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Team Vinson Prepares for Deployment

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS140725-29
Release Date: 7/25/2014 8:46:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Travis Alston, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and Carrier Strike Group 1 (CSG-1) Sailors and their family members prepared for a 10-month deployment by attending a pre-deployment brief in the ship's hangar bay, July. 23.

The brief, which included remarks from Commanding Officer Capt. Kent Whalen and Command Master Chief (CMDCM) Jeffrey Pickering, prepared Sailors and their families for the absence of their Sailor.

'Deploying and leaving loved ones behind never gets easy,' said Whalen. 'The day we leave is going to be rough for everybody, but going out to sea is what we do. That's why it is critical our Sailors and families are prepared for this upcoming deployment.'

Attendees received briefs addressing items to put in order before deployment and received important phone numbers from programs like the Fleet and Family Support Center, the American Red Cross, TRICARE, and the Navy's Ombudsman program.

'This information we received from the briefs was extremely beneficial,' said Jessica Moreno, wife of Air Traffic Controller 1st Class Bryan Moreno. 'The last time he went out on a deployment, we didn't attend a pre-deployment brief. I feel like I am more prepared, physically and mentally, after attending the brief. I will definitely utilize our ombudsmen.'

Ombudsmen link families with the command, distributing information pertaining to the command and educating families on the resources available to them.

'These briefs are just as important to us as they are to the command and the family members, due to that fact that we don't often get a chance to see the families first-hand,' said Terra Johnson, Vinson ombudsman. 'Most of the crew and their families don't know about the services and assistance that we can provide them. Regardless the situation, there is something we can do to help and make this upcoming deployment easier.'

Carl Vinson's Prospective Command Master Chief CMDCM Marty Barnholtz, who has attended several pre-deployment briefs during his Naval career, said he learns something new from each brief.

'After more than 27 years of service and more than 10 deployments, I continue to be surprised at all of the new and important information that is disseminated at our pre-deployment briefs,' said Barnholtz. 'No matter what your rank, position, or job is, it is critical that your family receives the most current information on all the support services which are available to our Navy families.'

Specific information for single Sailors was also provided in the brief, including how to complete their income taxes, how to manage rental agreements with their landlords, and how to store a vehicle.

In a recent visit to Carl Vinson, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens thanked Team Vinson's Sailors and families for the preparations they have already put into the deployment. Stevens also provided perspective, saying the extended deployment length will allow ships afterward to fall into timetables for the Navy's new Optimized Fleet Response Plan (O-FRP). O-FRP standardizes deployments to eight months in order to normalize Sailors' schedules and home life.

At the close of the pre-deployment brief, Sailors and their families visited resource tables set up in the ship's hangar bay for further information on Carl Vinson's Ombudsman program, Carl Vinson's Family Readiness Group, Fleet and Family Support Center, Region Legal Services Office, Carl Vinson's Medical Department, TRICARE, Carl Vinson's Religious Ministries Department, the American Red Cross, United Through Reading, and the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society.

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