GULF OF ADEN
Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Keypher Strombeck
Amphibious Squadron Five
GULF OF ADEN – The amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry’s (LSD 49) celebrated Independence Day while taking a break from its regularly scheduled deployment with a steel beach picnic on the ship’s boat deck and flight deck, July 4, 2019.
The steel beach picnic included barbecued food, sports, dancing and music.
“It is a lot of work setting up and preparing for these events, but today’s turnout and smiles proved it is worth it,” said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Jaclyn Anderson, Harpers Ferry’s MWR vice president. “ It puts a smile to my face to see everyone relax and get to just be themselves.”
Sports and games, such as soccer, corn hole, ladder toss, bingo, hacky sack and baseball were offered on the ship’s boat deck and flight deck during the picnic to provide the crew with a chance to have some fun and socialize.
“I loved bouncing between groups of people dancing and playing games,” said Seaman Khadeejah Covington. “Harpers Ferry adheres to a circadian rythym so it was nice to be able to hang out with people I don’t normally see.”
The crew’s dedication and purpose was recognized by command leadership during an all hands call before the festivities.
“I want to thank each and every one of you for your continued sacrifices and service to that which is bigger than ourselves,” said Cmdr. Janice Pollard, Harpers Ferry commanding officer. “What we are doing out here in 5th fleet allows all those back home to enjoy their barbeques and fireworks under a blanket of freedom we provide. That is a lot to be proud of, so enjoy the day”
Harpers Ferry is part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit and is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the Western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.
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