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Stennis Ready to Enjoy First Port Visit

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Story Number: NNS070330-24
Release Date: 3/30/2007 1:19:00 PM

From USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs

USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 made their first port visit in the Middle East on March 29 after conducting a dual-carrier exercise with USS Eisenhower (CVN 69) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 in the Persian Gulf.

This marks the first time the Stennis and Eisenhower strike groups have operated together in a joint exercise while deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO). This exercise demonstrates the importance of both strike groups’ ability to plan and conduct dual task force operations as part of the Navy's commitment to maintaining maritime security and stability in the region.

Prior to entering the Persian Gulf on March 26, Stennis had been conducting operations in support of coalition forces on the ground in Afghanistan, as well as maritime security operations (MSO) in the northern Persian Sea since arriving to the 5th Fleet AOO on Feb. 19.

Stennis left its homeport of Bremerton, Wash., on Jan. 16 and embarked CVW 9 in San Diego on Jan. 19. Stennis is making its first port call since departing San Diego, allowing embarked Sailors and Marines an opportunity to enjoy some well deserved time off.

Command Master Chief (CMC) Joseph Curtin will be the one to call liberty for Stennis’ Sailors over the ship’s announcement system.

“I always get a charge out of announcing liberty call,” said Curtin. “Everybody’s been out here for a long time and working hard. We earned it.”

Before pulling into port, Stennis’ commanding officer Capt. Brad Johanson looked back at the important benchmarks the crew has achieved during their deployment.

We have already completed over 3,000 arrested landings on this deployment; successfully delivered precision-guided munitions on target; and safely navigated half way around the world through three high traffic density straits. Simultaneously, we kept our air wing proficient and fully qualified for night operations, said Johanson.

“We are off to a great start in meeting our mission requirements, and this mission is essential to global security.”

Johanson addressed the crew emphasizing how much they deserve this time of rest and relaxation.

“After 10 weeks at sea and all the hard work each of you have put into your devotion to service, you deserve a quality port visit,” said Johanson. “I am very pleased to see the strong measures that the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) committee, Fun Boss and all members of the team have taken to arrange quality tours, excellent transportation to and from town, as well as good opportunities for those who simply want to relax. This will be a great time and very well deserved.”

The Sailors aboard Stennis are planning to take advantage of some of the events Stennis’ MWR has organized.

“I am going on the sunset safari,” said Seaman Elizabeth Spiegle. She added she had been on the tour during a previous visit to the same city and is looking forward to sightseeing and the local food.

“Go out and shop, have a good time, and look at all the nice stuff they have,” Curtin said.

Stennis is the flagship for the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, which includes its embarked air wing, CVW-9, and embarked Destroyer Squadron 21; guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54); guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88); guided-missile destroyer USS O’Kane (DDG 77); and USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10).



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