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.

Chaplains Bless Spaces Aboard Stennis

•July 3, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Destiny Cheek

BREMERTON, Wash. -The Command Religious Ministries Department (CRMD) aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) held a blessing of the ship’s chapel ceremony, July 2.

The ceremony began with each of the ship’s three chaplains saying a prayer and using holy water to cleanse the chapel.

“When you move into a new house or a new area, it is a common religious practice for people to bless the space by giving it to their God or whoever they worship to reclaim the space as a place for replenishing the soul and spirit,” said Cmdr. Michael Williams, Stennis command chaplain, from Kodiak, Alaska.

They also discussed CRMD’s role in Stennis’ mission and why what they do as a department is essential.

“We [CRMD] are important because we give hope and direction to Sailors in their time of need,” said Chief Religious Programs Specialist Paul Drachenberg, from Rosenburg, Texas. “We provide ministry to Sailors by utilizing training, mentoring and encouragement.”

The ceremony ended with a closing prayer and speech by Cmdr. Williams that encouraged the department to stay focused on the task at hand and always provide ministry and resources to Sailors and their families. Although this service is not a tradition, CRMD hopes to continue this blessing in the future.

Stennis is currently undergoing a Docking Planned Incremental Availability (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 or http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Home Sweet Home

•June 26, 2014 • Leave a Comment

BREMERTON, Wash. – Sailors are scheduled to move back aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) June 27, as the ship nears the end of its Docking Planned Incremental Availability.

Sailors refurbished berthings and restored service steam so they can live on the ship during the final stage of its maintenance period at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.

“For the past year we completed a lot of work in a short amount of time,” said leading petty officer of the habitability team Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class Daniel Byrnes, from Long Beach, Calif. “We replaced 1,586 racks in 26 compartments and removed more than 35,000 square feet of tile.”

The racks and tile are being replaced because they have reached the end of their life cycle. The new racks installed now have hydraulic supports that allow Sailors to open them with ease.

“Sailors will be living here,” said Byrnes. “We want to give them the best possible berthings to make their time on the ship more enjoyable.” In addition to the refurbished berthings, the ship’s service steam will also be reactivated allowing Sailors access to hot water to cook and clean.

“Steam is vital to power the ship, cook food, wash clothing and clean,” said Machinist Mate 1st Class Roger Enriquez, from Harmon, Guam. “We put a lot of work into fixing leaks and repairing water heaters to make sure the system runs safely.”

Even though Sailors may be assigned different jobs around the ship, they are all working toward the same goal: getting Stennis out of the shipyard and back to the fleet.

“What we do is difficult, but necessary,” said habitability team member Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman Jenna Burwell, from Wenatchee, Wash. “It’s great to see the end result of our work.”

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

Stennis Sailors Learn About Career Waypoints

•June 26, 2014 • Leave a Comment

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Erin Hamilton

BREMERTON, Wash. – A brief was held aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) to educate Sailors about Career Waypoints (C-WAY) June 19.

C-WAY is a program designed to assist Sailors in their decision to either continue serving on active duty, join the selected reserves or separate from the Navy.

“With the [C-WAY] program, more Sailors are taking charge of their future,” said Chief Navy Counselor Rex Parmelee, Stennis’ career counselor, from Nicholasville, Ky. “Sailors need to know their options and be able to make the right decision when this milestone is approaching.”

C-WAY differs from perform to serve in that it provides a faster response
and returns reenlistment power back to the commanding officer.

“The updated program gives Sailors more opportunities and choices to continue serving if they choose to,” said Navy Counselor First Class Petty Officer Preston Rogers, from Odessa, Texas. “However, they still need to indicate their intention with their career counselor to either reenlist or separate.”

“We tell Sailors they own 51 percent of their career,” said Parmelee. “It’s important and rewarding for us as leaders to provide the other 49 percent, so Sailors can make an informed decision .”

For more news about Career Waypoints, visit http://www.npc.navy.mil.

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

Bremerton Sailors Commemorate the Battle of Midway

•June 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Patrick Enright

BREMERTON, Wash. – Active duty Sailors and veterans joined local community leaders to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the Battle of Midway at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, June 4.

“Today we honor the courage of those who served during this battle and the battles that followed,” said Capt. Michael Wettlaufer, commanding officer of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and the guest speaker at the ceremony. “This battle was won by the brave men and women who stood in the face of uncertain odds and persevered as a team.”

The ceremony featured two local World War II Navy veterans, James Bowen, from Bremerton, Wash., and Eric Kegley, from Silverdale, Wash.

“I am honored to be in the presence of veterans who gave so much,” said Capt. Thomas Zwolfer, commanding officer of Naval Base Kitsap, who hosted the event. “They freely sacrificed so that we all could lead lives of promise, potential and opportunity.”

After the ceremony, Bremerton Mayor Patti Lent commented on the battle’s significance to the Kitsap community noting that several ships from the Battle of Midway, including heavy cruiser USS Astoria (CA-34) and destroyer USS Worden (DD 352), were built in Bremerton.

“This memorial is of great importance to the community because this shipyard [Puget Sound Naval Shipyards and Intermediate Maintenance Facility] played such an important part in repairing and building the ships involved in the war,” said Lent.

In honor of those lost in the battle, Bowen and Kegley joined Stennis’ Sailor of the Year, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuel) 1st Class Anthony Johnson, from Lubbock, Texas and USS Seawolf (SSN-21) SOY Electronics Technician 1st Class Jonathan Panciera, from Fredrick, Md., to lay a wreath on the waters of the Sinclair Inlet.

“Watching the wreath drop and reflecting on the Sailors who came before me brought the event into perspective,” said Johnson. “I’m humbled to have the opportunity to pay respect to those who paved the way for us today.”

The Battle of Midway occurred June 4, 1942, only six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, when Admiral Chester W. Nimitz ordered a surprise attack on the Imperial Japanese Navy near Midway atoll. By the time the battle ended on June 7, four enemy carriers were sunk and more than 300 enemy aircraft had been destroyed, ultimately crippling the Japanese fleet and tilting the balance of power in the Pacific to the U.S. for the remainder of World War II.

For more news from Navy Region Northwest, visit
http://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrnw.html or http://www.facebook.com/CNRNW. For more news from USS John C. Stennis visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

 
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