Sailors assigned to Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 celebrated the holiday at sea with a Christmas dinner Dec. 25.
More than 4,000 Sailors gathered to feast on 6,000 pounds of food, ranging from roast pig and poached shrimp to mashed potatoes and stuffing.
“What we do is a morale booster for the crew,” said Master Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Wilfred Cheong, Supply Department’s S-2 Division leading chief petty officer. “I hope for all who celebrate Christmas, it will bring back memories of home.”
The enlisted mess decks were adorned with red and green table cloths, Christmas trees and lights. Chief petty officers donned aprons and greeted each Sailor as they helped the galley crew serve the meal.
Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 134 Command Master Chief (CMDCM) (SW/AW) William Goforth, volunteered his time to help in the scullery, collecting and washing dishes and utensils.
“I did my mess duty 29 years ago,” he said. “I remember the scullery being a hard spot to work in so I took on the challenge of helping in one of the hardest jobs in the galley for Christmas. It shows we do know how tough it is, and it’s a good way to say Happy Holidays.”
As the crew satisfied their hunger with honey glazed ham and candied yams, holiday greetings from family members and friends back home played over the ship’s internal television system. For many Vinson Sailors this was their second consecutive Christmas deployed.
“Despite being away from my family, this Christmas turned out really well,” said Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Clive Lindsay, assigned to Reactor Department’s Damage Control Division. “I spent time with my friends doing holiday arts and crafts, and we made a point to have Christmas dinner together.”
Carl Vinson and CVW 17 are currently underway on a Western Pacific deployment.
Naval Today Staff , December 28, 2011; Image: navy