By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Grant Wamack
The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG) got underway Feb. 5, following a four-day port visit to Jebel Ali, Dubai.
During the port visit, Sailors experienced the local culture by participating in a variety of tours sponsored by Stennis’ Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) division. In addition, football fans gathered in the hangar bay of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) on the morning of Feb. 4 to watch the Baltimore Ravens play the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII on a motion picture display.
Sailors who watched the Super Bowl were given t-shirts to commemorate the game.
“It was a unique experience,” said Chief Navy Counselor Jean-Hero Lamy, John C. Stennis’ command career counselor. “We watched the game at 3 a.m. in a foreign country on an aircraft carrier, so it’s something I’ll always remember. Also, the president and the secretary of defense all had special messages for military members that made me feel like I was part of something special.”
Additionally, Sailors participated in a variety of community relations (COMREL) projects.
Sailors from Stennis and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) helped clean and repair a local church, played basketball and read books to children at a special needs school.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to spend my time with the children here,” said Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Kalifornia Hartsfield, from Los Angeles. “Doing things like this helps keep me grounded and provides me with priceless memories that will last a lifetime.”
JCSCSG, consisting of John C. Stennis, Carrier Air Wing 9, Destroyer Squadron 21, and Mobile Bay are forward 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.