USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) unveiled a holiday-themed gingerbread village on the aft mess decks Dec. 9.
Fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate helped Sailors get in the holiday spirit as they viewed the large display garnished with lights and garlands. Sailors assigned to Supply Department, S-2 division, worked on the project for two weeks preparing the gingerbread village for its grand opening. It took two weeks and 60 pans of ginger bread, consisting of more than 700 pounds of flour, 120 pounds of brown sugar and 15 gallons of molasses.
"The gingerbread village was an enormous project," said Culinary Specialist Seaman Myriah Know, from Uniontown, Ohio. "It was a lot of work but it was all worth it when it was finished and I saw everyone's reaction."
Sailors who created this village from start to finish wanted to boost morale and bring holiday spirit to Stennis.
"We wanted to give the crew a sense of hominess," said Culinary Specialist Seaman Kari Sheldon, from Post Falls, Idaho. "Even though we're deployed, I wanted the crew to feel the holiday spirit the way they would if they were home with their loved ones."
To complete this project, Sailors relied on teamwork skills.
"It required everyone to work together and use each other's individual strengths to accomplish this task," said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Brooklyn Williams, from Hornbeak, Tenn.
Despite being deployed, it's the little things like gingerbread villages, hot chocolate, and warm oven baked cookies that remind Sailors of home during the holidays.
The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, consisting of Stennis, Carrier Air Wing 9, Destroyer Squadron 21, and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) are forward deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Operations to strengthen regional partnerships, sustain maritime security, and support combatant commander requirements for assets in the area.