LCS Sailor Receives J.L. Abbot Award 
By Lt. j.g. Robin Roberts, LCS 2 (Blue) Public Affairs 
MOBILE, Ala. – Engineman First Class (SW) Gary Thomas, a member of pre-commissioning unit (PCU) Independence’s (LCS 2) Blue crew, received the J.L. Abbot Award for Enlisted Sailors from the Mobile Chapter of the Navy League May 28.

The Abbot Award is named after Capt. J. Lloyd Abbot, Sr., who was a founding member of the Mobile Chapter of the Navy League. The award was established by Adm. “Doc” J. Lloyd Abbot, Jr. and is presented to an outstanding enlisted Sailor yearly.

Thomas, originally from Phoenix, is the 2007 Sailor of the Year for the PCU Independence blue crew. He is an expert on gas turbine engines, one of the crew’s three emergency medical technicians, and has attended welding school to provide welding support to the ship.

“Being named the recipient of the J.L. Abbot award is such an inspiration and an honor,” said Thomas at the ceremony. “I would like to thank Adm. Abbot, the city of Mobile, and the Navy League for recognizing me and the entire crew of Independence with this award.”

On any given day, Thomas can be found leading command physical training, giving flu shots, conducting gas turbine training, leading Search and Rescue (SAR) training, writing damage control drill guides, honing his ship handling skills, or developing distance support information technology data requirements.

Independence is currently under construction in Mobile, Ala. The ship’s crews are located in San Diego, Calif. where the ship will be home ported. The Navy expects to receive delivery of LCS 2 in December 2008.
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