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.”

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 – 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.

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 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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

We are excited to provide this rare opportunity for Tigers to experience what it is like to serve on the finest warship in America. Please do not hesitate to contact the Tiger Cruise coordinator if you need any additional information or have additional questions. The Tiger Cruise coordinator is Mr. Chris Cation, and he is available at CVN74Funboss@gmail.com.

Q: What is the first day a Tiger can sleep onboard?
A: Tigers can sleep onboard starting the night of 04AUG.

Q: Will there be transportation from the airport to the base for Tigers?
A: Buses will pick up Tigers at the USO and Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam (Nimitz gate) from 1900-0100 on 04 August. If Tigers arrive before this time, we recommend they taxi or Uber to Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam (Halawa gate). From the Halawa gate, it is a short walk to the ship. Tigers will have to coordinate with their Sponsor to gain access to the base and ship.

Q: Where is the USO located in the Honolulu International Airport? A: The USO is located between baggage claim E and baggage claim F.

Q: Where will Tigers sleep while onboard?
A: Sponsors have coordinated their Tiger’s sleep arrangements. Tigers will sleep in staterooms, berthing and on cots as coordinated by their sponsors .

Q: Where do Tigers pickup their blankets, sheets and pillows? A: Sponsors have been issued those items already.

Q: What can Tigers bring onboard?
A: There is a list of recommended items that Tigers can bring and what they should not bring. This list has been provided to all Sponsors and is posted on Stennis’ website blog and Facebook page. Please look at that list carefully.

Q: Are there cell phone restrictions?
A: Cell phones are required to be put in airplane mode once the ship gets underway. You can take pictures with your cell phone but it must remain in airplane mode while onboard.

Q: Can Tigers bring electronic devices onboard?
A: Yes. All devices must be safety checked before being plugged into any ship outlet.

Q: What can I take photos and video of while onboard?
A: Tigers can photograph and film anywhere outside of crew living areas and off-limit areas.

Q: What restrooms can Tigers use?
A: Tigers can use any restrooms their sponsor can access.

Q: Can Tigers do laundry while onboard?
A: Tigers will not have access to laundry facilities while onboard.

Q: Will Tigers have access to a computer while onboard?
A: No. Tigers are not authorized to use shipboard computers.

Q: Are there off-limit areas onboard?
A: Yes. Signs will be posted to notify Tigers of off-limit areas.

Q: What activities are scheduled for Tigers?
A: A schedule of events will be provided in each Tiger’s welcome bag, plus announcements will be made during the cruise to notify Tigers of events.

Q: Does the ship have commercial ATMs?
A: No. Plan to get cash before you arrive onboard.

Q: How can Tigers purchase items onboard?
A: Tigers will need to put money on a Navy Cash visitor card in order to purchase items onboard, or have their sponsors use their Navy Cash accounts. Navy Cash Cards can be purchased from the Disbursing office.

Q: Are Tigers allowed to use the ship’s gyms?
A: Yes. Tigers are allowed to use gyms but must be 14 years or older to use gym equipment.

Q: Are there Medical personnel onboard?
A: Yes. The ship has a complete Medical facility onboard for the treatment of emergencies.

Q: What type of footwear is authorized onboard?
A: Close-toed shoes. Open-toed shoes will not allowed to be worn onboard.

Q: What is MCH?
A: MCH, or Material Condition Hour, is typically the first working hour of the day. This is when everyone cleans and completes maintenance on the ship.

Q: I have allergies to certain foods. Will we know what is in the food that is cooked onboard?
A: Yes, all galleys will have a list of ingredients contained in the food items being served during each meal. Please note that while individual meal requests cannot be accommodated, a variety of foods are served onboard for every meal.

Q: Will Tigers be able to attend church on Sunday?
A: Yes. Tigers will be allowed to attend the various religious services available onboard.

Q: Will there be transportation from the Ship to the Airport for Tigers in San Diego?
A: Yes, there will be buses transporting Tigers to the airport upon arrival in San Diego.

