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Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang

BREMERTON, Washington – A USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Sailor returned from a mission to search for the remains of a Vietnam War pilot in Laos, April 8.

Information Systems Technician 1st Class Jaeson Estomo, from Oak Harbor, Washington, was selected for temporary assigned duty (TAD) to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) from Feb. 8 to April 8.

The DPAA’s mission is to provide the fullest possible accounting for missing U.S. service members. Estomo’s team was searching in Laos for the remains of a pilot who crashed in 1967 during the Vietnam War. His job was to set up and maintain communication equipment used by the team during the recovery work.

Estomo was selected from 70 service members from multiple military branches who volunteered for the position. He believes that his previous experience at a U.S. naval construction battalion command, where he worked with the same type of radios used by the DPAA team, gave him an edge in the selection process.

Estomo’s TAD began at DPAA headquarters in Hawaii with 10 days of communications equipment training before continuing onward to his final destination in Xepon, Laos.

“Laos is a beautiful country,” said Estomo. “The people were friendly and welcomed us out there.”

The team worked for over a month at the excavation site in the wilderness outside of Xepon. Around 60 Lao people from a nearby village aided the 20 person DPAA team in their search.

In addition to his primary duties of setting up the communication systems and performing communication checks were completed, Estomo participated in the excavation work by digging, sifting dirt, and searching for plane parts, bone fragments, and other evidence of the pilot’s fate.

This experience was Estomo’s first time working at a joint command with multiple branches of the military.
“Being able to interact with a lot of people from all the different branches at the base camp was a lot of fun,” said Estomo.

In the end, the DPAA team was unsuccessful in their search, but for Estomo, the chance to work together with service members from other branches and the people of another country was an unforgettable opportunity.

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.

For more information about the DPAA, visit http://www.dpaa.mil.

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

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Aime Lykins

BREMERTON, Washington – Sailors assigned to USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) attended a presentation about healthy food choices coordinated by the ship’s Health Promotions Committee and the Kitsap Public Health District, April 4.
Kitsap County Public Health District intern and former John C. Stennis logistics specialist, Cassandra Allen, presented the class in a berthing barge used to provide living and workspace as well as basic services during the ongoing maintenance period.
“I’m really able to identify with [John C. Stennis Sailors] since I worked in supply on the ship and also went through a [planned incremental availability] PIA,” said Allen. “I’m passionate about nutrition and know just what they are dealing with nutritionally, particularly the limitations, in situations like a deployment.”
The Sailors who participated in the course received information on topics such as sugar consumption, label reading and choosing the most nutrient dense foods when shopping on a budget.
The presentation was followed by a question and answer period centered around shipboard nutrition and how Sailors can make healthy choices when they are making food choices in the galley rather than a grocery store.
“I’m really interested in nutrition,” said Aviation Support Eqipment Technician 2nd Class Tanner Bayles, from Warner Robins, Georgia. “I plan to actually get a degree in nutrition once I’m finished with the Navy, but while I’m in I think it is really important to have as many people as possible spreading awareness about nutrition on the ship.”
Allen and Bayles discussed helpful guidelines for John C. Stennis Sailors interested in their health, including eating from the shipboard salad bar first, opting for water over energy drinks and soda, and how to avoid snacking on costly processed items or convenience foods.
“Sailors do face some dietary obstacles, but the more of us here that are educated about nutrition and can spread the word, the stronger and more empowered we can be with our health,” said Bayles.
John C. Stennis is conducting a PIA at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, during which the ship is undergoing scheduled maintenance and upgrades.
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 3rd Class Kenneth Rodriguez Santiago

BREMERTON, Washington – Sailors from Afloat Training Group Pacific (ATGPAC) came aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) to prepare John C. Stennis for success following the ship’s planned incremental availability.

Lt. Sam Clement, John C. Stennis’ assistant training officer, said ATGPAC evaluated the ship’s individual qualifications and required Navy Enlisted Classifications (NEC) in order to ensure the appropriate personnel are ready and available once the ship leaves the yards.

“We are doing training now to prepare for the basic phase to make sure we are ready to go back out to sea,” said Clement. “ATGPAC’s audits did reveal many of the common manning and training shortfalls associated with the maintenance phase. But that was the purpose of the visit, to help identify those short falls and to ensure we have a plan for correcting them.”

