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Mount Whitney Makes First Visit to Split, Croatia

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080331-01
Release Date: 3/31/2008 10:01:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David Holmes, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

SPLIT, Croatia (NNS) -- USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20) made its first port visit to Split, March 24-29 in order to strengthen the growing partnership between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and this Adriatic Sea coastal country.

Croatia's second largest city, Split offered a rich history lesson to crew members on liberty including one of the best preserved Roman structures in the region, Diocletian's Palace, dating from the third century. Mount Whitney's Morale, Welfare and Recreation Committee also offered a waterfall trip and an evening outing to a traditional Croatian village party.

In the spirit of friendship, the Croatian Navy hosted a basketball and soccer game with crew members from Mount Whitney, and Sailors from both nations hosted each other for tours of their respective ships.

While a portion of Sailors attended organized activities, others explored the small shops within the maze of white limestone alleys in the city's historical district.

"Croatia has been a country I've always wanted to visit because of its history and unique location in the Mediterranean," said Electronics Technician 2nd Class (SW) Justin Barker. "Split was everything I had hoped for; friendly people, Roman ruins and another place I feel fortunate to have visited."

Mount Whitney wrapped up its port visit with a reception for over 150 Croatian dignitaries and distinguished guests including General Josip Lucic, chief of general staff of the Croatian armed forces and Robert Bradtke, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia.

"The crew has had a wonderful time in Split," said Capt. O.P. Honors, Mount Whitney's commanding officer. "This visit has served to strengthen our relationships with the Croatian military and enjoy some well deserved liberty at the same time. This is my second visit to Split, and it was five times better than the first one."

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/naveur/.



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