Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Erika L. Kugler

PACIFIC OCEAN – Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) participated in a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Rodeo, April 18.

The ship hosted the event to educate Sailors about the SAPR program during Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Awareness Month, recognized by the Navy in April.

“It’s important to John C. Stennis because anyone can be sexually assaulted,” said Master-at-Arms Seaman Ariana Aguirre, from Phoenix, a participant at the SAPR Rodeo. “I think being able to have this type of event, where people have the opportunity to talk to someone, helps with the healing process.”

The SAPR Rodeo consisted of games such as rope toss, trivia, and an obstacle course all designed to teach Sailors about the different facets of the SAPR program.

Aguirre said she learned about SAPR points of contact, what bystander intervention was, as well as statistics of sexual assault.

Not only did Sailors participate in learning and games, but they were taught by their shipmates, who felt it was their duty to educate other Sailors on the SAPR program and the resources at their disposal.

“It’s important that all John C. Stennis Sailors know the process about reporting a SAPR incident because it could save a life,” said Quartermaster Seaman Javen Rogers, from Long Beach, California, a volunteer at the event. “It takes a lot for a person to talk about a very traumatic event that happened in their life, and the more Stennis Sailors that know SAPR awareness, the better.”

Though there were games, and the atmosphere was happy and fun, the SAPR Rodeo was about providing Sailors with the ultimate tool against sexual assault: knowledge.

“Knowing about SAPR not only helps you in your work place, but also outside of work,” said Rogers. “It teaches you about the responsibility of respecting others and their personal space and not overstepping boundaries.

She also said that the SAPR program has many benefits that Sailors should look into. For more information, go to http://www.sapr.navy.mil.

John C. Stennis is underway conducting routine training in preparation for its next scheduled 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.

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Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cole C. Pielop

PACIFIC OCEAN – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) completed tailored ship’s training availability (TSTA), and Final Evaluation Problem (FEP), April 16.

TSTA focuses primarily on damage control, medical, engineering and combat systems casualties inside of the ship, as well as seamanship, navigation, anchoring, and small boat operations, while FEP focuses on the ship’s overall competency and proficiency in solving advanced situational problems that could arise during deployment.

During the evaluation, John C. Stennis demonstrated events critical to operation and survivability of the ship in various situations resulting in a 96 percent overall grade, taking Stennis one step closer to becoming deployment ready.

“We had over 950 graded evolutions between TSTA in port and out-to-sea and we knocked it out of the park with Stennis and Team Shogun working together,” said Capt. Greg Huffman, commanding officer, John C. Stennis.

John C. Stennis continues to set the standard of early mission accomplishment, starting with the planned incremental availability (PIA) period, which it completed five days ahead of schedule, and continuing by finishing TSTA/FEP nearly two weeks early.

“The Ship was able to complete in 14 days an event that typically takes 27 days at sea due to the crew’s superior performance in responding to casualties and scenarios,” said Lt. Cmdr. Clarence Washington, John C. Stennis training officer. “That puts us two weeks ahead and able to conduct more advanced integrated phase training.”

Many different departments had a part to play and different evaluations they had to undergo to prove their proficiency. Afloat Training Group (ATG) tested combat systems department on their radars, communications, NMT (Navy multiband terminal) systems and broadcasting.
“Our training team is overall responsible for conducting casualty control drill sets that impose realistic scenarios that watchstanders may face during an actual casualty,” said Senior Chief Information Systems Technician Joseph Czechowski, leading chief petty officer for combat systems. “The end state is to train every member to autonomously react to a casualty and allow the ship to reengage in the battle.”

After multiple trainings and the final evaluations, combat systems scored a 99 percent on the technical side, said Czechowski.
Engineering department’s Damage Control division had their training efforts put to the test throughout the entirety of TSTA/FEP.
Using various damage control problems and scenarios, the damage control inspection was conducted over the span of six general quarters drills and 26 at-sea-fire-party evaluations.

“We have been running drills and conducting DC rodeos since PIA,” said Chief Damage Controlman Matthew Wierson, ship’s fire marshal and damage control training team lead. “We’ve maintained our proficiency by running various training and drill sets to prepare for this event and future ones. We scored a 100 percent on our Zebra setting, completing this task in 9 minutes, the best for a carrier ever seen by our ATG team.”
The ship also scored a 100 percent on TSSE, the Total Ship Survivability Exercise, something never before seen by Wierson in his cumulative 12 years onboard John C. Stennis.

