SAN DIEGO -- In the weeks leading up to July 7, the USS Benfold (DDG 65) crew heard about a wardroom-sponsored event involving a day off work for team-building. In spite of all the mystery, the entire crew was brimming with excitement that morning as they arrived at Admiral Baker Park. The crew were welcomed to the sight of four team-building game stations and the smells of freshly prepared barbeque. Cmdr. Michele Day, the ship’s commanding officer, quickly kicked off the event as she read off the names for the twenty teams the crew was divided into and laid out the rules of the game stations.
Each team formed instant bonds as they began competing; team pride was clearly demonstrated by the friendly banter that echoed through the park during relay races and games of tug-o-war. GM1 (AW) Kenny Contreras exclaimed, “When I first heard about the ‘Raytheon Reset’ I thought it was some sort of missile test, but this is actually a great time!”
After the games concluded and each team submitted their score sheets to be ranked against the other teams, all hands quickly lined up at the barbeques where the First Class Petty Officers, Chief’s Mess, and Wardroom were engaged in a cook-off. The crew spent the rest of the day enjoying food and each other’s company while reflecting on their accomplishments thus far in the combat systems upgrade process, along with looking forward to becoming an operational warship again.
In her closing remarks, Day congratulated her crew on their tenacity and focus during the grueling yard period, and reminded them of their potential and the significance of the day’s celebration, “It is important now, but will be especially so when we are back underway, to remember that we are all part of Team Benfold and none of us are working alone on our ship. The teamwork and camaraderie we displayed today is what will carry us through sea trials and on to deployment.”
USS BENFOLD is currently completing an availability that will see the most advanced upgrades to her ballistic missile defense system.