ATGPAC also focused on required schools for John C. Stennis Sailors.

“With the maintenance phase, we are sending Sailors to ‘C’ School,” said Clement. “We are making sure these Sailors know what to do so they can come back and teach other Sailors. We want to make sure the crew is ready to work as a team so we can smoothly go back out to sea.”

Finally, ATGPAC evaluated the ship’s training teams.

Clement said the purpose of this was to help ensure that the ship’s training teams are pointed in the right direction so they can effectively train the crew and be ready to be assessed.

“ATGPAC provided training and guidance in establishing drill packages for future use,” said Clement. “This training is exactly what we were looking for so we can prepare for the future.”

ATGPAC is scheduled to visit John C. Stennis for a graded evolution later this year.

“We’re definitely heading in the right direction,” said Clement. “There are a number of graded evolutions that will be coming up before John C. Stennis’ sustainment period and prior to deployment, this visit is going to set us up for success.”

John C. Stennis is conducting a planned incremental availability (PIA) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, during which the ship is undergoing scheduled maintenance and upgrades.

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 Mike Pernick

BREMERTON, Washington – A USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) officer was awarded the 2016 Commander, Naval Air Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC) Propulsion Plant Watch Officer of the Year award, March 28.

Lt. Kristin Anzalone, from Bellingham, Washington, earned the award, which recognizes contributions to force readiness made by nuclear trained junior officers aboard nuclear powered aircraft carriers. Every carrier nominates one junior officer from the reactor department each year for consideration.

“They didn’t tell me that I had been nominated, so I didn’t find out until they told me I had won. I was so surprised,” said Anzalone.

Anzalone’s leadership contributed to the successful completion of a Western Pacific deployment, three major fleet exercises, the 75th Pearl Harbor remembrance and two shipyard maintenance availabilities.

“Lt. Anzalone was nominated based on her operational prowess and demonstrated ability to develop her watch team through casualty and routine operations,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jorge Roldan, main propulsion assistant, from New Orleans, who recommended Anzalone for the award. “Moreover, she superbly led one of the most challenging and maintenance intensive work centers onboard the ship.”

Anzalone also took the lead on numerous complex propulsion plant operations, testing and maintenance evolutions with excellent results all while leading her division of 45 Sailors.

“I’d like to credit the other supervisors on my watch team,” said Anzalone, “especially my propulsion plant watch supervisor, chief reactor watch and chief machinery operator.”

Anzalone will be moving on from John C. Stennis this summer to be an instructor at the Navy’s Officer Candidate School located in Newport, Rhode Island.

