Navy Region Center Singapore welcomes USS John C. Stennis CSG sailors
Navy Region Center Singapore welcomed USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Carrier Strike Group Sailors during a port visit in Sembawang, Singapore, April 19-23.
As part of their regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment, strike group Sailors took advantage of the various services and facilities Navy Region Center Singapore offers.
For installation leadership, this was a chance to support the fleet during a period of rest and relaxation.
“A major part of our mission is taking care of the fleet,” said Capt. Scott Murdock, NRCS commanding officer. “So when the strike group arrives in Singapore, we pull out all the stops to ensure they have a five-star experience.”
During port visits from U.S. Navy vessels, NRCS’s supporting departments and tenant commands such as the Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka, Site Singapore, Fleet and Family Readiness, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, the Navy Exchange (NEX), and Navy Federal Credit Union, often extend efforts to support the fleet.
In terms of preparation, the FLC logistics team coordinates with supply officers aboard ships prior to their arrival in order to provide quality logistics services such as provisions, fuel, postal services, and pierside support.
“The planning process for an incoming ship is very time consuming and must be coordinated with extreme attention to detail,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ronald K. Terry, FLC site director. “If something is missed during the planning phases it could affect the ship’s visit.”
During the strike group’s visit the extent and volume of support provided by FLC included 350 pallets of provisions, 2,000 pieces/124 Pallets of Cargo, and 1,871 pieces/232 pallets of official mail. This scope of support presents challenges, but through effective communication among fleet organizations and between FLC departments, most obstacles are often overcome.
“Most of the challenges encountered included access requests for contractors, vendors, [and] transportation, but with the strike group’s advanced party presence prior to their arrival, these challenges were ironed out,” Terry said.
MWR activities were in full swing as the Sailors took advantage of the region’s sports facilities and Terror Club, as well as other services such as participating in local tours, shopping at the Navy Exchange and utilizing Navy Federal Credit Union banking services.
For off-duty enjoyment, 2,124 Sailors from across all ships signed up for local tours to such places as Universal Studios, Singapore Night Safari, Singapore wildlife tours and more. By the end of the five-day period, Terror Club profits topped over $80,000.
However, the visit was about more than just profits for the installation; for strike group Sailors, it was about having familiar surroundings to rest and relax.
“It feels really good to have a piece of home when you’re so far away for so long,” said Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Melinda Carlson. “It’s really nice and makes you realize how blessed you are.”
Another Sailor seemed more than happy to rest his sea legs.
“I’m just happy to be on land and be off the water for a bit, but I really look forward to playing football and maybe go swimming,” said Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Michael Forte.
One highlight of the visit was providing strike group Sailors access to newly renovated sports facilities. Sailors reserved the baseball field and scheduled softball matches playing against different departments from among the ships. For personnel assigned to the region, getting a chance for some friendly basketball tournaments against Sailors from the strike group was a welcome opportunity.
“I thought all the Sailors from each ship had a great time and it was a great opportunity to get to know and play against them and also showcase the Singapore Sailors’ basketball skills,” said Chief Logistics Specialist Jonathan Magsanoc, FLC operations leading chief petty officer. “Above all, I think with the help of MWR, we showed them how to be a great host of such events.”
Strike group Sailors also found some quiet time at the region’s Cafe Lah Community Center, a shop featuring espresso coffees, sandwiches and free Wi-Fi. There, Sailors enjoyed free movies and comfortable seating in a place to unwind.
Aside from Cafe Lah and along the Headquarters’ building walkway, local souvenir shops and a barbershop saw much foot traffic. The Navy Exchange seemed to get the most customers over the five-day visit garnering approximately $307,187 in revenue.
For NEX Singapore Branch Exchange Manager Shelly Albright, her team’s efforts were all about servicing the fleet.
“It was great to be able to provide direct support to the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group because being able to provide quality goods and premier customer service is what our mission is all about,” Albright said. “The staff at NEX Singapore had a fantastic time doing what they do best, which is helping support the Navy and its quality of life programs.”
As John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group Sailors continue their scheduled 7th Fleet deployment, the Navy Region Center Singapore team continues to prepare and reset for the next big visit.
Image: US Navy