By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Zulema Sotelo

Bremerton, Wash. – – More than 2,000 Sailors assigned to Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) attended a command safety stand down at the Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton gym Mar. 27.

During the event, Sailors were briefed by command representatives on topics such as responsible decision making, motorcycle safety, sexual assault prevention, and risk management.

Stennis’ commanding officer, Capt. Michael Wettlaufer, explained that the purpose of the stand down was to take a break from the workday and emphasize the responsibilities each Sailor has both on and off duty.

“We need to look out for our shipmates, practice bystander intervention and remind each other about the responsibilities we have to our shipmates and to ourselves,” said Wettlaufer. “It’s not hard but sometimes we have to be reminded of it.”

According to Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Sean Burton, from Redmond, Ore., the topics discussed during the event not only gave Sailors information on how to accomplish their mission safely but also prompted them to think ahead.

“It reminds people that we’re all in it together and that pretty soon we will be fighting fires or doing drills right next to each other,” said Burton.

Stennis’ safety officer Cmdr. Derek Atkinson, from Matunuca, R.I., spoke about how the choices Sailors make throughout the ships’ maintenance period contribute to the overall mission.

“We’re all part of a legacy,” said Atkinson. “What we do now and throughout DPIA (Docking Planned Incremental Availability) to get the ship ready for the next deployment is going to carry this ship through its life span.”

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

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