Shiloh Celebrates July 4th at Sea
Stripes Japan | .
published: July 18, 2016
SOUTH CHINA SEA (NNS) – The forward-deployed Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) held a 4th of July celebration on board to boost Sailors morale.
The celebration included a cook-out on the flight deck, music and a broadside gun salute in remembrance of America’s independence.
The day’s events began with the Stars and Stripes Forever played over the ship’s announcing system followed by a reading of the Declaration of Independence emphasizing the significance of the day. After a relaxing morning, the ship’s food service division hosted a barbeque on the Flight Deck.
“Barbequing on July 4th is a must,” said Lt. j.g. Lauren Hovey, Shiloh’s food service officer, from Birmingham, Ala. “Unfortunately, Sailors miss out on a lot of things during deployment. Luckily, a wholesome American celebration isn’t one of them!”
In addition to the barbeque, the ship joined the rest of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5 to give Sailors the fireworks display they would have otherwise missed out on.
With the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in the lead, Shiloh and members of the strike group including the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), Shiloh, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) steamed in formation one behind the other.
On cue, all of the ships fired their guns, including the M240, 50 caliber machine gun, Phalanx Close-In Weapons System (CIWS), and MK45 5- inch gun, off the left side of each ship.
“Seeing all the guns fire at once was a pretty spectacular show,” said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Lewis Pedraza, from Madera, Calif. “I’m used to normal fireworks, but I personally liked the Navy flare we put on with our fireworks show. It also showed off how hard all the Gunners Mates worked to give the crew something to talk about for the next few July 4th celebrations.”
The bright purple tracer rounds from the M240 bounced off the surface of the ocean, while the cannon-like echoes of the MK45 5-inch gun blasts were heard all around. The evening concluded with cake, ice cream, and a patriotic movie projected onto the ship’s forward deckhouse as Sailors lounged on the deck of the Fo’c’sle.
Shiloh is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of operations as part of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5 supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.