Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Enterprise Hosts Distinguished Visitors While Underway

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kristin L. Grover, USS Enterprise Public Affairs

USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) is showcasing her Sailors and missions as the ship supports the Navy's Distinguished Visitor (DV) program.

DV embarkations are intended to increase awareness of the Navy's mission while highlighting the dedicated and professional service of its Sailors.

Enterprise hosted two such visits Dec. 10-12 while underway in the Atlantic Ocean for carrier qualifications. During these embarks, nearly 20 civilian leaders in business, government and finance toured the ship and got an inside look at shipboard operations.

"The distinguished visitors who come aboard Enterprise are from all walks of life," said Lt. Cmdr. Mark D. Kurtz, V-3 division officer. "When they depart the ship, they leave with a true sense of appreciation and amazement that they bring back to their jobs, giving them a renewed focus on supporting the Navy and our overall mission."

Guests are flown onto the ship in a carrier onboard delivery aircraft and spend a very busy 24 hours on the aircraft carrier. While onboard, the visitors get an in-depth experience of the aircraft carrier's primary function - launching and recovering aircraft.

DVs get a firsthand view of naval aviation and the constant action taking place aboard Enterprise from the flight deck, primary flight control, arresting gear and catapult spaces, a squadron "ready room", and the Carrier Air Traffic Control Center.

Kurtz said that visitors are always excited to watch flight operations and are impressed by the amount of coordination and activity on the flight deck.

An aircraft carrier is truly a "city at sea," and visitors can get a sense of what it takes to support the crew with visits to the ship's medical and dental department, the many dining facilities, the ship's chapel, Learning Resource Center, library, barber shops, and gyms.

Each department visited makes an effort to inform DVs about their individual responsibilities and the duties they perform.

"I want everyone who comes aboard to know that we are passionately dedicated to providing the highest standard of medical care to the great Americans who go to sea and defend our country's liberties," said Cmdr. Kevin J. Brown, senior medical officer. "I very much enjoy bragging about the amazing services that the young Sailors in our department are able to provide to their shipmates."

Allowing visitors to see the medical facilities available on the ship reassures the DVs that deployed Sailors will receive the same care they would back home.

Operating safely and accomplishing the carrier's mission requires many operational specialties and talented Sailors. Guests see a cross-section of some of what it takes to make the Enterprise run by visiting the navigation bridge and spaces such as the jet engine test shop, forecastle and machinery repair shop, and the weapons magazine.

Enterprise will be deploying on her 22nd deployment.