Dress Code: conservative, modest, comfortable, durable

 Tiger Cruise paperwork (original Tiger Applications)
 Photo Identification
 Copy of Birth Certificate for children without ID under 10 yo  Collapsible duffle bag (no hard suitcases)
 Comfortable clothes
 Closed-toed tennis shoes
 Light jacket
 Robe (for transit to and from the bathroom)
 Shower shoes
 Towel
 Small lock (to lock up your personal items)
 Personal medications
 Camera
 Toiletries (in a compact bag to carry to shower area)

Prohibited Items:
Weapons, knives, guns
Alcohol or liquor
Valuable/Breakable Items

PACIFIC OCEAN – Summer sunshine, festive music and wisps of charcoal-fragranced smoke washed over the 4 ½ acres of USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) flight deck as Sailors participated in a steel beach picnic, July 27.

The eight-hour celebration, coordinated by John C. Stennis’ food service division and Morale, Welfare and Recreation department, featured an array of grilled entrees, chilled salads, chips, baked beans, cold beverages, assorted desserts, snow cones and cotton candy, accompanied by live music provided by crew members, a dance contest, basketball arcade, and games including Frisbee and corn hole.

“I think this event is really good at bringing up everyone’s morale and bringing us all together so we can just have fun after so many months of deployment,” said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Kristy Sizemore, from Columbus, Ohio. “The food is really good, and I just really like the atmosphere. It is a celebration for all that has been accomplished this deployment and that RIMPAC has been a success.”

Sizemore volunteered her time at the picnic as a member of the Second Class Petty Officers Association. Alongside the culinary specialists and food service assistants from John C. Stennis’ S-2 division, more than 100 Sailors from the Chiefs Mess, Mustang Association, First Class Petty Officer Association, Second Class Petty Officer Association and the Junior Enlisted Association volunteered to set up tables and equipment, grill entrees, serve food and beverages, facilitate recreational activities, and clean-up.

“I’ve been below decks for days now and for me to come out here, it has been fantastic,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Justine Rolava, from Grobina, Latvia. “Everyone has been so helpful and nice, it has been the best thing that has happened for me recently and just what I needed.”

Over the course of lunch and dinner, the crew of nearly 5,000 consumed food and beverages in volumes proportionate to a United States aircraft carrier.

After Chief Warrant Officer Robert Compton, John C. Stennis’ food service officer, tallied up the numbers, John C. Stennis Sailors consumed 2,240 pounds of chicken, 1,980 pounds of ribs, 1,440 pounds of hamburgers, 50 pounds of veggie burgers, 280 pounds of sausage, 490 pounds of hot dogs and approximately 9,950 bottles of water, soda and sports drinks.

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.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Oscar Quezada

PACIFIC OCEAN – Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) is providing Sailors aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) reintegration and reunion classes, July 26 to Aug. 1.

The classes available to John C. Stennis’ Sailors are ‘Reintegrating with Partners/Marriage,’ ‘Reintegrating with Children,’ ‘New Parents,’ ‘Consumer Awareness’, ‘Car Buying Strategies’ and ‘Single Sailors Returning to Homeport.’

“We like to make [Sailors] aware … that things at home may be different and that they can’t pick up where they left off,” said Susan Vitale-Olson, an exceptional family member liaison, who has been with FFSC for 10 years. “Talking is the biggest thing. It’s about compromise, it’s not about you or them, it’s about working together.”

The goal of the classes is to ensure that Sailors who attend them have more tools at their disposal to help get back into a home-based lifestyle after being deployed seven months.

“I wanted to look for any resources that I may have that I don’t really know about,” said Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Sam Calvert, from Marion, North Carolina, who went to the ‘Reintegrating with Children’ class. “I believe that mostly getting back into the parenting routine and out of a leadership role would be challenging.”

The classes can be useful to Sailors no matter what point of their naval career they are at.

“Whether it be single or married, [with] kids or no kids at all, it’s beneficial,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 1st Class Edward Miller, from Gila Bend, Arizona, who attended the ‘Reintegrating with Partners/Marriage’ class. “I’ve been on numerous deployments and this would be helpful communicating with my wife and kids.”

FFSC provides services helping Sailors and their families meet the unique challenges of the military lifestyle.

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 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.

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