RED SEA (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines enjoyed a day of barbeque, games and music during a steel beach picnic on the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), Nov. 8.
The picnic was aimed as a way to give back to the Sailors and Marines aboard the ship for their work and provide a break from their daily duties and routine.
"The goal of the steel beach picnic was to keep the crews morale high during these times out at sea and away from their friends and families back home," said Religious Programs Specialist 1st Class Jerry Hutchins, from Meridian, Mississippi, leading petty officer for MWR aboard Kearsarge. "It was a chance for the crew to break away from the day-to-day work schedule and enjoy themselves."
The picnic was a collaboration between the ship's Morale, Welfare, and Readiness (MWR) department, and the First and Second Class Petty Officer Associations, who helped coordinated and set up activities and prepare the food for the crew.
During the picnic, various sports and games were offered as an opportunity for the crew to have fun, socialize and build camaraderie with their shipmates, as music by different DJs played in the background.
"The first classes grilled over 1,500 pounds of chicken, hamburgers and hotdogs for the crew," said Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Vince Turner, from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, president of the ship's First Class Petty Officer Association. "With all the activities that MWR provided, I think everyone had a lot of fun and a lot to eat."
At the culmination of the picnic, the crew began cleaning up the flight deck to prepare for the ship to continue daily operations.
"It was a great way to hang out with people we work worth as well as other Sailors and Marines that we don't see regularly," said Yeoman Seaman Apprentice Maria Delacerda, from Los Angeles. "I had a lot of fun and it was a beautiful day for a picnic."
The Kearsarge Ready Group (KSGARG), comprised of the flagship Kearsarge, the amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24), the amphibious dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) and 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operation as part of a regularly scheduled deployment in support of maritime security operations.
For more news from Expeditionary Strike Group 2, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/esg2/.
For more news from USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), visit http://www.navy.mil/local/lhd3/.