Stennis Soccer Shuts Down the Competition

•October 3, 2014 • Leave a Comment

BREMERTON, Wash. – By day, Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Jairo Guerrero works toward wrapping up USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) maintenance period, but after work he’s a part of the Stennis soccer team that won every match played during the 2014 Captain’s Cup.

The team, FC Stennis, consists of Sailors from up on the flight deck and all the way down to the seventh deck engineering spaces.

From seaman to lieutenant junior grade, all share a deep passion for soccer.

According to Guerrero, whose first Christmas gift was a soccer ball, it’s more than just a sport. Soccer is a way of life. Even the name, Futbol Club Stennis, is a tribute to the footy culture many of the team members come from. Guerrero’s heritage established a love for soccer at a young age.

“A lot of us have been playing most of our lives,” he said. “I can’t imagine myself not playing soccer. It’s been a big part of my life for 22 years.”

The team has a lot of prior experience between its members, which, according to Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Alan Lovos, was a major contributing factor to the team’s success in their seven tournament games.

“Most of our players are just on a completely different level,” he said. “We’re heads and shoulders above the rest.”

The tournament pitted eight teams against each other in double elimination format with the title match played on Sept. 9. FC Stennis swept the competition. Despite the team members’ different jobs, ranks and backgrounds they formed a community who share the same dedication to play soccer to the best of their potential.

At work, Lt. j.g. James Matuszak is an officer, but, when he plays, the only thing that matters is his merit as a soccer player. According to him, rank is no issue with the team members, and when they’re together they rely on each other’s abilities.

“The main thing that led to our success was team chemistry,” he said. “I was extremely confident that if I passed someone the ball they could move forward with it.”

That consistent team chemistry was built from practicing together twice a week year round. The teamwork they had was paramount to their success at Captain’s Cup, said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Joseph Arthur.

“We all had to come together as one to make sure we were successful,” said Arthur.

According to Guerrero, some members of the team have tried out for the all-Navy soccer team and hope to someday represent the Navy at a higher level.

Stennis is currently undergoing a DPIA maintenance period at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility. For more news from USS John C. Stennis visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil and http://www.facebook.com/stennis 74.

Strike Group Planners Meet at Symposium

•September 30, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Vaughan Dill

BREMERTON, Wash. – Operational planners for Carrier Strike Group Three (CSG3) attended a four-day symposium to reinforce integration between CSG3 component commands at the Trident Training Facility on Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor Sept. 23-28.

More than 40 officers and chiefs attended the symposium, held as the primary focus of CSG3 shifts from maintenance to operational readiness.

The strike group’s flagship, Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), is nearing the conclusion of a 16-month Docking Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA).

“When a flagship goes through a long DPIA and can’t get underway, like what Stennis is emerging from, it is easy for the warfare commanders to focus on their piece of the strike group and forget how to work together smoothly,” said CSG3 Training and Readiness Officer, Cmdr. Timothy Reidy. “It’s easy for supporting staffs to lose the understanding and interpersonal relationships that allow CSG3 to pull together on all levels to quickly and efficiently work together.”

By coming together before the formal integrated portion of the Fleet Readiness Training Plan, the strike group has the opportunity to exercise its updated and revised plans.

Planners work together in real time through a tabletop war game scenario with a “train like we fight” mentality. This allows warfare commanders and their staffs to remain familiar with the planning process and the responsibilities each has to ensure CSG3 operates effectively. It also builds habitual relationships.

“We’re doing this now so that it’s old hat by the time we get to deployment,” said Reidy.

For more information about Carrier Strike Group Three, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil/sgabout.html or http://www.facebook.com/CCSG3.

Stennis Completes September Exam Cycle

•September 19, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Ignacio Perez

BREMERTON, Wash. – More than 900 Sailors aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) took part in the Navywide September advancement exam cycle at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF).

The advancement exams, administered on the first, second, and third Thursday of September, are 175 question multiple choice tests that cover basic military and professional knowledge.

Planning for the September cycle began five months ago.

“It takes a lot of time to prepare a crew this large for the exams,” said Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Curtis Moen, from Kalispell, Mont. “We had to ensure every test taker had their most recent evaluation and that their advancement worksheets were signed.”

While study habits for each Sailor differ, research shows Stennis Sailors who study an average of five hours a week have an 82 percent chance of advancing.

“When I looked at my profile sheet, I knew where my weak spots were,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman Christopher Rubalcava, from El Paso, Texas. “I studied a couple of hours every week and focused on my weaker subject areas.”

To advance to the next higher pay grade, a Sailor must score above the final multiple score for that exam cycle. The final multiple score is comprised of various items including the test score, performance evaluation average and time in pay grade.

“For this test cycle, I knew I to needed to do more than just study,” said Aviation Structural Mechanic 3rd Class Chris Jimenez, from San Juan, Puerto Rico. “I’m hoping my eval and education points help me advance to second class.”

Advancement results are expected before the new year.

Stennis is currently undergoing a Docking Planned Incremental Availability maintenance period at PSNS & IMF.
For more news from USS John C. Stennis visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or http://www.facebook.com/stennis 74.

Stennis Welcomes 20 New Chiefs

•September 17, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Andre T. Richard

BREMERTON, Wash. – Several weeks of intense training cumulated in a morning of celebration as 20 new chief petty officers assigned to Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) received their anchors during a pinning ceremony Sept. 16.

Capt. Michael Wettlaufer, Stennis’ commanding officer, served as guest speaker and stressed the importance of being a Navy chief.

“These Sailors are stepping up to lead,” said Wettlaufer. “They are charged with adding intensity and energy to the mess in order to translate initiative into action and action into success.”

Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Josh Hansen echoed Wettlaufer’s remarks.