“It’s outstanding,” said Wierson. “We only accomplished this due to both the efforts of the Damage Control Training Team and the enthusiasm our Sailors put in to combating their casualties.”

The Medical department, integrated with Team Shogun, responded to a wide array of events including mass casualties, individual departmental assessments, and simultaneous medical response team drills.

“Team Shogun’s medical personnel were critical to our success, especially during the mass casualty,” said Lt. Tony Rohner, ship’s nurse officer and medical training team coordinator. “They had never run any drills with us and their first one was our graded event. Their performance was exemplary and, because of both the ship’s and air wing’s efforts, we passed with flying colors.”

One of the largest integrated team efforts was with the Air department, their joint efforts including flight deck fire drills, raising the barricade, aircraft movement, aircraft launch and recovery, jet blast deflector emergencies, fuel station fires, and more.

“Team Shogun showed up ready to fight and we worked well as a team from day one,” said Lt. Rebecca Smith, catapult and arresting gear officer and air department training team member. “Our integrated efforts went smoothly, and we wouldn’t have done as well as we did if they hadn’t arrived with their level of enthusiasm and propensity for hard work.”

Though the Stennis-Shogun team emerged victorious from TSTA/FEP, there is still a long way to go on the road to being deployment-ready, with more evaluations and training phases ahead.

“We’ve still got work to do, but I feel confident that the ship will be able to handle anything that’s thrown our way,” said Wierson.
For more news on John C. Stennis, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74, Twitter @stennis74, or Instagram @stennisCVN74.

Sailor Reenlists Aboard John C. Stennis

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Charles D. Gaddis IV

PACIFIC OCEAN – Senior Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic Juan Carrillo assigned to the “Tophatters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14, reenlisted for two years aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) during Tailored Ship’s Training Availability (TSTA) and Final Evaluation Problem (FEP).

Carrillo, born in Zacatecas, Mexico moved to Yuma, Arizona with his father at a young age. Carrillo wanted to get a job and education, travel and do something different than his younger years in Mexico.

“I moved to the U.S. when I was 15 years old, my dad decided to move to Arizona,” said Carrillo. “I went to high school and completed two years of college with an Associate’s Degree in Electronic Technician before I decided to join the Navy.”

Carrillo has previously served at the “Rooks” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 137, the “Vigilantes” of Fighter Attack Squadron (VFA) 151, and the “Tophatters” of Fighter Attack Squadron (VFA) 14, with shore duty in between each squadron at Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro.

“First I stayed in the Navy to enjoy shore duty because it was close to home and there’s nothing on the civilian side that catches my attention,” said Carrillo. “Everytime I needed to reenlist I was in a good squadron and I enjoyed it too much.”

Carrillo’s support comes from his family consisting of a wife and four kids.

“My family is proud of me staying in the Navy, they enjoy traveling,” said Carrillo. “I wouldn’t have stayed in this long if they didn’t enjoy it and support me.”
After completing 20 years of active-duty service in the Navy, Sailors can retire and receive their retirement pay and benefits.

“I ask myself plenty of times why keep serving after 20 years,” said Carrillo. “The answer is I’m a naval aviation mechanic and I wouldn’t change it for anything else. Why leave what I really enjoy.”

TSTA/FEP is an evaluation of the ship’s and embarked air wing’s ability to defend the ship, respond to damage control scenarios, and complete carrier qualifications. The embarked air wing is also “kicking the dust off” their flight operations and integrating with the ship.

VFA 14 is part of Carrier Air Group NINE and currently embarked aboard JCS as part of Carrier Strike Group THREE conducting training and preparing for the upcoming deployment.

“When you bring a squadron to the ship it feels like all the hard work you are doing pays off,” said Carrillo. “You can see the full team not just the squadron accomplishing their mission.”

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

John C. Stennis Returns to Sea

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Charles D. Gaddis IV

BREMERTON, Wash. – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) departed Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, March 24.

John C. Stennis is underway to conduct unit level and integrated strike group training as a part of Carrier Strike Group 3 (CSG 3), preparing for its scheduled deployment.

Planned training includes flight operations, damage control and firefighting training, seamanship training, medical training, and exercises designed to maintain technical and tactical proficiency in a variety of warfare areas.

