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March 2018

MSC Hosts DoN Office of General Counsel New Employee Orientation
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From Military Sealift Command Office of General Counsel

On Feb. 1, Military Sealift Command and the USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) hosted approximately 60 new employees of the Department of Navy Office of General Counsel (DoN OGC). The visit was part of a “meet the fleet” component of OGC’s annual orientation for new employees. The three-day orientation opened in Washington, D.C. with briefings delivered by Anne Brennan, Acting General Counsel of the Navy, and other senior members of the DoN civilian and military legal community. On Jan. 31, the orientation “road show” traveled to Quantico for events that included weapons training, the use of a convoy simulator, and a spirited question and answer session with Active Duty Marines over “chow.” The day ended with a bus trip to the Norfolk Naval Station.

Sunrise on Feb. 1 found the OGC attorneys and their MSC hosts on Naval Station Norfolk’s Pier One for a highly anticipated tour of USNS Comfort (T-AH 20). They assembled in Comfort’s wardroom where Captain Kathryn S. Elliott, Executive Office of Comfort’s Medical Treatment Facility (MTF), and Tony Verducci, MSC’s Counsel and leader of a 32-person Legal Team located at the Headquarters and all five Area Commands, welcomed the group. Attorney Jeff Davenport provided all hands with an overview of MSC as well as the ways in which Office of Counsel staff and attorneys support MSC operations and initiatives. Following the presentations, the attorneys were divided into two groups for a tour of the ship from the bridge, to the flight deck, to Comfort’s operating rooms.

The host guides provided insight into Comfort’s recent experience supporting humanitarian operations in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Capt. Elliott and her colleagues provided in-depth answers to an array of questions regarding everything from acquisition of MTF items to safety and security in the aftermath of a natural disaster. The group was also impressed with the extent of the vessel’s physical capabilities and the commitment of the entire crew, including civilian mariners, military members, and non-governmental agency personnel.

The Comfort tour was an orientation highlight for the participants, a reflection of MSC’s teamwork support of warfighters and global citizens in need of humanitarian assistance. The orientation’s afternoon concluded with a ship tour on USS Gunstun Hall (LSD 44) and squadron visit to C-2 Greyhounds and E-2 Hawkeye aircraft. The orientation undoubtedly left a lasting, positive impression on these future leaders and directly contributed to a greater understanding of the unique role DoN OGC personnel play in supporting our Nation and our Navy.