USS George Washington Departs Guam

The forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) departed Guam after a routine, four-day port visit Sept. 25.

George Washington Sailors not only enjoyed some time to relax, but also strengthened relations with Guamanian residents through community service (COMSERV) projects, sporting events and daily ship tours.

George Washington’s Command Religious Ministries Department arranged 10 COMSERV projects; included volunteering at a local animal shelter and hospital; coaching Guamanian athletes who are participating in an upcoming Special Olympics tournament; and trips to local elementary and high schools, where Sailors provided friendship and mentorship to local youth.

“You never know which of these students will potentially hear something that we said, remember it towards the end of high school, and think that it would be something great, to be able to serve,” said Lt. j.g. Yonina Creditor, from Richmond, Va., a Jewish chaplain aboard George Washington.

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier hosted more than 700 Guamanian educators, veterans, and military personnel for tours of the flight deck, hangar bay and navigation bridge.

George Washington also competed in seven different sporting events with Guam and other U.S. military teams, including men and women’s soccer, rugby, basketball, softball, and cycling.

“I really have fun, especially with my teammates,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Anthony Lueders, from Norfolk, Neb., a member of George Washington’s softball team. “We have a good time in all of the places that we get to go play.”

George Washington’s crew and embarked air wing also spent their liberty touring Guam’s historical and cultural spots, and enjoyed leisure time relaxing on the beaches and enjoying the scenery of the tropical island.

“Guam was incredibly beautiful,” said Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Nicole Cantu, from Floresville, Texas. “It was like being in a tropical version of home.”

George Washington is currently conducting its 2012 patrol in the 7th Fleet area of operations, and recently completed the U.S. joint exercise Valiant Shield 2012 in the Guam operating area.

George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its partners and allies in the Asia-Pacific region.

Naval Today Staff, September 26, 2012