GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- USS Little Rock (LCS 9) opened the ship’s first barber shop facility aboard, February 26.
The barber shop is run by Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Ismael Sanchez, born in Nicaragua, who is the only certified barber aboard the Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Little Rock.
Sanchez attended the Shipboard Barber School in San Diego, California where he received training on the basic fundamentals of barbershop sanitation and hair-cutting procedures for male and female service members.
“My favorite thing about giving haircuts are the results and seeing the clients’ excitement,” said Sanchez. “I enjoy making people happy. I feel like if a client gets a good haircut they feel good about themselves, and I like when people feel good about themselves.”
“The most difficult part about setting up the barbershop was finding a space aboard and then acquiring all of the equipment. The first haircut was given to the Executive Officer, and once he approved it, then it was open to all hands,” explained Sanchez.
“It was an honor to be the first customer, Petty Officer Sanchez did a terrific job. Petty Officer Sanchez has made a tremendous impact on the crew’s morale by providing this service aboard. The word spread fast throughout the crew, and by the end of the day his signup sheet was full. The ship’s crew enjoys being self-sufficient at sea” said Cmdr. Dominick Albano, Little Rock’s Executive Officer.
The barbershop has been a morale booster among the crew, and the best part is the haircuts are offered for free.
“I love getting my haircut aboard because I don’t have to pay out of my own pocket and Sanchez is a good barber,” said Lt. j.g. Zhuoying Chen, communications officer aboard Little Rock.
“The most rewarding thing for me is making people happy after they see their haircut!” said Sanchez.
USS Little Rock (LCS 9) is deployed in the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet employs maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, fortify the ability of U.S. forces to work together with partner nations, and build enduring partnerships with the ultimate goal of enhancing regional security and promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.
For more news from U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusns/.