Planning
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T.S. Eliot Quote - Going too far Religion Home Address Pirates Churchhill Brotherhood

Robert Burns, Scottish poet and lyricist, may have known something when he wrote those oft quoted words, “The best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry!”. Those of us that served in the boats were more than aware that “no plan survives first contact with the enemy.”

So it should come as no surprise to you when I tell you we have to change the dates of REGROUPEX 20.

What!!! I can hear it now. I hope that nobody has purchased plane tickets that can’t be rescheduled, because believe me, if there was any other way to deal with this, I’d take it. But there’s not, or so it seems, so here we are.

It turns out that today’s Navy is not the Navy we left years ago. Today’s Navy doesn’t work weekends, at least when it comes to providing tours of in-port submarines. I recently got off the phone with the Kitsap Naval Base Public Affairs Office, and they politely reminded me that boat tours at Kitsap are only scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays! I understand the scheduling concerns, but I’m highly suspicious that the Saturday and Sunday duty sections just want to sleep in!

So, that means we have to adjust. To improvise, to adapt, to overcome.

One year out from REGROUPEX 20, and there already isn’t a moment to lose!

A reunion is only as successful as the efforts of volunteers make it. Without your effort, REGROUPEX 09 and REGROUPEX 17 would not have been possible. REGROUPEX 20 depends on those of you that can step forward and pick up the load.

This is our first call for the volunteers that will form the REGROUPEX 20 Tiger Team. I have attached a list of responsibilities that we will need to address in order to successfully pull off REGROUPEX 20. Somebody, either me or you, has to take on these activities for others to enjoy the privilege of sitting around trading sea stories, memories, and bad jokes with shipmates from decades past, which, interestingly enough, turns out to be a lot of fun!

These positions/responsibilities form the REGROUPEX 20 Tiger Team. If you want to have some input into REGROUPEX 20, taking on one or more of these responsibilities guarantees it!

Time to update your calendars - REGROUPEX 20 is nailed down!

Sorting through the feedback from the REGROUPEX 20 planning survey, the 19th - 21st of June, 2020, seems the way to go. Hotels in the Silverdale/Kitsap/Bremerton area are available and interested and the only critical issue remaining is getting a commitment from the USN for a tour of an operational boat that weekend. Mark your calendar now.

We’ll have a window before and after for hotel reservations if you want to extend your stay. I’ll plan on arriving Thursday evening, and departing Tuesday AM, as has become my practice, unless one of you can convince me otherwise.

Speaking of tours, I need a volunteer to be responsible for arranging said event, a genuine Boat Tour Coordinator.

Attention in the boat!

REGROUPEX 20 is tentatively scheduled for June 2020, plus or minus, in the Seattle/Bremerton area. Which is something like saying liberty ports are confirmed through Hobart, if you happened to fall victim to WestPac 83-84! It’s our goal, however, to do better than that!

Note specifically that June 2020 is only 15 months away, and there is work to be done to confirm the exact dates and locations. I am currently researching optimum dates, possible hotels/accommodations, and activities of interest to our Association members and need some help.

This is a call for anyone living in the Seattle/Bremerton/Northwest Washington area reach out and let me know three things.

The REGROUPEX 20 Planning Survey was completed on the 8th of March, and the results are in. Well, sort of. Kind of. Maybe.

You get what you get.

We had 69 complete responses, and another 11 that were never completed, but provided partial information, which I appreciate nevertheless.

I wanted to personally thank each and everyone of you who participated. Not only did the general drift of your contributions bring some clarity to the process, but your comments and suggestions were insightful and well thought out, not to mention sometimes humorous and endearing.

We’ve come a long way since those days on the boat!

The REGROUPEX 20 Planning Survey has been active for over two weeks, and already we have had over 50 of you chime in with your opinions and wishes for the next reunion. For those of you that have submitted your responses, Bravo Zulu, and I thank you. Making decisions in a vacuum is a challenge, so I appreciate that you have taken the time to share your thoughts.

For those of you that have not yet taken the survey, I again ask you to set aside about 15 minutes, log into the website using the link below, and offer your input. This task is hard enough without trying to guess at what you want to see in your next reunion. The time you invest to take the survey goes a long way in influencing our next three or four reunions, so if you want your voice to count, this is your chance!

REGROUPEX 20 Countdown

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Help fund SSN–680.org research and recover Personnel Diaries and Quarterly Muster Reports from the National Archives, helping us in our goal to identify every sailor that sailed on the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) and add them to the Master Sailing List.

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