By Lt. Jacquelyn R. Bengfort, USS Shoup Public Affairs
USS SHOUP, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Shoup (DDG 86) celebrated the opening of a new Internet cafe July 22; one of several quality of life upgrades on board in preparation for a deployment later this year.
The quality of life upgrades were chosen based on Sailors' suggestions. Some of the improvements included installation of flat-screen LCD televisions in each of the berthings, new energy drink vending machines and a facelift for the weight gym.
"Much of what we have done was a direct result of Sailors' comments, suggestions, and requests," said Cmdr. Joe Nadeau, Shoup's commanding officer. "The changes were easy to implement because they made so much sense."
The addition of an Internet cafe was part of a larger effort to improve Sailors' ability to communicate with their families during long periods at sea. The crew's satellite-connected telephone was also moved from its previous location in a busy passageway to a quiet corner with a curtain for privacy.
Shoup Sailors have been enthusiastic about the changes, especially as they were the driving source in choosing the projects.
"It makes a difference when people listen to your input," said Operations Specialist 3rd Class Zsa Zsa Alston, one of Shoup's Morale, Welfare, and Recreation representatives. "The changes have definitely improved morale."
Shoup is homeported in Everett, Wash., as part of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, which is currently conducting Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) off the coast of Southern California.