USS MAKIN ISLAND, At sea - Sailors and Marines deployed aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) watched Super Bowl XLVI live, in the early morning hours, Feb. 6.
Makin Island and the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are currently deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. The game was broadcast on American Forces Network on a big screen TV in the hangar bay.
"The first thought that came to mind for me when I was up watching the game, was 'wow, here I am in a combat zone, watching the Super Bowl,'" said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Dorian Johnson. "But once the game started, I was happy to be up, rooting for the [New York] Giants."
"I had to root for [Giants quarterback] Eli Manning, since he went to Ole Miss," said Johnson, a Hattiesburg, Miss., native.
The ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) team also hosted a party in the hangar bay with food and games.
Sailors played tailgate-themed games and participated in contests before the game and at halftime.
"Knowing that we'd be far from home, but that many people wouldn't want to miss the game and all of the excitement that goes with it traditionally, we wanted to make the Super Bowl a memorable event for everyone," said Kristen Venoy, Makin Island's MWR fun boss. "The crowd in the hangar bay was definitely energetic throughout the game too, so I think it was a huge success."
"We couldn't have done it without support from everyone who played a role setting up the hangar bay, the TV and audio equipment, cleaning up afterwards, and of course, the award winning food," added Venoy.
Makin Island is the flagship of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.