Story by John C. Stennis Public Affairs

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) pulled into Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 2, to participate in National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day events in Hawaii.

John C. Stennis got underway from Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, Washington, on Nov. 22 to conduct routine training.

Dec. 7, 2016 will mark the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and Oahu, which precipitated the United States’ entry into World War II.

The theme of this year’s commemoration, “Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future,” is highlighted through events that have already begun and will continue through Dec. 11. These include remembrance events, concerts and performances by military and civilian groups, themed movies on the beach, events for World War II and Pearl Harbor survivors and veterans, educational opportunities and the Honolulu Marathon.

The commemoration planning is led by the 75th Commemoration Committee, in partnership with the U.S. military, other government agencies, nonprofit organizations and business partners.

Prior to arriving in Hawaii and after its departure, John C. Stennis conducted at-sea training to maintain and build technical and operational proficiency. Ongoing training is essential in ensuring U.S. warships remain capable, adaptive and able to carry out an array of missions around the world. Scheduled operations and training while underway included damage control and firefighting drills, carrier qualifications, flight deck operations, seamanship evolutions, engineering training, and exercises designed to maintain technical and tactical proficiency in a variety of warfare areas.

For more news on John C. Stennis, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

For more information on commemorative events, visit https://pearlharbor75thanniversary.com/full-schedule-of-events/.

Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang

PACIFIC OCEAN – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Sailors were frocked during a ceremony held in the ship’s hangar bay while underway, Nov. 30.

Capt. Greg Huffman, John C. Stennis’ commanding officer, congratulated each of the 247 Sailors with a handshake while presenting them with their frocking letter in front of the gathered crew.

“It’s awesome seeing so many people who got frocked,” said newly frocked Petty Officer 2nd Class Shelbie Bergeron, from Easthampton, Massachusetts.

Frocking is a naval tradition authorizing Sailors selected for advancement in the most recent Navy-wide advancement exam to wear the uniform and assume the responsibilities of the next higher rank prior to their official promotion date.

“Putting on the crows, I know it’s going to be a lot more responsibility,” said newly frocked Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Zubia, from Phoenix. “It’s a different mindset I’ve got to get into and I think I’m ready for it.”

Bergeron emphasized the importance of studying and perseverance as a key to her success this advancement cycle.

“At least a couple weeks before the exam I had been studying 5-6 hours a day,” said Bergeron. “Just study, keep working hard and don’t get discouraged. This was my fifth time taking the exam and I finally made it.”

After the ceremony, the newly frocked petty officers returned to their departments and divisions, ready to assume new responsibilities befitting the higher rank.

For more news from John C. Stennis, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by Seaman Andrew J. Lett

PACIFIC OCEAN – More than 100 Sailors participated in a 5K ‘Turkey Trot’ to celebrate Thanksgiving weekend on the flight deck of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Nov. 27.

James Howard, John C. Stennis’ fitness director, worked to make the Sunday after Thanksgiving fun for the Sailors while they are away from their families.

“The ‘Turkey Trot’ was something we wanted to do to put the Sailor’s minds at ease while they are underway during the holidays,” said Howard. “How many people can say they ran a 5k on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier?”

Despite an initial wind delay, the run was a successful event that many said they would like to do again. Sailors started near the superstructure and ran 10 laps around the forward portion of the flight deck.

“It was kind of a spontaneous thing for me,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Tiffany Shouder, from Orlando, Florida. “For me, to come out and finish the [run] is something I’m proud of.”

After running off their Thanksgiving feast calories, the participants received a T-shirt to commemorate the event.

“It’s always good to get outside the ship, even if it’s just for a couple hours,” said Howard. “It’s important to stay fit and it’s my job to find fun ways for Sailors to work on their fitness.”

Howard is looking forward to putting on more events for Sailors in the near future.

For more news on John C. Stennis visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang

PACIFIC OCEAN – After a whistle blow pierced the air, rubber sports balls sailed overhead as Sailors from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) participated in a dodgeball tournament in its hangar bay, Nov. 27.

Thirty-one teams of 10 Sailors each competed in the tournament, representing different departments around the ship.

The winners of the tournament were Sailors from weapons department G-1 division.

G-1 was victorious in all five of their matches, coming out on top in a showdown against the team from the ship’s media department in the finals.

“It feels great,” said Seaman Michael Fort, from Chicago, a member of team G-1. “We did it as a team, we worked together.”

While the goal for the players was victory, James Howard, John C. Stennis’ fitness director and event organizer, had a different aim altogether.

“We wanted to help build morale for the crew for this underway,” said Howard. “Its tough to be separated from our families. The dodgeball tournament was something we tried to put on to give the crew a little bit of relief and camaraderie during the underway.”

The crowds roared as victors emerged from each match and players congratulated their former competitors on a good game. Howard said that due to the event’s positive reception, he is already planning a second tournament.

For more news from John C. Stennis, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang

PACIFIC OCEAN – When USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) got underway from Naval Base Kitsap – Bremerton, Nov. 22, the legal department had four extra personnel, judge advocates from shore commands.

