Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang

BREMERTON, Wash. – Sailors gathered in USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) hangar bay for a Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE) sign-up event, Aug 22.

Representatives from NCPACE were available to inform Sailors about and sign them up for NCPACE courses.

“NCPACE is a program that’s been around over 30 years,” said Gilbert Williams, the Navy Voluntary Education region advisor for Navy Region Northwest. “It’s a program specifically designed for deployed ships and submarines where you don’t have to go online or don’t have to take any class at an actual campus.”

The regionally accredited courses are delivered by self-paced CD-ROM, DVD, MP4 and PDA delivery methods and can be completed at the Sailor’s own pace to accommodate life underway at sea.

Many online courses require Internet connectivity to submit assignments or to participate in chat functions, which could be difficult or impossible to do on a deployed ship or submarine, said Williams.

“The last time I took college classes [online], it was pretty difficult so I think NCPACE is going to make it a little bit easier,” said Aviation Support Equipment Technician 3rd Class Andrew Decamp, from Indianapolis. “If the internet goes down, it’s not going to hurt you because it’s at your own pace.”

NCPACE courses are also tuition free. Sailors only need to pay for textbooks and other educational materials.

“It’s a win-win for the Sailor,” said Williams. “It does not use tuition assistance dollars, it does not use G.I. Bill Benefits; it’s a free course. The only thing the Navy wants you to do is pass the class.”

Olympic College, Coast Line Community College and Vincennes University representatives were also present to talk to Sailors about the different educational opportunities available to them from their respective schools.

A college education will not only benefit Sailors after leaving the Navy but also open doors while they are still in.

Earning a degree can give Sailors advantages when it comes to pay grade advancement, said Lt. j.g. Gabriel Sanchez, John C. Stennis’ educational services officer, from Ruskin, Florida. Enlisted Sailors interested in officer programs should also look into continuing their education.

“If you can get your education while you’re still in the military, still on active duty, that is the best time,” said Kevin Askin, military educational advisor from Olympic College. “You’re not going to be racking up a huge bill later on in life. If you have the opportunity, I say go for it.”

John C. Stennis is in port training for future operations after completing its planned incremental availability (PIA) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility five days ahead of schedule. During PIA, the ship and shipyard team accomplished the largest work package ever for an aircraft carrier in a six-month availability.

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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Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang

BREMERTON, Wash. – Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 3 held a change of command ceremony aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Aug. 29.

Sailors, distinguished visitors, and guests gathered in John C. Stennis’ hangar bay to bid farewell to Rear Adm. Marcus Hitchcock and welcome Rear Adm. Michael Wettlaufer as the new commander of CSG 3.

Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, was the ceremony’s guest speaker and presiding officer, and presented Hitchcock with the Legion of Merit.

“No team has been better prepared to succeed than the John C. Stennis Strike Group under Hitch’s leadership,” said Tyson. “We have literally thrown everything we can think of at this team and they continuously excel.”

Following an award presentation, Hitchcock and Wettlauffer read their orders, officially changing command.

Hitchcock’s next assignment will be commander of Navy Warfare Development Command, Norfolk.

“It’s been a great privilege and an honor to command the John C. Stennis Strike Group for the past 16 months,” said Hitchcock. “This team always came together to support each other and accomplish every mission and I could not be more proud than I am of the John C. Stennis Strike Group.”

During Hitchcock’s time in command, CSG 3 completed a seven-month deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations and participated in Exercise Foal Eagle 2016 with the Republic of Korea, Exercise Malabar 2016 with the Indian Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, and Rim of the Pacific 2016, the world’s largest international exercise.

Wettlaufer previously served as executive officer of John C. Stennis and commanded the Dambusters of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 195, USS Denver (LPD 9), and John C. Stennis.

“Thanks for setting me up with this great team,” said Wettlaufer. “I know you have set us on a path for success and I am honored for the opportunity and I look forward to working with this great team.”

The John C. Stennis Strike Group consists of John C. Stennis with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 and Destroyer Squadron 21 embarked, guided-missile destroyers USS Stockdale (DDG 106), USS Chung-Hoon
(DDG 93) and USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53).

