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Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Susan C. Damman

BREMERTON, Wash. – Sailors aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month in the ship’s hangar bay, Oct. 4.

The celebration, hosted by John C. Stennis’ Multi-Cultural Heritage Committee (MCHC), featured guest speakers from the ship’s crew, music, dancing and food.

“Let us not be ashamed of who we are or where we come from, but let’s celebrate today that we’re Americans with a lot to offer to the world,” said Lt. j.g. Gabriel Sanchez, from Ruskin, Fla., one of the speakers at the event. “As we observe Hispanic Heritage Month, please know that we are all created equal and it is truly an honor and a pleasure to serve alongside you all.”

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Cecibel Montesdeoca, from Newark, New Jersey, shared information about her home country of Ecuador, and Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Luz Pradaholguin, from Cali, Colombia, spoke about Colombia. They discussed the geographic and biological diversity and described the meaning of the countries’ flags.

Seventeen percent of enlisted Sailors and eight percent of Naval officers identify as Hispanic, according to Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs.

“Sailors should appreciate one another and understand that the Navy is made up of all these different cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds,” said Yeoman 3rd Class Jazmin Maria, from Robbins, N.C., MCHC president. “We’re a big melting pot.”

Sailors demonstrated Merengue and Bachata dancing and invited the crowd to join in. The MCHC provided snacks including pan dulce and Mexican candies coated in chili powder.

Hispanic Heritage Month runs Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, which includes the Independence Day anniversaries for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile.

John C. Stennis is in port training for future operations after completing flight deck certification and conducting carrier qualifications.

For more news on John C. Stennis, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

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Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cole C. Pielop

BREMERTON, Wash. – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) returned to its homeport of Bremerton, Wash., after a successful three-week underway, Sept. 22.
During the underway, the longest since completing a Planned Incremental Availability (PIA) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard five days ahead of schedule, the crew accomplished important milestones in their return to operations by conducting training, testing systems and equipment, and completing a critical certification.

“The crew performed above all expectations,” said Capt. Greg Huffman, commanding officer of John C. Stennis. “From our engineers keeping our systems running to the vital flight deck certification demonstrating our readiness to carry out the core mission of an aircraft carrier, I saw a professional crew executing their mission. The crew’s performance was extraordinary, particularly after a long period where we focused their expertise on maintenance.”

Representatives from Commander, Naval Air Forces, Pacific observed flight operations to evaluate how well the ship was able to launch, recover and taxi aircraft to complete flight deck certification. Once the deck was certified, naval aviators from Carrier Air Wing Nine and Strike Fighter Squadron 122 practiced launching and recovering on a moving flight deck, during both the day and at night, for carrier qualifications.

“This underway was an important step towards becoming operational following the maintenance period and doing what we do best, launching and recovering warplanes to fight the fight,” Huffman explained.

Sailors also carried out damage control training with general quarters drills, conducted replenishments-at-sea, tested ship defense equipment and took time to honor deceased Sailors during a burial-at-sea.

For many Sailors, this was their first significant period at sea.

“I’ve been in for almost eight years and this is my first sea command,” said Master-at-Arms 1st Class Cody Crane, from Cave Creek, Ariz. “I got here just after the Hawaii underway and everything was torn down and covered up. Now that we’re in the open ocean it feels like we are really doing our job. All of the things we have been training for we are finally putting to use.”

Twenty John C. Stennis Sailors will never forget the day they were promoted to chief petty officer during a ceremony in the ship’s hangar bay while underway in the Pacific Ocean, Sept. 15.

“[During the ceremony] we thought about our families,” said Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Eric Atkinson, from Pittsburgh. “I would have loved to have my wife pin me and have my two daughters put on my anchors but I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Huffman expressed his thanks for the crew’s hard work during the underway.
“Our focus will be on maintaining the momentum we’ve built up this underway,” said Huffman. “We’re looking ahead toward the rest of our work up cycle, getting our ship ready to take our turn back out in the fight and keeping that operational mindset.”

