Toby Keith Performs Underway for Deployed Cape St. George Sailors

Story Number: NNS120430-05Release Date: 4/30/2012 11:11:00 AM
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By Ensign Lexi Dauernheim, USS Cape St. George Public Affairs

USS CAPE ST. GEORGE, At Sea (NNS) -- A country music superstar performed for more than 350 Sailors during an underway concert on the forecastle of the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71), April 24.

With the garrison flag flying from the forward deckhouse, the Sailors gathered to hear Toby Keith perform several of his numerous hit songs, including "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue," "Red Solo Cup" and "As Good as I Once Was."

The United Services Organization (USO) and Navy Entertainment sponsored the concert to boost the morale of the deployed Sailors. Keith, who is on his 10th USO tour, "Live in Overdrive," performed a concert aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) the day before.

Fire Controlman 2nd Class Kyle Peters said his brother saw Keith two years ago in Forward Operating Base Salerno in Afghanistan, and Peters was glad to also have the chance to see Keith perform live. "His patriotism and support for the U.S. military shows through his music and the amount of time he spends visiting the troops," Peters said.

While aboard Cape, Keith toured the vertical launching system, the MT51 5-inch gun loader room, and the combat information center before performing and signing autographs.

Chief Logistics Specialist Zach Schneider, one of Cape's supply leading chief petty officers, said he also saw Keith while he was in Afghanistan.

"He has entertained Sailors, soldiers, Marines and airmen all over," Schneider said. "I admire the man personally, and I enjoy his music."

Capt. Don D. Gabrielson, commanding officer of Cape, accompanied the band on guitar for the last few songs.

"Toby Keith's visit was one of the most morale-boosting events we have had this deployment. I don't think he will ever know how much it lifted our spirits," said Ensign Kelly Carson, Cape's strike officer.

Cape and Lincoln are currently deployed with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9, which also includes embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 and Destroyer Squadron 9, comprised of the guided-missile destroyers USS Momsen (DDG 92) and USS Sterett (DDG 104). CSG 9 is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and combat flight operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

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