By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Recruit Spencer Rhoades
YOKOSUKA, JAPAN (Dec. 25, 2012) – The U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) celebrated Christmas with a holiday dinner Dec. 25.
More than 500 Sailors and their families gathered on the mess decks to enjoy a special meal that was prepared by 90 culinary specialists from George Washington’s food service (S-2) division.
“The entire meal took about a week and many man hours to prepare,” said Chief Culinary Specialist Ferdinand Delos Santos from Manila, Philippines. “It feels good to provide a special meal on Christmas for those on duty.”
S-2 division served roast pig, glazed ham, roast turkey, an assortment of sides and numerous desserts.
“We wanted to serve a home-cooked meal that everyone can enjoy,” said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Donald Simpkins, from Montgomery, Ala.
S-2 division also decorated the mess decks with Christmas trees, lights and gingerbread houses that gave the ship a warm, holiday feeling.
Families of Sailors were also invited to join in the Christmas festivities aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.
“It was great to be able to sit down and eat dinner with my family on Christmas,” said Machinist Mate 2nd Class Jeffery Sweat, from Millen, Ga. “The meal was probably the best I’ve had while on the ship.”
George Washington returned to its forward-operating location of Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan from its 2012 patrol on Nov. 20. The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its partners and allies in the Asia-Pacific region.