For more news on John C. Stennis, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cole C. Pielop

BREMERTON, Wash. – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) returned to its homeport of Bremerton, Wash., after a successful three-week underway, Sept. 22.
During the underway, the longest since completing a Planned Incremental Availability (PIA) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard five days ahead of schedule, the crew accomplished important milestones in their return to operations by conducting training, testing systems and equipment, and completing a critical certification.

“The crew performed above all expectations,” said Capt. Greg Huffman, commanding officer of John C. Stennis. “From our engineers keeping our systems running to the vital flight deck certification demonstrating our readiness to carry out the core mission of an aircraft carrier, I saw a professional crew executing their mission. The crew’s performance was extraordinary, particularly after a long period where we focused their expertise on maintenance.”

Representatives from Commander, Naval Air Forces, Pacific observed flight operations to evaluate how well the ship was able to launch, recover and taxi aircraft to complete flight deck certification. Once the deck was certified, naval aviators from Carrier Air Wing Nine and Strike Fighter Squadron 122 practiced launching and recovering on a moving flight deck, during both the day and at night, for carrier qualifications.

“This underway was an important step towards becoming operational following the maintenance period and doing what we do best, launching and recovering warplanes to fight the fight,” Huffman explained.

Sailors also carried out damage control training with general quarters drills, conducted replenishments-at-sea, tested ship defense equipment and took time to honor deceased Sailors during a burial-at-sea.

For many Sailors, this was their first significant period at sea.

“I’ve been in for almost eight years and this is my first sea command,” said Master-at-Arms 1st Class Cody Crane, from Cave Creek, Ariz. “I got here just after the Hawaii underway and everything was torn down and covered up. Now that we’re in the open ocean it feels like we are really doing our job. All of the things we have been training for we are finally putting to use.”

Twenty John C. Stennis Sailors will never forget the day they were promoted to chief petty officer during a ceremony in the ship’s hangar bay while underway in the Pacific Ocean, Sept. 15.

“[During the ceremony] we thought about our families,” said Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Eric Atkinson, from Pittsburgh. “I would have loved to have my wife pin me and have my two daughters put on my anchors but I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Huffman expressed his thanks for the crew’s hard work during the underway.
“Our focus will be on maintaining the momentum we’ve built up this underway,” said Huffman. “We’re looking ahead toward the rest of our work up cycle, getting our ship ready to take our turn back out in the fight and keeping that operational mindset.”

For more news on John C. Stennis, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Susan C. Damman

PACIFIC OCEAN – Sailors gathered in USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) hangar bay for a “Tackle the DUI” tailgating event, Sept. 17.

The event promoted healthier lifestyles and raised awareness of the effects of alcohol with informational booths and football themed activities. By arming their peers with information, John C. Stennis Sailors hoped to prevent their shipmates from driving under the influence (DUI).

The tailgate was organized by the ship’s Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) working with the command Drug and Alcohol Program Advisors (DAPA), First Class Petty Officers Association (FCPOA), Second Class Petty Officers Association (SCPOA) and Junior Enlisted Association (JEA).

The event began on a serious note. Several Sailors told personal stories about alcohol, and what the consequences of driving under the influence have been for them both professionally and personally.

“I think if I could help anybody with my experience, if I could reach out and positively influence somebody, then that would be awesome,” said Chief Fire Controlman Mick Kirby, from Cottage Grove, Ore., one of the guest speakers. “Something I would love people to understand is that when you are dealing with addiction, it’s impossible to beat it without help, and the Navy has great resources to help.”

CSADD set up trivia booths with facts, statistics and common misconceptions about alcohol use.

“We definitely had a few dropped jaws,” said Electronics Technician 3rd Class Annalyss Blanco, from Apopka, Fla., who set up the booths for CSADD. “People were surprised by some of the statistics.”

Blanco said Sailors seemed staggered to learn that each day 28 people in America die as a result of drunk driving crashes, and one in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime. Blanco also said few of the Sailors she talked to were aware that carbonation increases the speed of alcohol absorption.

