NEWPORT NEWS, Va (NNS) -- The commanding officer and a delegation of Sailors from the nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) visited the cities of Athens and Milledgeville, Ga., Nov. 2-4, to learn more about the life and legacy of the ship's namesake former Georgia Congressman Carl Vinson.
During the first day of the visit, Carl Vinson's Commanding Officer, Capt. Ted Carter was presented with a proclamation, signed by Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, declaring Nov. 2 as "USS Carl Vinson Day" in the state of Georgia.
"On behalf of our entire crew, we are honored to be recipients of this fine distinction," said Carter. "We are proud to continue Carl Vinson's legacy in serving aboard a ship that carries his name."
The visiting Sailors also had the opportunity to tour the Carl Vinson Center of Government, where they were given a detailed account of Carl Vinson's 50 years of public service in a lecture given by historian, Dr. James Cook.
"Carl Vinson was the father of the two-ocean Navy and a strong advocate for sustaining a capable Navy," said Cook.
On the second day of the visit, Carl Vinson's color guard, led by Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class (AW/SW) Robert Vergara, presented the national Ensign before a crowd of more than 90,000 fans during the opening ceremonies for the University of Georgia football game vs. Troy State.
"This was an extraordinary opportunity for our Sailors," said Vergara. "We've never performed in front a crowd with that many people before, but our Sailors stayed composed and did a great job."
On the final day of the visit, Carl Vinson Sailors traveled to Milledgeville, Ga., home and birthplace of Carl Vinson. While in the city, Sailors were given a guided tour of the city's historical sites; including a visit to Carl Vinson's family farm, his former home, and Carl Vinson's gravesite. Sailors also joined staff, faculty, and other notable guests for a luncheon and tour at the Georgia Military College.
"The people of Milledgeville have always been proud of USS Carl Vinson's ties to our city," said Richard Bentley, the city's Mayor and host of the event. "We thank all the Sailors of USS Carl Vinson for their service and for proudly carrying the name of Carl Vinson."
Carl Vinson's Command Master Chief Glenn Mallo, who attended the three-day namesake visit, said the trip was a great opportunity for the citizens of Georgia to interact and learn more about the ship with the outstanding crew members from the ship's delegation.
"We brought a diverse cross-section of our crew with us on this trip," said Mallo. "They are true ambassadors for our great warship; and they all are proud to carry on Carl Vinson's legacy, and continue our ties with the great people of the state of Georgia."
Carl Vinson is currently undergoing its scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.
During RCOH Carl Vinson's nuclear fuel will be replenished and the ship's services and infrastructure will be upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and prepare for another 25 years or more of service.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.