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Ogden Sailors Spend Liberty in Two Alaskan Ports

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050826-01
Release Date: 8/26/2005 8:28:00 AM

By Journalist 3rd Class Chris Gethings, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Pacific

KETCHIKAN, Alaska (NNS) -- The crew of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Ogden (LPD 5) visited Kodiak Island and Ketchikan, Alaska, during the Alaska Shield/Northern Edge 2005 exercise conducted Aug. 15-19.

Ogden visited Kodiak Island for three days prior to the beginning of the exercise. Many Sailors spent their liberty seeking out activities, like fishing, and trying to catch a glimpse of some of the wildlife for which Alaska is famous.

"Getting the chance to get out and explore the Alaskan wilderness has been just great," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Josh Mount, of Ogden's operations department. "I had one thing on my mind when I found out we were going to Kodiak and Ketchikan: fishing. I plan to catch my limit in fish and then see if I can spot some of this wildlife I've heard so much about."

The at-sea exercises were completed Aug. 19, and the following day, Ogden pulled into Ketchikan in the southern portion of the state, located in the heart of Tongass National Forest. The crew of the San Diego-based ship was able to explore the vast wilderness of the island, as well fish in the salmon-filled streams and rivers, all the while keeping an eye out for the hundreds of black bears living in the area.

One of Ketchikan's locals, Ken Taylor, said he thought it was great to have a U.S. Navy ship in town.

"We have so many cruise ships that only pull in for a couple hours, shop, and then leave. With these guys, you actually have time to meet them and share stories," he said. "I told stories of my logging experiences, and they shared stories of their travels with the Navy. It was great," he said.

Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Jake Kuhn said the hospitality was great in Alaska.

"We had locals just offering to show us around simply because we were there," he said. "I'm grateful I got to come to such a wonderful state."

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