An association of Aerographers & Mates,
Meteorologists & Oceanographers

NWSA President

President 2023-2025:

 AG1 (NAC) Ed Straten, USN (Ret)

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Source: Aerograph May 2024

Greetings Shipmates,


Spring has sprung here in Pensacola with temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s.  I see golfers out my window wearing T-shirts and shorts.  After 6 rotator cuff surgeries, my days of hitting little white balls into thick underbrush and snake infested ponds are over.  I still love spring, the warm temperatures, grass turning green, and trees producing a beautiful veil of leaves.  Mother Nature works hard protecting us from volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, forest fires, prairie fires, El Nino, La Nina, blizzards, solar flares, hurricanes, tornados, constant wars and of course, human progress.  Yes, I love spring and the renewed contract of life to all living things.  Spring always brings hope and new beginnings.

Speaking of hope, Patti and I have put our condo on the market, and we HOPE it sells. We will be moving to a rental or a cruise ship, not sure yet. I think after 56 years of moving, it has become a habit, the itch that can’t be scratched. The condo is nice, but 2am fire drills have a way of bringing out the worst in me. Navigating 5 flights of stairs can be hazardous to your health that early in the morning (elevators are disabled when the fire alarm goes off!). Most of the fire alarms have been pulled by either drunks or kids. The only legitimate alarm was an overheated HVC unit which happened during the day. Go figure! As we embark on another new adventure and a place to live, we look forward to new beginnings.

My first lady, Patti, is always in-charge of the music when we travel or move. It is safe to say she has played “On the Road Again” and “I’ve Been Everywhere” several thousand times. We have worn out 8 tracks, cassettes, and CD’s over the years. Thank God for technology and the iPhone, traveling music at the press of a button. Music is a great stress reliever when traveling. We hit all four corners by car. “Like a Rolling Stone”, we have travelled I-95, I-80, I-10, I-5, I-495 route 66 and 40, been to Bar Harbor (pronounced Ba Ha Ba), Seattle, San Diego, Key West, Nashville, St Louis, Denver, and Las Vegas. Thank you, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash for all the new beginnings.

It is great to travel, but it does have its moments. Flat tires, broken air conditioners, road construction, and overheated engines to name a few. As military members, we can all relate to heat of the desert, the ice storm crossing Nebraska, the hurricane along the gulf coast, the endless roads in Texas, next gas station 150 miles, getting caught behind a herd of cattle for 10 miles, driving up the side a mountain and crossing a one-lane bridge I’m sure a seasoned Billy goat would not attempt. But when you crack open a beer and sit down with a shipmate the stories get longer, stranger, and more embellished. But it also brings out the comradery of roads traveled, and paths crossed and new beginnings.

I have also been saddened over the years while talking to strangers I’ve met on my adventures. There are so many individuals that have never left their home state. I spoke to a woman at my 30-year high school reunion suffering with cancer that had never seen an ocean. Whenever I start feeling a little bit down, I think about what a great life I have had, and the things I’ve accomplished because of the U S Navy. I still remember watching Walter Cronkite back in 1966 as a sophomore in high school when Viet Nam was headlining the news. I knew in my heart of hearts I would soon be there. I was right, by October 1970 I was headed to Nam aboard the USS Ranger. And so, my travels began, and to this day, have brought many new beginnings.

Yes, spring brings eternal hope to kids and grandchildren and the memories of a life well lived and to friends I would have never known. And of course, new beginnings.

AG1 (NAC) Ed Straten, USN, (Ret)

Source: Aerograph February 2024

Greetings Shipmates,


I can see clearly now that the cataracts are gone. It’s gonna be a clear, clear, clear visionary year. Yes, we’re looking forward to another great year. I can see it filled with travel, new adventures, and more fun experiences. Patti and I continue to meet new people, taste new foods, and sample life like a lavish buffet. Now that I have 20/20 vision, I see a wonderful 2024 ahead. Patti and I plan on visiting New Hampshire to attend our granddaughter’s graduation. Patti will also make a trek into the White Mountains with her sisters for their annual Psychic weekend. We also plan a trip to Ohio to visit my family, as well as the Caribbean Islands, via cruise ship, to celebrate my 75th birthday.

December started out with another cruise.  We had a group of 16 celebrating our friend’s 75th birthday.  We went out on the Celebrity Summit and had stops in Key West and the Bahamas. There was lots of food, drinks, and outstanding music. 