John C. Stennis is conducting a planned incremental availability (PIA) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, during which the ship is undergoing scheduled maintenance and upgrades.
For more news on John C. Stennis, visit http://navy.mil/local/cvn74/ or http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman William Ford
BREMERTON, Washington – Since 1845 the United States Naval Academy has been preparing the Navy’s future officers. The esteemed academy is located in Annapolis, Maryland, along the banks of the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay. Those hallowed grounds host over 4,000 aspiring officers, and this summer one of them will be from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).
Culinary Specialist 3rd Class James Wells, from Sacramento, California, realized his goal of being accepted to the United States Naval Academy by remaining persistent and heeding the advice of mentors aboard John C. Stennis.
Wells, a third-generation Sailor, began developing persistence at an early age, and has used that skill to advance his perspective on life.
“Growing up, I attended four different elementary schools and three different high schools as my family moved frequently to support my father’s job,” said Wells. “I learned early on that being able to adapt to your environment and maintaining an open mind is a key component to success when interacting with varying personalities.”
Wells would rely on that persistence again after discovering he was denied entry to the academy out of high school.
“In my senior year of high school my application to the academy was denied due to not having competitive SAT scores,” said Wells. “But I stayed persistent and enlisted after graduating from high school with the same aspiration of having the opportunity to graduate from Annapolis. Obtaining a commission from the United States Naval Academy has been at the pinnacle of my desires since I was mature enough to recognize the unique sacrifice my father and grandfather partook in by serving in the U.S. Navy.”
Wells enlisted in the Navy in January 2016 and arrived on John C. Stennis five months later after graduating culinary specialist “A” school at the top of his class.
Chief Warrant Officer Robert Compton, John C. Stennis’ food service officer and Well’s division officer, from Pell City, Alabama, supported Wells throughout the application process.
“I helped him put his package together to ensure that he met all of the requirements on the documents he submitted,” said Compton. “I tracked his progress each week for items he needed to complete.”
Ensign Brett Enlow from Coral Springs, Florida, one of the officers who interviewed Wells for the program, complimented Wells’ approach to completing his application process.
“He was very organized throughout the process and always had specific questions. It was easy to help him because he was helping himself,” said Enlow. “There are many wickets you have to make it through and the process for applying is not an easy one.”
The 219-page application instruction would intimidate even the most motivated of Sailors, but Wells used his persistance and chain of command to navigate the lengthy instruction.
First, Wells reviewed the basic eligibility requirements: applicants must not have passed their 23rd birthday on July 1 in the year of admission; applicants must not be married or have children; no violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice; must have no visibile tattoos; and must pass a litany of medical screenings.
Next, Wells needed to prove himself as a scholastically-qualified candidate by providing a competitive high school trancript and by scoring higher on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) than he did when he applied for the academy in high school.
Wells’ high school transcript met the requirements. When he re-took the SAT, Wells surpassed the required score of 550 in math and 500 in critical reading skills.
Finally, Wells needed to secure a recommendation from the ship’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Greg C. Huffman, and Compton was there to help with that task as well. Compton wrote several evaluations and letters of recommendation to assist the commanding officer and his department head in their assessment of Wells.
Huffman responded by endorsing Wells, and was the first to congratulate him after his acceptance to the United States Naval Academy.
“It is with my absolute pleasure that I congratulate you and your acceptance to the United States Naval Academy. This is quite an accomplishment and you can be justifiably proud,” said Huffman. “On behalf of the officers and crew, we send our best wishes for continued success. Keep up the good work and job well done!”
Only time will tell how successful of an officer Wells will be, but one thing is for sure, there are plenty of officers aboard John C. Stennis that see great potential in him. Due to his tenacity and positive attitude, he has secured admission to a prestigious institution and has a chance to become an officer in the Navy. Wells realized his goal, sought out the information he needed to attain it, and relied on his chain of command to help him achieve it.
For more information on applying to the Navy’s various commissioning programs, Sailors should seek out OPNAVINST 1420.1B

