Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Alaska Gov Sarah Palin Visits USS John C Stennis

GULF OF ALASKA (June 22, 2009) Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and husband Todd Palin greet the crew of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) during an informal address in hangar bay two. Palin embarked as a distinguished visitor aboard John C. Stennis during the ship's participation in Northern Edge 2009, a joint exercise focusing on detecting and tracking units at sea, in the air and on land. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Abbate.)

Focus on Defense:

USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea, June 24, 2009 -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin visited USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), where she met crew members and thanked them for their service, June 22.

Palin accepted the invitation to visit Stennis, while the ship was transiting in the Gulf of Alaska, participating in exercise Northern Edge 2009.

"When we saw the invitation come across my desk, we jumped at it," said Palin. "We said, 'Yes, whatever it takes, let's get out there and let's thank these fine young men and women for serving America on this carrier.'"

The governor's visit began as she landed aboard Stennis in a C-2A Greyhound from the "Providers" of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30.

Later in her tour, Palin visited flight deck control and donned flight deck safety gear in order to observe flight operations from the flight deck.

Palin saw Sailors and Marines in action when she toured the bridge, primary flight control, the hangar bays and a weapons magazine.

Palin spoke with approximately 400 Stennis crew members in Hangar Bay 2 and thanked them for their service.

"I can't tell you how much I appreciate you," said Palin. "I love the United States military, and I thank you so much for the choice that you have made to serve something greater than self, to be serving your country and to be bettering our world."

Approximately 20 Sailors who call Alaska home were in the front row and got the opportunity to speak with the governor and shake her hand.

Stennis, along with Stennis Carrier Strike Group assets, Carrier Airwing (CVW) 9 and USS Antietam (CG 54), are participating in Northern Edge 2009, a joint training exercise, which focuses on detecting and tracking of units at sea, in the air and on land.

(Report by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steve Owsley, USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs.)

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