Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Aime Lykins

PACIFIC OCEAN – The aromas of chili powder, garlic and fresh seafood wafted through the crowded aft mess decks of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) as the ship held its monthly ‘Stennis Iron Chef’ culinary competition, July 16.

Culinary specialists from the aft galley, forward galley, Chiefs Mess, wardroom 1 and 2, wardroom 3, flag mess and a special training team led by Senior Chief Culinary Specialist Edward Kulp, competed for recognition. Rear Adm. Marcus A. Hitchcock, commander, John C. Stennis Strike Group, Capt. Greg Huffman, John C. Stennis’ commanding officer, Capt. Kavon Hakimzadeh, John C. Stennis’ executive officer and Capt. Warren Sisson, commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, judged the carefully crafted entries from the seven teams.

The competition showcases the culinary artistry of John C. Stennis’ food service division by affording galley personnel a chance to prepare unique dishes. Judges scored the dishes based on presentation, color, taste, originality and cohesiveness of ingredients.

“It’s all about training,” said Kulp, from Slatington, Pennsylvania. “We get to come together as a culinary team and try something different. Not only is it for us, but it is also for the morale of the crew.”

After more than 90 minutes of sampling each pallet-pleasing plate, the panel of judges reached consensus and Chief Warrant Officer Robert Compton, John C. Stennis’ food service officer, declared wardroom 3 the winner as a crowd of more than 175 Sailors cheered and applauded.

“We made a shrimp tempura with chili-garlic sauce on top of a bed of lemon rice, topped off with a red pepper coulee,” said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Sterling, from Louisville, Kentucky. “Wardroom 3 has not won in a really long time, so it is a great feeling.”

In addition to bragging rights and a large silver trophy to display in their service area, each member of the winning team, referred to as “The Fantastic Four” by Compton, received a Morale, Welfare and Recreation credit to use aboard the ship and a 24-hour special liberty voucher.

The July cook-off marked the last of the competition series during the ship’s 2016 Western Pacific deployment, and furthermore, the winning team will present their dish at the closing reception of the 2016 Rim of the Pacific maritime exercise.

“It means the absolute world to me to win this,” said Culinary Specialist Seaman Midas Dawson, from Dallas. “Winning this means we are number one and will be serving our dish to people from 26 countries. This is just everything to me.”

John C. Stennis is currently participating in RIMPAC. Twenty-six nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 30 to Aug. 4, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea-lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

Providing a combat-ready force to protect collective maritime interests, John C. Stennis is on a regularly scheduled Western Pacific Deployment.
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 Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Oscar Quezada

PACIFIC OCEAN – Twenty-eight Sailors assigned to USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) were promoted through the Meritorious Advancement Program (MAP) during an all-hands call, July 11.

MAP allows command leaders to recognize and reward personnel for superior job performance with advancement to the next pay grade.

Three Sailors were promoted to petty officer first class, seven to petty officer second class and 18 to petty officer third class. The various chains of command throughout John C. Stennis nominated their Sailors who were screened through multiple levels.

“MAP is a tool that we have to help Sailors in ratings that are harder to advance in,” said Master Chief Engineman Robert Zantow, from Gillette, Wyoming, a MAP board member.

Board members looked at Sailors who participated in community relations, furthered their education, or did things expected of someone at a higher pay grade when considering who to advance.

“Do what you got to do, always be on time and have a squared away uniform,” said Ship’s Serviceman 2nd Class Steven Ivan Perez, from Killeen, Texas, one of the 28 Sailors who were advanced. “You have to get out there, get your collateral duties, get in touch with some sort of command association, do volunteer work. All those things … make you stand out compared to everyone else and show that you went above and beyond.”

The announcement surprised some of the Sailors at the all-hands call.

“I felt happy that my hard work finally paid off,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Carly Marcum, from Jacksonville, Florida. “When I found out, I didn’t know what to think. It was just too good for words.”

John C. Stennis is currently participating in the Rim of the Pacific maritime exercise. Twenty-six nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 30 to Aug. 4, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea-lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

