PORTSMOUTH, England (NNS) -- The crew of USS Enterprise (CVN 65) pulled into Portsmouth, England, July 2 for their first port visit of Summer Pulse '04.
The ship will spend several days in Portsmouth, including Independence Day. Enterprise "pulsed" to the European theater from its homeport of Norfolk, Va., June 3.
Enterprise, or "Big E," has completed two NATO exercises so far during Summer Pulse '04, Neo Tapon and the Joint Maritime Course, with U.S. allies including Britain, Spain, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy and others. These exercises have demonstrated the U.S. Navy's ability to operate jointly with allies to strengthen maritime capabilities, as well as the ability to prepare and provide support for strategic, regional engagements. After 26 busy days at sea, the crew is looking forward to the opportunity to visit England.
"People have been working really hard, so I think it's good that we have a port visit," said Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (SW/AW) Joshua Steinbuch of reactor department. "I'd like to see London."
The ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation division is offering several tours to Enterprise Sailors during the duration of the port visit, including events like theater productions, castle tours, a trip to historic Stonehenge and a variety of other activities.
"I've talked to a bunch of Sailors who are really excited," said Safety Officer Cmdr. David M. Depman. "We've been out to sea for almost a month performing various kinds of flight operations. The reactor and engineering departments have been really putting in the training time, and as far as supply department, they always work really hard," he said. "Weapons Department had a great, safe ammo offload. A lot of people have been putting a lot of hours in, and I think they deserve the break they're going to get here in London."
In addition, the ship's Religious Ministries Department has arranged a community relations project at a local children's home, providing repairs to a garden that was recently vandalized. Big E's Gospel Choir will perform at the inauguration of Portsmouth's Lord Mayor during the visit.
The port period will give the Enterprise crew a chance to relax before heading back out as one of seven carriers participating in the Navy's first test of its new operational construct, the Fleet Response Plan. After leaving England, Enterprise will steam south to participate in exercise Majestic Eagle.
For more information about Summer Pulse '04, visit the CFFC Web site at www.cffc.navy.mil/summerpulse04.htm.
For related news, visit the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn65.