As the event continued, it began to more closely resemble a tailgate party with football games playing on a large inflatable screen, and snacks and cotton candy provided by the SCPOA.

JEA provided goggles that simulate how drinking alcohol can distort your senses. Sailors tried to throw a football through a goal post while wearing the goggles.

“If you can’t throw a football into a post with drunk goggles on, how are you going to drive a car,” said Yeoman 3rd Class Regan Edwards, from Ocean City, Md., and JEA president. “Hopefully people take this seriously and the awareness goes up. I hope people realize that the consequences of drinking and driving are more than losing rank or losing money. It hurts more than yourself.”

At the FCPOA booth, Sailors were invited to sign a banner pledging to never drink and drive.

“I don’t want to promote people not to drink; I want to promote responsible drinking,” said Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Robert Hodor, the command DAPA. “I know people are going to drink, just be reasonable about it.”

Hodor also said if any Sailor is having a problem with alcohol they should talk to one of the DAPAs. They are there to help.

John C. Stennis underway training for future operations after conducting carrier qualifications and completing flight deck certification.

For more news on John C. Stennis, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cole C. Pielop

PACIFIC OCEAN – Twenty Sailors were promoted to chief petty officer (CPO) during a frocking ceremony aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Sept. 15.

At the ceremony, members of the Chiefs Mess pinned gold, fouled anchors, the insignia of CPOs, on the new chiefs’ uniform collars and placed chief combination covers on their heads.

“[Being pinned] was a culmination of everything coming together,” said Chief Information Systems Technician Tyreeh Bailey, from Colorado Springs, Colorado. “As an E-3 I didn’t think this day would come, but E-3 me would be proud that I’ve got to where I am and I can hold my head high and say I’ve accomplished this.”

Master Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Tyrone Johnson spoke to the selectees about the responsibilities that come along with the new rank.
“The anchors on this ship weight 60,000 pounds,” said Johnson. “I assure you there will be days in which the ones you are about to wear will feel like they weigh just as much. There is good news; you’re not alone. Seniors and juniors will help you. Most importantly every chief on this planet, retired, or active will be there for you. Thank you for stepping up as our reliefs.”
Upon hearing the chief advancement results in August, selectees began a training program called CPO 365 phase two to transition into CPOs.
“The biggest part for me was the things we had to accomplish together as a team,” said Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Eric Atkinson, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “There’s no more individual involved. Sometimes some of us tend to go off and do things on our own and think we can accomplish things but you really can’t. You need that teamwork and brotherhood that we learned.”

The names of the new chiefs are Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Dennis Archer; Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Eric Atkinson; Chief Information Systems Technician Tyreeh Bailey; Chief Aviation Electronics Technician Gregory Barry; Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuel) Tyrone Binongcal; Chief Hospital Corpsman Bryan Clarke; Chief Aviation Electronics Technician Andrew Folsom; Chief Aviation Support Equipment Technician Mark Garin; Chief Fire Controlman Michael Kirby; Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic Jason Knopes; Chief Air Traffic Controller Joshua Koble; Chief Logistics Specialist Jian Lin; Chief Electrician’s Mate Michele Mcpherson; Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Harry Meyer III; Chief Machinist’s Mate Max Reiter; Chief Machinist’s Mate Alex Fenton, Chief Aviation Support Equipment Technician Joephaz Sanchez; Chief Machinist’s Mate Davis Webb; Chief Mass Communication Specialist Matthew White and Chief Damage Controlman Matthew Wierson.

John C. Stennis is underway conducting carrier qualifications and training for future operations after completing flight deck certification.

For more news from USS John C. Stennis visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cole C. Pielop

PACIFIC OCEAN – Twenty Sailors were promoted to chief petty officer (CPO) during a frocking ceremony aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Sept. 15.

At the ceremony, members of the Chiefs Mess pinned gold, fouled anchors, the insignia of CPOs, on the new chiefs’ uniform collars and placed chief combination covers on their heads.

“[Being pinned] was a culmination of everything coming together,” said Chief Information Systems Technician Tyreeh Bailey, from Colorado Springs, Colorado. “As an E-3 I didn’t think this day would come, but E-3 me would be proud that I’ve got to where I am and I can hold my head high and say I’ve accomplished this.”