CVW-9 consists of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71, Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 117, Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133, and Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 14, 41, 97 and 151.

CSG3 is comprised of the units making up JCSSG and also includes independent deployers: guided-missile destroyers USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), USS Milius (DDG 69), USS Decatur (DDG 73) and USS Gridley (DDG 101).

John C. Stennis is in port training for future operations after completing its planned incremental availability (PIA) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility five days ahead of schedule. During PIA, the ship and shipyard team accomplished the largest work package ever for an aircraft carrier in a six-month availability.

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 2nd Class Nick A. Grim

BREMERTON, Wash. – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and crew took a pause from their normal training and maintenance, Aug. 25, to focus on safe and efficient operations.

The operational pause was directed by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson in the wake of several U.S. Navy vessel mishaps, including the collisions of USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) with civilian vessels, and seeks to address issues which may have led to these mishaps.

“Recent events indicate these tragic incidents are not limited occurrences but part of a disturbing trend involving U.S. warships in the area of responsibility (AOR),” said Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William Moran.

John C. Stennis had been planning a safety stand-down with similar themes as it shifts its mindset from the industrial and maintenance environment focus which lead it to success in completing its planned incremental availability five days ahead of schedule to one focused on operations at sea, including navigation, damage control and flight operations. The tragic events onboard Fitzgerald and John S. McCain brought the need for this dedication to safe operations into focus.

Moran directed the review to address individual and unit level training and development, operational risk management, mission standards, operational performance and material readiness.

Capt. Greg C. Huffman, commanding officer of USS John C. Stennis, addressing the crew via the ship’s closed circuit TV system alongside Capt. Scott Miller, the executive officer and CMDCM Benjamin Rushing, the ship’s command master chief, introduced the pause as a time to reflect on how the ship does business, ensure that operations are being conducted in the right way, and ensure the ship is ready to return to sea.

During the day, departments aboard John C. Stennis discussed operational issues, and provide feedback on improvements. This included a focus on watchstanding fundamentals, operational risk management, using good planning processes, and the need for situational awareness during operations at sea, in port, and at home. Different departments and functional watch areas were able to tailor the discussions to their specific tasks and goals, while continuing to emphasize how each Sailor’s actions contribute to the ship’s overall capabilities.

The day concluded by re-assembling the crew in the hangar bay, where they were again addressed by Huffman, who re-enforced the need for each and every Sailor to contribute to a culture of safe and effective operations as the ship prepares for upcoming training and certifications at sea.

“If you see things that aren’t right, you speak up. It doesn’t matter what rank, anyone can speak up,” said Quartermaster 1st Class Thomas Ross, from Chicago. “Proper watchstanding, and anything having to do with procedural compliance saves lives.”

John C. Stennis is in port training for future operations after completing its planned incremental availability (PIA) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility five days ahead of schedule. During PIA, the ship and shipyard team accomplished the largest work package ever for an aircraft carrier in a six-month availability.

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 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang

BREMERTON, Washington – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) returned to its homeport after successful sea trials, Aug. 13, completing the last phase of its planned incremental availability (PIA) five days early.

Sea trials are conducted following a major shipyard maintenance period in order to evaluate the ship’s systems and crew for operational readiness. John C. Stennis not only completed the largest six-month PIA for an aircraft carrier ever attempted, but did so ahead of schedule.

“The success of our sea trials was a testament to the work our crew and the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF) team put into our availability,” said Capt. Greg Huffman, John C. Stennis’ commanding officer. “Our ship and crew are now ready to face their next mission, preparing for the certifications and training needed for operations around the world.”

John C. Stennis’ PIA included more than 2,800,000 man-hours of work, including opening, cleaning and inspecting 104 tanks and vent spaces, conducting repairs to John C. Stennis’ collection, holding and transfer tanks, installing a new incinerator, a feat never before completed during a six-month availability and replacing the trough cover for one of the carrier’s catapults – again, never before accomplished during a six-month availability.

“The key to accomplishing these projects was the carrier team taking on the lessons learned from other carriers and applying them to our own work strings,” said Capt. P. Scott Miller, John C. Stennis’ executive officer. “In particular, our success would not have been possible without the experience we gained from other incinerator and cat [catapult] trough projects.”