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

For more news on John C. Stennis visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn74/ or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by Ensign Davis Anderson, USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs
PACIFIC OCEAN – Vice President Joe Biden visited the Sailors aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) July 14, while the ship and John C. Stennis Strike Group (JCSSG) were participating in the Rim of the Pacific maritime exercise.
The visit, which occurred just one day before the six-month mark of their current deployment, gave Biden an opportunity to thank the crew, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, and embarked Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21 and strike group staffs, for the work they have done operating in the the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations and specifically the South China Sea.
“I am humbled and I am honored to be here with you today,” said Biden. “On behalf of everyone back at home, ‘Thanks.'”
Biden added that the importance of JCSSG’s deployment could not be understated and that the Sailors had helped demonstrate everyone’s right to operate on the oceans of the world.
“Without us, the rest of the world would be in a very different place,” said Biden. “That’s what makes you so incredible, your devotion to duty.”
During his time aboard, Biden ate lunch with Sailors who hailed from his home state of Delaware.
“It was very humbling,” said Master-at-Arms 1st Class Jeffrey Davenport, from Seaford, Delaware. “We talked a lot about Delaware. I didn’t want to talk politics with him because he was here to have a good time and see the ship and the Sailors. What I took away was the realization that even though he is higher ranking, he is just a person, and relating to him on that level was very enlightening.”
Biden also watched flight operations during his stay and spoke with leaders from the ship and strike group.
“The Vice President’s visit highlights the importance of this strike group’s operations while deployed to the Western Pacific,” said Rear Adm. Marcus A. Hitchcock, JCSSG commander. “It was an honor to welcome him aboard while participating in the Rim of the Pacific exercise with so many partner navies.”
Twenty-six nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 30 to Aug. 4, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971.
CVW-9 consists of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71, Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112, Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133 and Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 14, 41, 97 and 151.
For more news from the John C. Stennis Strike Group visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or http://www.facebook.com/stennis 74.

Story by John C. Stennis Strike Group Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN – Named to honor President Theodore Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet, the Navy’s Great Green Fleet is ushering in a new era of energy innovation.
A centerpiece of this yearlong initiative is John C. Stennis Strike Group (JCSSG), which departed on a regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment in January and is scheduled to join the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise later this month.

Using alternative fuel sources, energy conservation measures (ECMs) and operational procedures, the strike group is transforming its energy use to become a more flexible fighting force.

“As a whole, these energy saving measures allow us to be on station longer and to do our job better,” said Cmdr. Walter C. Mainor, USS William P. Lawrence’s (DDG 110) commanding officer. “The Navy has been at the forefront of energy innovation [for generations]. From coal to steam to oil, this is just another measure that the Navy is taking on and leaning forward for energy innovation.”

The guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), and the guided-missile destroyers USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93), USS Stockdale (DDG 106) and William P. Lawrence are all operating in the Indo-Asia-Pacific using alternative fuel.
Stockdale became the first naval ship to use the fuel blend for regular operations when it departed for deployment from San Diego, Jan. 20. Mobile Bay and the other destroyers received the biofuel during replenishments-at-sea from Military Sealift Command (MSC) ships.

The alternative fuel is made from 10 percent beef tallow provided from farmers in the Midwest and 90 percent marine diesel, and is cost competitive with traditional fuels. It is used as a drop-in alternative, meaning no modifications to engines or operational procedures are required.

The U.S. Navy’s carrier fleet, including USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), has operated using only an alternative fuel source, nuclear energy, since 2009. Nuclear power eliminates large-volume storage requirements for fuel, increasing capacity for other consumables and improving sustainability.

By diversifying energy sources, the Navy increases the operational flexibility of its ships and strengthens their ability to provide presence.

There’s more to the Great Green Fleet than alternative fuel. JCSSG uses various ECMs including energy-efficient systems, and operational procedures to operate farther, stay on station longer and deliver more firepower.

Chung-Hoon’s crew implemented a temperature control initiative in May, adjusting the settings of thermostats, ensuring that they are in proper, working parameters, and finding and replacing faulty parts in the chill water cooling system.

“Chung-Hoon’s temperature control initiative is comprised of many small goals, and when they’re met, we’re hoping to reach our ultimate goal of being a more energy efficient warship,” said Cmdr. Vic Sheldon, Chung-Hoon’s executive officer.

Sailors replaced legacy lighting fixtures aboard all JCSSG ships with solid state lighting (SSL) lamps that use light emitting diodes (LEDs). The new bulbs are rated for 100,000 hours of service life, compared to the 100 hours of use of an incandescent bulb.

The cruisers and destroyers of the strike group all have stern flaps installed. These modify the flow of water under the ship’s hull to reduce drag and resistance. Mobile Bay has a fouling release hull coating, which makes it harder for barnacles and other organisms to attach to the hull. Both of these ECMs reduce resistance through the water thereby increasing fuel efficiency.

In March, William P. Lawrence separated from the strike group for its Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) tasking in the Western Pacific but continued practicing energy-efficient operational procedures as part of the Great Green Fleet.