The four officers, one from Navy Region Legal Service Office Northwest and three from Navy Region Legal Service Office Hawaii, are joining John C. Stennis to see firsthand how the Navy operates at sea and assist with providing legal services to John C. Stennis Sailors.

“Sometimes in the JAG community, we can get a little bit isolated,” said Lt. John Doyle, a military prosecutor at Navy Region Legal Service Office Northwest, from Western Springs, Illinois. “A lot of JAGs work in region legal service offices or defense service offices where they work with a lot of other JAGs … but it’s also important to get out to the fleet to see what the rest of the Navy is up to.”

While on board, the visiting JAGs will be available to provide legal services the ship’s legal department is unable to due to potential conflicts of interest.

“Lawyers have an ethical obligation not to represent two clients who might have a conflict of interest,” said Lt. Annie Preis, John C. Stennis’ deputy command JAG, from Los Angeles. “Because our job is to advise [the command], we often cannot advise Sailors on certain issues … I wish that I could help every person who came to our door, so it’s nice to be able to actually direct them to someone on board.”

The visiting JAGs will be able to advise Sailors on will writing, handling debt and other personal legal matters.

“The kinds of services are really about making sure that you can have your things squared away at home … so that when you’re out here doing your job, you don’t have to worry about that kind of stuff,” said Doyle.

For more news from John C. Stennis, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN – Sailors assigned to USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) celebrated Thanksgiving Day with feasts and festivities in the ship’s hangar bay and on its mess decks, Nov. 24.

Sailors began their festivities with a 9:30 a.m., special Thanksgiving Day blessing from Lt. Cmdr. Tavis Long, a Navy chaplain, over the 1MC, with the beginning of holiday food service just 30 minutes later.

Sailors watched football on a big screen in the hangar bay as the ship held a daylong tailgating event including snacks, games and contests.

“I think everybody should have a pretty good time with everything we are doing out here for this wonderful holiday,” said Chris Cation, John C. Stennis’ Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) director, from Union, Washington.

Sailors also raced to see who could finish a pie the fastest during halftime of the Vikings and Lions football game and competed in a field goal kicking competition.

“It was a great morale booster,” said Seaman Brian Wright, from air department, from Baltimore, a contestant of the field goal competition. “It got [the crew] together and let us socialize in a different way.”

Later in the afternoon, Sailors made their way below decks to find a mess decks decorated with paper turkeys and a holiday meal waiting to be served. The menu featured baked spiral ham, oven-roasted turkey with gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing and dressing, mashed and scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, soup and salad bar, pies, cookies, ice cream, sparkling cider and eggnog. The event included guest servers, with the ship’s commanding officer, executive officer, command master chief, wardroom and Chiefs Mess all taking turns on the serving line.

“I do feel like it is Thanksgiving. MWR [Morale, Welfare and Recreation] and supply did a really great job to help boost the morale,” said Ensign Jessica Lee Harrison, from Claremore, Oklahoma, John C. Stennis’ disbursing officer. This was her first shipboard Thanksgiving. “They are really trying to help make the distance from family and friends more manageable. We are a family here too though, so we are celebrating here together while our loved ones wait for us back home.”

The four-hour Thanksgiving dinner service was the culmination of months of planning and numerous hours of preparation. According to Chief Warrant Officer Robert Compton, John C. Stennis’ food service officer, approximately 120 food service and volunteer personnel worked to help make the meal service periods successful.

“Today is about giving thanks, not only for our ancestors’ arrival in this country, but for our family, friends and shipmates,” said Compton. “Although we are away from home, out here doing the job of defending our country and fulfilling our mission, we have a lot to be thankful for today as a crew.”

While food service activities concluded by 6 p.m., the conversations, football games and activities continued well into the evening in common areas and work centers around the ship.

“Although this is different from home, it feels like Thanksgiving to me,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Arthur Macapagal, from San Diego. “There is football, good food and I’ve got my [Navy] family here.”

For more news from John C. Stennis, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by John C. Stennis Public Affairs

PUGET SOUND, Washington – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) got underway from Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, Washington, on Nov. 22 to conduct routine training and participate in National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day events in Hawaii.

Dec. 7, 2016 will mark the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which precipitated the United States’ entrance into World War II.

This year’s commemoration’s focus, “Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future,” is highlighted through events that have already begun and will continue through Dec. 11. These include remembrance events, concerts and performances by military and civilian groups, themed movies on the beach, events for World War II and Pearl Harbor survivors and veterans, educational opportunities and the Honolulu Marathon.

The commemoration planning has been led by the 75th Commemoration Committee, in partnership with the U.S. military, other government agencies, nonprofit organizations and business partners.

Prior to arriving in Hawaii and after its departure, John C. Stennis will conduct at-sea training to maintain and build technical and operational proficiency. Ongoing training is essential in ensuring U.S. warships remain capable, adaptive and able to carry out an array of missions around the world. Scheduled operations and training while underway include damage control and firefighting drills, flight operations, seamanship evolutions, engineering training, and exercises designed to maintain technical and tactical proficiency in a variety of warfare areas.

