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Nimitz Makes First Port Visit to Malaysia

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050711-04
Release Date: 7/11/2005 6:06:00 AM

By Journalist 3rd Class Dustin Q. Diaz, USS Nimitz Public Affairs

USS NIMITZ, At Sea (NNS) -- Nimitz departed Port Kelang, Malaysia, July 4 after a four-day port visit to resume its deployment in support of the global war on terrorism.

The ship’s visit was its fourth port visit since departing San Diego in early May, and the first opportunity for thousands of Sailors and Marines to visit the diverse capital city of Kuala Lumpur.

Liberty buses ran from Port Kelang to a safe area near the 1,453-foot-tall Petronas Towers. From there, Sailors could shop at the six-story Suria shopping mall or move on to explore the city.

A number of Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) tours took Sailors on affordable excursions, like a trip to shopping destinations like the Petaling Street night market in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown, amusement and water parks and a city tour.

MWR also offered a “Beyond the City” tour that took Sailors to a Hindu shrine, located atop 272 steps in the Batu Caves. Some Sailors were brave enough to pose for photographs with pythons and iguanas, but others, like Information Systems Technician 1st Class Lincoln Sii, settled for photo opportunities with the many monkeys climbing around the steps and cave.

“The steps were like running the PRT (Physical Readiness Test), but it was worth it,” said Sii, from Long Beach, Calif. “I experienced a side of Malaysia I hadn’t seen before.”

Electronics Technician 2nd Class Daniel Hackett also took the tour and said the city’s diversity and friendly people were the highlights of his first visit to Malaysia.

“A lot of us really miss our families, but we’re making memories with friends that we’ll probably never get to do again,” said Hackett, from Sunnyvale, Calif. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. You can’t really go out in the United States and get your picture taken with a monkey or interact with different cultures the way we’ve been able to do here.”

Other sightseeing highlights in Kuala Lumpur included the Malaysian National Monument, a bronze statue similar to the National Iwo Jima Memorial Monument, the Bird Garden and the Masid Jame mosque. More than 40 Sailors also volunteered at a local orphanage during the visit, cleaning the house and yard, and playing various sports with the children.

Pier services in Port Kelang included a variety of food booths serving up American dishes, gift shops and two beer gardens with DJs for Sailors looking to enjoy liberty without the lengthy bus trip to Kuala Lumpur.


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