“In conducting the OMSI mission, fuel conservation is an absolute must,” said Lt. Quinn Matt, William P. Lawrence’s chief engineer. “Due to the geography of the region and the tyranny of distance, logistical support is in short supply over large swathes of the Pacific. By adhering to our fuel conservation measures, we are able to meet all our mission requirements and prolong operational endurance.”

During OMSI tasking, William P. Lawrence burned an average of 20,159 gallons of fuel per day, 4.4 percent of its total fuel capacity and 40 percent less than its average fuel burn rate in 2015.

When operational tasking allowed, the strike group conducted trail shaft and drift operations, which are both operational procedures U.S. Navy ships use to conserve energy use. Trail shaft means driving a ship with one of two propellers while the other remains out of use with a pitch angle set to minimize drag. Drift operations are just what they sound like, drifting with ocean currents.

“We have a responsibility to protect our Navy’s resources, and doing so increases our combat readiness,” said Lt. Cmdr. Loren Nichols, from Aberdeen, South Dakota, JCSSG logistics officer. “It’s as simple as turning off the lights in an unmanned space when you leave, and as complex as operating our engineering plants with advanced fuels in the most efficient manner possible. It’s most importantly a team effort across the entire strike group.”

The Great Green Fleet is implementing alternative fuels, ECMs and operational procedures with one goal in mind: instilling a culture of energy efficiency and flexibility throughout the fleet for the future.
“This is about more than just saving gas,” said Nichols, “The Great Green Fleet is a mindset change across the board.”

The strike group is comprised of John C. Stennis with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21 embarked, guided-missile destroyers Chung-Hoon, Stockdale, William P. Lawrence and guided-missile cruiser Mobile Bay.

CVW-9 consists of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14; Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112; Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133; Fleet Logistics Combat Support Squadron (VRC) 30, Detachment 4 and Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 151, 97, 41 and 14.

Providing a combat-ready force to protect collective maritime interests, JCSSG is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled Western Pacific Deployment.

Story by John C. Stennis Strike Group Public Affairs

WESTERN PACIFIC – The John C. Stennis Strike Group (JCSSG) crossed the International Date Line, entering the U.S. 3rd Fleet area of operations, June 25.

JCSSG, comprised of approximately 7,000 Sailors, entered U.S. 7th Fleet, Feb. 4, and spent the majority of time operating in the South China Sea.

“The strike group has accomplished our mission in 7th Fleet, fulfilling a vital role in a region the U.S. Navy has operated in for a century and a half,” said Rear Adm. Marcus A. Hitchcock, JCSSG commander. “I am very proud of our Sailors, and I look forward to watching them excel during the upcoming Rim of the Pacific exercise, when they have the opportunity to operate with maritime professionals from 26 different nations.”

JCSSG is slated to participate in the 2016 RIMPAC Exercise in Hawaii, the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise.

During the deployment, JCSSG has been operating as the centerpiece of the Great Green Fleet, using energy efficiency measures, including technologies and procedures, to highlight the Navy’s efforts to transform its energy use to increase operational capability.

The strike group participated in a number of exercises, training, integrating and building capacity with allies in the 7th Fleet region as part of an ongoing rotation of U.S. forces supporting maritime security operations in waters around the world.

In March, JCSSG and other U.S. military forces worked alongside the Republic of Korea armed forces during exercise Foal Eagle. Their time in the area also included passing exercises with the French Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and wrapped up with Malabar 2016, a trilateral maritime exercise with the Indian Navy, JMSDF, U.S. Navy in June and dual carrier operations with the Ronald Reagan Strike Group.

JCSSG consists of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21 embarked, the guided-missile destroyers USS Stockdale (DDG 106), USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93), and USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), and the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53).

CVW-9 consists of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14, Fleet Logistics Combat Support Squadron (VRC) 30, Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112, Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133 and Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 151, 97, 41 and 14.

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

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Aime Lykins

WESTERN PACIFIC – Clear, blue skies and sun-infused saltwater set the stage for an all-hands swim call as Sailors took the plunge from USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) aircraft elevator, June 22.

More than 2,000 Sailors participated in the morale-boosting dip into the brine and for many it was the standout experience of the ship’s deployment in the Western Pacific.

For more than four hours, the crew took turns stepping to the edge of the ship and splashing down into clear, blue water as security personnel and senior leadership ensured a safe, positive environment.

“We are having a blast and this might just be the highlight of the deployment,” said Capt. Kavon Hakimzadeh, John C. Stennis’ executive officer while ushering Sailors to the jumping point. “In my career, this will be my seventh [swim call] and this might just be my favorite.”

For Aviation Maintenance Administrationman Airman Chloe Savanero, from Los Angeles, the swim call signified a benchmark in her military career.

