5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY
– Amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) celebrated this year’s Thanksgiving feast on the mess decks with Rear Adm. William Lescher, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 5, Nov. 24.
Although the Thanksgiving holiday was celebrated two days late aboard the ship due to operational tasking, the crew was still able to enjoy a diverse and fulfilling meal prepared by Green Bay’s culinary specialists consisting of over 700 pounds of turkey, 325 pounds of ham and 250 pounds of potatoes and yams.
Lescher served turkey and stuffing in the main galley mess line to crew members, while wearing a Green Bay ballcap with pride.
"Serving the Thanksgiving meal during Green Bay's Thanksgiving celebration was a great experience, and a welcome opportunity to show my appreciation to our Sailors and Marines," said Lescher.
Special meals are prepared during deployments for holidays and special occasions to build the crew’s morale and remember events going on back at home.
“The crew appreciates that the admiral and commanding officer served food to them,” said Culinary Specialist Senior Chief (SW/AW) Andres Cayabyab. “It shows that even though they are busy, they can take the time to be a part of the day’s events and festivities.”
Following the meal, Lescher joined Capt. Putnam Browne, commanding officer of Green Bay, in a special cake cutting ceremony on the ship’s mess decks.
Lescher’s visit to Green Bay began on Nov. 23 with an all hands call addressing the crew on the flight deck. ESG-5’s primary mission is oversight of all amphibious forces within 5th Fleet, and he was honored to have the opportunity to speak to Green Bay’s Sailors and Marines about their exceptional performance, and answer their questions about current operations.
"5th Fleet is a dynamic environment, and Green Bay and 15th MEU are off to an outstanding start since entering this area less than a month ago. There is nothing meaningful that Green Bay and 15th MEU will not do as a team, and their performance to date shows they have superbly integrated into a combat ready force."
Green Bay is part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group, with the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.