RI Air National Guard general commemorates Veterans Day with visit to NUWC Division Newport

Brig. Gen. Kimberly Baumann gathered with Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport veteran and civilian employees for a picture in the shape of the number 150 to commemorate Veterans Day 2019 and NUWC Division Newport's 150th anniversary celebrating Undersea Superiority: Yesterday ... Today and Tomorrow!, prior to her talk on Nov. 4. (Photo by Jim Travassos, McLaughlin research Corp./Released)

NEWPORT, R.I. —Brig. Gen. Kimberly Baumann, the first female general in the state of Rhode Island, thanked veterans and employees at Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport for their government service during a visit to the command on Nov. 4 to commemorate Veterans Day. 

Baumann, who serves as Assistant Adjutant General for the R.I. Air National Guard, spoke to an audience that included her son Philipp Baumann, a computer scientist in Division Newport’s Undersea Warfare Combat Systems Department.

“Having grown up around the Armed Forces, I was proud to see my mom talk about her experiences and celebrate our veterans here at NUWC,” Philipp Baumann said.

During her talk, the brigadier general praised her son for taking care of the household when she and her husband, who is a member of the Army National Guard, were deployed on various military tours.

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Baumann, who is dual-hatted as the Air National Guard Assistant to Headquarters Air Force A-2/6, discussed military involvement of the R.I. National Guard, both overseas and in assisting other states during times of crisis. Since the 2001 War on Terror, Rhode Island has had the highest per capita of deployed National Guard members, she said, and noted that six soldiers from the state have been lost in the line of duty.

R.I. National Guard members have been deployed to assist during hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, as translators during the January 2019 natural gas crisis and power outage on Aquidneck Island, and as part of state cybersecurity exercises. Guard members have been tasked by R.I. Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea with trying to hack the state’s voting system and asked by Salve Regina University to assist small businesses that do not have a cybersecurity presence.

“We are indebted to each and every one of these volunteers,” Baumann said while also acknowledging audience members who volunteer in the Reserves and Guard.

Baumann noted the sacrifices military members and their families make, explaining that veterans not only acquire physical injuries, but often suffer post-traumatic stress disorder. 

“Be sympathetic to those who may be suffering,” she said.

Baumann said it was an honor to serve as the first female general in Rhode Island and she hopes to be a role model for other women. She stressed the importance of diversity and inclusion in all branches of the service.

“It makes the team stronger,” she said.

She asked the audience to practice tolerance, patience and inclusion, showing respect for humanity.

“How can we feel more secure?” she asked.  “The answer is to communicate.

“Have coffee with a veteran, visit a veterans’ center, donate to the USO or to the Fisher House Foundation.”

The Fisher House Foundation is an organization that builds homes where military and veterans’ families can stay for free while a loved one is in the hospital.

Prior to her talk, Baumann gathered with Division Newport’s workforce for a Veterans Day photo in the shape of the number 150 to commemorate the Command’s 150th anniversary on July 29.

NUWC Newport is a shore command of the U.S. Navy within the Naval Sea Systems Command, which engineers, builds and supports America’s fleet of ships and combat systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures associated with undersea warfare. 

Currently celebrating its 150th anniversary, NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869.  Commanded by Captain Michael Coughlin, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Fla., and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher’s Island, N.Y., Leesburg, Fla., and Dodge Pond, Conn.

Source: By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs

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