YOKOSUKA, Japan (May 16, 2011) Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) stand in line to verify the activation of their Defense Biometric Identification System (DBIDS) on their identification cards during the ship's pre-deployment fair May 16. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman William P. Gatlin)

YOKOSUKA, Japan — More than 3,000 Sailors and their families turned out for USS George Washington’s (CVN 73) annual information fair May 16. The event provides necessary information for services that may be needed by Sailors and their families when George Washington returns to sea for its annual patrol.

“The most important thing everyone can gather from this event is information,” said Cmdr. Brian Haley, George Washington’s command chaplain. “The fair allows everyone to see what services are offered on the ship and on the base and they are placed in one area for easy access to all.”

For families, numerous organizations from across Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) were well represented included Fleet and Family Service Center, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) department, Navy College and the Red Cross. George Washington contributed representatives from their legal, medical, dental and command religious ministries departments (CRMD), as well as George Washington’s Ombudsman team.

“The Navy lifestyle is hard for both Sailors and their families and as ombudsmen, we are here to act as a communication link between families and the command,” said Lindsey Todd, a representative from George Washington’s Ombudsman team. “This fair allows us answer any questions service members have and it lets everyone get a grasp on what is needed to prepare for the next patrol.”

“This event is mainly for junior Sailors with families who are going to sea for the first time and need help getting prepared,” said Religious Program Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW/FMF) Nino Miranda, CRMD leading petty officer aboard George Washington. “It allows Sailors to find out what services are offered on the base and allows them to utilize some services that are offered aboard George Washington.” Aviation Aerographer’s Mate 3rd Class Richard Riley, a Sailor aboard George Washington, explained why the fair was beneficial to him.

“This is the third information fair I have been to since I came to George Washington and every year I find some new helpful information,” said Riley. “The best thing is that MWR is always here with schedules of events and trips I can take.”

George Washington is the Navy’s only full time forward-deployed aircraft carrier, ensuring security and stability across the western Pacific Ocean.