USS George Washington picks up its mail — all 40,000 pounds of it

Seaman Cody Climer sorts through mail in late June 2015 in the post office of aircraft carrier USS George Washington. The ship recently arrived in Australia to find 40,000 pounds of mail, about 10 times its average load, waiting for pickup, officials aboard the ship said Monday, June 29, 2015.


By ERIK SLAVIN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 29, 2015

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Just about everything is large-scale aboard an aircraft carrier, including the mail backlogs.

The USS George Washington recently arrived in Australia to find 40,000 pounds of mail — about 10 times its average load — waiting for pickup, officials aboard the ship said Monday.

For perspective, the 1,092-foot-long ship’s structural steel totals about 120,000 pounds, though the ship is capable of supporting far more weight than that.

Mail and parcels couldn’t travel directly to the ship earlier this month, as it normally would, because of the carrier’s operations.

Instead, all the mail was rerouted to Brisbane, where the carrier had stopped for a port visit.

Sailors from throughout the sprawling ship sorted through the mail bags, labeled the parcels and helped deliver them to departmental piles.

Many of the 5,000 or so personnel aboard the ship receive family care packages stuffed with food and gifts normally not found in the ship’s supplies and stores. Others purchase items online from stores that ship to military post office addresses.

The USS George Washington is currently transiting the Coral Sea as part of its western Pacific patrol. Later this summer, it will arrive in San Diego, where its sailors will swap ships with the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

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