Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Oscar Quezada

BREMERTON, Washington – Rear Adm. Jonathan A. Yuen, commander, Naval Supply System Command/Chief of Supply Corps visited USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and spoke to supply department’s Sailors in the Chiefs Mess, Sept. 22.

Yuen presented coins to seven Sailors from John C. Stennis and USS Nimitz (CVN 68) for superior performance seen by their respective chain of commands.

“It’s pretty epic having a two-star come here to give us a coin, that doesn’t happen too often,” said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class James Davis, a John C. Stennis Sailor from Chattanooga, Tennessee.

John C. Stennis and Nimitz are both homeported in Bremerton, Washington, making it easy for Sailors from both ships to be recognized at one event.

“I didn’t really expect to get this opportunity,” said Logistics Specialist 1st Class Edward Yale, from Houston, the contracting officer from Nimitz. “I think the reason I earned the coin was by helping Nimitz save over 2.2 million dollars. It’s always good to find extra money that could go for more materials, more damage control equipment and more things needed around the ship.”

During the ceremony, Yuen answered questions from supply chief petty officers from both ships, ranging from budgets to information about the Ship’s Serviceman (SH) rate.

Yuen also spoke about building the SH rating and the successes it has had in the retention of Sailors.
The ceremony ended with Yuen thanking everyone for having him and telling all the Sailors to continue the fight and to continue striving for moral excellence.

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Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang

BREMERTON, Washington – Twenty-one new chief petty officers (CPO) were pinned during a ceremony aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Sept. 16.

The ceremony concluded CPO-365 Phase Two, a training period that began following the announcement of the CPO advancement results, Aug 3.

“[CPO 365] is a learning process,” said Senior Chief Quarter Master Henry Nicol, from Hemet, California. “There’s a lot of training on how to be a chief … on being humble and being a leader.”
Rear Adm. Marcus Hitchcock, commander, John C. Stennis Strike Group, spoke at the ceremony, congratulating the new chiefs and welcoming them into their new roles.

“These young men and women have been promoted to this rank because of their expertise. They’ve also been promoted because of their significant leadership capability and as they join the Chiefs Mess, they become a part of the backbone of the United States Navy,” said Hitchcock. “I look forward to watching you take on your new rank and especially watching you take on your new duties and responsibilities as a United States Navy chief.”

During the ceremony, family and friends of the new chiefs pinned gold-fouled anchors, the rank insignia of CPOs, on their uniforms and their sponsors during CPO-365 Phase Two placed chief combination covers on their heads.

“It’s something you only do once so it’s something that you’ll never forget,” said Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Robert Hodor, from Lillington, North Carolina. “I’m excited for what the future holds.”

The new chiefs aboard John C. Stennis are Chief Hospital Corpsman Elizabeth Barraza, Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Brandon Flynn, Chief Machinist’s Mate Michael Fogle, Chief Machinist’s Mate Patrick Heinig, Chief Machinist’s Mate Douglas Herold, Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Randy Hicks, Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Robert Hodor, Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Scott Howard, Chief Culinary Specialist Richard Jacobs, Chief Machinist’s Mate William McKinley, Chief Machinist’s Mate Luke Myers, Chief Machinist’s Mate James Phelps, Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuels) Alastaire Randle, Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Korinne Reese, Chief Electronics Technician Tyler Sabo, Chief Cryptologic Technician (Technical) James Scott, Chief Operations Specialist Sean Shenefelt, Chief Master-at-Arms Eldis Vazquezflores, Chief Machinist’s Mate Brandon Wheeler, Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Alexanna Williams and Chief Logistics Specialist Nicholas Winkler.

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Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jake Greenberg

BREMERTON, Washington – USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) Chiefs Mess hosted a Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony in Bremerton’s Evergreen Park, to mark the 15th anniversary of the
terrorist attacks that took place in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Chief (Select) Hospital Corpsman Elizabeth Barraza, from Las Cruces, New Mexico, read a timeline of the events that transpired while Chief (Select) Machinist’s Mate Michael Fogle, from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, rang a ceremonial bell for each event and the national ensign was lowered to half-mast.

“The last thing I saw as I was leaving for college in Florida was the twin towers,” said Chief (Select) Machinist’s Mate Doug Herold, the event’s master of ceremonies, from Seaford, New York, who left one week prior to the Sept. 11 attacks in New York City. “I was born and raised 20 minutes outside of the city, and to be a part of this event today helps me feel more connected to home.”

The ceremony, like the events of 9-11 affected everyone it touched.

“Every [service member] here today volunteered to join the military, sacrificing some of their own freedoms to defend this country to make sure attacks like those on Sept. 11 never happen again” said Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic Emmanuel Ponferrada, from Lathrop, California.

