Planning
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I promised you the official declaration yesterday, but the internet decided not to cooperate. Which seems to be the way of things these last couple of months, but we keep on keeping on!

Thanks to all those who responded by email or Facebook to the announcement on the 19th. Your comments were encouraging in the face of so much that seems to be going off the rails, and I appreciate that you took the time to fire off a few lines.

All that said, the news flash today is unavoidable.

As of now, REGROUPEX 20 is postponed, at least until later in the year. So update your calendars, cancel your reservations, and put those plane tickets on hold (maybe the second week of November would be a good place to park them for the short term). I’ll notify the Navy and the hotel in Silverdale, and we can start working on a new date.

These are the times that try men’s souls…

American patriot Thomas Paine penned these oft-quoted words in his first “American Crisis” pamphlet in the closing days of 1776, and though he was speaking of the challenge of standing up to tyranny, his words still ring true for all of us in this difficult time.

Days we hoped would be behind us by now and we would be freed to anticipate the respite and camaraderie of our planned reunion on the 22nd of June, now only two months and three days away.

But on-going events, our primal fears, and the choices of others continue to conspire against us.

Some states, mine included, have extended the so-called ‘stay-at-home’ orders until at least the end of May.

The Navy, having better things to worry about than communicating with me, is not likely to open their bases to tourists in the near future. They have also extended their PCS travel ban until June 30, which doesn’t bode well for submarine tours at Kitsap.

Three months, twenty-seven days, and roughly five hours, but who’s counting? Besides me, I mean.

There is precious little time left to get your planning for June in order, and get reservations made at the Best Western Silverdale Beach Hotel in Silverdale, WA, and make whatever travel arrangements must be made.

Registration will be opened shortly, as soon as we nail down the cost, but expect it to be in the $100-$150 range, plus another $25-$50 for spouses.

In the meantime, everyone keeps asking me, “Who’s going to be there?”

Well, me for one, and that should be enough to seal the deal, but it would be a great help if you would take a few minutes to log into the site and update your plans and arrangements status.

You can update your REGROUPEX 20 plans and arrangements here:

REUNIONS >> REGROUPEX 20 >>> ATTENDANCE PLANS

Simply search for your name, click on the field to update, and make your choice from the options that will pop up for you.

Four months, twenty-two days, and 23 hours as of the time I’m typing until REGROUPEX 20 kicks off in Silverdale, Washington!

On the 22nd of June, 2020, we will gather at the Best Western Silverdale Beach Hotel for three or four days of re-connecting and reminiscing. If you are planning on attending, it’s time to start making reservations.

Our group rate contract is in place, so you can get your reservations set up by calling the hotel directly at:

 

360.698.1000

We are conducting a short survey to assist us in making hotel arrangements for REGROUPEX 20, the next major reunion scheduled for crew-members of the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680).

Scheduled for June 22-25, 2020, we need your input to negotiate the best rate with our target hotel, the Best Western Silverdale Beach, in Silverdale, Washington.

It is expected this survey will take about 2 minutes, and you can only take it one time. You are encouraged to reach out to other Bates shipmates and invite them to log in to the website and take the survey for themselves.

REGROUPEX 20 - June 22-25, 2020 in Silverdale, Washington, is a go. You can put it on your schedule, and as soon as we sign a contract with the hotel, start making your travel arrangements.

At this point, it looks like we will be contracting with the Best Western Silverdale Beach to host REGROUPEX 20. As soon as we have a contract signed, we will know the final room cost and be able to start making reservations. That should happen the first week of October, but it does depend on you!

You need to complete the survey on the www.ssn-680.org website so we have an idea about how many rooms we need to block out at the Best Western. There will be details about the survey in the Familygram that will be mailed to everyone on the 23rd or 24th of September.

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.

© 2020 Brad Williamson
and/or the
USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) Association
or respective image owners
 
All Rights Reserved
 
Permission is granted for not-for-profit reproduction of text and images under the condition that all attribution as to owner and source is included,
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