Sea Story 7

 

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Italian protesters outside the Naval Base Sigonella gate. Aerial view broadcasted on the guard tower’s TV.

Every year for the reserves, naval personnel has to go on what is known as an AT, or annual training. These trips can last for as little as two weeks to almost a full year. Either way, it’s good work and it keeps service members updated on their roles in the military.

I’m part of a reserve unit known as Naval Support Activity Naples, Detachment 106 Chicago. As an Information Systems Technician, my main role over at NSA Naples is to manage network systems and to operate general computer equipment wherever necessary. NSA Naples is not based in Florida, but it is based in Naples, Italy. If you can guess, every year I get to go to Italy to perform my AT. The work is a lot of fun and I get a lot of leave time to explore the city and Italy as a whole. More on that later. This last summer was my first year at Naples, so it was a unique experience to say the least.

The first day I arrived there, I reported to N6, also known as Information Systems. The shop was 100% government contractors, and all of them were pretty damn chill. The work was cake as well; I would go and DRMO equipment (basically take them apart and recycle them) and log them in a excel spreadsheet. It’s a bit below my ability level, but I’m not complaining. I’m getting paid for this.

A few days go by of doing that, and we are notified that in a few weeks, the base will be inspected by other government agencies to look for network vulnerabilities. In preparation for this inspection, the government contractors and I would do an in-house inspection to make sure that we don’t fail the big inspection. Did I mention that we’re doing an inspection?

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Sea Story 6

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Yeah, we completed our trip to Denny’s.

 

Graduated from boot camp, enlisted naval personnel and went to what is known as “A” School. This is a technical school that sailors attend to learn about their
jobs or “rates” in the Navy. For me, I went in as an Information Systems Technician, which deals with military networking, communication, and general IT and
computer support. It’s a broad discipline containing various aspects of networking and computer skills.

IT “A” school is located down at sunny Pensacola, FL. right at the east end of the southern bible belt and just miles from the border of Alabama, making it a very
unique location for training and travel. There’s two sides to the base:

NAS Pensacola = Naval Air Station Pensacola. This base is absolutely beautiful. It’s quite a large base, and it is where all of the aircrew and pilots go to
train. The base is well maintained, full of amenities, full of beautiful architecture and nature, and the noble might of the US Navy shines brightly here.
It’s definitely the place to be.

Corry Station = Also known as the Center for Information Dominance, this base looks more like a prison than a place of learning. The compounds (also known as
SCIFs- Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities) are gated and barb-wired. The base is dated and construction seems to always be taking place. It’s sh*t.

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2018’s “Little Dark Age” (Also MGMT concert in Chicago!)

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I’d like to begin this article by saying welcome back to another glorious semester here at University of Illinois at Chicago; as usual, I ushered in the new year by being incredibly lazy, and I’m sure you had the same response.

Whatever. Let’s talk about MGMT who is releasing their 4th studio album on February 9, 2018. 

This marks MGMT’s fourth studio album, and a lot of the aesthetic of the album pertains to the Gothic medieval era, similar to the album’s namesake. The themes are very apathetic, evil, and has the typical trippy vibe of MGMT. “When You Die” is my favorite single on the album, and it is a very warm and tangy song for how dark its lyrics truly are. Just watch the music video and you’ll understand what I mean:

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