USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- The arrival of new crew members does not stop during a deployment, and for those Sailors and Marines who report aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) while at sea, the experience can be quite an adventure.
The first impression one gets at a new command can often set the tone for their entire tour. For Sailors and Marines arriving while the ship is at sea, that first impression often comes in the form of a hair-raising thrill ride with an arrested landing on the flight deck from the C-2 Greyhound, the Navy's carrier onboard delivery aircraft (COD).
Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Recruit Austin Newberry, assigned to G-3 division, said his first moments on Truman will never be forgotten.
"It was crazy exciting," he said. "Going from 200 miles per hour to zero in a second or two was wild. I had heard stories about it and had always wanted to do it."
Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Recruit Troy Howard, a recent graduate from A-school, reported to Truman July 10 and said traveling to Truman from his hometown in Chicago was a long and somewhat exhausting journey.
"It seemed like I was traveling for a week," Howard said of the 20-hour journey. Adding to the excitement was that this is Howard's first experience being outside of the U.S.
The reception newly reported personnel receive once they arrive is just as memorable, according to Aviation Maintenance Administrationman First Class (AW) Aubrey Edwards, Truman's command sponsorship coordinator.
"A sponsor is the first impression a new Sailor has of this command," she said. "At no time should a new check-in feel lost or uncertain about their check-in process."
Sponsors play a vital role in helping newly reported personnel acclimate to their new home. Weeks before their arrival, Truman Sailors are assigned sponsors on the ship to help them prepare for a fast-paced life at sea. Sponsors also assist their new shipmates with the check-in process, showing them around the ship, and making sure they have a freshly made rack.
"I see that I am going to be working with a great group of people," Howard said. "My sponsor was a big help by telling me what to expect, and helping me acclimate now that I am here."
Being on an aircraft carrier can be an overwhelming experience, even for servicemembers who have a lot of time at sea. Sharing the large platform with 4,600 other Sailors and Marines and learning how the carrier operates can take some getting used to, and the sponsor helps to ensure that their new shipmates learn the routine and feel comfortable.
Seaman Ebony McHellon, assigned to Deck department's first division, recently reported to Truman following an assignment on USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), an amphibious assault ship.
"The ship I came from was so much smaller," said McHellon. "We didn't have the jets launching off the flight deck there. Every time I hear one take off, my heart jumps. I am excited about joining this deployment. I can tell they really care about their people here."
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.