Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Ikenna Tanaka

BREMERTON, Washington – Sailors assigned to USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) spent their first night sleeping onboard following six months of living on a service barge when the ship reached the major milestone of crew move aboard (CMA), July 20.
CMA occurs as John C. Stennis approaches the end of its planned incremental availability (PIA), bringing the ship’s habitability services back aboard and moving closer to being a self-sustaining city at sea, ready to return to operations afloat.
While there are always crewmembers onboard standing various watches, and some Sailors returned to sleeping onboard early to support critical systems, it was the first night in which all departments and Sailors could stay aboard.
“Having the ship come back to life is a significant milestone for us,” said Cmdr. Jason Warner, John C. Stennis’ supply officer, from Warren, Ohio. “It was a great team effort when it came to the shipyard’s workers, private contractors and Sailors working together. When you have the right synergy of these three teams working together, you can put out a really good product.”
During PIA, the spaces and habitability services were unavailable. Plumbing systems, galley services, and many of the sleeping quarters were inaccessible due to extensive maintenance and upgrades on shipboard systems. As a result, the crew moved off the ship, staying at a nearby berthing barge which provided temporary accommodations while the crew worked on the ship in partnership with the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility team.
The ship had extensive work done on several systems tied to life onboard, including new racks in rehabilitated berthing spaces, new ovens in the galleys, a completely redesigned barber shop, and refurbished ship store spaces. Maintenance and repairs were also conducted on the water and plumbing systems onboard.
As a part of returning the ship to normal operations, the ship’s galleys served their first meals during breakfast on July 19, which included scrambled or hard-boiled eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, pancakes and omelets. Electronics Technician 2nd Class James Stachura, from Germantown, Maryland, received the first meal aboard the ship.
“It’s pretty nice to have the services of the ship back and not have the hassle of going to the barge anymore,” said Stachura. “Now I’ll be able to get more work done without having to take as much time off to go somewhere else to get something to eat.”
The ship reopened the newly designed barbershop, where Capt. Scott Miller, John C. Stennis’ executive officer, received the first haircut from Ship’s Serviceman Seaman Stephanie Santana, from Hialeah, Florida.
“The S-5 [hotel services] division did a phenomenal job redesigning the barbershop,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Tobin, John C. Stennis’ assistant supply officer, from Modesto, California. “With the new theme of the Pacific Northwest environment, the new paint job, surrounding pictures and seats inside the shop, it gives Sailors a warm, home feeling when we’re underway. I think they will find it re-invigorating when they go to get a haircut. I’m proud of their [S-5] accomplishment and believe that the crew will be as well.”
Along with having barbershop services available aboard again, the ship’s morale, welfare and recreation coffee shop, Java John’s, and the newly refurbished ship’s convenience store, reopened stocked with food and other items.
“It was key that the crew took a lot of ownership in these projects in preparing to make the ship serviceable,” said Warner. “It brought a lot of energy and thought into the project, that’s why I think everything turned out so well. I believe the crew will be pleased and feel that the quality of life aboard the ship has improved.”
With the ship habitable and crew services up and running again, John C. Stennis is one major step closer to returning to sea and supporting America’s interests around the globe.
John C. Stennis is conducting a planned incremental availability at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, during which the ship is undergoing scheduled maintenance and upgrades.
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