Party, local sweets mark midpoint of USS Essex' deployment
November 20, 2004
Halfway through a deployment in the North Arabian Gulf supporting the war in Iraq, sailors serving on the USS Essex received a super sweet deal last week.
The deployment allowed some culinary creature comfort on Nov. 13, the final day in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, as well as Monday during a flight deck cookout, stated a Navy news report released Thursday.
Kuwait Naval Force Deputy Director of Operations Lt. Col. Abdul Al-Owaish boarded the ship bearing gifts of more than a dozen boxes of Kuwaiti-style baklava. The baklava was put on the mess decks for the crew to enjoy.
“I’ve brought our sweets aboard as a show of friendship,” noted Al-Owaish. “I’m happy with the relationship we’ve built between us (the Essex and Kuwaiti forces) and to give the Essex’s crew a sample of a traditional Ramadan dessert for all to share. … It’s an honor to be here.”
Petty Officer 3rd Class Trent J. Thurston, a firefighter, stated he loved sampling the delicacy, and in the report, he pointed to the interesting difference in what people aboard Essex expected of baklava, and what it proved to be.
“The Kuwaiti baklava is more of a cookie than the Turkish style,” Thurston noted.
In a separate opportunity, the Essex crew gathered on the flight deck Monday, lit a fire in a long charcoal grill and flipped hamburgers and hot dogs en masse while enjoying the afternoon “steel beach” picnic, Commander Task Force 76 officials said Tuesday.
The Essex is the flagship for Commander Amphibious Squadron 11. The deployed Essex Amphibious Ready Group is made up of the Essex, USS Juneau and USS Harpers Ferry.
Along with the USS Fort McHenry, rescue and salvage ship USS Safeguard, and minesweepers USS Guardian and USS Patriot, the Essex ARG ships typically operate from Sasebo Naval Base, Japan.