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Tarawa and Hopper Crew members Volunteer During Liberty in Singapore

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071218-17
Release Date: 12/18/2007 2:12:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman (SW) Mike Leporati, USS Tarawa Public Affairs

SINGAPORE (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines from the amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa (LHA 1) and the guided missile cruiser USS Hopper (DDG 70) cleaned a beach on the Island of Pulau Ubin Dec. 17, as one of three outreach projects the ships participated in during their port visit to Singapore.

Strips of plastic, glass and fishing supplies lay buried in layers beneath the soil along the half-mile beach, explained Tarawa crew member Gas Turbine System Electrician Fireman Charles Packard.

"It helps out a little bit," he said. "We may not get everything, but cleaning just a little bit at a time helps in the long run."

The island, which falls between Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, attracts tourists with mountain bike tours and nature trails. Tarawa's chaplains organized the project in conjunction with Singapore's National Environmental Agency.

After a bus ride from Changi Naval Base to a ferry landing, volunteers began work where they picked up approximately 25 bags of trash from the littered coastline. Most of the trash appeared to be typical garbage you'd find along any beach, said .

Additional Tarawa Sailors and Marines volunteered at a center that helps immigrants in Singapore, Dec. 14. The Sailors and Marines who helped there did yard work, moved furniture and landscaped the center.

"It makes me feel good about myself to give something back," said Tarawa crew member Fire Controlman 2nd Class Warren Robinson. "Anybody can go out and have a good time in a foreign port but it's nice to give something back."

Before arriving to Singapore Dec. 12, Tarawa participated in Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief (HA/DR) operations off the coast of Bangladesh in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Sidr providing food, water and other emergency aid to Bangladeshis.

Tarawa left its home port of San Diego Nov. 5, and is on a regularly scheduled deployment in support of maritime security operations.

Tarawa Strike Group's presence in the Western Pacific demonstrates the U.S. commitment to fulfilling various treaty obligations and security arrangements in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

Operating in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean, the U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, with approximately 50 ships, 120 aircraft and 20,000 Sailors and Marines assigned at any given time.

For more news from USS Tarawa, visit www.navy.mil/local/lha1/.

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