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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.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nick A. Grim

BREMERTON, Washington – Sailors from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and other Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) Bremerton commands are building friendships and promoting teamwork while playing in the NBK Bremerton Basketball League.

“Not only does the league build camaraderie and promote competition, but I believe it gives the men and women an outlet for their energy,” said Reggie Mills, retired master chief cryptologic technician (technical) and a league coach from Palermo, New York.

The league provides Sailors with a positive outlet for their competitive side.

“For all the competitors out there like myself, this is when you can let that [competitive] side of you out,” said Yeoman 3rd Class Ian Riley, from Chicago.

Mills initially got involved while playing against a few of his friends in September and started discussing playing for teams in the league. Mills moved into a coaching position after initially starting as a player.

The league helps advance teamwork by providing a recreational environment where the players work as a team, and can then bring these lessons back to a professional environment.

Riley said you have to rely on your team to achieve that ultimate goal and you can take that attitude from the court back to John C. Stennis, because most of the work on the ship you cannot do by yourself.

“I believe everyone wants to be part of something special, something bigger than themselves and having a team to contribute to is essential to growth,” said Mills, “It’s about learning and having fun. When we do that, we win no matter what the final score is.”

In addition to building teamwork, the league fosters strengthening existing relationships and building new friendships that may be otherwise difficult to difficult to develop in the working environment of a larger command.

Mills said with very large commands like John C. Stennis, players can now get to know teammates and see them as more than just another person they work with on the ship.

“I already knew all the guys on the team from the ship and playing together made our relationships stronger,” said Riley, “With some of these guys it used to be a quick handshake and now it turns into real conversations.”

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

170221-N-LX437-007.jpgStory by John C. Stennis Public Affairs

BREMERTON, Washington – Capt. Greg Huffman, commanding officer of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), spoke to members of the Puget Sound Ship Repair Association (PSSRA) Feb. 21.

PSSRA members include all aspects of shipyard and ship-repair organizations, and is dedicated to enhancing their collective capability to provide services to Navy ships in the region through partnership.

Huffman spoke about John C. Stennis’ 2016 deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, where it conducted operations in the South China Sea as well as exercises with regional partners and allies. John C. Stennis also participated in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, with 26 countries working together on a wide range of maritime events.

Engagements with local associations and organizations help build awareness of the Navy’s mission, and build relationships with the community in which John C. Stennis’ crew work and live.

John C. Stennis is currently conducting a planned incremental availability at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.

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 Mike Pernick
BREMERTON, Washington – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) officially entered its planned incremental availability (PIA) period, Feb. 16.
John C. Stennis Sailors and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF) workers will be executing the largest work package for a CVN-class ship in a six-month period.
“PIA planning was being conducted on deployment,” said Lt. Cmdr. Richfield Agullana, USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) assistant maintenance officer and ship’s work force package team leader, from Kaneohe, Hawaii. “As soon as deployment came to an end we began working with other departments to identify Sailors that would be part of the PIA teams.”
Some Sailors are temporarily sent to PIA teams to work on a wide variety of tasks including habitability; replacing deck and tile surfaces; testing and repairing valves, fan room, vents and voids for proper function and cleanliness; repairing damaged doors and ladders; as well as organizing and maintaining electrical cable systems throughout the ship.
One of the challenges the crew has faced is the organization and training of Sailors transitioning into their temporarily assigned roles.
“Organizing the teams and setting up takes a lot of work,” said Lt. Clinton Newman, John C. Stennis’ avionics armament officer and barge mayor, from Anniston, Alabama. “We’ve had to write up a lot of instructions and standard operating procedures because of ongoing changes and expectations.”
Other members of the crew will be working within their departments, both carrying out routine maintenance and doing more in-depth work, including repairing ship systems and working alongside outside organizations as new installations are made.
In addition to John C. Stennis’ crew, PSNS & IMF employees and contractors from many companies will be carrying out extensive work onboard, installing new equipment and doing work beyond the capabilities of the crew. Integration between ship, shipyard and contractors is essential to successful execution of maintenance periods, and a focus for everyone involved.
Another transition the crew has had to make is moving Sailors who live on the ship and offices affected by work to a barge moored next to the ship, throughout PIA due to the industrial working environment. The barge can accommodate close to 1,100 people and has about 300 permanent residents right now as well as duty section members. Some departments have moved their entire work centers to the barge.
“It took us about a week to inventory the entire barge,” said Newman. “We had to address all the issues of the facility and how we were going to lay the groundwork for organization. We basically had to move the entire service industry of the entire ship over [to the barge].”
John C. Stennis and PSNS & IMF have a lot of work ahead of them but Agullana thinks they have set themselves up for success.
“I think we’re in a pretty good spot right now,” said Agullana. “I’m confident we’ll be off to a good start.”

