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November 8, 2017

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UPDATED: MRH Middle Principal Ships Out for Naval Adventure

UPDATED with new photos, 11/10/17:

Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School Principal Mike Dittrich passes along new photos from his expedition aboard the Navy's USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier.  

Original post, 11/8/17:

The Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School is known as the "School of Expedition."  Principal Mike Dittrich is taking that metaphor to new heights. 

The U.S. Navy Recruiting Command has selected Dittrich for a once in a lifetime opportunity.  He'll spend two days aboard the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier off the coast near San Diego, California.

It's all part of a Navy program called Embark Experiences, under which influential educators, businesspeople, and community leaders observe firsthand the unique capabilities of Naval aviation.  For about 36 hours, Dittrich will live, eat and sleep on one of the most technologically advanced vessels in the world.   He'll get an up-close look at flight operations, tour the ship and learn about the equipment that makes it work.  

Dittrich will also rub shoulders with the men and women entrusted to run it all.  A Navy spokesman says lack of awareness among youth of what Navy life and work are like, is one of the single biggest obstacles they face. The Embark program is meant to inform and inspire influencers  of how the Navy can overcome that.

Day One of the adventure (Nov. 8) will prove to be very long.  After a flight from St. Louis to San Diego, Dittrich will hop aboard a C2 aircraft from Naval Air Station North Island to the aircraft carrier.  He'll observe daytime flight operations and dine with the ship's crew.  Afterward, it's a tour of the spaces above the hangar bay and then a chance to watch nighttime flight ops.  Day Two begins with an early breakfast and additional tours of the carrier. 

In a preflight posting to Facebook, Dittrich wrote, "Bags are packed and I'm sitting at the airport. Ready for this opportunity of a lifetime to begin. USS Carl Vinson and its dedicated troops, here I come! Honored to be a US Naval Forces Distinguished Visitor."

For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.