USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea -- Twenty-one crew members from aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) took a carrier on board delivery (COD) flight to aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) July 26 to reunite with family members currently serving aboard Ike.
Crew members from Enterprise toured the Ike and seized the opportunity to spend time with family members and spouses they had not seen for nearly five months.
"Twenty-one of the twenty-two passengers aboard the COD had family members aboard Eisenhower," said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Cheri R. Snaza, the leading chief petty officer of Enterprise's medical department. "They ranged from spouses, brothers, sisters and cousins to uncles and nephews."
Snaza, whose husband is Command Master Chief Gregg Snaza, the command master chief aboard Eisenhower, thought it would be an auspicious undertaking to help arrange a rendezvous between crewmembers from Enterprise and their respective family members aboard Eisenhower.
"Taking the Ike's deployment into consideration, it was going to be a 13-month time period before we were going to be able to see our spouses or significant family members," Snaza said. "My husband and I began chatting about how we could accomplish some kind of a cross-deck."
After coordination and communication between the two carriers' commanding officers and operations departments, the visit was made possible.
The visit to the Ike included a welcome aboard by Eisenhower's commanding officer, a group photo, individual photos, and most importantly, time for family members to spend with each other.
"We wanted each Sailor to get as much time as possible with their family member," said Snaza. "Because we went over via COD, instead of a helicopter, we were able to afford the family members much more time with each other."
"As soon as I walked off of the COD, my cousin was there waiting with arms wide open," said Yeoman 2nd Class Jacqueline M. Martinez, assigned to the Screwtops of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 123. "The trip was phenomenal. I'm very thankful for the opportunity."
The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKE CSG)recently arrived in U.S. 5th Fleet, replacing the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, July 17, augmenting the presence of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (ECSG)in the region.
Enterprise and Eisenhower are both currently deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.