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Comstock Returns from Deployment, Receives Recognition by FAMOS

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070603-10
Release Date: 6/3/2007 11:21:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stephanie Tigner, Fleet Public Affairs Center Pacific

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS Comstock (LSD 45) returned to its homeport here from a nearly nine-month deployment May 31 and received recognition for its humanitarian assistance in the Philippines.

The Filipino American Military Officers Association (FAMOS) presented Comstock’s Commanding Officer Cmdr. Burt L. Espe, a second-generation American of Filipino decent, with a plaque showing gratitude for Comstock’s efforts to help rebuild a region in the Philippines struck by a mudslide in 2006.

“It’s a little humbling to receive recognition for this,” said Espe. “It really wasn’t me, it was the crew. Our service members are always willing to help.”

Comstock Sailors worked alongside Marines from Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 172, Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3, and the armed forces of the Philippines to help rebuild damaged schools.

“It was a lot of hard work, but it was well worth it to help those kids,” said Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class (SW) Brandi Spencer. “They welcomed us with open arms.”

In addition to the rebuilding, Comstock’s medical staff provided free medical and dental care to those who are still feeling the effects of the mudslides.

The homecoming also marked the end of a twice-extended deployment to conduct maritime operations in the Persian Gulf and the transport of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Comstock also conducted maritime operations with coalition partners, operating under international maritime conventions to provide security and safety in international waters, which helped ensure that commercial shipping could operate freely in and around the Persian Gulf.

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