BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) was awarded the 2010 Navy Capt. Edward F. Ney Memorial Award Feb. 25, claiming first place among all U.S. Navy aircraft carriers.
The Ney award was established to recognize the best general mess facility in the Navy by the secretary of the Navy and the International Food Service Executives Association in 1958.
Stennis' culinary specialists underwent a rigorous food service inspection and competed against other Pacific Ocean-based aircraft carriers before receiving the award over East Coast winner USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).
Food inspectors graded Stennis on quality and taste as well as proper storage, inventory and preparation. Stennis' S2 division spent long hours preparing for the inspection with accurate record keeping, continuous training and equipment maintenance.
"My guys have worked really hard for a long time, and to be selected as the 2010 Ney award winner makes it all worthwhile," said Senior Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Todd Mears. "We won the award by working together as a team and keeping things simple."
Several Stennis culinary specialists will attend the Joint Military and International Food Service Executives Association conference in Reno, Nev., April 17 to accept the Ney Award on behalf of Stennis from Rear Adm. Mike Lyden, Naval Supply Systems Command.
Several Stennis culinary specialists will also attend a culinary school in St. Augustine, Fla., after the conference.
"I'm very proud of the CSs who were selected for school," said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Matelita Bolevakadinata. "They put a lot of time into it, and the school is payback for them. It's a great reward for all their hard work."
The 21-day culinary course at First Coast Community College will provide Stennis culinary specialists and other Ney-awarded command culinary specialists the opportunity to strengthen their skills in a classroom environment.
"I believe that the chain of command enabled Stennis to receive this award," said Bolevakadinata. "The CO (commanding officer), XO (executive officer) and CMC (command master chief) have much concern for Sailor's health, well-being and quality of life, and their concern motivates the culinary specialists to do the best that they can at their job."
For more news from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn74/.