U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (NNS) -- The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG) got underway March 17, following a four-day port visit to Jebel Ali, Dubai.
During the port visit, Sailors from Stennis and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) had the opportunity to explore the local culture and participate in a variety of tours sponsored by Stennis' Morale, Welfare, and Recreation division. Activities included visiting the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, going on a desert safari and playing in a golf tournament.
Furthermore, country singer Jesse Taylor performed onstage for Sailors in the recreational area within Jebel Ali Port, known as the "Sandbox."
"I was doing roving watch when I heard [Taylor] sing," said Electronics Technician 3rd Class Chelsea Fuller, from Flint, Mich. "Everybody was singing along and having a good time. It reminded me of home."
A number of Sailors began their port visit early to help set up and participate in the Dubai 10-kilometer run, which was designed to help promote fitness and boost morale.
"I met a few people who told me it was their very first 10-kilometer run," said Tina Nguyen, Stennis' afloat fitness director, from Jackson, Miss. "I saw their friends running alongside and cheering them on, then congratulating them on a good run afterward."
The JCSCSG, consisting of Stennis, Carrier Air Wing 9, Destroyer Squadron 21, and Mobile Bay, is forward deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom.
For more news from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn74/.