USS RONALD REAGAN, At Sea (NNS) -- The Supply Department aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) has been named the 2007 winner of the Capt. Edward F. Ney Award for excellence in food service aboard aircraft carriers.
Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter announced the winners Feb. 1 on behalf of the Naval Supply Systems Command.
"The Capt. Edward F. Ney Awards recognize one of the top quality of life issues for our Sailors across the globe," said Capt. David M. Fitzgerald, deputy commander, Navy Family Support, Naval Supply Systems.
"We're proud of our 2007 winners. Their outstanding creativity, combined with presentation skills and their ability to serve delicious, healthy foods every day, is a tremendous achievement," said Fitzgerald.
The New Memorial Awards Program is co-sponsored by the Secretary of the Navy and the International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA). The IFSEA is a nonprofit food service association dedicated to enhancing the professional image and growth of persons serving in the food service industry.
The awards encourage excellence in Navy food service programs, with the objective of improving the quality of life for Navy personnel. Evaluation teams were made up of senior Navy culinary specialists as well as IFSEA representatives.
"The Ney Award is for the best of the best," said Chief Warrant Officer William Duka, food service officer aboard Ronald Reagan. "The evaluators look for quality of the food, customer service, record keeping, and management. When all of the points were tallied, Ronald Reagan came out on top."
"There are seven different categories for the Ney Awards," added Duka. "One is for carriers, which we won. The others are for smaller ships, shore commands, and submarines. They have one finalist from each coast and the better of the two wins."
Ronald Reagan was named the winner of the aircraft carrier category, edging out USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) for top honors in 2007.
"In the end, it's all about having a clean area, how the food is prepared, and proper training," said Master Chief Culinary Specialist (AW) Henry Salazar. "Ronald Reagan strives for five-star quality."
"The Ney Award is not just for the food service division, it's for the entire crew," said Salazar. "The Ney Award reflects what we strive for everyday -- excellence. I am very proud of my crew and their accomplishments."
According to Cmdr. David Pimpo, Ronald Reagan's supply officer, the entire ship worked together to win the Ney Award.
"Our culinary specialists make me proud everyday," said Pimpo. "They are not satisfied until the entire crew is satisfied, but we can't do it alone. Engineering keeps our gear up and running and the rest of the crew helps us keep the mess decks clean by taking ownership of their eating areas. Ronald Reagan is a very special ship and I'm just glad to see the Ney Award inspectors believe our food service team is as special as we do."
First-place winners, including Ronald Reagan's supply department, will be recognized during the joint military and IFSEA awards presentation March 31 in Kansas City, Mo.
Ronald Reagan was commissioned in July 2003, making it the ninth and newest Nimitz-class, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The ship is named for the 40th U.S. president; its motto, "Peace through Strength," was a recurrent theme during the Reagan presidency.
The ship departed San Diego on Jan. 27 on a surge deployment to support operations in the Western Pacific.
For related news, visit the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.