope” starring Kelsey Grammer, Lauren Holley and Rob Schneider. We also watched “Operation Pacific,” starring John Wayne and Patricia Neal.

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AWARDS WORKSHOP

The fourth day, Saturday morning, 4/13/2024, Tim Carlisle led an awards workshop. A key takeaway is that many bases submit for USSVI National awards, but few bases have awards that they give at the base level. 

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BASE NEWSLETTER/COMMUNICATION WORKSHOP

The fourth day, Saturday morning, 4/13/2024, Dave Pittman led a Base Newsletter/Communications workshop. 

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FUTURE OF THE WRR WORKSHOP

The fourth day, Saturday afternoon, 4/13/2024, Jim DeMott led a workshop to discuss the positives and negatives of this Western Region Roundup. Each table selected a COB and a yeoman. Each table then listed 3 “likes” and 3 “dislikes” and presented them to the entire workshop. These will be used to improve the next Western Region Roundup.

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Jim DeMott

LIVE AUCTION

The fourth day after the Social Hour, Saturday afternoon, 4/13/2024, Barry Wyatt called the Live Auction.

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Fouled anchor serving platter
"Be a Submariner" picture.
Scotch whiskey.
USSVI logo pillow.
Bottle of Nuke Waste with flask and glasses.
Pair of cast iron book ends.
Navy Pyrex cup (a.k.a., "The CUP.")
Six pack of Smokeboat Ale.
Gift basket.
Pure silver coin.
US Naval Undersea Museum souvenir towel.
Submarine plaque.
Book rack with dolphins.
Table with dolphins.
Russian clock.

BANQUET DINNER

The Western Region Roundup ended with a Banquet Dinner on the fourth day, Saturday evening, 4/13/2024. Our guest speaker was Lieutenant Commander Amber Cowan, USN, Executive Officer, U.S.S. Kentucky (SSBN-737).

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Pete Juhos, the USSVI Western Region Director, was the Master of Ceremonies for the dinner banquet.
Bremerton Base Chaplain Fred Borgmann led the invocation.
Bremerton Base Commander Ileene Davis explains the symbolism of the Missing Man Table.
The Missing Man Table.
The entire group sang "Happy Birthday" in honor of Bremerton Base member Joe Gavasso's birthday.
Our guest speaker was Lieutenant Commander Amber Cowan, Executive Officer, U.S.S. Kentucky, (SSBN-737).
Pete Juhos welcomes the XO.
Pete Juhos thanks XO Cowan with a plaque.
Past Base Commander Steve Corcoran thanks XO Cowan on behalf of the Bremerton Base.

THURSDAY LUNCHEON

The second day, Thursday, 4/11/2024, after the tours of the USS Nebraska (SSBN-739) and the US Naval Undersea Museum at the Kitsap Base, we had lunch on the naval base. Thanks to Mike O’Brien for these photos.

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This photo brings back memories of my Sea Daddy sending me to fetch 50 feet of chow line.

SIDETRIP

A sidetrip by the Webmaster on the way from SeaTac Airport to Silverdale.
Since my boat, the USS Ray (SSN-653), was an east coast boat, I never went to the Horse & Cow Bar, but I heard (sea) stories from other sub sailors who went there in Vallejo, CA, then later in San Diego, CA, and now in Bremerton, WA, and Guam. So when I went to Bremerton, I had to stop in “to get my qual card signed.”
Finally, a stop at the USS Parche (SSN-683) sail at the Puget Sound Navy Museum. That sure is a lot of geedunk awards for an oceanographic research vessel!

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Taking the light rail from SeaTac Airport to downtown Seattle Pioneer Square.
Taking the Seattle-Bremerton Fast Ferry from the ferry terminal to Bremerton.
Since my boat, the USS Ray (SSN-653), was an east coast boat, I never went to the Horse & Cow Bar, but I heard (sea) stories from other sub sailors who went there in Vallejo, CA, then later in San Diego, CA, and now in Bremerton, WA, and Guam. So when I went to Bremerton, I had to stop in “to get my qual card signed.”
Finally, a stop at the USS Parche (SSN-683) sail at the Puget Sound Navy Museum. That sure is a lot of geedunk awards for an oceanographic research vessel!

OUR SPONSORS

These are the sponsors for the 2024 Western Region Roundup.
Thank you for your support!

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The Plan of the Day (POD) for the 2024 Western Region Roundup
The individual sponsors for the 2024 Western Region Roundup.THANKS!
The base sponsors for the 2024 Western Region Roundup.THANKS!
The vendor sponsors for the 2024 Western Region Roundup.THANKS!