“It is one of those things that when you are 80 years old you can look back and say that you did something that not everyone had the opportunity to do,” said Savanero. “Many years from now I want to be able to point to this spot on the map and say that I was here, and jumped into the ocean from an aircraft carrier. This is once in a lifetime.”

Waiting in line with a towel draped over his shoulder and signed paperwork in hand, Personnel Specialist 2nd Class William Harbin, from Guntersville, Alabama, said the swim call was the number one thing he wanted to do on deployment, and was excited to participate.

“I mean, who else can say they swam next to an aircraft carrier with armed shark guards like your own private security,” said Harbin. “This is my first deployment and first swim call and not many people can say they have done something like this in their lives.”

Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, John C. Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.

For more news on John C. Stennis visit http://navy.mil/local/cvn74/ or http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nick A. Grim

WESTERN PACIFIC – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Multi-Cultural Heritage Committee hosted a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender, or LGBT, Pride Month celebration, June 20.

The event included Sailors addressing personal experiences and major events in LGBT history as well as musical selections and dance performances.

“Ceremonies like these are important because they bring awareness and open people’s eyes to what we are actually dealing with in life,” said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Luis Bermudez of Orlando, Fla., “It shows them that we’re human too.”

Speakers talked about the history of LGBT service members, their struggle for equality, personal struggles both in and out of the Navy, and the recent mass shooting in Orlando.

“I am here for a cause that is bigger than you and I,” said Bermudez, “LGBT Pride Month is about finding solace within yourself, seeking trust and becoming one with it, and showing acceptance in who you are.”

The event also included song selections and a flash mob dance demonstration that included many Sailors from the audience.

The event was one of many throughout the Department of Defense celebrating LGBT Pride Month, which happens every June and aims to promote diversity, the history and contributions of the LGBT community.

“These events promote diversity by allowing people to have a starting point in something they may not know a lot about,” said Aviation Support Equipment Technician Airman Alexander Faber, from Green Bay, Wsiconsins. “I think that creates a lot of diversity by giving people a better picture what things like this are all about.”

Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, John C. Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.

For more news on John C. Stennis visit http://navy.mil/local/cvn74/ or http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Aime Lykins

PHILIPPINE SEA – USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) hangar bay was engulfed in both sizzling dance moves and a thick blanket of summer humidity as the 2nd Class Petty Officer Association (SCPOA) hosted a dance competition for all hands, June 15.

From swing to hip-hop, numerous dance styles were represented as Sailors performed for the crew and a grand prize provided by the SCPOA.

“I’m just out here to have fun,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Joseph Paul Treen, from Mays Landing, New Jersey. “It looks like this is bringing together a lot of people I normally wouldn’t see. I also want to show you don’t have to be the best guy out here to win a dance competition as long as you are having a good time.”

Treen proved that having a good time certainly made an impression on the panel of three enlisted judges as he and the three members of his dance crew, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman Chase Douglas Sears, from Omaha, Nebraska, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman Ryan Blackwell, from Chicago, and Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman Christopher Matthews, from Las Vegas, won the competition with their matching Hawaiian shirts and comedic dance performance featuring push-ups, leap frog and high kicks.

Some Sailors entered the competition simply inspired by their love of dance and the ability to display their artistic enthusiasm to their shipmates.

“I get joy out of dancing,” said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Mackenzie Smith, from Phoenix. “I’ve been dancing since as long as I can remember. I feel like it can bring people together through the emotions you can portray.”

Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Jocalyn Gombos, from Hopatcong, New Jersey, entered the competition with dance partner and shipboard dance instructor, Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Patrick Dent, from Cape Coral, Florida, as a way to demonstrate the dance skills she has acquired while on deployment.

“I had never learned how to dance,” said Gombos. “Patrick was holding swing dancing classes this deployment so I figured it was a good opportunity to learn and I fell in love with it. Now I’m excited to go home and show my husband. When I found out about this dance competition I had to do it!”

Representatives from the SCPOA were pleased with the crew’s participation and the large number of spectators who came to support their rhythmically-inclined shipmates.
“It was an awesome turnout and everyone did great,” said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Kenneth Ridge, from Joliet, Illinois, SCPOA president. “The 2nd classes hope to do more stuff like this in the future to bring people together.”

Each competitor received ample applause and expressed their desire to continue dancing and improving their skills.

Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, John C. Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.

For more news on John C. Stennis visit http://navy.mil/local/cvn74/ or http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Mike Pernick

PHILIPPINE SEA – Under the glow of yellow lights inside USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) hangar bay a group of Sailors wrap their wrists and shadow box as they wait for their turn to hit the training mitts.

In the middle, quickly slipping away from punches and returning them even quicker, is Aviation Structural Mechanic Airman Tommy Chronister from, De Soto, Missouri.

