NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) welcomed aboard the driver of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) Navy #88 Accelerate Your Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS during a visit to the ship Sep. 13.
Shane Huffman and his crew came to the warship for a tour and a chance to mingle with Bataan crew members. He recently took the helm of the JR Motorsports-owned NASCAR Busch Series car; his first race was at Bristol Motor Speedway last month.
The visit was a new experience for Huffman.
"I've seen SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) teams train before, which is an amazing sight to see, but this is my first time being onboard a ship," he said.
During the short visit, Huffman toured the ship's upper vehicle stowage, well deck, hangar bay, medical facilities and flight deck.
"Coming onboard gives me a whole new idea of how the Navy works," Huffman said.
After the tour, Huffman held a meet-and-greet to take photos, sign autographs and share stories with the crew.
"It was great that he took his time to come onboard and talk to us," said NASCAR fan, Storekeeper 3rd Class Morgan Jernigan.
Bataan's Executive Officer, Cmdr. Mark Scovill, met with Huffman and presented him with a ship's photograph and a command ball cap with the number "88" embroidered in gold on the back.
Huffman's visit to Bataan came before flying to USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), underway in the Atlantic Ocean.
Bataan is one of 24 ships that comprise Commander, Amphibious Group (COMPHIBGRU) 2, based at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Va. COMPHIBGRU 2, with its 16,000 Sailors and Marines, provides warfighting naval amphibious forces to operate with joint and combined forces for combatant commanders.
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