News: Operation Decorama held on board Naval Station Norfolk
Story by Sgt. Shanika Futrell
By Seaman Shanika L. Futrell
Fleet Public Affairs Center, Atlantic
Naval Station Norfolk's Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, the Command Master Chief, their spouses and a few other people viewed holiday light decorations for the annual Operation Decorama contest Dec. 18.
The contest gave the participants an opportunity to showcase their holiday pride and decorate their ship or building for the Christmas and New Years Season. The ship's crew, Sailors on shore and civilian personnel who participated focused on creative and original approaches to the design process.
"I drew all of the displays out on the lawn in front of the building and basically lead the whole setup and concept for this event," said Petty Officer 1st Class Shane Hawkey, Transient Personnel Unit's Moral Welfare and Recreation Leading Petty Officer.
"I did not just put up the holiday Christmas decorations to participate in the contest, but [it was] for our shipmates who do not have a home to go to. This was just a way to spread some holiday cheer and lift their spirits."
As the judges toured the base and waterfront, each individual site had a table full of goodies.
"We prepared the assorted types of cookies and muffins just as a courtesy, because it's around dinner time and we know how many different sites the judges have to go to," said Chief Culinary Specialist Terrence Thomas, Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, S-2 Division leading chief petty officer.
Many of the ships who participated in this event had decorations on their bow, which provided a colorful combination to their lighting scheme.
"It took the Sailors three days to get all of the decorations together," said Capt. Dee Mewbourne, commanding officer, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. "They went aloft safely everyday to make this ship a successful participant in this contest."
The contest was split up into several different groups so that the contest could be fairly judged.
"The contest has seven competitive categories," said Capt. Steven DiNobile, commanding officer, NAVSTA Norfolk. "The winners receive a certificate and their MWR receives a special incentive award.
For a few of the Sailors this event was not about winning.
"For all of the ships who participated in this event, I feel like we are all winners," said Mewbourne. "This event gives us the opportunity to show our enthusiasm on our ships and promote good holiday cheer."
The judges all agreed they look forward to the next annual Operation Decorama, after going around to all the sites.
For information on the winners contact Terri Davis, NAVSTA Norfolk Public Affairs Officer at 757-322-2576, or visit www.navstanorva.navy.mil.