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) assembled in the ship’s hangar bay for an all-hands call by Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, commander, Naval Air Forces, Jan.12.

Shoemaker, a native of St. Petersburg, Florida, and former John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group commander, met with command leaders before addressing the crew.

“It’s really great to be back in Bremerton and back on board what was my flagship a couple deployments ago,” said Shoemaker. “I’m swinging through to do some business up on Whidbey [Island] and then the change of command over on [USS] Nimitz [CVN 68] today.”

Shoemaker spoke to Sailors about the status of manning, mission readiness and opened the floor for a question and answer session. He also recognized the outstanding performance of John C. Stennis Sailors.

“Across the board, our Sailors, maintainers and aviators are some of the best in the world,” said Shoemaker. “Thank you for the great work you’ve done since being back from deployment.”

Commander, Naval Air Forces mans, trains, equips and maintains a Naval air force that is immediately employable, forward deployed and engaged.

John C. Stennis is currently in port preparing for a planned incremental availability.

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 Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang

PUGET SOUND, Washington – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Sailors conducted deck landing qualifications (DLQ) with the Washington National Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard, Dec. 18.

A National Guard CH-47 Chinook and a U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin performed DLQs on the flight deck of John C. Stennis while the ship transited the Puget Sound.

“This was a great opportunity to work with both our Washington National Guard and U.S. Coast Guard counterparts,” said Cmdr. Joseph Huffine, John C. Stennis’ assistant air officer. “The abilities demonstrated here by both the air crews and deck crews demonstrate that both are true professionals and can safely conduct flight operations when landing onboard an aircraft carrier. I am proud of all the Sailors who made this evolution a success.”

According to Capt. Joseph Siemandel, state public affairs officer for the Washington National Guard, this marked the first time in the history of the Washington National Guard that they have landed a Chinook as part of a DLQ off the coast of Washington state.

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 Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang

BREMERTON, Washington – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Sailors returned home to Bremerton, Washington on Dec. 18, in time for the holidays.

Getting underway Nov. 22, John C. Stennis Sailors conducted at-sea training, celebrated Thanksgiving underway and participated in National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day events in Hawaii, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and Oahu.

“The crew did a fantastic job at sea and in port,” said Capt. Greg Huffman, John C. Stennis’ commanding officer. “Leaving home can be hard, especially around this time of year, but everybody worked hard and I am proud of what we accomplished.”

John C. Stennis pulled into Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Dec. 2. During the port visit, the ship hosted more than 2,200 visitors, including retired Army National Guard Col. Donald “Doc” E. Ballard, a Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient, retired Air Force Col. Bud Anderson, a three-time ace during World War II, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, veterans, and their family and friends while in port from Dec. 3-8.

John C. Stennis Sailors also attended the Pearl Harbor Invitational basketball tournament in Bloch Arena on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to watch teams from California, Hawaii, Princeton and Seton Hall play, Dec. 6 and 7.

Donning their dress white uniforms, John C. Stennis Sailors joined other active duty service members and veterans in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade, Dec. 7, in Honolulu, before the ship departed Hawaii, Dec. 8.

On the return trip, John C. Stennis Sailors continued to build and maintain technical and operational proficiency through drills and exercises, and completed carrier qualifications with Carrier Airwing Nine. The ship’s medical department also passed an individual medical readiness inspection with a 97.9 percent.

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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