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dakota Rayburn

BREMERTON, Washington – Commander, Naval Air Forces, Pacific announced Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) as the recipient of the 2016 Battle “E” award for aircraft carriers home-ported in the Pacific, March 28.
The Commander, Naval Air Forces Carrier Battle Efficiency (Battle “E”) competition is held annually to recognize the best performing east and west coast aircraft carriers and award them for demonstrating superior performance and readiness.
Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, commander, Naval Air Forces, Pacific and Rear Adm. Bruce Lindsey, commander, Naval Air Forces, Atlantic, released a joint message announcing and congratulating the winners of the Battle “E” award.
“Congratulations to USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) for your selection as the 2016 Battle “E” Award winners,” wrote Shoemaker and Lindsey. “Additionally, congratulations to all departmental winners for your hard work and demonstrated superior performance. The Sailors and officers of these carriers should be proud of their efforts.”
John C. Stennis was selected for the Battle “E” for demonstrating operational excellence and superior achievement in a wide range of competencies throughout the competitive cycle. The ship also needed to remain current in all inspections, certifications and assessments, as well as maintain a high-level of safety awareness and operational risk management during all shipboard operations throughout 2016.
The Battle “E” is presented by the respective type commander (TYCOM) to the aircraft carrier which has achieved the highest degree of battle readiness through sustained superior performance and operational effectiveness. John C. Stennis Departments are recognized with the following awards. * Air (yellow “E”)
* Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance (black “E”)
* Combat Systems (green “CS”)
* Damage Control (red “DC”)
* Deck (white crossed anchors with black “D”)
* Health Services (blue “M”)
* Navigation (white ship’s wheel)
* Operations (green “E”)
* Reactor (red “E”)
* Safety (green “E”)
* Security (black “S”)
* Supply (blue “E”)
* Weapons (black “W”)
* Carrier Maintenance (purple “E”)
* Environmental Protection and Energy Conservation (EPEC) Award
John C. Stennis is conducting a planned incremental availability (PIA) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, during which the ship is undergoing scheduled maintenance and upgrades.
For more news on John C. Stennis, visit http://navy.mil/local/cvn74/ or http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jackson G. Brown
BREMERTON, Washington – USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) Multi-Cultural Heritage Committee hosted Sailors for a Women’s History Month celebration, March 24.
The ceremony celebrated influential women in naval history, and featured several guest speakers, including Capt. Scott Miller, John C. Stennis’ executive officer and Poulsbo City Counsel Board of Directors member, and retired Navy captain, Sandra Smith, who was influential in bringing uniform changes for women during her time in the Navy.
“When I went to OCS (Officer Candidate School) in Newport, none of our uniforms had slacks. Women officers had service dress blues with black heels, and our summer uniforms had a white pinstripe that wasn’t very uniform with the rest of the Navy,” said Smith. “[In response to a uniform review board request] I wrote a long statement to the Navy with drawings that basically said ‘make our summer uniforms uniform,’ and they did just that,” said Smith.
Smith influenced many of the Navy’s uniform changes to accommodate females in service, including allowing women to wear earrings in uniform and creating a maternity uniform for pregnant Sailors.
Other speakers at the ceremony also spoke of other prominent females in the military, such as Regina Mills, the Navy’s first female aviation deck limited-duty officer, and Adm. Michelle Howard, the first African-American woman to command a Navy ship, and the first woman to become a four star admiral.
Sailors who attended said they appreciated the celebration for remembering how far women have come in the military.
“If it wasn’t for the women in our history I wouldn’t be able to serve today,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman Bianca Knight, from New York.
Knight said that she is inspired both by women who served before her and the women she serves alongside today.
Knight said she has two fellow female chiefs in her rate within her division. “Learning from them, and being their protégé is actually showing me the things I need to know to succeed in my rate.”
John C. Stennis is conducting a planned incremental availability (PIA) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, during which the ship is undergoing scheduled maintenance and upgrades.
For more news on John C. Stennis, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or follow along on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/stennis74

BREMERTON, Washington – Sailors from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) took part in several community relations events over two weeks beginning March 9.

Sailors volunteered for a Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton cleanup, helped out at St. Vincent de Paul food bank, and visited with veterans at the Washington Veterans Home in Port Orchard and the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care system in Seattle.

“We are ambassadors, we set an example and we want to be known for doing good things for our community and our nation,” said Operations Specialist 1st Class Joseph Snowden, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Events like base cleanups, assisting at a food bank and visiting a veterans’ home provide opportunities for John C. Stennis Sailors to participate in, and build, strong relationships with the community.

At the veterans’ homes, Sailors had a chance to speak with veterans in their rooms.

“While it’s a good opportunity to get off the ship, it’s more important that John C. Stennis Sailors are learning from people in our community,” said Air Traffic Controlman 2nd Class Michael Clingaman, from San Diego, who volunteered at the Washington Veterans Home in Port Orchard, “In our case it was meeting veterans and getting to hear their stories of the military of the past.”

Chief Aviation Boatswains Mate (Handling) William J. Wagner, from Phoenix, who volunteered at the St. Vincent de Paul food bank, said having John C. Stennis Sailors work hand-in-hand with the local community sped up the work process and allowed more work to be completed.

Sailors also spent time cleaning up Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, John C. Stennis’ homeport.

“I like coordinating events like base or local area cleanups within my department, so we can keep the neighborhood clean for our community and ourselves”, said Master Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Jack Hudson, from Mexico, Missouri. “It makes the Sailors feel like they’re doing a great job and it’s very rewarding to see them happy with the work they have done.”

John C. Stennis Sailors expressed support for community relations events conducted by the command.

“I’m most excited about giving back to the community,” said Clingaman “I’m a prior Eagle Scout so I’m used to giving back to the community and helping them realize that someone’s out there to help them out.”

John C. Stennis is conducting a planned incremental availability (PIA) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, during which the ship is undergoing scheduled maintenance and upgrades. Throughout PIA, John C. Stennis Sailors are conducting community service events, providing opportunities to support the communities in which they live.

