By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Fred Gray IV

Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) took time to refocus on the command’s ongoing safety efforts during a safety stand down June 28 at the base gym.

The training covered subjects ranging from suicide prevention, motorcycle safety, statistics on DUIs and motor vehicle deaths in the last year, and on the impact that alcohol use can have on Sailors and their careers.

Cmdr. Derek Atkinson, Stennis’ safety officer, spoke about common safety concerns, ways to prevent safety mishaps and wearing the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) while in a Docking Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA).

Atkinson said the safety stand down emphasized good decision making for Sailors both on and off the job site. In the absence of good decision making, chaos steps in. One of Stennis’ main goals is to obtain 100 percent compliance with wearing PPE, he added.

“As Sailors and leaders, we always need to be reviewing policy and procedure and safety practices to ensure we are keeping up with what is going on around us,” said Stennis’ Command Master Chief Trenton Schmidt.

Schmidt said due to poor decision making, some Sailors’ careers are being cut short and that the responsibility for making good decisions lies with the Sailors.

Stennis is undergoing a DPIA maintenance period at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.

During the DPIA, Stennis is scheduled to undergo extensive maintenance and upgrades to improve its mission readiness and war fighting capability.

Stennis is scheduled to be in the PSNS until mid-winter, 2014.

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Sailors aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) attend a Safety Stand Down held at the Naval Base Kitsap: Bremerton gymnasium. (Released/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Destiny Cheek)