During sea trials, John C. Stennis Sailors exercised the ship’s systems, including combat systems, damage control equipment, flight deck and engineering systems.

“We’re trying to test everything that was worked during the PIA and at the same time build some proficiency in the watch standers to make sure, with the months that we have been in port, that we get back into a proficient level,” said Cmdr. T. J. Zerr, John C. Stennis’ reactor officer, from Denver.

Sailors also put into practice their seamanship skills underway for the first time since beginning the availability, and simulated flight deck operations with operational catapults.

“From the crew’s perspective, you have to really shift how you’re approaching day-to-day operations from more of a maintenance environment to getting back into an operational mode,” said Zerr.

The ship’s success during sea trials was the culmination of six months of effort between the ship’s crew, shipyard personnel and contractors.

“The CVN 74 team, from the commanding officer to the project superintendent, all the way down to the junior Sailor and mechanic on the deck plate, has understood from day one the importance of completing John C. Stennis’ 2017 fiscal year PIA on schedule,” said Mike Irby, PSNS & IMF project superintendent. “Through tremendous effort and teamwork, team Stennis completed this availability five days ahead of schedule. This accomplishment could not have been achieved without the maintenance deployment mindset of Capt. Huffman and his department head leadership instilling a unique sense of urgency from day one to succeed.”

John C. Stennis has returned to Bremerton, and will now conduct training and evolutions to prepare them to return to operations at sea.

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 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang

BREMERTON, Washington – Sailors aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) got underway for Sea Trials as the ship’s planned incremental availability (PIA) nears its end, August 11.
John C. Stennis entered PIA in February with the largest work package ever planned for a six-month availability for a Nimitz-class carrier, requiring more than 2,800,000 man-hours of work between ship’s Sailors, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, and contractors. Through teamwork, dedication and expert management, the ship was able to get underway ahead of their originally planned departure date.
“With the extraordinary support of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, USS John C. Stennis has not only returned to sea to complete the most ambitious six-month carrier availability ever attempted, but has done so three days ahead of schedule,” said Capt. Gregory Huffman, John C. Stennis’ commanding officer. “I am tremendously proud of the hard work and dedication required to reach this milestone, and look forward to seeing the ship and crew in action as we begin our at-sea training cycle.”

The goal of PIA is to overhaul and rejuvenate the ship, improving operational systems as well as the quality of life aboard the ship. The work package included items ranging from upgrades to the ship’s navigation systems and refurbishing crew berthing spaces.

With so many projects to be completed and only six months to complete them in, staying on schedule was no easy feat.

“Overall, the work package was 140 percent above the normal amount for a CVN-class carrier availability,” said Cmdr. Ken Holland, John C. Stennis’ chief engineer and PIA coordinator, from Littleton, Colorado, “But with shipyard and ship’s force coming together, we were able to overcome obstacles as a team and work together every day to complete the task we needed to, becoming more efficient and ultimately resulting in us arriving at this point ahead of schedule.”

One of the challenges faced was balancing the different work being performed by Sailors, shipyard personnel and contractors being conducted at the same time.

“If we weren’t on the same page, then we wasted time and time simply isn’t something we have a lot of,” said Ensign Joshua Hays, John C. Stennis’ auxiliary technician, from Jacksonville, Florida.

The key to John C. Stennis’ success was teamwork, coordination and communication between everyone involved.

“The biggest thing was communications, the ability to work together as a team and helping each other out whenever we needed help,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mike Palmer, John C. Stennis’ maintenance manager, from Seabeck, Washington.

John C. Stennis Sailors are now embarking on the final step of PIA: taking the ship out to sea to demonstrate its new, repaired and refurbished systems working as designed.

“The [crew] is motivated to get the ship back out to sea,” said Palmer. “We are very eager to complete this successful PIA and get us out there to where we belong.”

John C. Stennis is underway conducting sea trials as part of a planned incremental availability at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, during which the ship underwent 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 Seaman Adora Okafor

BREMERTON, Washington – Two female Sailors assigned to USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) were selected for the opportunity to be among the first enlisted women who will serve on an Ohio-class submarine as part of the Enlisted Women in Submarines (EWIS) program.

