Saturday, July 4, 2009

USS John C Stennis Tiger Cruise Underway

GULF OF ALASKA (June 26, 2009) An F/A-18E Super Hornet from the Argonauts of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 launches from the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). John C. Stennis and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 are participating 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 2nd Class Ron Reeves.)

Focus on Defense:

EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) departed Everett, Wash., July 1 with more than 1,000 of the crew's family and friends aboard for tiger cruise.

Stennis and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 arrived in Everett Monday, where tiger cruise participants joined Stennis for the carrier's transit to San Diego.

The tigers will take part in activities that will allow them to see what their Sailors and Marines have been doing during the past six months of deployment.

Yeoman 1st Class (SW/AW) Kevin Williams, Stennis' tiger cruise data manager, said Stennis and CVW-9 Sailors will offer activities such as observing flight operations, a morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) fun day as well as multiple concerts featuring the Coasters and Dana Osborn.

Tigers will also tour work centers aboard the ship, such as the jet shop, medical ward and combat direction center.

"There are a lot of events going on," said Williams. "Besides touring all the spaces, tigers will get to see how each rate works and how the Navy operates."

With tiger cruise bringing Stennis' 2009 deployment to a close, a number of Sailors and Marines wanted to share the at-sea experience with friends and family, including Lt. Christin Crowley, from supply department's aviation supply division, who has five tigers aboard.

"I have a large family, so I passed the invitation to everyone," said Crowley. "I think it's fascinating to them how we operate a ship this size with more than 5,000 people aboard."

As Stennis nears the end of its 2009 deployment to the Western Pacific Ocean, she will pull into San Diego to off-load CVW-9 and many tigers before bringing more than 500 tigers aboard for the trip back to homeport in Bremerton, Wash.

(Report by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David Charleston, USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs.)

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