Master Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Tyrone Johnson spoke to the selectees about the responsibilities that come along with the new rank.
“The anchors on this ship weight 60,000 pounds,” said Johnson. “I assure you there will be days in which the ones you are about to wear will feel like they weigh just as much. There is good news; you’re not alone. Seniors and juniors will help you. Most importantly every chief on this planet, retired, or active will be there for you. Thank you for stepping up as our reliefs.”
Upon hearing the chief advancement results in August, selectees began a training program called CPO 365 phase two to transition into CPOs.
“The biggest part for me was the things we had to accomplish together as a team,” said Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Eric Atkinson, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “There’s no more individual involved. Sometimes some of us tend to go off and do things on our own and think we can accomplish things but you really can’t. You need that teamwork and brotherhood that we learned.”

The names of the new chiefs are Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Dennis Archer; Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Eric Atkinson; Chief Information Systems Technician Tyreeh Bailey; Chief Aviation Electronics Technician Gregory Barry; Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuel) Tyrone Binongcal; Chief Hospital Corpsman Bryan Clarke; Chief Aviation Electronics Technician Andrew Folsom; Chief Aviation Support Equipment Technician Mark Garin; Chief Fire Controlman Michael Kirby; Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic Jason Knopes; Chief Air Traffic Controller Joshua Koble; Chief Logistics Specialist Jian Lin; Chief Electrician’s Mate Michele Mcpherson; Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Harry Meyer III; Chief Machinist’s Mate Max Reiter; Chief Machinist’s Mate Alex Fenton, Chief Aviation Support Equipment Technician Joephaz Sanchez; Chief Machinist’s Mate Davis Webb; Chief Mass Communication Specialist Matthew White and Chief Damage Controlman Matthew Wierson.

John C. Stennis is underway conducting carrier qualifications and training for future operations after completing flight deck certification.

For more news from USS John C. Stennis visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs Office

San Diego – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) arrived at Naval Air Station North Island after successfully completing flight deck certification and conducting carrier qualifications, Sept. 11.

In five days of flight operations, John C. Stennis and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 accomplished 374 launches and recoveries for both its flight deck certification and carrier qualifications for the air wing.

John C. Stennis is stopping in San Diego to offload CVW-9 maintenance parts and supplies and take on new supply stores and equipment in support of scheduled carrier qualification training cycles and other evolutions, after which the ship will return to sea to conduct additional training.

For more news on John C. Stennis, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Susan Damman

PACIFIC OCEAN – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) successfully completed its flight deck certification, Sept. 6, with the help of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9.

During the certification, Commander, Naval Air Forces, Pacific, evaluated the ship’s ability to safely launch and recover aircraft. Flight deck certification is a major milestone for John C. Stennis during its training cycle after early completion of a six-month planned incremental availability (PIA) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in August.

“Our main weapon system is the delivery of ordnance through strike fighter aircraft,” said Cmdr. Pavao Huldisch, the air officer aboard John C. Stennis. “Unless we’re certified, we can’t carry aircraft, we can’t launch them, and we can’t recover them. The ability to conduct the mission of this aircraft carrier is what we accomplish by certifying the flight deck and getting back in the fight to do the nation’s business.”

To certify, John C. Stennis was required to conduct at least 120 day and 40 night aircraft launch and recoveries over the course of two days, as well as demonstrating proficiency across a wide range of flight related operations to include multiple aircraft emergency drills. The ship accomplished more than 200 launches and recoveries, more than meeting the certification requirements and gaining valuable additional training for both pilots and flight deck crews.

“It’s hard to go from a maintenance mindset to an operational mindset,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 1st Class William Duskin, the flight deck leading petty officer, from Cochran, Georgia. “That’s the reason why we have flight deck certification. We had a long break during PIA where we weren’t doing flight operations. We need to make sure we can still follow the correct procedures and do it safely.”

