USAFRICOM, AT SEA
USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea – Wrestlers from World Wrestling Entertainment visited sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Nov. 25.
The WWE superstars, which included Vince “Mr. McMahon” McMahon, Eve Torres, Layla El Barrami, Ronnie “R. Truth” Killings, and Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, were making their first visit to a Navy aircraft carrier.
“We’ve been to Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan so many times,” said McMahon, CEO and chairman of the WWE. “We wanted to do something different this year and this is awesome.”
While on board the wrestlers toured the ship and interacted with sailors along the way and observed flight operations as Navy jets roared on and off the flight deck.
“I was in awe of the young ages of the men and women who are turning these planes,” said Torres, the current WWE diva champion. “Everything operates like clockwork; it’s amazing.”
After flight operations, the wrestlers toured the ship’s navigation bridge and posed for photos with sailors.
“I’m excited,” said Seaman Elexus Rosechong from Dallas. “This is definitely one of the most memorable moments in my Navy career.”
“This was great for them to come out here and visit us,” said Lt. Rob Gordon, a pilot assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14. “It was a good morale boost, especially for those sailors who are spending the holidays away from home.”
For some sailors it was an opportunity to share the experience with family back at home.
“My little brother is a big fan of wrestling,” said Aviation Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Alona Harper from San Diego. “They autographed a photo for me and I’m sending it home to him for Christmas.”
The wrestlers culminated their visit with a question and answer session with the crew on the aft mess decks where sailors asked questions ranging from who was going to the next Wrestlemania to what kind of injuries they’ve suffered in the ring.
“I enjoy hearing their [the sailors] stories, not just shaking their hand and taking a picture,” said Mizanin. “It’s incredible to see the unity on board this ship and I appreciate it even more. You can watch the news all you want but to see the lifestyle you all live, it’s just incredible to me.”
The John C. Stennis Strike Group, consisting of Stennis, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21, and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to strengthen regional partnerships, sustain maritime security, and support combatant commander requirements for assets in the area.
For more information of the John C. Stennis Strike Group, please visit www.stennis.navy.mil or www.facebook.com/stennis74.
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