USS Enterprise --
After being at sea for 28 days, Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251 enjoyed a day in the sun during a five-hour steel beach picnic on the flight deck and in the hangar bay of the USS Enterprise, March 11.
The purpose of the picnic was to break up the repetitiveness of the everyday workload and allow the Marines and sailors a chance to relax.
“Steel beach picnics break up the monotony of each work week that passes by while we are at sea for long periods of time,” said Brooke Newton, the Enterprise’s Fun Boss. “There is a great amount of work and many different groups of people and departments that are involved to make the event possible.”
The steel beach activities included inflatable jousting, sumo wrestling, ping pong, tricycle races, basketball, a pie in the eye fundraiser, a bench press competition, a miniature driving range and more.
“I enjoyed the picnic a lot because it was well organized and had a lot of fun activities to get involved with,” said Lance Cpl. Christian Cruz, a VMFA-251 flight equipment mechanic. “Being deployed and away from the people you love is stressful, so getting the opportunity to relax is definitely a plus and helps make being deployed easier for everyone.”
The picnic also offered more than 4,000 refreshments, 3,250 pounds of fresh-grilled hotdogs, hamburgers, bratwurst and halibut as well as thousands of brownies and cookies for dessert.
“The food was a step up from the average chow hall hamburger because they were cooked out on the grill,” said Cpl. Jose Salcido, a Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 consolidated automated support system technician attached to VMFA-251. “It was nice to get free cans of soda also, because we don’t normally get canned soda while deployed.”
The food was cooked by the officers of the ship and different squadrons, including the commanding and executive officers of VMFA-251, as Marines and sailors served it.
“The Marines work very hard every day,” said Warrant Officer Corey Wainscott, the VMFA-251 ordnance officer-in-charge, “I was glad to be able to help out [by cooking food on the grill] and to show my appreciation and give back to them. I hope that the Marines were able to unwind, get their well-needed rest and enjoy a day without worrying about the flight schedule.”
Getting away from the worries of everyday tasks, Marines and sailors enjoyed a fun-filled day in the sun on steel beach.