Rise and Shine it's Super Bowl Monday in Japan and our day started at 4:30 a.m. getting ready for a 6:00 a.m. start time of Super events! It felt odd for the first time having to wake up for this event, back home it's always been a night game. Not this time, if you want to watch the game live, you had to get up EARLY for it!
As kick off begun the Officer's Club started to become full with people who wanted to wake up earlier and enjoy the Super Bowl. People had the option of taking the day off just for Super Bowl, and every place we went was full. We did get to visit with a couple hometown Arizona Cardinal fans and our faces were pleased to see the Cardinal red jerseys. We went to different clubs each quarter meeting all the football fans and bringing the NFL experience to them.
Our afternoon schedule entailed visiting the USS George Washington (CVN73), I had no idea the impact this visit was going to be for me emotionally. We were greeted by the XO, AKA "Ken", we had the privilege of calling him just Ken, but to everyone else he's XO (Second Commander in Chief of USS GW). This ship is currently in port right now undergoing scheduled maintenance in Japan, it takes about 4-6 months to complete. They repair everything from the flight deck, captain's suite, electrical, and repainting the ship. Ken compares this ship to a floating city in the water, it has over 5000 people on board living out at sea. There was so much we saw and learned regarding the operations of GW, I'll share with you the top 10 most fascinating:
1. To build a brand new ship it would cost an estimate 10 billion US dollars
2. Operating daily is 1 million or 365 million just to keep this boat a float
3. It has a full medical facility onboard with over 50 beds, (X-rays, and even an OR)
4. Feeding everyone on board takes about 24,000 meals a day
5. Eighty aircrafts are kept on the place. (they have a lower level with 4 elevators to help move planes up on the deck)
6. The Captain can operate the ship for up to 20 hours in 1 shift (can someone say 5 hour energy times four!!)
7. Reporting everything that happens on the ship is a huge priority, to injuries all the way to gifts that are giving/received from allies who visit the ship is always documented.
8. The average age on the boat is 22-23, it's was a huge eye opener that very young men and women operate this multi billion floating machine!
9. There is NO Cash or pets on the boat
10. They carry a life raft for every single person on board (let's just hope they don't have to use them, because it's a 60 foot drop into the ocean!)
Although we learned so much about the USS GW, meeting with some of the sailors who live and work on the ship was a priceless experience. I walked away with complete gratitude these young men and women commit their lives to no only protect our country but they also protect our other allies globally. It was a true honor to have experienced meeting as many folks as we did today and seeing how happy they were to have us there to say hi and learn more about them. I will never forget this Super Bowl Monday!