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Nimitz Sailors Spend, Sightsee, Slam Dunk in Dubai

Navy NewsStand

Release Date: 9/15/2005 3:20:00 PM

By Journalist 3rd Class Felix E. Crosser, USS Nimitz Public Affairs

ABOARD USS NIMITZ, Persian Gulf (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines from the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) visited the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai Sept. 1-6 and spent their free time shopping, sightseeing, and experiencing the local culture.

“The malls were so humongous, and the people there were really nice,” said Operations Specialist Seaman Martina Crymes, of Chesapeake, Va. “I had a lot of fun. I wouldn’t mind going there again.”

Seaman Justin Dodds also visited some of the malls and a movie theater. During the bus ride to the city he said he was impressed with the urban landscape. “There was a lot to look at,” said Dodds, a Pittsburgh, Pa., native. “It took me by surprise how modernized everything was.”

He said it was fascinating to observe the blending of cultures. “It was weird to see how there were elements of their culture and elements of ours and how it came together,” he added.

Crew members also had the chance to hoop it up in a community relations basketball game with the local police department. Team Nimitz lost, 80-71; however, the local team had the advantage of a professional coach who had worked for the Phoenix Suns, the Thailand national team and the Kuala Lumpur Olympic team, said Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Dufour, Nimitz’ coach.

Chief petty officer selectees also helped out their Arab hosts. Sept. 3 they loaded four pallets of medicinal and hygiene supplies on a truck destined for a medical clinic in Ajman, UAE. The supplies were provided by Operation Handclasp, an official program operated by the Navy that delivers donations of humanitarian, educational and other goodwill items donated by American citizens to needy communities around the world.

According to Lt. Cmdr. Russel Graef, a chaplain assigned to the Navy’s Central Command in Bahrain, the medical clinic in Ajman “serves those who could not otherwise afford medical care.”

Nimitz serves as flagship for Carrier Strike Group 11 and is currently supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the Persian Gulf. MSO sets the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment and compliments the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. MSO denies international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or the transport of personnel, weapons or other materials.


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