Friday, March 1
USS ILLINOIS departs on her first deployment. She is headed for points unknown to the public and is planned to be away from home port for 6 months. Departure was preceded by a pier side cook out for the crew and family members. Club members Tom and Harriet Noonan were in Hawaii and reached out to Commander Steinhagen. They were invited to attend the “send-off”. Family and friends gathered at the mouth of the harbor to wave one last good bye as the boat reached the Pacific Ocean.
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Sunday, February 10
The FRG finished packing “halfway” boxes for the single sailors and shared pictures with us. 92 boxes were loaded on board before departure.
Navy submarines traditionally celebrate briefly upon reaching the “halfway” point of a deployment. On that date sailors open boxes of favorite treats and goodies that were packed by loved ones before their departure. Single sailors often don’t receive the same “halfway” support that married sailors do. With the help of the FRG, many 786 Club members went on Amazon and purchased items to help fill these boxes for the single sailors. Club member response was excellent. We’ll do this again and if you’d like to be involved on the next deployment you’ll have to act quickly.