News: New GW Sailors experience life at sea
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew Riggs
YOKOSUKA, Japan - The U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) departed its forward-operating location of Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, May 19, to conduct exercises to prepare the ship and its crew for the upcoming 2014 patrol.
Prior to returning to sea, George Washington welcomed numerous Sailors who were either new to the Navy or had never before served aboard a ship.
“This is going to be a great experience for them,” said Command Master Chief Shaun Brahmsteadt. “Some of these Sailors have never even left their hometowns, let alone the United States. They’ll get an opportunity to experience and see numerous things other people only dream of.”
Many Sailors were eager to get underway and experience life at sea while stationed aboard the ship.
“I’m very excited,” said Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Oscar Moreno Jr., from Washington D.C., a Sailor new to George Washington. “I’ve always heard experienced Sailors say that I should go to sea. Finally I’m out here and see it for myself.”
These new Sailors will have to learn to cope with new stresses of regular shipboard life in addition to an increased workload once they deploy.
“I know that living on the ship with 5,000 Sailors will be an adjustment, but I got into the mindset of ‘this whole thing is just one big job’,” said Moreno. “I feel that after five months of training in port I’m ready for anything.”
The addition of new crew members gives the rest of the crew a fresh perspective on how to change normal routines for the better.
“The crew eventually stagnates if we don’t get new Sailors,” said Brahmsteadt, “These Sailors help bring in fresh ideas and personalities to their respective shops.”
Even though these Sailors can expect to be gone from their homeport for several months, many are still looking forward to getting the most out of their experience aboard the ship.
“Even though I’m going to be further from my family than ever before, I’ll be fine,” said Moreno. “I get to ‘live the Navy life’ for a while, then I’ll get back home eventually and I’ll have a bunch of cool stories to tell them about.”
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.