By: Lt. j.g. Justin Sabelhaus

Sailors and families of Patrol Squadron 16 (VP-16) focused an afternoon on building squadron camaraderie, getting families together, and sharing a meal before kicking off the holiday season.

VP-16 held a Fall Festival in November to take a break from busy flight and maintenance operations, and to spend time with family and friends. As cooler weather descended upon Jacksonville, it was an ideal time to enjoy outdoor festivities. Family entertainment included various games and activities, including a bean-bag toss and a bounce house.  

Commanding Officer Cmdr. Mike Martinez opened the event with statements about the importance of family during the holidays. He emphasized that the support and bonds that we develop at home will translate into stability while the War Eagles are on deployment. 

"It is important for us to utilize the time presented in the holiday season, to ensure pre-deployment planning begins sooner than later for sailors and their families," Martinez said. "Events such as the Fall Festival are a great way to allow sailors and families to recharge their batteries and re-cage their minds before embarking on a demanding work schedule and preparing for the upcoming deployment."