The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and embarked Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 and Destroyer Squadron 23, departed from Naples, Italy, Nov. 4, after a five-day port call.
The port visit allowed Nimitz Strike Group crew members an opportunity rarely available to those deployed from the West Coast.
“A port call in Italy is pretty much unheard of for Pacific-deployed ships,” said Chief Operations Specialist Travis Lovegrove, Nimitz’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) leading chief petty officer. “This was a huge boost for the crew’s morale, especially after so long at sea.”
The ship’s MWR arranged tours of Pompeii, historic Rome and the Vatican, and Naples wherein Sailors and Marines were able to experience the local culture and history.
“The tours that MWR put together were amazing,” said Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Jessica Waller, a junior Sailor aboard Nimitz. “It was a refreshing change in scenery. And, the fact that we came from the West Coast and got to visit Italy is pretty astonishing.”
“It was almost like an early Christmas present,” said Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Scott Reese. “Visiting a European port was definitely not something I expected. It was a great surprise.”
Nimitz left its homeport of Everett, Wash., March 30 for a scheduled Western Pacific deployment and is currently supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
Press Release, November 06, 2013; Image: US Navy