JFHQ-NCR/MDW Organization Day
August 15, 2011
The Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region and Military District of Washington had its day in the sun as command employees celebrated organization day Aug. 12 at the Fort McNair Officer Club picnic area.
"[It's a] great time for us all to come together, for our camaraderie, to get together, to let our hair down, have friendly competitions and a good meal," said Robert Johnson, J-4 logistics. "We're out not just with our coworkers but we have our Families, spouses and kids here, too. There's something for everyone."
Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, commanding general JFHQ-NCR and MDW, provided opening remarks to kickoff the day.
"Welcome to MDW Organization Day. You ready to win? Who's ready to have some fun?" Linnington said. "[I] thank everybody for what they do. I know today we are taking a break, I know that folks work awfully hard, and I know what we do here in the nation's capital on behalf of our nation and on behalf of the Army is a big mission. I thank you for that."
The few hundred employees attending the event had their choice of activities to participate in. There were volleyball, basketball and horseshoe competitions. Young children could amuse themselves in a kids' corner which offered a moon bounce, a balloon animal-making station and a playground. "BBow" the clown fashioned ladybugs, flower corsages, turtles, airplanes, swords, "Sesame Street's" Elmo and even an alien complete with a laser gun out of twisted balloons.
Horseshoes seemed to receive the most interest with a bracket of 18 teams; whereas basketball fielded six and volleyball mustered eight. Each competition was single elimination.
"I think it's going very well. I'm impressed with everything so far," said Master Sgt. Angela Mayo-Aiken, J-4 logistics specialist and organization day chairman. "I like organizational day. It's good for camaraderie and unity. [It] gets people together to relax and have a good time."
Entertainment was provided by The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" ensemble Swamp Romp. The group played a selection of traditional and Dixieland Jazz during lunch.
Informational demonstrations were also on display in the form of a petting zoo, a fire truck from the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Fire Department, a K-9 unit from Fort Belvoir's 212th Military Police working dog kennel, and a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, courtesy of the 12th Aviation Bn., from Fort Belvoir's Davison Army Airfield.
"We disconnect the battery and we also make sure there is no key in there," said Capt. Kenneth Davis, 12th Aviation Bn., when asked what prevents kids from taking flight. "We turn the engine power control off. It has no electrical power right now, so you can't start the engines.
"It's good for Families, a morale builder," added Davis. "It gives kids a way to see what the Army does as far as the pilot side of the house."
"[I like the] switches - driving, shooting missiles and also shooting from the side," said Family member Andrew Nelson, 7, who jumped right in the cockpit when the crowd was given permission to approach the helicopter.
Meanwhile, working dogs Jypsy, Jofa and Eno were out with their handlers, Sgts. Sean Nugent, Matthew Holley and Matthew Hoffman from the MPs. Jypsy, a chocolate Labrador, was the only specialized search dog out in the field. Jofa and Eno are German shepherds and explosive detection dogs.
In a demonstration, Jofa sniffed suitcases until she got a whiff of something, whereupon she sat down - a signal to her handler that the luggage needed checking. Jypsy, on the other hand, showed off how well she listens by jumping fake walls upon the command of her handler. Eno, the star of the biting portion of the demonstration, showed how a suspect can be detained and kept at bay, courtesy of a handler wearing padded protective sleeves.
The day's festivities event ended with an award ceremony giving trophies to the winning teams in basketball, horseshoes and volleyball, along with a raffle and a presentation of the commanders' cup to the best competitor overall.
When the day closed out, points were calculated and scores submitted. First through fourth place for the Commanders Cup went to MDW's Staff Judge Advocate's Office, followed by the command group, the Army Air Operations Group and the J-4. In terms of individual sports, the command group came in first for basketball, the provost marshal office finished first in volleyball and AAOG came out on top in horseshoes. The fitness winner walk went to SJA and the hula hoop competition finished in a three way tie between SJA, AAOG and the J-4.