“The chief’s world is different,” said Hansen. “[The new chiefs] now have greater responsibility and are entrusted to lead and mentor Sailors.”

Newly-pinned Chief Yeoman Kristin Zimmer, from Crystal River, Fla., said the hardest part of transitioning to a chief petty officer was adapting to the different types of personalities in the mess and working together toward a common goal.

“My advice for anyone striving to be chief is to never lose faith,” said Zimmer. “You’re always going to have obstacles; you just have to look ahead and overcome them.”

During the ceremony, the new chiefs wore khaki uniforms and combination covers for the first time signifying their acceptance into the chief’s mess.

“I cannot describe the feeling,” said Chief Engineman Eduardo Quintanilla, from Yakima, Wash. “It’s a great feeling to be in a new environment where I can assist Sailors and give them the tools they need to one day fill our shoes.”

Chief Machinist’s Mate Fernando Perez, from Sacramento, Calif., said it was great having his family present for his pinning.

“It was awesome having my wife and son here today,” said Perez. “I know I would not be here without their support.”

Stennis is currently undergoing a Docking Planned Incremental Availability maintenance period at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.

For more news from USS John C. Stennis visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Stennis Sailors Awarded for Excellence in Leadership

•August 22, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jordan Crouch

BREMERTON, Wash. – The Stennis Center for Public Service presented awards to Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) at an evening reception Aug. 14.
Cmdr. James Belmont, Senior Chief Intelligence Specialist Kevin Lohrke and Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jerry Wagner were selected by their peers to receive these awards for their distinctive leadership abilities.
“These awardees will be taken to Washington, D.C. where they will meet members of congress, senior staff and other civilian leadership,” said Rex Buffington, executive director of the Stennis Center for Public Service.
Belmont, who was presented the Straight Furrow award, was humbled to receive an award like this. “I’m thankful to my peers that selected me,” he said.
Lohrke, who was presented the Look Ahead award, said, “The thought of my peers selecting me for something like this is beyond my imagination. The people I work with helped earn this award for me.”
Wagner, who was presented the Constitution award, said, “I attribute my success to the people I work with. Without my department’s hard work and dedication, I couldn’t have earned this.”
The winning officer is selected by other officers to receive the Straight Furrow award. The winning chief petty officer and 1st class petty officer are selected by the chief petty officers to be awarded the Look Ahead and Constitution awards. The Stennis Center named the Straight Furrow and Look Ahead award after mottos by former Senator John C. Stennis.
“The Stennis Center believes that no government, regardless of its history and structure, can be better than the people who make it work,” said Buffington. “That is why our focus is on people over policy. We are confident that if we can get the best possible people in public service leadership, we will also get good policy.”
The Stennis Center is a federal, legislative branch agency created by Congress in 1988 to promote and strengthen public service leadership in America.
Stennis is currently undergoing a Docking Planned Incremental Availability maintenance period at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.
For more news from USS John C. Stennis visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil and http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Stennis Sailors Hit a Homerun at Safeco Field

•August 9, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Christopher Frost

BREMERTON, Wash. – More than 500 Sailors from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) celebrated Stennis Day at Safeco Field Aug. 7.

Stennis Day, a Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) event, was organized to honor Sailors and their family members for both their service and mutual sacrifice.

“This was a great opportunity for our Sailors to come out, be appreciated by the community and have fun at a command sponsored event,” said Stennis’ MWR director, or funboss, Chris Cation. “This was our ninth [Stennis Day] and we were very happy to continue our participation.”

Capt. Kyle Higgins, Stennis’ executive officer, started the evening by throwing out the first pitch to Stennis’ Command Master Chief Trenton Schmidt.

“This was a great opportunity for Sailors and their families to relax outside of the work environment, strengthen friendships and nurture our relationship with the community,” said Schmidt. “ It was a great night, a great event and I look forward to more in the future.”

Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Brett Cale enjoyed the game and said he could feel the crowd’s support.

“They really appreciate what we do,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Brett Cale. “Most people only see our ship, but this was an opportunity to meet the crew and [they] showed their appreciation.”

Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 3rd Class Jerry Iwan said he was honored by the support from the crowd and the Mariners organization.

“We’re a small group in the pacific northwest,” said Iwan, “so to be honored like this is significant for us.”

Stennis is currently undergoing a Docking Planned Incremental Availability maintenance period at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.

For more news from USS John C. Stennis visit www.stennis.navy.mil and www.facebook.com/stennis 74.

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Stennis JEA Raises Cancer Awareness

•August 3, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Andre T. Richard

BREMERTON, Wash. – The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Junior Enlisted Association (JEA) held an event to help raise awareness for childhood cancer July 25.

The event, held in support of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), has raised more than $80 million since Alexandra Scott died from cancer at the age of 8, and has funded 450 cancer research projects at 102 hospitals in the U.S. and Canada.

“The foundation started when she [Alexandra] started a lemonade stand to help her parents cover operation costs,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 3rd Class, and JEA president, Chelsea Dell, from Altoona, Pa. “When Alex passed away her parents kept the lemonade stand going.”

Along with a lemonade stand, the event featured basketball, a bounce castle, potato sack races, egg relay races and field bowling for kids.

“We had approximately 60 people attend the event,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuel) 3rd Class, and JEA vice president, Jonte Johnson, from Miami. “Getting involved in the community shows civilians we are more than just Sailors.”

According to Dell, more than 20 Stennis Sailors volunteered for the event.

“This was one of the biggest events we have held all year,” said Dell. “We raised more than $200 and we couldn’t have done it without the hard work from the volunteers.”

For more information about the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation visit www.alexslemonade.org.

For more news from Stennis visit www.stennis.navy.mil or www.facebook.com/stennis74.

 
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