USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman's (CVN 75) Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) division hosted a "Fun Run" on Truman's flight deck March 6.
The five-kilometer run allowed Sailors and Marines to stretch their legs and get some fresh air after almost four months in the Persian Gulf. This is the first Fun Run Truman has hosted since leaving its homeport of Norfolk in October.
Truman's MWR office organized the event with flight deck personnel and also provided refreshments for the run.
The flight deck is usually a very busy area and can be one of the most dangerous work environments in the world.
With flight operations lasting as long as 18 hours, and no-fly days few and far between, the Fun Run was a rare and appreciated event.
A lot of planning and coordinating went into the event. Truman's fun boss was in close contact with the ship's aircraft handling officer in the days leading up to the event to ensure the flight deck would be cleared for the run.
"I called the handler every day for about a week to make sure we were on schedule," said Laurel A. Roberson, Truman's fun boss. "I got permission from him, and I plotted a course to run in flight deck control."
Truman's flight deck control station is the nerve center for everything that happens on the flight deck.
"I walked the course with [the handler] and we went over safety precautions," Roberson added. Some of the hazards that they discussed were trip hazards, such as the four arresting wires and grease on the deck used to lubricate the four aircraft catapults. Also, the runners were briefed to stay clear of the edge of the flight deck to prevent anyone from falling overboard.
Even with all the precautions to keep in mind, the runners enjoyed themselves. The event was a great success. More than 200 Sailors and Marines participated.
Whether it was preparing for the upcoming physical readiness test (PRT), which takes place when the ship returns to homeport, or simply to enjoy the sunshine, crew members ran for many different reasons.
"People really enjoyed it," said Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class William Landsiedel. "I came up there and ran the 15 laps that made up the 5k and I really liked it."
Landsiedel also said that five laps around the flight deck equaled the mile and a half that makes up the running portion of the Navy's PRT.
"The run gave me a chance to run with my department head and a lot of my shipmates," said Seaman Heather Cash. "I also wanted to help MWR set up for the event, and I ended up really enjoying myself. I really liked the chance to get outside, and I would definitely do it again if they had another Fun Run."
Many crew members shared the same enthusiasm. Even the commanding and executive officers were on the flight deck running with the crew.
In addition to the fun run, MWR hosts many events aboard Truman. While deployed, Sailors enjoy basketball tournaments, art nights and movie nights in the hangar bay, all sponsored and organized by MWR. The fun crew also maintains the five gyms aboard. The small division does as much as they can to keep morale and motivation up for crew members while Truman is underway.
The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, consisting of USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Mason (DDG 87), USS Monterey (CG 61), USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8), USS Albuquerque (SSN 706) and the aircraft from embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, deployed Oct. 13 for its second deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the global war on terrorism.
For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75.