USS Kitty Hawk Sailors Pitch in During Visit
Story Number: NNS070616-01
Release Date: 6/16/2007 9:51:00 AM
By Jesse Leon Guerrero, U.S. Naval Forces Marianas Public Affairs
SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- The floating city known as USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) arrived in Guam on June 8, bringing more than 4,800 Sailors ready to enjoy the sights, sounds and services on the island.
Homeported in Yokosuka, Japan, the forward-deployed aircraft carrier caught up with two other ships in its strike group, the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63) and the fleet oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200), which had pulled into Guam’s waters June 6-7.
The strike group recently completed the first part of Exercise Talisman Saber 2007, a two-part biennial exercise, which had Australian and U.S. forces training in mid-to-high intensity combat operations in Australia.
Kitty Hawk expects to finish out that exercise later this month.
After disembarking, many of the Sailors rented cars or grabbed other transportation to explore U.S. Naval Base Guam and the rest of the island.
Dozens of the ship’s crew also took time away from their rest and relaxation activities to help out with various volunteer projects during the weekend.
Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 1st Class (AW) Tony Sciarrotta said he and his shipmates were eager to get out and enjoy their stay when they first arrived.
“I mean after being at sea for a couple of weeks everybody’s ready to go on land, go walk around, and on liberty,” said Sciarrotta, who helped lead a community relations (COMREL) project at Sanctuary, Inc. in Chalan Pago.
Close to 30 of the ship’s personnel painted and cleaned the organization’s facilities, which offer counseling and workshops for teenage youth to promote alcohol, drug and violence free lifestyles.
“This is my second time here and I love doing [community relations projects],” said Operations Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Lee. “Any chance I get to help out little kids, it’s good.”
With limited resources, the staff appreciated having the Navy group volunteer their time and hard work for free, said Melinda Rojas, Sanctuary’s residential operations coordinator.
“It does cost a lot of money to have people come out and paint the buildings, so having the Sailors out here painting the buildings is, for us, really rewarding,” said Rojas.
Several miles across the street in Ordot-Chalan, Pago, another group of Kitty Hawk Sailors were making their own contributions.
“We’re out here just to get some fresh air and enjoy the [island] and just to see things, just to brighten our horizon,” said Yeoman 1st Class (SW) Tuere McMullen at the San Juan Bautista Church.
McMullen and about a dozen of her shipmates joined local volunteers in raking leaves, collecting and disposing trash, and repainting the church’s outer walls and prayer garden.
McMullen said it was a good chance to meet new people from Guam and learn about their culture.
Monsignor David Quitugua of the San Juan Bautista Church and parish thanked the volunteers and said the project showed another side of the Navy that differs from the usual training or battlefield news.
“Not only are they defending us, our freedom, but also helping our community doing all kinds of work,” said Quitugua. “It’s a wholesome service for the people, for the community especially.”
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