GAETA, Italy (NNS) -- The amphibious command ship, USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) welcomed Director, Military Sealift Fleet Support Command, during his visit to Gaeta, Italy, Nov. 17.
Shortly after Jack Taylor's arrival aboard, an awards ceremony was held to recognize the Military Sealift Command (MSC) civil service mariners' (CIVMARs) accomplishments, contributions and benefits they've brought to the Navy.
"Each of you plays an important role in ensuring the safety and security of our nation through your support of the uniformed men and women in our armed forces," said Taylor.
Thirty-nine CIVMARs received Global War on Terrorism medals for their committed and honorable service.
"Receiving this award was extremely meaningful," said 2nd Assistant Engineer Jeffery Young. "It's nice to know Taylor recognized me for being supportive to the Navy and the country's mission during my five-years of continued service."
After the ceremony, Taylor gave CIVMARs an opportunity to ask questions regarding changes and updates to different job qualifications offered within MSC.
"Overall, Taylor showed concern and he truly cares about the ship's mission," said Able Bodied Seaman Eric. M. Schacht. "Current changes are being made which will provide career challenging opportunities for today and future mariners to advance."
Taylor received a guided-tour from USS Mount Whitney Chief Engineer Ben Rowand and Commanding Officer Capt. Jeffrey Ruth, who explained the basic operating procedures of Mount Whitney.
The spaces that were toured included the emergency generator room, caterpillar room, main space (engineering operating station), fire boiler room, muse barge (shore service barge), and enlisted Navy spaces.
"Taylor was impressed with the material condition of the ship, and I totally agree with him," said Rowand. "It's always my pleasure to host distinguished visitors into the engineering spaces and show off the huge amount of work my crew accomplished."
Taylor departed Mount Whitney and will be traveling within the Sixth Fleet area of responsibility with visits to include Galinero Shipyard, in Gaeta, Italy; Military Sealift Fleet Support Command's Ship Support Unit Naples, and Commander Naval Forces Europe/Commander Naval Forces Africa, in Naples, Italy prior to returning to Norfolk, Va.
USS Mount Whitney is the Sixth Fleet flagship. It is home ported in Gaeta, Italy and operates with a hybrid crew of U.S. Sailors and Military Sealift Command civil service mariners.
For more news from USS Mount Whitney, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/lcc20/.