“They [announced the program] at quarters one day and I talked to the CHENG (chief engineer) about it,” said Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Rashel Oconnell, a John C. Stennis Sailor selected for the EWIS. “It interested me because it would be cool to be one of the first enlisted women to be on a submarine.”

Oconnell applied to the EWIS program because she loves a challenge. She also thought the submarine community might be a chance for better career opportunities, as well as more great relationships and camaraderie amongst shipmates.

“I was looking for something different,” Oconnell said. “I enjoy the carrier life, but I thrive in a small environment with a close-knit group of people. The submarines have great underway schedules, and I think it will be a great career move for me.”
Oconnell said the application process, which includes submitting a package with a NAVPERS 1306/7, Submarine Volunteer Statement, performance evaluations, physical readiness test data, security clearance and command endorsement, was not very difficult but time-consuming.

“I would recommend if you were putting in a package to start earlier than you think you need to,” said Oconnell.

Interior Communications Electrician 2nd Class Elizabeth Norman, the other John C. Stennis EWIS selectee, is a native of Bremerton, WA, and has been stationed onboard the ship since March of 2015. Norman also applied for the program because she thought it would be a great career move. She plans on making the Navy her career, which fuels her determination to explore the many facets of the Navy.

“I want to be in for the long term, maybe the first female MCPON (master chief petty officer of the Navy),” said Norman. “I’ve always heard that you should take all the opportunities the Navy offers.”

Oconnell and Norman will be converting from their current rates to the rate of electronics technician (ET) to fulfill the needs of USS Ohio (SSGN 726), homeported in Bangor, WA.

“ET was my first choice for a rate,” said Oconnell. “We had a little bit of ET training in “A” School and I was extremely good at it.”
The EWIS program has brought about great career opportunities for female Sailors.

“I think that it’s just a fresh avenue for women to take if they’re feeling more adventurous,” said Oconnell.

Oconnell also said the submarine community was not for everybody but for those looking for a challenge, it was a great opportunity.

Oconnell and Norman will leave for ET “A” School in early 2018, and after successful completion, they will attend a submarine training course. Oconnell is looking forward to the relationships she will build with her new shipmates, while Norman is excited for her first underway under the sea and the new experiences she will have while serving aboard the Ohio.

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 Second Class Andrew P. Holmes

BREMERTON, Washington – Forty-two Sailors assigned to USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) hiked in Mount Rainier National Park on Friday for an exercise in resilience.

The John C. Stennis Toughness Hike was orchestrated by John C. Stennis’ Command Religious Ministries Department (CRMD) to provide relief from a stressful period in the yards through physical exercise and adventure.

Over the course of three hours, Sailors gained 1,700 feet in elevation and traveled four miles. They trekked through snow, scrabbled down shale and pushed up the mountain slopes to reach their end destination.

“Hiking is a great metaphor for what life is like,” said Lt. j.g Ryan Albano, a Navy chaplain aboard John C. Stennis from Papillion, Nebraska. “You have ups, downs, mountains, valleys, slippery slopes. Doing things like this shows how when you stay motivated you get rewarded, in this case, by a beautiful view.”

John C. Stennis is currently in its Planned Incremental Availability (PIA), a period dedicated to repairing the ship and updating systems. Sailors during PIA often take on additional tasking outside their normal roles: Operation Specialists become painters, Aviation Boatswain’s Mates learn to use metal grinders, and Personnel Specialists become tile layers. Albano says this kind of collateral work can cause stress and frustration, and events like this hike help alleviate these ailments.

“A warship is made to fight, not to coddle us,” said Albano. “It takes a lot of effort to keep it war-ready. Sailors are sacrificing a lot; their families are sacrificing a lot. Although they are walking a lot this is an opportunity for them to nourish the heart and soul through nature.”

Challenges come and go, but no Sailor succeeds alone. Group events like this help Sailors develop connections across the ship and broaden their support network.

