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USS Benfold Visits NAVSTA Everett Between Exercises

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070521-14
Release Date: 5/21/2007 4:24:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Douglas G. Morrison, Fleet Public Affairs Center Det Northwest

EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- USS Benfold (DDG 65) experienced what Naval Station (NAVSTA) Everett has to offer during a scheduled port visit, May 15-20.

The guided missile destroyer recently completed a two-week joint Alaska and U.S. Northern Command sponsored homeland defense Exercise “Arctic Sentry Northern Edge 2007” in support of maritime homeland defense.

“We were part of a task force, which was looking for simulated vessels of interests that may potentially be smuggling bombs into West Coast ports including Alaska,” said Lt. Spencer Austin, Benfold operation’s officer. “It was a combined exercise between the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and the Canadian Navy.”

“We will be going back up to the Gulf of Alaska for a ballistic missile defense exercise,” said Austin. “But right now we are trying to get folks off the ship to enjoy the area while we are here.”

Between liberty calls, Sailors will perform training exercises to include force protection drills and will also carry out general maintenance onboard.

“We have a couple of pieces of gear that need some attention,” said Austin.

Many Sailors took advantage of amenities offered by NAVSTA Everett.

“I visited the base’s Navy College Office to take my ACT test,” said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Marc Guevara. “The test is a requirement for the Seaman to Admiral package I’m submitting. The package is due before we return home, so being able to take the test here at NAVSTA Everett will allow me to submit it in time.”

Guevara also said he was also excited about getting off base and experiencing what the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

“I heard Seattle has some good food,” said Guevara. “I plan on visiting the Space Needle while I’m there and I want to find a good place to enjoy some salmon.”

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Kelly Dalton, along with 13 other Benfold Sailors also visited the NAVSTA Everett Navy College office to take her ACT for promotion packages.

Our ship really encourages everyone to submit packages,” said Dalton. “I am submitting a Stay 21 [package] for the medical corps program.”

Dalton, who was previously assigned to Naval Base Kitsap, Bangor, is also taking advantage of the location of the inport period to visit old friends and to spend some earned leave time to travel to Bremerton. She will also be attending a local base ball game in Seattle.

“A group of us are going to the Mariners-Padres game,” said Dalton. “I don’t really care who wins, because I’m from both cities the teams represent. This port visit should be a good time.”

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