John C. Stennis returned to their homeport of Bremerton, Washington, Aug. 14, following a regularly scheduled seven-month deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific. During the 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 26 participating nations, 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel.

For more news on John C. Stennis visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

For more information on commemorative events, visit https://pearlharbor75thanniversary.com/full-schedule-of-events/

Story by Seaman Oscar Quezada

BREMERTON, Washington – Sailors aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) completed a maintenance availability period at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, Nov. 18.

A maintenance availability is an in port period, during which Sailors, civilian employees and contractors perform repairs and maintenance that cannot be done while the ship is at sea.

The availability began after John C. Stennis returned from Unit Level Training Assessment-Sustainment in the Pacific Ocean in early October. This was the second maintenance period the ship carried out since returning from a successful seven-month deployment in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

“We are getting ready for PIA, a planned incremental availability,” said Lt. Cmdr. Brent Miller, from Grand Island, Nebraska. “The last [maintenance period] was very small and this time we did two-to-three times as much work.”

PIA is a more extensive, longer maintenance availability that John C. Stennis will carry out at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) in 2017.

According to Miller, the key to John C. Stennis’ timely completion was teamwork.

“While working with our PSNS contractor teams, it felt as if we were really one team,” said Miller.

John C. Stennis Sailors, along with PSNS workers and contractors, performed extensive shipboard maintenance including: laying down nonskid on the flight deck, repairing and replacing nine airtight and watertight doors and performing assessments on all four aircraft elevators.

Miller said there were two general purposes for this maintenance availability: to fix what ever needed to be fixed before the ship returns to sea, and getting a head start on some PIA maintenance.

For more news from John C. Stennis, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by Seaman Oscar Quezada

BREMERTON, Washington – The Washington State Military Transition Council (WSMTC) conducted their quarterly meeting aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Nov. 16.

WSMTC creates partnerships between private and public organizations that help service members successfully transition from their military career into civilian employment and career opportunities in Washington.

“The purpose behind this visit is to help. service members effectively integrate back into the civilian work force as they transition from the military,” said Paul Cruz, the project manager for WSMTC, from Barrigada, Guam. “The intent is to make [the transition] seamless and easier and ensure that the military families are taken care of as soon as they exit the military.”

WSMTC has several educational and occupational programs in place for service members upon completion of their military service.

“The transition council is a partnership [and] we partner with about every industry in this state,” said Cruz. “We combine our efforts to ensure that the programs that are available are prevalent to the service members so they know it exists.”

WSMTC works out of Washington Department of Veterans Affairs’ central office in Olympia and was created by a governor’s executive order. Meetings at other military facilities in the region help WSMTC members get information about a variety of service member needs.

“This is an opportunity to meet our Navy partners and understand what their needs are to better service the veterans as they leave the Navy,” said Cruz. “We really try to expand our reach and really help service the navy and meet their needs and assist them in the navy transitioning program.”

For more news from John C. Stennis, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang

BREMERTON, Washington – Four Sailors received Sailor of the Year awards during an all hands call in USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) hangar bay, Nov. 7.

Petty Officer 1st Class Luis Diaz received the Senior Sailor of the Year, Petty Officer 2nd Class Demetrius Souza received Sailor of the Year, Petty Officer 3rd Class Kenneth Patrick, received Junior Sailor of the Year and Seaman Jamal Gay received Blue Jacket of the Year.

“I was ecstatic that all my hard work finally paid off,” said Gay, who works in John C. Stennis’ aircraft intermediate maintenance department, from Woodbridge, New Jersey. “My chain of command noticed it.”

The Sailors were chosen through a rigorous screening process that looked at each Sailor’s performance during the last fiscal year.

Sailors are judged on a number of criteria including involvement in the command and the community, their job performance, awards received, warfare qualifications earned and college courses taken.

“There were some pretty squared away Sailors I was competing against,” said Patrick, an aviation medical technician, from Clinton, Maryland. “I was happy just to be considered.”

The chain of command at the department level chooses Sailors from their department, taking into consideration all of their accomplishments. The selected Sailors from each department then compete at command level and stand before a panel of senior leadership, who look for confident responses and military bearing.

“Being selected for Senior Sailor of the Year is a very humbling feeling,” said Diaz, John C. Stennis’ command career counselor, from Victorville, California. “You have this panel of senior leadership that are reviewing what you’ve done this past year and to make the determination: ‘Yes, this is the Sailor that best represents us.'”

The awardees work in different areas of the ship but they all have one thing in common. They went above and beyond what is required of them, participating in community service events and taking an active role in command organizations.

“Everyone that thinks hard work goes unnoticed,” said Souza, the air department yeoman, from Tampa, Florida. “This shows my junior sailors, just work hard and someone will notice the fruits of your labor.”

For more news from John C. Stennis, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

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