“There’s a lot of teamwork,” said Seaman Deamber Young, a John C. Stennis Sailor and hike attendee from Birmingham, Alabama. “A lot of somebody holding your hand to get you down and help you up, keeping you from slipping down rocks or hurting yourself. Most people here I’ve never met, and we are on the same ship. It helps you build a better connection with people that you might not spend time with on a regular basis.”

Sometimes it takes teamwork and perseverance to conquer a difficult hike. Like conquering mountain trails, the Navy can be challenging, but overcoming the challenge, especially with others, can be its own reward.

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 Mike Pernick

BREMERTON, Washington – Sailors from USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) combat systems department completed a major readiness assessment, July 21.

A Combat Systems, Command, Control, Communications and Computer Readiness Assessment (C5RA) consists of more than 5,000 checks that verify missile fire controls, radio systems, radar and TV systems. The testing involves operating each piece of equipment to check for missing or broken parts as well as verifying good working condition.

“The C5RA inspection is important because throughout this [planned incremental] availability most of our equipment has been dormant,” said Fire Controlman Senior Chief Kenneth Mobley, combat systems maintenance manager and maintenance branch leading chief petty officer, from Tinley Park, Illinois. “When we turned our equipment back on we faced some issues which were fortunately…only minor fixes.”

Combat systems Sailors started preparing for this assessment weeks in advance.

“We started preparing weeks ahead of time,” said Electronics Technician 3rd Class Mikaela Stinnett, from Chesterfield, Virginia. “We checked lights, fuses, made sure all of our test equipment was calibrated and our spaces were clean.”

Toward the end of the availability period, John C. Stennis brought 83 subject-matter experts from 12 different organizations onboard to assess and assist with more than 3,500 pieces of equipment and address hundreds of discrepancies and deficiencies.

“It was a great learning opportunity for us, and especially our new sailors,” said Electronics Technician 2nd Class Randall Bendura, from Central Square, New York. “Almost all of the inspectors were retired chiefs who really knew their stuff and helped us become more familiar with our equipment.”

Combat systems Sailors rose to every challenge during this assessment.

“As a whole it really elevated my expectations of what well-equipped and engaged Sailors can do,” said Mobley. “There were a lot of obstacles leading up to the assessment and major production work that didn’t always go as expected, but our Sailors really buckled down. It was gratifying and they were nothing short of outstanding.”

The successful completion of this assessment is a major milestone in preparation for the ship’s upcoming sea trials and return to operations at sea.

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 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 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.
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 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang

BREMERTON, Washington – Sailors from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) attended ‘Change the Culture’ training from U.S. Pacific Fleet’s (PACFLT) sexual assault prevention and response officer (SAPRO), July 14.

Rather than just teaching Sailors how to react to sexual assault and destructive behaviors, the training lead by PACFLT SAPRO Capt. Roy Nafarrete focused on getting to the cultural roots of the problem.

“We are used to things like bystander intervention and consent and this is good. The ‘Change the Culture’ training really tries to get underneath that, to try and cultivate character in people so they won’t even get in those types of situations,” said Cmdr. Carey Cash, John C. Stennis’ command chaplain, from Memphis, Tennessee.

During the presentation, Nafarrete primarily addressed Sailors who were midlevel leaders.

“The critical middle, the work center supervisors, leading petty officers and chiefs, and the divisional officers, they’re going to be the ones that have more routine and regular contact with Sailors, they’re going to be the ones that notice the culture of their work centers and where it may be going adrift,” said Cash.

One of Nafarrete’s key points was self-introspection, how Sailors may be unknowingly contributing to a negative culture and how they can begin positively influencing others by being more aware of their own actions.

“I thought the training was pretty good … it showed how a lot of us are stuck in our own ways,” said Aviation Administration man 1st Class Kortney Gandy, from Darlington, South Carolina. “I have a strong sense of humor and I like to joke around but some of the jokes could be offensive to someone and I may not know that. I have to be aware of the things that I say.”

‘Change the Culture’ is not a mandatory Navy training but a resource that PACFLT offers to the Navy.

For more information about ‘Change the Culture,’ contact pacfltsapro@navy.mil.

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 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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