Friday, August 01, 2008

Steel beach picnic brings Abe sailors together

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Arianne Anderson, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) gathered on the flight deck for a steel beach picnic July 26.

Sailors put work on the back-burner and played sports, listened to music performed by Lincoln's own rock band, "Death by Chicken," and disc jockey Onitap of the ship's KRUZ Radio and enjoyed barbequed food.

"A steel beach picnic is a great morale booster," said Culinary Specialist 1st Class (AW) Joseph Tenorio, of Lincoln's Supply Department. "It's a one-of-a-kind experience. Nowhere else in the world can you have a barbecue on a flight deck. It's definitely unique."

Machinist's Mate Fireman Phillip Smith, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., and a member of Lincoln's Engineering Department, said he had a good time at the steel beach picnic.

"The steak was really good, and I liked the band. It boosts morale and makes us [Sailors] feel normal again. It gives me that 'home' feeling."

Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Rashad Jones, a Los Angeles native, and member of Lincoln's Engineering Department, added, "I think events like this make us more civilized to one another. We get to relax and hang out and not deal with the stresses of deployment for a few hours. I think we should do these more often."

As Sailors tossed a football around, ate steaks and burgers, members of Lincoln's Supply Department's S-2, S-5 and S-11 divisions were busy cooking, organizing and making sure everything went as planned, Tenorio said.

"It's a lot of hard work, but it's definitely worth it. I am happy to do this for the crew. It feels like the Fourth of July. I just hope everyone enjoys it. It's meant to allow the crew unwind and relax."

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Ferdinand Ajel, from Avenel, N.J, (pictured) laughed after taking a pie in the face as part of a Morale, Welfare and Recreation fundraiser.

Lincoln's Commanding Officer, Capt. Patrick Hall, said the steel beach picnic was a well-deserved event.

"You guys earned this, so enjoy it. I'd like to say 'thank you' to all the people putting this on for us. You all worked together to get things done and I think everyone had a good time overall. Good job to everyone."

Lincoln is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to support Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom as well as maritime security operations. Operations in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility are focused on reassuring regional partners of the United States' commitment to security, which promotes stability and global prosperity.

U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Johndion Magsipoc (Death by Chicken) and Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Evans (pie throwing).

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