“20th Year Supporting Our Military Heroes and Families”
The 20th annual Military Appreciation Dinner will be held on September 29. The Chamber’s Military Committee is busy working with all branches of the service to gather awardees’ names and biographies.
The honorees are selected by their commanding officers not only for their military service, but also for their service in the local community. "There are some very impressive awardees," said Sharen Strong, Chamber staff liaison for the event. "These are not only our country's heroes, but they are community heroes and volunteers as well."
This year, the event will feature keynote speaker CAPT Chris Janke, who assumed his duty as commanding officer of Naval Base Ventura County in March of 2015.
Prior to arriving at Naval Base Ventura County Janke completed deployments to Iceland, Puerto Rico, Panama, and Italy and participated in Operation Sharp Guard. He was then selected for duty as Flag Lieutenant to Commander, Fleet Air Mediterranean/Task Force 67 in Naples, Italy, responsible for all installations and maritime patrol forces in the U.S. 6th Fleet. In June 1998 he continued his duties in Annapolis, MD upon the Admiral’s reassignment as Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy.
Janke returned to sea duty aboard USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) and was deployed to the Arabian Gulf supporting Operation Southern Watch in which he led the ship’s largest division (V-2) in the Air Department.
Upon completion of his Department Head tour, he was assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Operations Directorate (J-3). Serving in the J-39 Reconnaissance Operations Division, he was responsible for the coordination of SecDef approval for deployment orders for DoD reconnaissance assets and charged with preparation of Sensitive Reconnaissance Operations mission packages for Presidential approval.
In July 2008, Janke was selected for command of Scientific Development Squadron (VXS) 1 onboard NAS Patuxent River, MD. Most notably VXS-1 conducted Colombia survey operations, POW/MIA recovery operations in Iraq and Counter-IED technology development in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn.
In May of 2012, Janke assumed duties as Chief Staff Officer for Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11 in Jacksonville, FL, where he directed a staff of 350 personnel conducting Man, Train and Equip tasks for eight P-3, P-8 and MQ-4C squadrons encompassing 2,700 personnel. His efforts were instrumental to the successful transition to the P-8A Poseidon and introduction of the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft.
His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal and various operational awards.
The Military Appreciation Dinner will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott Oxnard on Friday evening, September 29. Advance registrations are required and can be made via the Chamber's website or by calling the office at 805-983-6118. Sponsorships are also available.
The Oxnard Chamber of Commerce values its relationship with our local military installations. "We sincerely appreciate the military's defense of our free enterprise system and recognize the positive impact the local installations have on our economy," added Chamber CEO Nancy Lindholm.