The preparation for flight deck certification began before PIA ended, with flight deck personnel conducting training, firefighting drills and briefs. For many new crewmembers this was their first time conducting flight operations.

“Not too many people get to say they’ve been on an aircraft carrier and watched these machines take off and go from zero to whatever they go. It’s impressive,” said Airman Garrett Pensak, from Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.

This underway was also the first time John C. Stennis and CVW-9 operated together since 2016. Flight operations take a lot of coordination between ship’s company and the air wing squadrons, and flight deck certification was an opportunity to renew that relationship.

“Teamwork is everything,” said Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Tony Garcia, assigned to the Black Aces of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 41, from Edinburg, Texas. “Without ship’s company, we can’t do our job; and without us, ship’s company can’t do their job. Teamwork is a big deal around here.”

After completing flight deck certification, John C. Stennis will be completing a series of work ups and certifications leading to a scheduled 2018 deployment.

For more news on John C. Stennis, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joseph L. Miller

BREMERTON, Wash. – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) got underway from Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton to complete its flight deck certification and other training, Sept 1.
Flight deck certification is a key milestone for the aircraft carrier’s return to operations at sea following a six-month Planned Incremental Availability (PIA) maintenance period.

“The flight deck certification process has been ongoing for many months now, beginning with an in-depth inspection of the air department, [and] leading to a vigorous drill routine and inspection that will culminate with certifying the ship for flight operations,” said Lt. Karl Schroeder, a catapult and arresting gear officer on John C. Stennis. “The separate air department divisions will be assessed, ranging from refueling aircraft, aircraft moves on both the flight deck and in the hanger bay, to launching and recovering aircraft through both day and night operations.”
The underway also marks the first time Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 aircraft and personnel have been on board conducting flight operations in more than eight months.
“The effective coordination between JCS and CVW 9 is a critical element to ensuring the Strike Group is operationally prepared for the upcoming deployment,” said Schroeder. “Early and frequent interaction between the two commands is vital to the start of the work-up cycle.”
For many Sailors aboard the Stennis this will be their first time conducting flight operations at sea.
“Everyone is understandably both eager and anxious about the upcoming underway and flight deck certification,” said Schroeder. “Carrier operations are, without a doubt, awe-inspiring, and those who have had the opportunity to witness or take part in flight ops are keen to get back to launching and recovering birds.”
Once flight deck certification is complete, John C. Stennis will conduct flight deck qualifications, as well as other training.

For more news on John C. Stennis, visit http://navy.mil/local/cvn74/ or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joseph L. Miller

BREMERTON, Wash. – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) got underway from Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton to complete its flight deck certification and other training, Sept 1.
Flight deck certification is a key milestone for the aircraft carrier’s return to operations at sea following a six-month Planned Incremental Availability (PIA) maintenance period.

“The flight deck certification process has been ongoing for many months now, beginning with an in-depth inspection of the air department, [and] leading to a vigorous drill routine and inspection that will culminate with certifying the ship for flight operations,” said Lt. Karl Schroeder, a catapult and arresting gear officer on John C. Stennis. “The separate air department divisions will be assessed, ranging from refueling aircraft, aircraft moves on both the flight deck and in the hanger bay, to launching and recovering aircraft through both day and night operations.”
The underway also marks the first time Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 aircraft and personnel have been on board conducting flight operations in more than eight months.
“The effective coordination between JCS and CVW 9 is a critical element to ensuring the Strike Group is operationally prepared for the upcoming deployment,” said Schroeder. “Early and frequent interaction between the two commands is vital to the start of the work-up cycle.”
For many Sailors aboard the Stennis this will be their first time conducting flight operations at sea.
“Everyone is understandably both eager and anxious about the upcoming underway and flight deck certification,” said Schroeder. “Carrier operations are, without a doubt, awe-inspiring, and those who have had the opportunity to witness or take part in flight ops are keen to get back to launching and recovering birds.”
Once flight deck certification is complete, John C. Stennis will conduct flight deck qualifications, as well as other training.

For more news on John C. Stennis, visit http://navy.mil/local/cvn74/ or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

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