Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

DVIDS – News – USS Gerald R. Ford celebrates Thanksgiving at sea

Being away from home for the holidays can be challenging, but the first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) crew came together with their Navy family to make Thanksgiving special and memorable, Nov. 24, during Ford’s maiden deployment.

The smell of turkey and hearty sides filled the air within the skin of the ship as Ford’s culinary specialists worked hard to make the holiday special for the crew.

“The holidays are a tough time to be away from family, friends, and loved ones,” said Lt. Cmdr. Phillip Jones, Ford’s assistant supply officer. “We created a memorable experience this Thanksgiving full of fun, food, and football for everyone onboard.”

Culinary specialists aboard Ford worked together to make their largest meal of the year. The star of the show was 1,000 pounds of turkey, 900 pounds of prime rib and 400 pounds of honey-baked ham. Overall, more than 5000 pounds of meats, sides, and desserts were served from 2-6 pm

Cooking this feast is an all-hands effort and can be very demanding. In total, a small army of 176 culinary specialists and food service attendants are dedicated to bringing a small portion of a ‘home for the holidays’ feeling to thousands of crew members.

Along with the supply division’s hard work and dedication, more than 200 volunteers from the chief’s mess and the first class petty officer association offered their time to prep, serve and clean up dinner for the crew.

“This is our chance as leaders to give back to our Sailors – we want to thank them for all their efforts.” Said Ford’s chief petty officer mess president Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) James Frost, from Las Cruces, New Mexico, assigned to Ford’s air department. “We want them to know we appreciate their hard work and all the long hours they’ve contributed to the team. For many Sailors, this is their first Thanksgiving away from home. We are family out here and this is a small token of our appreciation for our crew.”

With the busy operation tempo, training schedules and time zone changes, a day of relaxation, food, and celebration is well-deserved for the crew. MWR closed out the holiday with a health fair, corn hole, row competition and more football.

“As our time at sea nears completion, Thanksgiving serves as a great time to reflect on the success our mighty warship saw in 2022 as a result of the crew’s hard work and dedication,” said Capt. Paul Lanzilotta, Ford’s commanding officer. “Once again, we ‘crushed it’ and met the standard for safe execution at sea. I also want to extend gratitude to our teammates in Carrier Air Wing Eight (CVW-8), Destroyer Squadron Two, Carrier Strike Group Twelve, and our friends’ and families’ continued support on the homefront. Our loved ones keep us going.”

The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group is deployed in the Atlantic Ocean, conducting training and operations alongside NATO Allies and partners to enhance integration for future operations and demonstrate the US Navy’s commitment to a peaceful, stable and conflict-free Atlantic region.

USS Gerald R. Ford is a first-in-class aircraft carrier, and the first new aircraft carrier designed in more than 40 years. The flagship departed Norfolk, Va., Oct. 4 on its first operational deployment, setting the stage for the US Navy’s newest class of carriers.

For more information about the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit https://www.airlant.usff.navy.mil/cvn78/, and follow along on Facebook @USSGeraldRFord, Instagram @cvn78_grford, Twitter @Warship_78, LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/uss-gerald-r-ford-cvn-78/ and DVIDS www.dvids.net/CVN78.

Date Taken: 11.24.2022
Date Posted: 11.25.2022 05:45
StoryID: 433976
hometown: LAS CRUCES, NM, US
hometown: LONG ISLAND, NY, US
hometown: NORFOLK, VA, US
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