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Truman Supply Reopens Forward Mess Deck

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120310-08

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David Cothran, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- The food service crew aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) began serving meals on the ship March 1 after more than eight months of feeding the crew on the ship's temporary auxiliary barge.

The reopening of one of the main galleys and one of the wardrooms allows the ship to prepare more than 1,000 meals per day and makes it possible for the crew to begin moving aboard the ship.

"This move to the ship took a lot of planning and coordination," Truman's food service officer, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Brian Armstrong said. "The crew has been waiting for this day for a long time and our cooks have been looking forward to the larger facilities and feeding capacity on the ship."

Armstrong said the move will give the food service team the opportunity to expand their skills beyond the limited menu and capabilities they had in the barge galley.

"They are really excited to be able to return to a more operational mode," Armstrong said. "Our team is really anxious to start expanding their culinary skills now that they are on the ship."

Long hours are required to prepare the three daily meals on schedule, but galley personnel say the job provides its own motivation to make the extra work worth the effort.

"Keeping the line full and ready during the meals takes a lot of hard work and dedication," said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Jose Betancourt, a cook in the reopened galley. "That is where our team spirit makes it easy. We push each other to produce the best quality. We motivate and challenge each other. This is what pulls us through."

Another source of motivation for Betancourt is the gratitude of his customers.

"Truman Sailors are very busy working to get the ship ready to return to the fleet," Betancourt said. "I really appreciate it when they take a few moments to thank me or compliment our work."

Truman is undergoing a docking planned incremental availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va.

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