Ponferrada said he is glad that this memorial site is maintained so well because he cherishes this country’s history.

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 239 President Dennis Bringham, an Army veteran, said he takes pride in how well they take care of the memorial site and noted that combat veterans aren’t the only ones who make sacrifices for our country.

“These steel beams stand for the hundreds of firefighters and police officers who signed up to protect the public, but gave the ultimate sacrifice,” said Bringham.

Over 1,500 organizations around the country, like park services and VFWs, have steel girders from the World Trade Center that are used as memorials.

The event concluded with closing remarks from Herold, who reiterated the ceremony’s theme of remembrance.

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Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Aime Lykins

BREMERTON, Washington – USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) food service division is preparing to implement the Department of Defense’s (DoD) ‘Go for Green’ healthy dining program in its galleys before October 1.

‘Go for Green’ is an evidence-based nutrition program designed to improve overall readiness and performance by encouraging service members to make well-informed dietary decisions while eating in DoD dining facilities.

“This will benefit [John C.] Stennis Sailors because they will understand what things they should be eating often, occasionally and rarely,” said Chief Warrant Officer Robert Compton, John C. Stennis’ food service officer.

Using a familiar traffic light color-labeling system, the program uses color-coded cards and food placement on the serving line to help patrons identify the most nutrient-rich foods and beverages.

Each item on the serving line will feature new label cards, which are green, yellow and red, with sodium content labeled as low, moderate or high, and a consumption recommendation indicating whether diners should eat the item often, occasionally or rarely.

‘Go for Green’ also uses food placement strategies as a means of encouraging patrons to choose options in the green-coded category. Green-coded foods will be presented first and in a more prominent location on the serving lines to increase the likelihood that diners will select them.

Compton stated the ‘Go for Green’ program would replace the current practice of providing calorie count information on each menu item with an overall snapshot of the nutrient density of a menu item to help patrons make the best choice for their dietary and weight management needs.

“It’s really all about eating healthy,” said Culinary Specialist 1st Class Esmeralda Bajit, from Mililani, Hawaii. “Some people really look at the nutrition, so I think for them it will be helpful.”

Both Compton and Bajit said they hoped this program would help John C. Stennis Sailors make informed mealtime decisions while on the ship, and educate them to make healthier choices while shopping in the commissary and dining in their off-duty time

For more information about the ‘Go for Green’, programs and guidelines visit

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Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Aime Lykins

BREMERTON, Washington – More than 25 members of USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) Mustang Association conducted an Adopt-A-Highway cleanup and sign dedication, Aug. 29.

The cleanup served a dual purpose as both a community service event and a tribute to late shipmate, Erik M. Sweet, a member of John C. Stennis’ mustang community, officers who were prior enlisted, and former maintenance material manager.

“Most of us knew Erik,” said Cmdr. Robert Burgess, vice president of the Mustang Association, from Romulus, Michigan. “When I came in as the vice president … I had an idea to do something that would memorialize Erik but also service the community and get our name out there since we have been gone so much during the past year.”

Burgess coordinated the adoption of a 3-mile stretch of Kitsap County roadway alongside Lt. Joshua William Bunte, John C. Stennis’ maintenance material management officer.

“Cmdr. Burgess came up with the idea but we both ran with it,” said Bunte. “We reached out to Kitsap County and said we were interested in doing [the] Adopt-A-Highway program.”

After more than an hour of cleaning the roadside, the group of Sailors gathered around the newly planted signpost commemorating Erik and declaring John C. Stennis’ mustang association as the keepers of the roadway.

“Erik loved being a [limited duty officer (LDO)],” said Seymour. “He was exuberant and full of life. He was the type of LDO that loved the Navy, helping people, mentoring and making people feel important.”

The beautification was the first of the bi-annual Adopt-A-Highway cleanups the mustang association is slated to hold.

John C. Stennis is conducting a routine maintenance availability following a deployment to U.S. 7th and 3rd Fleet areas of operation.

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Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang

PACIFIC OCEAN – More than 3,000 Sailors aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) returned to their homeport of Bremerton, Washington, following a regularly scheduled seven-month deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific, Aug 14.

John C. Stennis departed for deployment from Bremerton Jan. 15, and operated in both U.S. 3rd and U.S. 7th Fleet areas of operation, including more than 60 days in the South China Sea.

“The crew of John C. Stennis should be proud of what they’ve accomplished this deployment and their families should be proud of them, just as I am,” said Capt. Greg Huffman, John C. Stennis’ command officer. “They carried out difficult and demanding missions far from home, and carried them out with exceptional professionalism in the finest tradition of naval service. They are a magnificent crew.”

