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USS Port Royal Visits Timor-Leste

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071213-18
Release Date: 12/13/2007 4:29:00 PM

By Ensign Cassidy A. Rasmussen, USS Port Royal Public Affairs

DILI, Timor-Leste (NNS) -- USS Port Royal (CG 73) departed Dili, Dec. 12, after anchoring off the coast for a scheduled port visit during their deployment to the Western Pacific.

During the visit, Port Royal Sailors had a chance to meet local citizens and experience local customs and traditions of the people of Timor-Leste.

"A visit like this affords an excellent opportunity for our Sailors to develop relationships with our friends in Southeast Asia," said Capt. David Adler, commanding officer of Port Royal. "We had many opportunities to reach out to the local community here, and the kindness and hospitality we received in return was unforgettable."

Various community relations events highlighted the visit for many Sailors. Projects included painting a church and a schoolhouse, and delivering toys and hygiene items to the Caritas Mission for distribution to the surrounding community.

"It was a great experience just to meet new people and to see the expressions on their faces that we were helping them," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Sean Julian. "It felt really good."

"By thinking about [our organization] you are thinking about the poor people of the community," said Father Adriano, from the Caritas Mission. "We are very grateful for your support – this is a very special Christmas gift."

As Port Royal Sailors ventured off the ship to engage with the local culture, others remained behind to welcome aboard guests from the national government and diplomatic community for tours and a reception. Guests included Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta, Francisco Guterres, the President of the National Parliament, and the U.S. Ambassador Hans Klemms.

"Your presence here is a tremendous manifestation to the people of Timor-Leste of the United States' commitment to their development as a nation," said Klemms.

Port Royal is part of the Tarawa Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG), which is headed west to provide support for U.S. and coalition forces operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet.

The ESG will provide support to Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, is prepared to take part in Horn of Africa operations, as well as to conduct maritime security operations (MSO).

Coalition forces conduct MSO under international maritime conventions to ensure security and safety in international waters so that all commercial shipping can operate freely while transiting the region.

U.S. Navy port visits such as Port Royal's visit to Timor-Leste represent an important opportunity to promote peace and stability in the Asian-Pacific region of the world, demonstrate commitment to regional partners and foster growing relationships.

The U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest of forward-deployed U.S. Fleets, with approximately 50 ships, 120 aircraft and 20,000 Sailors and Marines assigned at any given time. For more information, visit the U.S. 7th Fleet Web site at www.c7f.navy.mil .

For more news from Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c7f/.>



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