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USS Anzio Visits Rhodes, Greece

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070517-04
Release Date: 5/17/2007 9:45:00 AM

By Ensign Colleen McDonald, USS Anzio Public Affairs

RHODES, Greece (NNS) -- Sailors from USS Anzio (CG 68) bid farewell to Rhodes, Greece, on May 11 after a five-day port visit.

Capt. Perry Bingham, Anzio’s commanding officer, met with several Greek dignitaries, to include Ioannis Mahairdis, governor of Dodecanese; Chatzis Chatziefthimiou, mayor of Rhodes; Commandant 95 Higher Command National Guard Battalion Maj. Gen. Vasileios Ntavalis; Bishop Kyrillos, the archbishop of Rhodes; and Brig. Gen. Dimitrios Lerogiannis, the Dodecanese chief of police.

“The citizens of Rhodes were gracious hosts throughout our visit. It was an honor to meet with the leaders of Rhodes,” said Bingham. “My crew enjoyed every minute of their time experiencing the historical sites, beaches, and shopping throughout the island. It was a great port visit as a culmination of a long deployment.”

The crew took advantage of the many opportunities to experience Greek culture. From the local cuisine to traditional entertainment, the Sailors found the people of Rhodes to be warm and welcoming.

“It seemed as though everyone we met truly wanted to share a bit of their traditions and thoughts with us,” said Yeoman 1st Class Jeremy Kellogg.

A favorite spot for Anzio’s Sailors was Old Town. The markets featured handmade crafts, antiques, and traditional Greek souvenirs such as olive oil, pottery, and linens. Inside the market were many restaurants serving a mixture of local meats and desserts.

The city was founded in 408 B.C., with much of the original architecture still visible.

“The sights were amazing, particularly the view from the top of the Clock Tower, which gave the best vantage point to look down over the entire city,” said Gas Turbine System Electrical 3rd Class Jeffery Wilson.

Sailors traveling further down the coast of Rhodes stopped to enjoy the town of Lindos. Lindos is a beautiful town by the sea, centered around the Acropolis of Athena.

“We enjoyed a great dinner in Lindos with grape leaf wraps, rabbit, and a tasty local wine,” recalled Sonar Technician Surface 2nd Class Dennis Greene. “It seemed as though every yard was filled with orange and lemon trees, a vibrant contrast to the white wash buildings of the town.”

Anzio’s visit allowed her crew to enjoy a Mediterranean port for the first time since departing Tivat, Montenegro, on Oct. 26 for six months of operations in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea as part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group.

The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group departed U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations May 4, marking the completion of the strike group’s support for Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and maritime security operations in the region.

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) is the flagship for the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, which also includes embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, embarked Destroyer Squadron 28; Anzio; guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61); and guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87). The strike group deployed Oct. 3 from Norfolk.

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