NORWEGIAN SEA – In the frigid waters of the Norwegian Sea, Sailors assigned to the world’s largest aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) can still find numerous resources to assist in building physical health and improving quality of life.
The ship’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) department hosts a 5K event at least twice a month along with daily fitness classes to provide various physical training oppurtunities to Sailors, helping the crew uphold and exceed the U.S. Navy’s physical fitness standards.
“Our goal right now is to allow Sailors the opportunity to run on the flight deck at least twice a week or whenever the air wing isn’t flying,” said Diquan Williams, Gerald R. Ford’s Fit Boss. “Ford’s MWR wants to give Sailors the opportunity to get some sun and some fresh air while also promoting health and wellness while we are deployed.”
Williams is the head fitness instructor aboard the Gerald R. Ford responsible for coordinating and organizing command-wide fitness events and classes for Sailors aboard the ship who are looking to relieve stress and improve their health.
“My top priorities as Fit Boss is to give people an outlet to release stress and to improve and maintain their physical self,” said Williams. “We work tirelessly to host training sessions for large groups and individuals, and we also ensure that Ford’s gyms are up to date with the best equipment in the fleet so that they stay open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Logistic Specialist 2nd Class Casey Darrigogolz, from Portsmouth, Virginia, assigned to Gerald R. Ford’s supply department, is one of many Sailors onboard who utilizes MWR’s running opportunities to help improve her physical health.
“My best friend, LS3 Aerial Watts, inspired me to start running and working out while we were underway together when she came up to me and needed a running partner, so we started running in events hosted by MWR and used the gym facilities onboard,” said Darrigogolz. “Since then, I have been inspired to run more and I have run in every 5K the ship has organized on the flight deck. I also use Ford’s MWR gym facilities up to six times a week to help maintain my physical fitness and use them to help decompress after I finish working.”
Darrigogolz recommends MWR as a resource to her junior Sailors who are in search of hobbies that help opportunity to create a separation between work and leisure.
“MWR provides so much more than places to exercise, there are countless events that they schedule like game nights and movie showings.” said Darrigogolz. “It’s an amazing resource that provides numerous things that assist in making our lives as Sailors better.”
In total, MWR maintains and offers 5 gym facilities in various locations around the ship in addition to offering pre-scheduled tours for port calls, trivia nights as well as various sports tournaments and gatherings where the crew can socialize and relax while being deployed.
The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (GRFCSG) is conducting a scheduled deployment in support of interoperability and maritime security. The GRFCSG provides and inherently flexible naval force capable of deploying across combatant commands to meet emerging missions, deter potential adversaries, reassure allies and partners, enhance security and guarantee the free flow of global commerce. In total, the GRFCSG is deployed with more than 6,000 Sailors across all platforms ready to respond globally to combatant commander tasking.
Gerald R. Ford is the U.S. Navy’s newest and most advanced aircraft carrier. As the first-in-class ship of Ford-class aircraft carriers, CVN 78 represents a generational leap in the U.S. Navy’s capacity to project power on a global scale. Ford-class aircraft carriers introduce 23 new technologies, including Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching System, Advanced Arresting Gear and Advanced Weapons Elevators. The new systems incorporated onto Ford-class ships are designed to deliver greater lethality, survivability and joint interoperability with a 20% smaller crew than a Nimitz-class carrier, paving the way forward for naval aviation.
For more information about the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit https://www.airlant.usff.navy.mil/cvn78/ and follow along on Facebook: @USSGeraldRFord, Twitter: @Warship_78, DVIDS: www.dvids.net/CVN78 and LinkedIn at USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).
This work, Ford’s Fitness in the Fjords: How MWR Pumps Up the Training on a Deployed Carrier, by PO1 William Spears, identified by DVIDS, must comply with the restrictions shown on https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.