During deployment, John C. Stennis worked together with allied nations, participating in multinational exercises including Foal Eagle with the Republic of Korea military, Malabar with the Indian Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, and RIMPAC, the world’s largest international maritime exercise, with twenty-six participating nations, 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel.

John C. Stennis also conducted dual carrier operations with USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), during which both aircraft carriers performed coordinated flight operations.

John C. Stennis made port calls to Guam, South Korea, Singapore, Philippines and Hawaii. Sailors had the opportunity to experience local cultures on their own or through Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) tours.

“I wanted to take a tour and see something I would never have normally seen,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Airman Elisabet Laboymendez, from San Jaun, Puerto Rico. Laboymendez took an MWR sponsored tour of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines.

Sailors also volunteered their time to take part in community service projects, working in schools, serving in soup kitchens and participating in environmental beautification projects.

Over the course of deployment, John C. Stennis Sailors performed over 8,500 launches and recoveries of aircraft, conducted 30 replenishments at sea and received approximately 13 million gallons of fuel. The crew also hosted 580 distinguished visitors including the Vice President of the United States Joe Biden, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson.

“You have had an incredible cruise,” said Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, commander, 3rd Fleet, speaking over the 1MC as the ship pulled into San Diego. “You have done an incredible job throughout the deployment and workups and I could not be more proud of you. Your professionalism, your dedication has been evident at every turn.”

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Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Oscar Quezada

PACIFIC OCEAN – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) departed from San Diego with approximately 400 family and friends for a second Tiger Cruise, Aug. 11.

A tiger cruise allows the family and friends of Sailors, or tigers, to experience life on a Navy aircraft carrier, and to better understand how their Sailors live and work at sea.

John C. Stennis completed its first Tiger Cruise Aug. 10, bringing 1,100 tigers from Pearl Harbor to San Diego, Aug. 10.

During the cruise, tigers will take tours of the ship, see damage control static displays, tours of John C. Stennis’ medical, dental and weapons departments, have basketball, dodge ball and videogame tournaments, a .50 cal machine gun demonstration and an ice cream social.

Chief Yeoman Kristin Zimmer, from Crystal River, Florida, brought her father aboard as a tiger. Zimmer’s father, David Van Oosterwyk, from Port Charolette, Florida, is a Vietnam Veteran, walked aboard an aircraft carrier for the first time during this cruise.

“I thought this was going to be my last deployment,” said Zimmer. “My dad has never [been on an aircraft carrier] before and he’s a veteran, so I thought this would be a really great opportunity for him to experience what carrier life is like.”

Even though the events and number of tigers is different from the first tiger cruise, John C. Stennis is planning on making the second cruise just as successful.

“I loved it,” said Michael Preston, father of Damage Control Fireman Michael Preston, from Angel’s Camp, California, and participant of the first cruise. “When it comes to it, they really are American heroes. I’m really proud of them.”

Having the tigers aboard was not only a new experience for the tigers but a welcomed change of pace for the Sailors as well.

“It was great hanging out with my dad and being able to show him what I do,” said Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Joshua Hungerford, from Bakersfield, California, who brought his father, Jim Hungerford.

Providing a combat-ready force to protect collective maritime interests, John C. Stennis is returning from a regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment.

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Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Aime Lykins

PACIFIC OCEAN – USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) Junior Enlisted Association (JEA) held a ‘Rock the Mic’ talent show in John C. Stennis’ hangar bay for family and friends of crew members during Tiger Cruise, Aug. 8.

John C. Stennis got underway from Pearl Harbor, Aug. 5, for Tiger Cruise, letting family and friends of Sailors, or tigers, experience life aboard a Navy aircraft carrier at sea.

A panel of three judges, consisting of two tigers and one member of the JEA, evaluated participants, who showcased their dance and musical stylings during an allotted two-minute window, as they competed for prizes provided by the JEA.

“This was a great experience because I love to perform and I love to play,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuel) Airman Austin Waldron, from Cross City, Florida. Waldron won first place by performing a stylized version of ‘Sunday Morning’ by Maroon 5 with accompanying guitar. “I play every day and it’s something that has helped me get through life.”

Sixteen contestants participated in the 90-minute showcase for a crowd in excess of 150 Sailors and Tigers as the ship steamed through the Pacific.

“I was happy to help the JEA set-up this showcase during Tiger Cruise,” said Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Arnel Angeles, from Riverside, California. “I thought it was important that people see and hear from the ship’s junior Sailors.”

