USS Makin Island Holds Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for Renovated Computer Lounge 
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Ethan Tracey, USS Makin Island (LHD 8) Public Affairs 
USS MAKIN ISLAND, At sea - Sailors and Marines deployed aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil a newly renovated computer lounge, Jan. 6.

The lounge, now known as "Raider Room.com" (although it's not an actual website), was upgraded in order to provide Sailors and Marines an improved location to use shipboard computers for personal business like checking email and surfing the Internet.

During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Capt. Jim Landers, Makin Island's commanding officer, thanked everyone who helped renovate the computer lounge.

"This was a vision we had for a long time," said Landers. "We wanted a place where Sailors and Marines could use email and the Internet to communicate back home."

One major part of the renovation was the installation of additional computers.

"We added two more desktops for Sailors and three more laptops for the Marines," said Information Systems Technician Leticia Gomez, who helped install the additional computers.

Sailors and Marines who used the room before the remodeling project began said they are happy to have additional computers available.

"There is a lot more open space in here," said Lance Cpl. Joseph Priest, assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. "After the remodel everything looks more organized."

Raider Room.com is managed by the ship' s chaplain's office, and users are limited to 30 minutes of computer use per visit in order to allow more Sailors and Marines to use the facility. The project is one of many quality of life initiatives being implemented aboard Makin Island.

"It's nice to have a place to come check my email during the day because we don't have many computers available to use in my shop," said Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Michael Rodriguez.

Makin Island is the first U.S. Navy ship to deploy using a hybrid-electric propulsion system. By using this unique propulsion system, the Navy expects over the course of the ship's lifecycle, to see fuel savings of more than $250 million, proving the Navy's commitment to energy awareness and conservation.

This initiative is one of many throughout the Navy and Marine Corps that will enable the Department of the Navy to achieve the secretary of the Navy's energy goals to improve our energy security and efficiency afloat and ashore, increase our energy independence and help lead the nation toward a clean energy economy.

Makin Island is the flagship of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

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