SAN DIEGO — A 2015 Franklin Heights High School graduate and Columbus, Ohio native is serving in the U.S. Navy at Surface Warfare Medicine Institute (SWMI).
Seaman Benjamin Osterloh serves as a hospital corpsman at the San Diego-based training center. According to Navy officials, the institute’s purpose is providing medical education, operational training and certification for medical, dental and fleet personnel ashore and afloat.
“I am currently a student in the medical laboratory technician program here at SWMI,” said Osterloh. “I am studying how to work in a laboratory, how to run the machines and how to work with the providers to make the diagnosis. I like how the lab works and how much information you get from samples.”
The sailors who are part of Navy medicine are the most highly trained, educated and specialized force in history, said Navy officials. The role of Navy medicine in preserving the healthy and fighting readiness of that force has never been greater or more critical.
“The Surface Warfare Medical Institute teaches 13 courses to over 800 students annually,” said Cmdr. Steven Parks, Officer in Charge of the Surface Warfare Medical Institute. “The training we provide enables our Physicians, Nurses, Medical Service Corps Officers, and Corpsman to directly support the Navy and Marine Corps combat teams. The leadership, mentorship and influence that our staff has on our students is second to none.”
Parks added that he is proud that SWMI’s mission will have long lasting positive impact and benefits to Navy Medicine for years to come.
Osterloh said he feels honored to be able to serve at a command that is continually raising the bar in healthcare.
“This command is a good environment to learn in,” said Osterloh. “The instructors know their jobs and are experts in their fields. They are great mentors.”
Those who serve in Navy medicine understand that they play a key role in meeting the missions of our armed forces, according to Navy officials.
“I am serving my country and I get to learn more of the medical trade with opportunities to serve both active and veterans,” added Osterloh.
Cutter arrives at Antarctica
MCMURDO STATION, Antarctica – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star arrived at the National Science Foundation’s McMurdo Station recently after cutting a resupply channel through more than 60 miles of Antarctic ice in the Ross Sea.
By carving a navigable path through seasonal and multi-year ice, the Polar Star assists in the annual delivery of operating supplies and fuel for two of NSF’s three U.S. research stations in Antarctica.
The Polar Star is America’s only operational heavy icebreaker that is capable of conducting the Antarctic resupply mission. The cutter, which was built more than 40 years ago, has a crew of more than 140 people, is 399-feet long, weighs 13,500 tons and uses 75,000 horsepower to muscle its way through ice thicknesses of up to 21 feet.
In the past few years, the Polar Star’s crew worked through approximately 12 to 13 miles of ice in an effort to reach McMurdo Station. This year, there was more than 60 miles of ice to break, with thickness ranging from two feet to more than 10 feet.
“We experienced a significantly larger ice field this year compared to the last several years,” said Capt. Michael Davanzo, commanding officer of the Polar Star. “In several areas, the ice was under considerable pressure and covered with several inches of snow, slowing our progress. Despite these challenges, the crew worked around the clock to prepare the resupply channel before the arrival of the first ship.”
Ice placed under pressure by nearby land mass or glacial movement can cause considerable friction, often pinching the vessel between the two plates of ice that the cutter creates during the ice-breaking process. Additionally, a snow layer can create resistance between the cutter and the ice, slowing the ship’s progress.
After refueling at McMurdo Station, the Polar Star crew will continue to develop and maintain the ice channel in preparation of the first of two resupply ships, which are scheduled to arrive in the area in late January.
The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star is home-ported in Seattle.