CSG 3 includes John C. Stennis as well as Carrier Air Wing Nine (CVW 9), Destroyer Squadron 21 (DESRON 21), and the Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser, USS Mobile Bay (CG 53).

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

BREMERTON, Washington -The battle will be one on one, and the battlefield is tight – only 23 feet in diameter. When the whistle blows, the battle begins. Focus is key. The challenger approaches, and the two foes grapple for control in the arena with one goal in mind; to pin the other to the mat. Amateur wrestling is not for the weak nor the weak-minded, and it is helping three individuals on board USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) become better competitors, human beings, and Sailors.

Nearly one month ago the All-Navy Wrestling Team gathered at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton to begin training to compete against the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps in the Armed Forces Competition at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Feb. 22. The team is coached by Chief Navy Diver Alejandro Delapena, and though the team consists of athletes with several different levels of wrestling experience and career backgrounds, they all have one goal, and that is to compete and win as a team.

“This program really allows each Sailor to showcase their desire and passion,” said Delapena, who has been with the team for over 14 years. “They all learn individual drive and teamwork, and all of that is brought back to their command and re-emphasized there.”

The three Sailors from John C. Stennis are Operations Specialist 3rd Class Genesis Ramirez, from El Paso, Texas, Airman Jasmine Frank, from Los Angeles, and Airman Sheldon Ealy, from Newark, New Jersey.

Ramirez, who wrestled all four years of high school, is competing in her second Armed Forces Competition.

“I hope to beat Army and bring back a gold medal,” said Ramirez, whose sister was the first female wrestler on the All-Navy wrestling team. “I wasn’t able to wrestle in college due to some financial issues, so when I found out about the program, I got really excited and didn’t think twice about it. It’s such a competitive sport. When you’re on the mat it’s only you and your opponent, and only one of you will have your hand raised in the end.”

Frank, who only very recently started wrestling, is relishing the opportunity to be a part of the team and take on a new challenge.

“I had just finished a training exercise in the gym and started speaking to the coach on one of my friend’s behalf and learned that the team only had one other female, and they needed more,” said Frank. “I saw the opportunity to challenge myself and I ran with it. Wrestling allows me to do something for myself, my country and the Navy. Plus, I love the challenge that wrestling brings. It’s a different type of workout… we push ourselves throughout the day, training twice a day. It definitely shows you how strong you are and how strong you can become.”

Ealy, who has been wrestling for six years, leaped at the opportunity to join the team.
“I first heard about the program when I ran into coach Delapena at the gym, and my love for the sport inspired me to join,” said Ealy. “What I really like the most about wrestling is that it’s just you and your opponent on the mat, giving everything you have to win.”

Going into the competition, the Navy wrestling team faces a huge training deficit. The Army has wrestlers that train full time and the Marine Corps wrestlers train at least a year in advance, but the Navy only trains in the month leading up to the event. Nevertheless, coach Delapena and the rest of his team expect to bring home the gold.

“With heart, grit, passion and determination, our Sailors will get their hands raised and win gold medals,” said the coach. “They will perform as an individual, but be backed as a team that does not quit when the matches are tough.”

If any of the team’s competitors perform well enough at the competition, they could be selected to continue training for future events, such as the Military World Championship. Only time will tell how far the John C. Stennis Sailors could go, but they have their command’s support regardless.

“The challenge is the best part, but the support I receive gives me that extra push that I need,” said Frank. “I am absolutely humbled by this experience the Navy has allowed me to have, and look forward to continuing to better my skills as a wrestler.”

For more news on John C. Stennis, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74, Twitter @stennis74, or Instagram @stennisCVN74.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Erika L. Kugler

BREMERTON, Washington – Sailors aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) recognized African American and Black Heritage Month with speeches from ship’s leadership and junior Sailors Feb. 16.

The Navy’s theme this year is “African American in Times of War,” which celebrates the contributions that African Americans have made to the nation during times of war from the Revolutionary War to present-day conflicts.

“It is a known fact that the Navy, and the military as a whole, is a melting pot,” said Yeoman 2nd Class Jazmin Maria, president of the Multi-Cultural Heritage Committee. “This diversity of backgrounds and values makes us stronger.”

Speeches celebrated groups such as the Golden Thirteen, who were a part of the process to racially integrate the Navy, and the Tuskegee Airman. Other prominent figures who overcame adversity and are known for many firsts, to include Master Chief Boatswain’s Mate Carl M.

