USS PONCE, At Sea (NNS) -- Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) deployment brings sister and brother together aboard amphibious transport dock USS Ponce (LPD 15) Oct. 11.
Normally, a deployment means months away from loved ones as a service member sacrifices time with family and friends to answer their call-to-duty.
Ensign Jennifer Winn, Main Propulsion Two division officer aboard Ponce, and her brother, Marine Capt. Christopher Winn, platoon commander for the Light Armored Reconnaissance Platoon of Battalion Landing Team 3/2, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, had a chance to spend time together aboard Ponce.
"I had a choice of ships to choose from and I chose [Ponce] in hopes we would be near each other," said Jennifer. "I didn't think we would be deploying together, it's absolutely great."
Christopher is embarked aboard the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5).
Unfortunately for the two, they have not had a chance to enjoy a liberty port together. The two ships have only had one concurrent port visit, and due to operational considerations they were not able to spend time in the port city.
"Our ships were bow-to-bow so we had to stand out there and yell from ship-to-ship in order to talk to each other," said Christopher. "We don't know if we are going to get a port visit together but we are hoping for the best."
Both knew from an early age that the military was in their blood and in their futures.
They are third generation military members as their father was a Navy dentist and their grandfather, Air Force Brig. Gen. David Winn (ret), was a pilot in the Army Air Corps who later received his commission at the inception of the U.S. Air Force. They also have a middle brother, Capt. Alex Winn, who is an Air Force F-16 pilot stationed at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. In addition, they have a sister-in-law who is a captain in the Air Force, and is currently deployed to Afghanistan.
USS Ponce is deployed with the Bataan ARG, conducting Maritime Security Operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. The 22nd MEU, embarked on the ships of the Bataan ARG, is serving as the theater reserve force for U.S. Central Command.