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Reaching across the fence

The different flight deck uniforms from the USS John C. Stennis are on display at theNaval Museum of the Pacific. - Photo by Charles Melton
The different flight deck uniforms from the USS John C. Stennis are on display at theNaval Museum of the Pacific.
— image credit: Photo by Charles Melton

By CHARLES MELTON

Editor

When the USS John C. Stennis returned to Bremerton in Aug. 2007, it brought more than 2,000 sailors home. It carried an integral piece of the Naval Museum of Pacific.

The museum opened its doors in Building 50 shortly before the Stennis entered the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for a routine maintenance period, but before then a partnership between the aircraft carrier and the museum had already begun.

During the course of its deployment, Stennis photo officer Ensign Chad Dulac had managed to send the rainbow of flight deck uniforms to the museum as part of the Stennis room on the museum’s second floor.

“The USS John C. Stennis has been very thankful to have partnered up with a facility and staff of such superb standards of professionalism,” said Stennis commanding officer Capt. Brad Johanson.

Currently the Stennis exhibit space not only has the different flight deck uniforms, a model of the carrier and a few other pieces from the ship itself, but a video that shows the crew in action during its most recent deployment.

“The Stennis exhibit at the museum captures the broad spectrum of capabilities of our capital ships of the fleet,” Capt. Johanson said. “It also captures the patriotic pride and spirit of our sailors as they defend our country and serve our nation.”

Since the carrier has been undergoing maintenance in the drydock, Dulac said he has been able to procure numerous other items for future display in the museum as plans are underway for a second room for the Stennis.

“One of the things we’ve found is that people want to know how sailors live during deployment,” he said.

While the hi-tech gadgets and other state-of-the-art components of the carrier could make great exhibits, Dulac said the focus for the future of the Stennis room is on giving visitors as much of a “day in the life” experience as possible.

One of the most likely new additions to the museum will be an actual three-bunk sleeping module, which will allow visitors to see that part of a sailor’s life aboard the ship, Dulac said.

Lyle Nelson, president of the Naval Memorial Museum of the Pacific, said he is glad to see the Stennis take such a large role in the museum.

“Right now you’re just seeing the start of the museum,” Nelson said, adding that as long as the Stennis is homeported in Bremerton, its role in the museum will continue to grow.

That relationship is one for which Capt. Johanson said he is thankful and he also had high praise for the museum itself.

“There is no facility that exemplifies this remarkable Naval heritage to the standards of pride and professionalism of the Naval Museum in Building 50, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard,” Johanson said.

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