We had great chapter Christmas party. The NWSA Pensacola Chapter was hosted by Larry and Nancy Warrenfeltz.  Lots of good food, the wine was flowing, and yes, the dirty Santa gift exchange was as exciting as always!   Nancy had a great spread along with all the side dishes the guest contributed. The house was decorated beautifully.  Thank you, Larry and Nancy, for hosting.

We had a very Merry Christmas and hosted a Christmas Eve party with family and friends. Our grandson, Dominic, a nurse, flew in from Reno. And our granddaughter, Caitria, who earned her master’s degree at FSU and currently works there as an Analyst, drove in from Tallahassee. We celebrated Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve at  our daughter and  sons-in-law house  with many new and old friends.  Lots of good food and yes, plenty of wine.  And yes, lots of resolutions.  Patti’s resolution this year is to eat one oyster That’s right, she has never had an oyster.  Lookout Oyster Bar, here we come!


Happy New Year to all and I hope all your resolutions are reachable and followed to completion.  It is said the New Year tradition of making resolutions was started by the ancient Babylonians some 4000 years ago.  The year began in mid-March….at this time people would pay off their debts, return all borrowed  items, and plant their crops. And they would also crown a new King or reaffirm their loyalty to the old King.  Simple yet effective.

Then came Julius Caesar, circa 46 BC, who decided to tweak the calendar, making January the first month of the calendar year. At this time, Romans offered sacrifices to the gods. It did not pay to be a lamb, goat, cow, or a Christian.


In 1740 Clergyman John Wesley, founder of the Church of England known as Methodism, where praying and making promises to God was acceptable, and making resolutions only for themselves became the norm. New Year resolutions today are quite different. Instead of making promises to gods, the focus is only on ourselves. Research says approximately 45% of all Americans make a New Year’s resolution and approximately 8% keep that promise. So, whether your resolution is fitness, finance, health, weight, diet, or relationships, I wish you much success. I personally will pay my debts; return all borrowed items, hope for good crops worldwide and vote. Can’t go wrong with a good old Babylonian resolution.

I want to give a shout to Tom Miovas for his cost-cutting idea. He is working with Steven Smith (Smitty) and will soon be printing and mailing the Aerograph from home, saving the NWSA substantial amount of money.  Thinking outside the box, I love it.


Unfortunately, I need to let you know that Reunion 48 at the Villages scheduled for May 2024 has been cancelled.  Kudos to Tom Berkeridge, he was doing an outstanding job coordinating this reunion. His current health issues take precedence, however. Thank you, Tom, for all the fine work you have put into this, and we all wish you a strong, complete recovery.


AG1 (NAC) Ed Straten, USN, (Ret)

Source: Aerograph November 2023

Greetings Shipmates,

I guess it was best said in the lyrics of Irving Berlin way back in 1933, “We’re having a heat wave, a tropical heatwave, the temperature’s rising, and it isn’t surprising.” And the debate continues of man verses nature in the world’s climate dilemma. Personally speaking, I am placing all my money on Mother Nature. I hope everyone had a wonderful summer with plenty of hydration in one form or another. I find a nice afternoon wine makes the idea of total world melt much more bearable. Now that summer is over and fall is upon us, I would like to wish everyone a heartfelt happy and healthy Veteran’s Day. Bravo Zulu to all Veterans everywhere!

I think the weather in Pensacola is always perfect now that Patti and I moved into a Condo. No more mowing the lawn. No more weed whacking. No more cleaning the pool. No more cleaning out the gutters. I could go on and on but, I think you get the point. 

Patti and I had a wonderful summer traveling. We flew with no travel delays, cancelations, or fist fights. It was kind of a miracle. We finally got to see Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and Devils Tower. Also enjoyed a great lunch at the authentic Stoneville Saloon in Alzada, Montana, which was originally built in Rapid City during the late 1800’s and moved to Montana circa 1938. The Buffalo burger was fantastic! We were fortunate to meet up with our son, daughter in-law, and two grandchildren. It was fun, but South Dakota was hotter than Pensacola with no breeze.

My first Lady Patti has been busy working with the Condo association social committee. They schedule many things like barbecues, luaus, game nights, and swim parties. She is also busy planning more cruises. We celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary on August 4 th. We had chicken tenders and coleslaw from Publix’s and drank cheap wine with friends. Next stop this October is Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand, and Australia. Patti and a friend are also planning a Caribbean group cruise this December with about 20 guests. Patti doesn’t slow down and keeps me on the move, which I guess is a good thing. 

