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Cherokee Navy JROTC cadets take carrier cruise

December 20th, 2011 5:14 am by Staff Report

Cherokee Navy JROTC cadets take carrier cruiseFrom staff reports   ROGERSVILLE — A group of Cherokee High School Navy JROTC cadets recently completed a cruise on a Navy aircraft carrier on a trip sponsored by the Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-31 “Tomcatters” — a member of which is a Cherokee alumni.

   The CHS Navy JROTC cadets who participated on the cruise were David Byrd, Devin Parker, Austin Bryan, Noah Goley, Jesse Harrell, William Lovin, Gabriela Gonzalez, Maddie McDougal, Ashley Pope and Lauren Kiser.

   They completed a three-day Tiger Cruise on board the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77).

   The cadets got a chance to meet the Strike Group Two commander, Rear Adm. Nora W. Tyson, from Memphis.

   Tyson is the first woman to command a carrier Strike Group.

   One of the “Tomcatter” team members who sponsored the trip is Mary Lowe, a graduate of Cherokee and a former Navy JROTC cadet. Her sister, Harley Lowe, is also a former cadet and was aboard for the Tiger Cruise as well.

   “Cherokee NJROTC cadets earned their Tiger Cruise Warfare Pin and were indoctrinated of the many facets of carrier operations,” said retired Chief Warrant Officer Clyde H. Shumate, who is senior naval science instructor for the Cherokee Navy JROTC. “They also slept in the enlisted berthing compartment and ate their meals on the enlisted mess decks.”

   The carrier is under the command of Capt. Brian E. Luther, who led the maiden voyage and seven-month combat deployment in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.

   The super carrier is 1,092 feet long and displaces over 100,000 tons, making her one of the world’s largest and most powerful warships.

   The Cherokee Navy JROTC chaperones were Shumate, Donnie Anderson and Karen Shumate.

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