NEWPORT NEWS Va (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) gathered May 30, to celebrate Asian and Pacific Island heritage and culture.
The event was facilitated by Sailors assigned to the ship's American Heritage Observance Committee (AHOC), which organizes culturally-themed events for crew members throughout the year.
During the observance, Carl Vinson crew members learned about Asian and Pacific Islanders who have made significant contributions to American society. Sailors were also exposed to cultural dances, traditional food, and music from Asian and Pacific cultures.
"It was an enlightening experience, and the food was fantastic," said Aviation Electrician 3rd Class James McPherson. "These are great events that strengthen the camaraderie of our crew."
Senior Chief Electrician's Mate (SW/AW) Leonard Saratan, who was a featured speaker during the observance, said Asian and Pacific Islanders have a long tradition of service to the nation.
"Americans of Asian and Pacific Island Heritage have not only made significant contributions to the Navy, but to the very civic, cultural, and economic fabric of this country," said Saratan.
Vinson's Command Master Chief Glenn Mallo emphasized the value of diversity in accomplishing the command and Navy's mission.
"We all come from different places and from different cultures, but we all serve for a common purpose and mission," said Mallo. "Our diversity makes us a stronger Navy and a more capable crew."
Carl Vinson is currently undergoing her 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-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.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.