USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea – Supply Department’s food service division (S-2) aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) gave the crew a taste of home by serving a holiday meal Dec. 19.

More than 5,000 Sailors gathered to feast on approximately 7, 000 pounds of food, ranging from steamed chipped beef and roasted turkey to mashed potatoes and sweet yams.

“The Christmas meal is one of the three biggest meals that we provide on the ship,” said Chief Warrant Officer Andrew Nguyen, the food service officer, from Orange, Calif. “It is for the crew to enjoy so they can feel the holiday spirit.”

S-2 division worked long hours to provide the crew with a festive atmosphere by building gingerbread houses, hanging ornaments and decorating Christmas trees throughout the mess decks.

“The culinary specialists and the food service assistants have been putting in a lot of hard work to keep the mess decks filled with the holiday spirit,” said Nguyen. “We couldn’t put this meal on for the crew if it wasn’t for their perseverance and teamwork.”

“Our goal is that just for at least a second we can remove the crew’s minds from the ship and the deployment and take them back into their living rooms at home,” said Lt. Cmdr. Derek Hotchkiss, Stennis’ in-services officer, from Bath, Ohio.

As the crew satisfied their hunger with honey glazed ham and sweet buttered rolls, a member of the First Class Petty Officer Association dressed as Santa Claus and offered holiday greetings and gifts to the crew.

The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG), consisting of Stennis, Carrier Air Wing 9, Destroyer Squadron 21, and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) are forward deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to strengthen regional partnerships, sustain maritime security, and support combatant commander requirements for assets in the area.

For more information on JCSCSG visit and 74.


Capt. Ronald Reis, commanding officer of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and Rear Adm. Mike Shoemaker, Commander, Carrier Strike Group three, serve Sailors during the holiday meal. John C. Stennis is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Hetherington/ Released)