The ‘Rock the Mic’ talent show represented just one of the many Tiger Cruise events, such as Damage Control Olympics, pie and watermelon eating contest, work center tours and hands-on static displays, during the ship’s designed to showcase the talents and jobs of John C. Stennis’ Sailors.

“I really appreciate the opportunity and it means a lot to me to show the rest of the crew and their families that there is a lot of talent on the boat,” said Waldron.

Providing a combat-ready force to protect collective maritime interests, John C. Stennis is on a regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment.

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By Lt. j.g. Emily Wilkin, John C. Stennis Strike Group Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (Aug. 10, 2016) More than 7,000 John C. Stennis Strike Group (JCSSG) Sailors returned to San Diego following a regularly scheduled seven-month deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region Aug 10.

JCSSG left for deployment on Jan 15 and operated in both U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility, including more than 60 days in the South China Sea.

Rear Adm. Marcus A. Hitchcock, commander, JCSSG, commended the Sailors on their recent deployment:

“I am proud of our Sailors and their dedication during the last seven months. They performed admirably, excelling in both complex exercises and the often demanding maritime environment. The success of our strike group was a team effort, the result of preparation, training and the truly exceptional Sailors who make up crews, squadrons and staffs. They demonstrated once again that the U.S. Navy can operate around the world, promoting maritime security alongside our international partners and friends.”

While underway, JCSSG worked alongside international partners, including exercises Balikatan, Komodo, Foal Eagle, Malabar and RIMPAC. International exercises provide units from different countries with opportunities to share their experience and improve their ability to work together in the maritime environment. JCSSG also conducted dual carrier operations with the Ronald Reagan Strike Group off the coast of Japan, during which both aircraft carriers worked in concert with one another, conducting coordinated flight operations.

Ships from JCSSG made port calls to Fiji, Guam, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore and South Korea. These port visits provided Sailors the opportunity to interact and experience the culture of the countries they visited. Many Sailors volunteer alongside local groups in community service projects, while others took part in organized tours provided through the ships’ Moral, Welfare and Recreation programs.

Strike group ships sailed over 66,000 nautical miles over the course of their time underway. Its aircraft flew over 19,000 hours, with fixed wing aircraft launching and landing from the aircraft carrier’s catapults and recovery gear more than 8,500 times.

JCSSG consists of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21, and Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53).

DESRON 21’s ships which deployed with the strike group include Arleigh Burk class guided-missile destroyers USS Stockdale (DDG 106), USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93), USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110).

CVW-9 consists of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71 and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14 both based in San Diego, California, Fleet Logistics Combat Support Squadron (VRC) 30, also from of San Diego, Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112 of Point Mugu, California, Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133 of Whidbey Island, Washington, and Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151, 97, 41 and 14 of Lemoore, California.

Chung-Hoon completed the first homecoming and remained at her homeport of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, following the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise Aug 4.

Aircrew from CVW 9 squadrons returned home Aug. 9, conducting a “flyoff” of aircraft from John C. Stennis. The remaining air wing personnel rode the ship to Naval Air Station North Island where they offloaded their equipment and the rest of their personnel.

John C. Stennis and JCSSG staff will return to their homeport of Bremerton, Washington, following the brief stop in San Diego.

DESRON 21 ships, Stockdale and William P. Lawrence, and Mobile Bay, the air and missile defense commander for JCSSG, will return to Naval Base San Diego Aug 11.

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Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Oscar Quezada

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM – Sailors aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) got the ship underway from Pearl Harbor with more than 1,100 friends and family members onboard for a Tiger Cruise, Aug. 5.

A tiger cruise allows friends and family members of Sailors to experience life on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, and to better understand how their Sailors live and work at sea.

“My dad really wanted to come and see everything,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman Apprentice Jason Langley, from Sacramento, California, who brought his father aboard.

The Langley family has had five generations of Sailors, with the exception of his father, Brian Langley. Brian wanted to come aboard to have some of the same experiences as other members of his family.

“It’s pretty crazy. It’s different from where I live and work,” said Brian Langley. “It’s neat though, especially from my point of view. It isn’t something I can see every day.”

Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) has been planning the cruise since the first day of John C. Stennis’ deployment in mid-January.

During the cruise, tigers will take tours of the ship, see an airshow by Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 and observe informational demonstrations set up by various shipboard departments. MWR is also providing live entertainment every night during the cruise.

“It’s an opportunity to see what the Navy does,” said Chris Cation, John C. Stennis’ MWR director, from Union, Washington. “As major of an asset as John C. Stennis is, [the tigers] get the opportunity to come aboard and see firsthand what they normally can only see on the news.”

Providing a combat-ready force to protect collective maritime interests, John C. Stennis is on a regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment.

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