When he was 15 years old, Chronister started training as a boxer in order to protect himself. Eventually, he became obsessed with training.

“All I was focused on was training and lifting,” said Chronister. “I would get home from school, and drive an hour-and-a-half to the boxing gym every day.”

His competitive mindset and encouragement from his trainer led him to enter tournaments. Chronister made it to regional and even national “Golden Gloves” boxing tournaments.

“I remember my first fight when I was about 16,” said Chronister. “Walking through the tunnel inside the arena, music was blasting, lights flaring, the crowd was buzzing and all I could think was, ‘Oh my god, this is awesome!'”

Chronister won the St. Louis Golden Gloves tournament three years in a row, then moved onto regionals, and eventually earned a chance to qualify to compete in the 2012 Olympics.

He said although he lost his first Olympic-qualifying fight, eliminating him from advancement, it was an incredible experience.

While Chronister takes every opportunity he can to continue his training, he didn’t realize how much he could keep up with it while the ship is underway.

“When I first came to the ship, I did a lot of training on my own at gyms in Seattle and the surrounding area,” said Chronister. “One time, when the ship was underway I saw a few people hitting the training pads and shadow boxing in the hangar bay, and I could tell they were good. They had some fighting experience.”

Chronister said it was a great way to meet people on the ship who share some of the same experiences and interests as himself.

“A bunch of people kept coming out of the woodworks, showing off photos and videos of themselves training and competing with top-name guys,” said Chronister. “I even realized that we competed at some of the same places nationally.”

Chronister meets up with other Sailors each week to work on their skills and learn from each other.

He said he enjoys teaching others because training is unending as there are always new techniques to learn and fundamentals to reestablish.

“The thing I like most about training with other people is that it makes me relearn the basics,” said Chronister. “Sometimes you get to a level where you’re overlooking basic skills and fundamentals that make you a great fighter in the first place.”

For Chronister, training to fight involves a lot of self-discipline and commitment. It’s not just keeping in shape, it involves staying mentally sharp as well.

“It’s a great way to relieve stress,” said Chronister. “Training keeps me balanced and I’m glad I have friends to train with while the ship is underway. I plan on doing it for as long as I can.”

Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, John C. Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.

For more news on John C. Stennis visit http://navy.mil/local/cvn74/ or http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang

PHILIPPINE SEA – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Sailors reunited with their siblings serving aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), June 18.

Sailors were flown from Ronald Reagan to John C. Stennis while the carriers were performing dual carrier strike group operations in the Philippine Sea.

The reunion was a spontaneous decision between Ronald Reagan’s and John C. Stennis’ chains of command. A helicopter bringing Rear Adm. John D. Alexander, commander, Task Force 70, to John C. Stennis for a meeting had available seating, creating the opportunity for Reagan Sailors to visit their siblings on John C. Stennis.

“I was shocked,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class James Role, from Biroqua, Wisconsin, stationed aboard John C. Stennis. “I found this out two days ago and now I’m seeing my brother for the first time in over a year, and I’m happy. It’s awesome.”

Role’s half brother is Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Clint Buckles, also from Biroqua, and assigned to Ronald Reagan.

“We don’t see each other as often because we deployed to different areas,” said Buckles, “I’m in Japan and he’s in Washington, so it’s really awesome. It’s a great opportunity.”

Two pairs of twin brothers were also reunited: Culinary Specialist Seaman Laquintis James, assigned to John C. Stennis, and Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Laquantis James, assigned to Ronald Reagan, both from Chicago; and Electronics Technician 2nd Class Colton Cochran, assigned to John C. Stennis, and Electronics Technician 2nd Class Cody Cochran, assigned to Ronald Reagan, both from Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Identical twins Chief Logistics Specialist Marcus Burdios and Ship’s Serviceman 2nd Class Michael Burdios, both stationed aboard John C. Stennis, were able to see their older brother, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Anthony Burdios, from the Ronald Reagan. All three brothers are from Long Beach, California.

“Seeing the ships lined up and showing our sea power is just motivating,” said Anthony Burdios, “To know that my brothers are on the other ship doing the same thing, protecting the freedom of America, is indescribable.”

The Burdios brothers are continuing their family legacy by joining the Navy, which has been a part of their lives in more ways than one.

“Our dad was in the Navy so we had to move around a lot … whether we liked it or not we had to be our own best friends,” said Marcus Burdios. “Ten years in the Navy now and here I am in the middle of the ocean and the Navy is still bringing us closer.”

Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, John C. Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.

For more news on John C. Stennis visit http://navy.mil/local/cvn74/ or http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

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