By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Robert Winkler, Southern Partnership Station Public Affairs
USS NEW ORLEANS, At Sea (NNS) -- Chief petty officers and senior enlisted Marines aboard USS New Orleans (LPD 18) switched roles with food service attendants June 25, and worked in the galley to create, cook and serve pizzas to the crew.
The crew had the chance to choose their own toppings with the ingredients on hand. Chiefs and senior Marines dished out slices on the serving line, cleaned tables and washed dishes.
"The ship's been doing this long before I got here," said New Orleans Command Master Chief Jeff Kozlik. "The crew loves it. It may seem like a small thing to serve one meal, but it gives us a chance to spend more time with the crew. They love seeing us back here sweating and doing the kind of work they do on a daily basis," he said.
Sailors and Marines who normally work for senior enlisted personnel in some capacity found themselves in charge.
"The roles are completely flip-flopped," said Kozlik. "There are still a couple of FSAs who help us out, but they're in a supervisory role and telling us what to do. I've had a couple of Sailors back here teaching me how to work at the deep sink, and how to keep from hurting myself."
Engineman Fireman Eric Shaw, of Stayton, Ore., normally works in main propulsion but has been taking his turn as an FSA for the past two-and-a-half months.
"I think mess duty is important," said Shaw. "When I joined the Navy, I thought I would be spending all my time working on engines, but I was sent to work in the galley shortly after I came aboard. We have to help out [the culinary specialists] with maintaining cleanliness, otherwise, who will?"
Shaw enjoyed the change of pace and appreciated the assistance.
"It made my job a lot easier," said Shaw. "It's kind of funny that an E-3 is telling chiefs what to do. It's cool working with the chiefs. Even thought they wear that anchor, they can still be fun to work with. I went from doing all the dirty work to being a supervisor today and that was cool."
Chief Electronics Technician Daniel Kast, electronics maintenance officer for Amphibious Squadron 5, cooked the pizzas.
"I think it was a good time," said Kast. "It gave us a chance to see the crew. Most of the time they're serving us and this gave us a chance to give back and serve them. We had fun with it. I can tell it brings morale up. I think they love to see us back there working. It also gives the chiefs a chance to get together and spend some time together as a mess."
New Orleans, along with Amphibious Squadron 5; 4th Platoon, Company C, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division; and other embarked units are participating in Southern Partnership Station.
SPS is a deployment of various specialty platforms to the U.S. Southern Command Area of Responsibility in Latin America and the Caribbean. The mission's primary goal is information sharing with navies, coast guards, and civilian services throughout the region. SPS provides the opportunity for joint operations between partner nations, which develops and tests participating regional civil and maritime services' capabilities to respond to a wide variety of maritime missions while keeping open vital lines of communication between regional services.
Top photo: Chief Fire Controlman Guadalupe Galindo carries a sheet pan of pizzas to the ovens as the Navy and Marine Corps senior enlisted aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) take over galley duties for dinner.
Bottom photo: Chief Fire Controlman Guadalupe Galindo and Chief Hull Technician David Moser make pizza as the Navy and Marine Corps senior enlisted aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) take over galley duties for dinner.
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