I often think about mission statements, mantras, and mottos. I read one the other day in Kiplinger’s magazine which stated, “We are guided by the expectations that our readers will act on what we write about and benefit from doing so.” I found it simple and to the point. Every organization has a mission or expectation, and it is always good to define yourself through a belief system, whether it be science or voodoo. I enjoy mottos like, “all for one and one for all”, “don’t give up the ship”, and my favorite is “live to fight another day”. This is why NWSA is important. The reunions, quarterly luncheons and committees are reminders of who we are and why we are here. It’s about being something bigger than an association, but a belief system that carries the weight of generations onto new expectations. This leads to relating old adventures into new ideas, laughing, crying, and sharing a lifetime of memories with others…a reunion, where two or more people come together after a period of separation, usually sharing a common bond of a life well lived.

First VP Tom Berkeridge is doing a very professional job organizing reunion #48 from 5/1/24 to 5/5/24. Tom has set up a great itinerary, including welcome aboard pizza party, a catered rib luncheon, a boat and bus tour of Mount Dora, and a Country Club Banquet. The menus look delicious and very reasonable. Getting together with old friends and telling sea stories still qualifies as one of greatest activities people can do at a relatively cheap cost. Patti and I are looking forward to the upcoming NWSA Reunion #48. Make sure you sign up for this event at The Villages. 

I would like to thank Mike Gilroy for his assistance with NWSA Scholarship awardee J. William Thiesing III. 

Larry Warrenfeltz has accepted the position of NWSA Parliamentarian, thank you. 

Thomas Miovas is doing a great job keeping the Bellinger list up-to-date and keeping track of our finances. Good job Tom. 

And let’s not forget Steven Smith, “Cap” Casperson, and Gary Cox for keeping the web site and Aerograph up and running. You guys know your Sierra Hotel Indigo Tango.

AG1 (NAC) Ed Straten, USN, (Ret)

Source: Aerograph August 2023

Greetings Shipmates


June 8, 2023, I relieved Captain Larry Warrenfeltz as president of the Naval Weather Service Association while attending the Pensacola Chapter luncheon.


Larry served with Honor and Enthusiastic Vigor as prescribed by Navy Tradition.  Bravo Zulu Larry for your steadfast leadership and overall stellar performance for keeping this program afloat and charting paths forward.  I salute you and thanks.


The gavel has been passed.

I am privileged to have Thomas Berkeridge SR 1st VP and Tim Kenefick 2nd VP. Tom is hard at work organizing reunion #48 at the Villages. It’s a reunion, don’t forget your umbrellas. I would also like to mention all members and Officers of NWSA for the hard work they do to keep this organization strong and viable. Thank you!


I flippantly tell my grandchildren when I retired from the Navy in 1991, I was replaced by a cell phone. I think it was true in many respects. Now, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is upon us. When AI is fully online, computers will spit out a 30-day forecast before you can say, “Partly Cloud…”. Gone are the days of plotting charts with observations required to fit under a quarter. The New Navy is here to stay. What we did by hand and mind will fade into history as computers gain complete control. We are becoming relics along with rotary telephones, mimeograph machines and manual typewriters.


We need to keep the legacy alive. Our collective global knowledge is invaluable.

Here are a few examples:


We contributed significantly to the development of airships, aircraft, and aircraft carriers.

We released balloons and became masters of upper-level winds…another plus for naval aviation.

We released PIBALS for ballistic wind forecasts, aiding in mortar fire to assaults from 15-inch cannons.

We saw high altitude jets conquer the skies and the speed of sound became commonplace.

We dropped bathythermographs (BT’s) in the ocean and found sound channels and sonar echoes.

We were a necessary part of the space race including high tech satellite coverage of the earth.

We forecasted severe weather conditions such as hurricanes and typhoons saving countless lives.

We collected climatology data, created libraries, aiding the study of climate and climate change.

We were the essential part of every War Room and battle briefings.

We were there for every beach head from Okinawa to Omaha.

We aided SEAL Teams with planning and preparation of clandestine operations.

We were important in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other incursions.

And never forget the Admiral’s wife’s annual garden tea party. Hint, never give your real name!


We are mostly unsung and unknown. But we are all Heroes.


We are a community of highly educated and highly trained officers and enlisted men and women using empirical data to predict the future. We spent sleepless nights in hopes our forecasts were correct because we knew the outcome could be a disaster. We were the advanced warning system for our ships, aircraft, and our sailors. High seas, storm force winds, torrential rains, freezing conditions, and blizzards we did it all with little recognition…and sometimes very little data. We may not be the tip of the spear, but we will always be an important part of the spear head.


I am grateful and excited to be your president.


Can’t wait for the Villages when we all meet again.


Ed Straten

AG1(NAC), USN(Ret)