EVERETT, Wash. – Afloat Training Group Pacific Northwest (ATGPNW) and Naval Station (NAVSTA) Everett Sailors celebrated the Navy's 240th birthday with a barbecue and a 240-lap run, Oct. 22.
The ATGPNW staff ran a collective of 240 laps representing 240 years of naval history. The event was designed to enhance the command’s knowledge of Navy history. Each lap coincided with a respective year and the runners of that lap will know significant events for that time.
“We wanted to take each of the years the Navy has been around and celebrate each of those years,” said Cmdr. Jeff R. Bessler, commanding officer, ATGPNW. “It gives our command a chance to come out and represent that year and think about Navy history as they make their way around the track.”
According to Senior Chief Culinary Specialist Nick S. McCann, event coordinator, this is the group’s third year doing the event which was held off during the Navy’s birthday due to a regional drill.
“It’s been a successful event,” said McCann. “We have approximately 100 staff members, so the laps add up pretty quickly. You don’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been.” He added, “History is a real important part of what we do. The mistakes, and the triumphs we’ve had, we want to remember those. Events like this help us do just that.”
Although the run was to commemorate the Navy’s birthday, participants were also awarded for certain achievements.
Awards were distributed to best sense of heritage as a group, best sense of heritage as an individual, fastest lap, and most participation with spirit as a department, McCann said.
“Most participation of a department will be judged by Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR),” said McCann. “The awardees will receive one day of liberty to be approved by their department head.”
Other awards include a command coin presented by the commanding officer, executive officer and command master chief for sense of heritage as an individual. If a group wins the spirit and sense of heritage category; they will have the honor of displaying the command flag, McCann said.
“I think the overall goal of remembering and continuing the heritage of the Navy through its 240th birthday was accomplished,” said Bessler. “We built a lot of camaraderie as a group and increased the visibility throughout the base. Everyone seemed to have fun and we’ll look forward to doing it again next year.”