USS George H.W. Bush Hosts 7,000 for Friends and Family Day

Story Number: NNS100502-10Release Date: 5/2/2010 12:24:00 PM
A  A  A   Email this story to a friend   Print this story
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael Tackitt, USS George H.W. Bush Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The crew of the Navy's newest aircraft carrier welcomed aboard more than 7,000 of their friends and loved ones for first ever USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Friends and Family Day Cruise, May 1.

After being welcomed aboard by the ship's commanding officer, Capt. Chip Miller, the guests got to feel what it was like to be on a Navy ship in open waters after the ship weighed anchor at 9 a.m., and headed out to sea.

The crew's guests were able to see firsthand what their loved ones do for a living, as well as what goes into making a $6.2 billon aircraft carrier come to life.

Included in the day's events was an air power demonstration, which included catapult-assisted takeoffs by F/A-18 Hornet squadrons, based out of Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.

"My favorite part of the day was watching the aircraft launch off the catapult," said Michael Trent, whose wife serves aboard the ship. "That's not something you can see in person every day. Some people never see it in a lifetime."

Doro Bush Koch, the daughter of former president George H.W. Bush and the ship's sponsor, hosted a special event titled, "A Celebration of Reading at Sea." The event featured authors James Bradley, who wrote "Flags of Our Fathers," and Antwone Fisher, a former Navy Sailor whose screenplay "Fish" became the basis for his self-titled movie, directed by and starring Denzel Washington.

The rest of the hangar bay was transformed into a carnival-type atmosphere, with an inflatable rock wall and moon bounce, face painting and tattoo artists on hand for the kids, as well as a static display of an F/A-18 Hornet.

The event required months of planning and extensive coordination from nearly every department on the ship, working together to bring the Friends and Family Day Cruise from the drawing board to execution.

"It's a thousand moving pieces," said USS George H.W. Bush Friends and Family Day Cruise coordinator, Lt. Shawn T. Rumbley. "Each goal we accomplish is a huge undertaking."

USS George H.W. Bush is scheduled for its first deployment in 2011.

For more news from USS George H.W. Bush, visit

5/27/2010 2:09:00 PM
What an incredible experience the Family Day on the USS Bush was for us. Our son, HM2 Tabisz, Steven is a corpsman on the carrier. As a medical professional, I was fascinated by the comprehensive medical equipment and the caliber of care available for our military personnel. The ship tour and the air show were awesome. It was rewarding to see where our son works and how well he has matured. I am proud of all the military men and women on the carrier and wish them all safe travels.

5/24/2010 11:38:00 PM
Thank you for the friends and family day. I am the proud Mother of one of the sailors aboard the USS BUSH. Matthew Pulley. I worry about him being out to sea like i am sure everyone does but friends and family day let me see where he eats sleeps and works and to be quite honest i did not even realize we had left port until i went outside.. We had a wonderful time. Thank You all again for that very special day and the service you all do for our freedom.

5/16/2010 7:53:00 PM
We loved the invitation of being aboard the ship. My family enjoyed being a part of the days events. We enjoyed all that was offered, especially the lauching of the two aircraft which our son Kyle Evett in action doing his job as a Cat ABE. Thank You very much from our whole family.

5/11/2010 6:27:00 PM
A great big Thank You to Lt. Shawn Rumbley what a great job!!!! We would also like to thank Capt. Chip Miller, for inviting all of us aboard. Memories to last to last a life time and beyond due to fine stories we have to tell. We were able to spend the entire day with our daughter, Airmen J. LaTour, and tour your magnificent Air Craft Carrier. Oh, and Thank you for the food, drinks, and really wonderful day. Mr. and Mrs. G. LaTour P.S. Husband want's a ride in F/A 18 next year.

5/10/2010 8:26:00 PM
I have to say that i have been very Blessed to have been given a tour of the ship while it was in port in Norfolk. My sailor took my son and i on a tour from stem to stern and was he was able to show us where he worked as well. I am grateful for the services you all provide and that i love and am very proud of my sailor. Thank You Staff of The USS George H.W. Bush

5/6/2010 7:45:00 PM
Thank you for having us aboard the USS George H. W. Bush what an AWESOME experience !! We were invited by our son IT2 Phillip "Daniel" Mayton and will have memories to last a lifetime. I would jump at the chance to do this again someday. We appreciate all of the hard work that was put into making this cruise possible and we are so proud of our military men and women. The airshow was our favorite part of the cruise. Again, Thank You !! Phillip and Darlene Mayton ( Sarah and Kaleb ), Tennessee

5/5/2010 2:24:00 PM
What a wonderful, inspiring experience the family cruise on the George Bush was. We were treated to wonderful food, a day at sea, a tour of the ship and an air show that was thrilling. I could not believe the precision of the jets and the raw power is overwhelming. So proud of our Navy men and women.

5/4/2010 10:05:00 AM
We thoroughly enjoyed our day at sea. It was the most awesome thing I have ever done or experienced. We are looking forward to doing this again. We loved being able to spend time with our son.

5/3/2010 12:42:00 PM
The cruise was very interesting. I enjoyed being able to see what my boyfriend does everyday. It was a great idea and I hope there is another cruise like this again, just this time it won't be ALLL DAYYY.

Comment submission for this story is now closed.
 An F/A-18 Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 lands aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77).
Official U.S. Navy file photo.
April 20, 2010
Navy Social Media
Sign up for email updates To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please click on the envelope icon in the page header above or click here.