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Union Student Safety HelpLine
October 2, 2007
Union 8th grader Caleb Pitts recently participated in Operation Tiger Cruise 2007 during the week of September 24 aboard the USS Nimitz.
His sponsor was a Navy sailor and Caleb had the opportunity to depart Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and cruise to San Diego, California during which time he participated in the daily shipboard routine with his sponsor. He missed one week of school but still received a valuable education.
Below is the email from Lt. Commander of the Navy and USS Nimitz giving him approval to be a Tiger aboard the Nimitz.
Congratulations! You have been selected to participate in Operation TIGER CRUISE 2007 onboard USS NIMITZ. Approximately 1,300 other Tigers will join you in this once in a lifetime experience. NIMITZ will depart Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on September 24th, 2007 and arrive in San Diego, California on 30 September, 2007.
The Tiger Cruise Committee has been working very hard to ensure that your six-day cruise will be informative, exciting and fun. Among the activities planned is an Air Power Demonstration featuring the aircraft and aircrew of Carrier Air Wing ELEVEN. You’ll have the opportunity to view formation flying and observe carrier flight operations from the flight deck. There will be daily guided tours throughout the ship, including the flight deck, bridge, hangar bay, and squadron ready rooms. Static and dynamic displays of all aircraft, weaponry, fire fighting equipment, and much more will also be available. The Fun Boss has also planned many fun and exciting activities for Tigers and crew members. There will be a talent show, bingo, karaoke, ice cream social, and many other activities.
Upon arrival at the Honolulu International Airport and after retrieving your luggage, proceed to the United Services Organization (USO) Office located at the airport. There you will find bus schedules, phone numbers and other important information. The USO is open 24 hours a day.
Tigers must be registered and embarked aboard USS NIMITZ by 9:00 AM on September 24th. Early Tiger registration will be conducted in the Tiger Embarkation Center located on NIMITZ’ pier September 23rd from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM and September 24th from 5:00 AM to 9:00 AM.
You can access the Tiger Embarkation Center by one of two ways. First, you can meet our Tiger Wranglers at the Navy Exchange (NEX) parking lot from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM to ride a bus to the Embarkation Center. Unfortunately, current security restrictions do not allow non-military personnel access to Pearl Harbor without a military escort, however no military escort is required to gain access to the NEX parking lot. Your name will have to be on the Tiger Access List to board the buses at the NEX. Second, you can take a taxi to the Halawa Gate at Naval Station Pearl Harbor. The Halawa Gate is a pedestrian gate adjacent to the pier and Tiger Embarkation Center (approximately a quarter of a mile walk). Your sponsor will be required to meet you at the Halawa Gate and escort you to the Tiger Embarkation Center. “The Cab Co.” is the only cab service with access to Naval Station Pearl Harbor, so you can take a cab directly to the ship if you are accompanied by your sponsor.
There will be a lot of activity in and around NIMITZ on the morning of the 24th in preparation for getting underway. NIMITZ will get underway on time, so all Tigers are highly encouraged to plan their travel to arrive in Hawaii and register on 23 September. You must be aboard the ship no later than 9:00 AM on September 24th!
At the Tiger Embarkation Center, you will complete your check-in and watch a mandatory safety video prior to embarking the ship. Afterwards, your sponsor can show you to your berthing. If complete early check-in, you are free to return ashore and enjoy the excitement of Hawaii. Be advised that Tigers will not be allowed to remain overnight onboard NIMITZ on prior to 24 September, so you’ll need to make your own lodging arrangements. Meal service for Tigers onboard NIMITZ will not commence until breakfast on 24 September. Tigers should be aware that credit and debit cards are not accepted onboard and neither are checks from Tigers, so please ensure you bring an ample amount of cash to spend on snacks and souvenirs at the ship’s store.
The entire crew of USS NIMITZ and Carrier Air Wing ELEVEN join me in wishing you a safe and exciting Tiger Cruise.
M. A. Salka
Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy
Tiger Cruise Coordinator