USS John S. McCain Sailors launch clean up initiative
USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) First Class Petty Officer Association Sailors cleaned up camp sites on Fleet Activities, Yokosuka Ikego Housing Detachment Morale, Welfare and Recreation camp grounds, Feb. 1.
The group said that this is the first step in a larger community relations effort.
“We wanted to give back to the community, to do something positive for the place where we live,” said Interior Communications Electrician First Class Christopher Polinsky, event coordinator. “We also wanted to do something that would be meaningful as first class [petty officers].”
The First Class Association is a group of U.S. Navy First Class Petty Officers who work together to help mentor junior Sailors, as well as their commands.
The camp grounds have seen increased usage in the past few months as liberty restrictions drove Sailors, specifically junior Sailors that might belong to USS John S. McCain or other commands, to find things to do on base.
“We do have a lot of our junior Sailors that want to stay out here. That’s great,” said Polinsky.
“They are having a good time. So, we, as the First Class Association, chose this as a good way to something for them and also help the community.”
The group of nine first classes picked up the camp sites and removed branches that been blow down by the recent storms that have hit the local area.
Then they placed the fire pit stones back into the correct places from where wear and rain and dislodged them. The Petty Officers then dug all the ash out of the fire pits and moved on to the next camp site.
“It’s good to work outside for the afternoon, it’s a beautiful place,” said Fire Controlman 1st Class Donald Langford, USS John S. McCain FCPOA vice president. “I’m glad to be out here. Doing something for the community and helping keep this place clean.”
While they were working the Sailors talked about what community relations event they would tackle after they finished this one. They planned on completing several projects while their ship was import.
“We’re starting local but we plan to keep going, while time allows we’d like to get to as many as we can,” said Langford. “We have plans to get to main base to do some clean up by the sea wall and maybe some other locations. Eventually we are trying to get off base and have some interaction with the Japanese public.”
In just a few hours the group cleaned the fire pits and surrounding areas for all the camp sites and cabins, about twenty in total.