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Commander H. F. Bell

Executive Officer 1982 - 1984

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Commander Howard F. Bell began his career in 1965 by enlisting in the Naval Reserve.  By 1969 he had earned his second class stripes from the Reserves and a bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Management from Middle Tennessee State University.  The Degree allowed him to apply for Reserve Officer Candidacy and eventually receive his commission.

Commander Bell's first assignment was to the USS Donough (DLG-8) where he was Damage Control Assistant and Electrical Officer.   From there he drew assignment to the U.S. Naval Advisory Group, Vietnam, where he filled several billets, including Assistant Senior Advisor to River Transport Escort Division 81, Field Liaison Officer for Carrier Task Force 214, Senior Advisor to River Interdiction Division 40, and Staff Officer for Headquarters of Carrier Task Force 214.

From Vietnam, Commander Bell went to the University of Idaho with the Reserve Officer Training Corps.  He taught Naval Engineering and Ship Systems.  He also used the opportunity to get his Master's Degree in Business Administration.

It was back to sea after the University of Idaho, the first stop being USS Brunswick (ATS-3).  Here Commander Bell was Executive Officer.  Next he went to the USS Orleck, a reserve destroyer home ported in Tacoma, Washington, where he was Engineering Officer.

Commander Bell participated in the Personnel Exchange Program being traded to Canada for a while.  Back in the United States he was assigned Senior Staff Officer for Surface Operations of Maritime Forces Pacific Headquarters and after which he came to the Norton Sound as Executive Officer.

Our Executive Officer's philosophy for keeping the ship "squared away" is two fold.  First, "Keep the ship clean." he says, and that is no surprise for the crew.  Second, "For the ship to operate properly, everyone must exercise the Chain of Command.  We have a lot of good talent on this ship, its just a matter of using it effectively."

Even thought the Norton Sound is one of the oldest active ships in the Navy," commented the Executive Officer, "By virtue of what it does, it carries some of the most sophisticated equipment in the Navy.  It is an interesting paradox that a ship so old is testing some of the newest systems the Navy now has.  Its a good ship and its getting better.  I like it."

Commander Bell is married and has three daughters.  He enjoys hunting and fishing when he has the chance.

Interviewed by ET1 Dennis D. Logan.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014