June 26, 2011
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nick C. Scott, USS Enterprise Public Affairs
USS Enterprise, At Sea (NNS) — Sailors from the Engineering and Reactor departments aboard aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) conducted their biggest group reenlistment, June 24.
A total of 13 Sailors from six divisions of both Engineering and Reactor departments reenlisted in a ceremony and were presented with a ceremonial check for $1,037,665.90; the total of their reenlistment bonuses combined.
They’ll receive that money tax-free because the reenlistment took place in the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet Area of Operations (AOR), which is designated as a tax-exempt combat zone.
“It was a lot of paperwork to make this happen,” said Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jeremy B. Carrell, who helped organize the group reenlistment.
“We were having a hard time reenlisting and getting bonuses while in a tax-free zone, but thanks to the Executive Officer and Command Master Chief’s open door policies, we were able to sort through it. I really can’t thank them enough.”
The bonuses may be big, but so is the workload. The Engineering and Reactor departments are responsible for keeping some of the most vital systems operating.
“We are the heart and soul of a ship. Propulsion. Power. Water. Steam. We give the ship the ability to do her mission,” said Master Chief Machinist’s Mate (SW) Cameron R. Cuskey, the Reactor Department master chief.
“I went through two and a half years of training to get where I am and I’m glad the Navy wants me stay in and advance,” said Carrell.
“Nuclear operators cost the Navy a lot of money to train and develop, and the bonuses give the Sailors a good incentive to stay Navy,” said Cuskey.
“This is my second tour on Enterprise,” said Cmdr. Todd Wobig, the assistant reactor officer and reenlisting officer for this ceremony. “It will leave them lasting memories and friendships when they walk away from here.”
Wobig himself had the privilege of signing the massive ceremonial check, as well as performing the reenlistment.
“It’s always an honor and a privilege for me when I’m asked to do a reenlistment ceremony,” said Wobig. “I’ve done quite a few in my 20 years of service, but this is probably the biggest in terms of people and accumulated bonuses.”
Enterprise and Carrier Air Wing 1 are now in the U.S. 6th Fleet AOR conducting maritime security operations.