USS New Orleans FCPOA Hosts Steel Beach Picnic for Sailors and Marines
USS NEW ORLEANS, At sea - The First Class Petty Officer Association aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) hosted the first steel beach picnic of the current deployment March 10.
Sailors and Marines took time out of their day to unwind by spending time in the sun, listening to music and eating barbecued food.
"People like barbecue, they like the sun and we have both of those," said Yeoman 1st Class Kenneth V. Bradley II, New Orleans' FCPOA president. "We're trying to raise morale with this event by getting people out of their spaces and break up the monotony of deployment."
The FCPOA worked in shifts to help with picnic set-up and clean-up, and they also contributed by grilling hot dogs, burgers and chicken for lunch and dinner.
"We're giving the supply department a break," said Bradley. "The guys working in the galley and mess decks are always working hard, and it's time to reward them for their efforts."
Sailors and Marines in attendance were grateful for the time off.
"I've been looking forward to this for so long and it has been well worth the wait," said Information Systems Technician Seaman Robert Perry. "It's nice to know that when people allow us to do the little things like this, it helps us by realizing we're not just all about work, but we can play also."
The picnic coincided with New Orleans' fifth anniversary of being commissioned. The event concluded with a cake cutting ceremony on the ship's mess decks to commemorate the occasion.
New Orleans and embarked Marines assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit are deployed as part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG). The ARG is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.