Brashear and Adm. Michelle Howard, current commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa were also discussed.

“Let us understand that Black History Month and all months that we use to specifically recognize the accomplishments of marginalized groups, the struggles we’ve been through, and how far we have to go, are an effort to ensure that the contributions made by these groups are not forgotten,” said Lt. Cmdr. Sarah Smith in her speech about fans, allies, and mentors.

ALNAV 007/18 encourages commands to participate in heritage celebrations and special observances throughout the year that honor the contributions, unique histories and cultures Navy’s diverse Sailor and civilian team.

John C. Stennis is in port conducting routine training as it continues preparing for its next scheduled 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. -30-

Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Erika L. Kugler

BREMERTON, Washington – Under Secretary of the Navy, the honorable Thomas B. Modly visited USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Feb. 15.
Aboard, Modly spoke with Sailors and ship leadership while touring the ship.

As the 33rd under secretary of the Navy, Modly is the service’s second most senior official. He was sworn into office on Dec. 4, 2017.

Prior to becoming the under secretary of the Navy, Modly held positions in and out of government, including Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Financial Management from 2004 to 2007. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and served in the Navy as a helicopter pilot from 1983 until 1990.

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 Erika L. Kugler

BREMERTON, Wash. – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) returned from a two-week underway, Jan. 29, after conducting routine training.

During the underway, John C. Stennis Sailors conducted damage control and firefighting training, medical training, and exercises designed to maintain technical and tactical proficiency in a variety of warfare areas.

While in port in San Diego, John C. Stennis successfully completed Command Assessment for Readiness and Training (CART) phase II inspection. The evolution evaluated the crew’s ability to respond to damage control, medical emergencies, and other casualties.

With the completion of CART II the ship continues preparing for Tailored Ships Training Availability and Final Evaluation Problem.

John C. Stennis is in port preparing for future operations and its next scheduled deployment.

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

Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Erika L. Kugler

BREMERTON, Wash. – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) returned from a two-week underway, Jan. 29, after conducting routine training.

During the underway, John C. Stennis Sailors conducted damage control and firefighting training, medical training, and exercises designed to maintain technical and tactical proficiency in a variety of warfare areas.

While in port in San Diego, John C. Stennis successfully completed Command Assessment for Readiness and Training (CART) phase II inspection. The evolution evaluated the crew’s ability to respond to damage control, medical emergencies, and other casualties.

With the completion of CART II the ship continues preparing for Tailored Ships Training Availability and Final Evaluation Problem.

John C. Stennis is in port preparing for future operations and its next scheduled deployment.

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

Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Erika L. Kugler

NAVAL AIR STATION NORTH ISLAND, Calif. – Sailors aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) completed their Command Assessment for Readiness and Training (CART) phase II, Jan. 25.

The four-day evaluation assesses a ship’s ability to respond to carry out a variety of mission areas, including responding to casualties across various warfare areas.

“Events like CART II are no different than the air wing conducting CQs [carrier qualifications] or football players attending practice,” said Lt. Cmdr. Dan Washington, John C. Stennis’ training officer. “Every opportunity the ship has to train makes the crew more proficient and capable, allowing us to deploy and carry out the most challenging missions.”

A team of about 40 personnel from Afloat Training Group (ATG) arrived on the ship evaluate the ship’s preparedness.

ATG San Diego performed the assessment using more than 300 Training Assessment Cards. The cards specify the actions the crew should take during damage control scenarios, medical casualties, and various other warfare areas scenarios. This cumulates in a final score that grades the ship’s overall procedural compliance and casualty response proficiency in a training environment.

“We’re here not only to critique, but also give guidance and assess from an outside perspective,” said Lt. Cmdr. Freddie Koonce, carrier training liaison officer for all West Pacific aircraft carriers.

For John C. Stennis, CART II is an important tool as it continues its training cycle.
“It’s really important because it gives us a baseline of where we are deficient. It shows us what we need to work on to make sure the crew is well-rounded and able to combat casualties safely so everyone can go back home,” said Chief Damage Controlman Matthew Wierson.

With the successful completion of CART II, John C. Stennis will continue preparing for Tailored Ships Training Availability and Final Evaluation Problem as the ship continues to certify prior to 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.

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