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 Aime Lykins

BREMERTON, Washington – Sailors aboard USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) participated in two simultaneous Ash Wednesday Celebrations presented by a collaboration of the ship’s command religious ministries department (CRMD) and USS Nimitz (CVN 68), March 1.

The services were held during the lunch hour in a berthing barge used to provide living and workspace as well as basic services during the ongoing maintenance period and were open to all hands, regardless of their religion or faith practice.

The Catholic service was lead by Lt. Patrick Riffle, from Washington, D.C., Nimitz’s Catholic priest, and the Protestant service was lead by Cmdr. Carey Cash, from Memphis, Tennessee, John C. Stennis’ command chaplain.

“During this service, Christians receive ashes on their foreheads as a sign of remorse and repentance,” said Cash. “The ashes are a symbol of human frailty and dependence on God. The ceremony invites followers to examine their hearts as a way to deepen their faith practice.”

Ash Wednesday is the first day of the Christian-faith-based season of Lent, a 40-day period to prepare believers for Easter Sunday.

Cash added that two of the three primary Lenten practices, the first being the imposition of ashes, are exercising spiritual discipline through fasting in order to deepen one’s awareness of human need and the adoption of new practices to create space for God in a believer’s life.

“This is my first time [attending] Ash Wednesday service in the Navy,” said Yeoman 3rd Class Justin Hewitt from Louisville, Kentucky, who read from the gospel of Mark during the Protestant service. “This year I plan to give up pork and explore keeping Kosher.”

The Catholic service included readings from the congregation, the sacrament of Holy Communion and the imposition of ashes.

“This is a period of renewal,” said Father Riffle. “Personally, it’s kind of a period of hitting the reset button on our lives and start over, kind of like a new year’s resolution. As Catholic-Christians, it is a chance for us to renew and recommit to our faith.”

Riffle is one of 46 Catholic priests in the Navy and Marine Corps. He is the only active-duty priest in the Navy Region Northwest and for Carrier Strike Group 11. He performs Mass aboard USS Nimitz and assists with Mass for Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

Navy chaplains perform religious ceremonies of their own faiths, facilitate observances through lay leaders for faiths without chaplains available and provide support services to Navy personnel regardless of faith background.

John C. Stennis is conducting a planned incremental availability (PIA) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, during which the ship is undergoing scheduled maintenance and upgrades.

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

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sierra D. Langdon
BREMERTON, Washington – Sailors from USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) Multi-Cultural Heritage Committee (MCHC) held a ceremony observing African-American/Black History Month, Feb. 24.
Sailors gathered in a berthing barge used to provide living and workspace as well as basic services during the ongoing maintenance period to see performances highlighting the contributions of African-Americans through history.
MCHC selected ‘Success Always Leaves Footprints’ as this year’s theme. The ceremony featured informational performances and presentations centered on African-American successes.
“Today we come together to honor the legends of the past and present that have been and continue to be instrumental to the progress and furthering of a melanated people,” said Lt. Jonathan Johnson from New Orleans. “We have come to commemorate the intellectual, social and educational advancements of these people during times of hardship and pain while illuminating their strength and fortitude.”
The observance included informational speeches on historical figures and moments that have inspired others to pursue success through diversity.
“Many have set remembrance on The Tuskegee Airmen and The Golden Thirteen, admiring their contributions to our nation’s military history,” said Johnson. “The most popular contributors, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, have been quoted, there have been dances, conventions and festivals reflecting on all the accomplishments of this America and how we have played an intricate part in sculpting the face of it.”
Members of the MCHC performed music, recited poetry and gave personal accounts of overcoming adversity.
“In diversity there is beauty and there is strength,” said Chief Legalman Tanica Bagmon, from Fort Washington, Maryland, quoting African-American Poet Maya Angelou. “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of that tapestry are equal in value no matter their color.”
In her own words, Bagmon added “As the world continues to evolve, so will our military and all the threads of that rich tapestry will become stronger.”
John C. Stennis is conducting a planned incremental availability (PIA) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, during which the ship is undergoing scheduled maintenance and upgrades.
For more news on USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) visit http://navy.mil/local/cvn74/ or http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

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