PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) — Sailors and Marines aboard the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) participated in the Health Awareness 5K run on the ship’s flight deck, July 23.
The 5K run was held to promote healthy choices and introduce the command’s drug and alcohol program advisors (DAPA), sexual assault prevention and response victim advocates (VA’s) and fitness leaders to the crew.
“I love running and being the command DAPA, so I decided to combine them to reach out to the crew,” said Chief Navy Counselor (SW/AW) Eric Torra, America’s DAPA. “I wanted to do something to increase awareness, talk about healthy lifestyles and provide resources available to them.”
Before the run commenced, the crew was briefed on maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle as well as the effects of b binge drinking and stress. They then held held trivia questions where the winners received front-of-the-line privileges to the ship’s store and mess decks for a week.
“This promotes healthy lifestyles while creating a sense of family,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SW/AW) Bashanda Paly, assigned to the ship’s medical team. “We have to make sure everyone stays healthy mentally, spiritually, and physically.”
Sailors and Marines from various departments volunteered together for the event to learn about health and fitness and to help boost the morale of the crew.
“It was awesome to raise awareness for all the programs on board the America with SAPR, DAPA, and fitness,” said Aviation Ordnanceman (AW) 2nd Class Dominique Reynolds, trivia winner. “I would love to see this more often to raise awareness in other issues.”
After participating in the group discussions and trivia game, the race was set to begin. Runners participating in the run, completed nine laps around a pre-determined course around the ship’s flight deck.
“It was exhilarating to be able to run along the flight deck and definitely an amazing experience to run with the entire ocean spread out around us,” said Reynolds. “Nothing could beat the vantage point that this run gave us!”
Torra coordinated this event with the chiefs’ mess, flight deck coordinators, command fitness leaders, SAPR, VA’s, and the corpsmen.
America is currently deployed as part of the America Amphibious Ready Group, commanded by Amphibious Squadron 3. The ARG also consists of the amphibious transport dock USS San Diego (LPD 22) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52). They are operating with embarked forces of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), the “Wildcards” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23, and detachments from Assault Craft Unit 5, Naval Beach Group 1, Beachmaster Unit 1, Fleet Surgical Team 1 and Tactical Air Control Squadron 11.
The America Amphibious Ready Group and 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit are operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance regional partnerships and serve as a ready-response capability for any type of contingency.
The 7th Fleet’s area of operation spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from theInternational Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to theAntarctic in the South.
For more news from USS America (LHA 6), visit www.navy.mil/local/lha6/or www.public.navy.mil/surfor/lha6/