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Story Number: NNS070213-04

By Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Heather W. Hines, Makin Island Public Affairs

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (NNS)
-- Commanding Officer of Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Makin Island (LHD 8) presented five sailors with community service awards Jan. 19 for their participation in the 2006 Gautier Mullet Festival.

As the citation was read, Capt. Bob Kopas handed Lt. Bryan Robertson, Ensign Matt Buhn, Electronics Technician 1st Class Ray Hawkins, Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class (SW) Isiah Lester, and Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class (AW) Kristina Perham certificates of appreciation, signed by mayor of the City of Gautier, Pete Pope.

“I’m pleased with the effort our crew members are putting forth in the local community,” said Kopas. “This is an excellent opportunity to reinforce the Navy’s core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment all while strengthening that important link that exists with the military and the local community.”

The volunteers spent the day setting up and supervising the children’s play area, which included Putt-Putt golf, Pirates of the Caribbean obstacle course, and sumo wrestling to name a few.

This event was the first of its kind for Hawkins. The festival is the fourth volunteer opportunity in which he has participated since reporting aboard Makin Island in August 2006.

“I really enjoyed working with the kids,” said Hawkins.

Makin Island is currently under construction in Pascagoula, Miss. Thw ship is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in May 2008 and will be commissioned in her homeport of San Diego in fall 2008.

For related news, visit the PCU Makin Island (LHD 8) Navy NewsStand page at http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/lhd8/.
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