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Congressional Members Visit Big E

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070920-06
Release Date: 9/20/2007 1:03:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jamica Johnson, USS Enterprise Public Affairs

ABOARD USS ENTERPRISE (NNS) -- USS Enterprise (Big E) (CVN 65)Carrier Strike Group hosted a congressional delegation Sept. 13-14.

U.S. Representatives Stephen Lynch, Todd Platts and Brian Higgins embarked Enterprise to observe operations at the sea and the air power of Big E and Carrier Air Wing 1 while the ship conducted flight operations in the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Maritime Security Operations.

While making their way around the mighty warship, they took the time to have breakfast with a few Sailors and Marines from their respective states, getting acquainted with service members both professionally and personally.

“I thought it was really great that they came out,” said Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Jason Parker. “A lot of times the other branches of government are an entity we don’t really associate with firsthand, so it was refreshing that they came out and talked to us and gave a leadership point of view on situations we’ve grown accustom to.”

He added, “My congressman, Brian Higgins, and I talked a lot about football. But we also, talked about working on the emerging threats to the country. He also touched on his visit to Darfur and a few other countries.”

The experience left the congressmen with a deeper respect for what Sailors and Marines endure.

“Navy life is different,” said Lynch. “We bunked in last night around 11 p.m. and all of a sudden at around 2 a.m. we had about a half dozen jets go out, and I shot right out of my bunk. I hadn’t realized that I was only one level below the flight deck, so I got up and went out to watch the operations in the middle of the night. It was very impressive.

"I’m extremely impressed by the level of professionalism of our men and women on Enterprise and every aspect of what they’re doing here. Just the sheer power of this ship and the aircraft on it and the skill of the naval aviators left me very impressed.”

The hard work and diligence of Big E Sailors is not going unnoticed. The visit was an opportunity for the country’s leadership to ensure service members have what they need to accomplish their mission. They also took the time to recognize and applaud the Enterprise Strike Group’s effort.

The congressmen had an operations briefing and had a discussion with leadership from Enterprise Strike Group staff, Carrier Air Wing 1, Destroyer Squadron 2 and USS Gettysburg (CG 64).

“In my seven trips to the region I had never had an opportunity to visit an aircraft carrier in action, so this being my eighth, I made it a point to come out,” said Lynch. “I’m a part of an oversight committee that basically makes sure that all the troops, Sailors and Marines, are equipped properly, that they have what they need to do their jobs. And I’m also here to say thank you to our Sailors and Marines on Enterprise for their wonderful service to our country. Their providing a lot of support to the troops that I spent a lot of time with over the last few months in Iraq, and we sincerely thank them.”

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