MUSKOGEE, Okla. (NNS) — The Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training (CNATT) Detachment Tinker Sailors participated in the 2017 Batfish Memorial Services Ceremony at the Muskogee War Memorial Park’s USS Batfish (SS 310) exhibit in Muskogee, Oklahoma, May 13.
CNATT Det Tinker Sailors served as side boys during the Tolling for the Boats ceremony, during which memorial flags were paraded and placed at each of the 65 stations in the park. During the Tolling of the Boats, also known as the Two Bell Ceremony, each individual submarine is recognized and their fallen crewmen are honored by the dipping of the boat’s flag and two rings of a ship’s bell.
CNATT Det Tinker Instructor Aviation Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Michael J. Brence, a previous volunteer at the Batfish exhibit attended the ceremony.
“It was very humbling,” said Brence. “We owe so much to the veterans who came before us, and we should always find opportunities to honor them for their service.”
Additionally, the CNATT Det Tinker service members have volunteered more than 100 hours to help build a new bell stand for the Park’s WWII-era submarine exhibit in 2016.
“We were so appreciative to receive this from the folks from Tinker, because we are a small nonprofit and never would have had the time or money to do that ourselves,” Brent Trout, executive director of the park Trout said. “We are all in this together. We need to preserve this for the future.”
The ceremony was designed to pay tribute to all U.S. Navy submarines lost or destroyed at sea since the inception of the U.S. Navy’s undersea warfare in the early part of the 1900s. More than 4,000 Sailors have died in the submarine service, with most of the casualties occurring during WWII.
Batfish was decommissioned in 1969 and now serves as a permanent memorial to the United States Navy Submarine Fleet. The boat is now the centerpiece of Muskogee War Memorial Park.
CNATT Det. Tinker provides maintenance training, centralized student management and support to E-6B Mercury aviation squadrons consisting of VQ-3 and VQ-4 in the execution of their training responsibilities.
CNATT Det. Tinker is part of the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training, which provides single site management for Navy and Marine Corps aviation technical training.
CNATT is the technical training agent for the Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE), an organization designed to advance and sustain naval aviation warfighting capabilities at an affordable cost, and is the largest training center under the Naval Education and Training Command.
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