By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matt Martino

BREMERTON, Wash. – The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) was announced by official message as a recipient of the 2013 Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Maintenance Award Sept. 04.

Each year, the SECDEF Maintenance Awards Program recognizes outstanding achievements by field-level units engaged in military equipment and weapons system maintenance within the Department of Defense (DoD).

“Stennis’ diligence in the process helped ensure a strong Navy performance at the DoD level,” said Wesley Kenyon, Fleet Readiness Division industrial management lead. “The Navy is taking home 50 percent of the awards and deserves a great deal of recognition for being one of the best maintenance units in the entire DoD.”

The award is presented to two commands from the small, medium and large categories. Stennis and the Air Force’s 27th Special Operations Maintenance Group from Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico won for the large command category and is now competing for the Phoenix Trophy, DoD’s highest award for maintenance.

“No one person won this award,” said Lt. Cmdr. Erik Sweet, Stennis’s maintenance officer, “Every department had a role and we won the award as a team.”

“Stennis is considered one of the best units for maintenance in its category,” said Kenyon. “[Stennis] is now in the running to be the number one military unit for maintenance in the entire DoD.” An awards presentation ceremony will be held at the Pentagon on Oct. 30, 2013.

Stennis is currently undergoing a Docking Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA) maintenance period at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.

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