'Gold Eagle' Gets Creative with Liberty

Story Number: NNS080926-11Release Date: 9/26/2008 8:26:00 AM
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By Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Brandon Monette, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- With Sept. 18 marking one full month of Sailors moving on board, USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) crew members are adjusting to shipboard life and heightened production levels, while still finding new ways to spend their liberty hours.

Because the ship is still undergoing the final phases of its Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) shipyard period in Newport News, Va., Sailors are turning to Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) activities to help them escape the industrial work environment while maximizing leisure opportunities.

"Living in the barracks gave me a lot of options for liberty because of the location in town, but now that we're on the ship and in the yards, my friends and I are coming up with new things to do that are right over at Huntington Hall," said Aviation Ordnanceman John Hoffman.

The MWR team has gone to great lengths to ensure that Sailors residing on board have a plethora of activities and resources at their disposal and in close reach at all times. Along with keeping video games, movies, and Internet available to the crew, the division is planning off-site activities, movie nights, ice cream parties and recreational game competitions.

"MWR plans trips for things like kayaking, go-kart tracks, paintball arenas and mini-golf courses, all for free or with reasonable prices," said Damage Controlman Fireman Andrew Smetana. "All of the activities are safe and fun to participate in, and you also get to know people you work with on a personal level."

With the opening of the Religious Ministries Cyber Cafe and library, Sailors are also offered Internet service and ample reading material on board. The library is equipped with tables, desks and conference areas for Sailors to enjoy reading, board games, or a quiet place to socialize.

"The ship is getting extremely close to the conclusion of the RCOH period, which means every department is logging an extended amount of man-hours, so the last thing I want to do during my liberty is exert more energy," said Gunner's Mate Seaman Rachel Swaugger.
"The Cafe and library gives you somewhere to really relax."

Crew Move Aboard (CMA) is the second major milestone in the "Gold Eagle's" 40-month RCOH. Sailors are putting forth the effort to adjust to the new lifestyle by staying positive about the change and having fun while off the clock to keep morale high.

"There may be other things that I want to do, but I understand the mission of the ship and the commanding officer," said Swaugger. "This is what I signed up for, and I plan on keeping a level head about my liberty time so that I can get back to work and do my part to get the ship back to full operational status. In the mean time, I'm enjoying the options I have for spending my liberty time."

For more news from USS Carl Vinson, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.

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