SAN DIEGO (NNS) - Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SURFPAC) ships, guided-missile cruiser USS Cape Saint George (CG 71) and mine countermeasures ship USS Dextrous (MCM 13) Crew Exultant, raised a total of $156,335 for the Defense Department's 2010 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) drive.

Chief Boatswain's Mate Loren Heaton, Cape Saint George's CFC coordinator, and volunteers raised $100,000 from the crew in the first six days of the drive, with a total amount of $116,042.

The accomplishments of both ships were noticed by their chain of command. Commander, Naval Surface Forces, Vice Adm. D.C. Curtis, wrote letters to each ship's commanding officer congratulating him and his crew on their enthusiasm and generosity.

"I cannot begin to describe the pride I have in your Sailors, chiefs and officers," said Curtis, in a letter to Cape Saint George Commanding Officer Capt. William Byrne. "Everyone on board Cape Saint George should take a great deal of pride in your selfless contributions to your communities. It was truly a total team effort!".

The ship has a history of outstanding support for the program.

"Last year, they attained the 'Eagle Award,' the highest award for participation at 63.95 percent while on deployment," said Charlie Carey, the CFC director for San Diego.

Crew Exultant, led by Mineman 1st Class (SW) Keith Roers, the ship's CFC coordinator, received nearly 100 percent participation from its crew. While the mine countermeasures crew is significantly smaller, approximately 80 Sailors, their per capita donations were high.

"It is truly remarkable that your command raised $40,293 with an unprecedented average donation of $474 per Sailor," said Curtis, to Dextrous Crew Exultant Commanding Officer Lt. Cmdr. Edward Pledger in a letter. "Your Sailors took this to a new level. A 96-percent participation rate is truly amazing! I am honored and proud to know we have such charitable Sailors serving our country and in our Navy".

The CFC has been the only workplace charitable campaign for the federal service since 1971. Volunteers reach out to doners asking for contributions in the form of cash, check or pay roll deductions to provide aid to more than 200 local organizations.

Charities wishing to participate in CFC must complete an annual application process. The Office of Personnel Management, which oversees the program, maintains strict eligibility and public accountability criteria that all participating CFC charities must meet. The campaign has garnered more than $6 billion in charitable contributions since its inception in 1961.

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