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USS Bulkeley Sailors Overhaul Community Facilities in Seychelles

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080602-23
Release Date: 6/2/2008 3:44:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David Wyscaver, Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group Public Affairs

VICTORIA, Seychelles (NNS) -- Sailors stationed aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) conducted a two-day community relations (COMREL) project May 19-20 at the Seychelles Rehabilitation Center during the ship's port visit to the island.

"This is the only facility of its kind on the island, which supports over 78,000 people," said Master Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Hill, COMREL project coordinator, Horn of Africa. "Some of the things we're doing are overhauling the facilities pool, as well as sanding and refinishing floors."

"I really like this island and all of the people here," said Fire Controlman 3rd Class Carlos Castillo, Tomahawk missile technician aboard Bulkeley. "They really need this equipment and it's nice to know we're making a difference."

When conducting COMREL projects Sailors get chances to not only offer their services to the community but also interact with those who they are helping.

"It's a great feeling to give back especially when you see the smiling faces of the children around here and how much they enjoy us bettering their facility," said Castillo.

While port visits are often a time for Sailors to break away from their everyday duties, many benefit from their personal interaction during COMREL projects, such as this one in the Seychelles.

"When I leave here today I'm going to leave with a sense of accomplishment and gratitude knowing I helped make the Seychelles a better place for its citizens," said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Charles Davis, search and rescue Swimmer aboard Bulkeley.

Bulkeley is one of six ships in the Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group currently deployed in the U.S 5th Fleet area of operations supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO). MSO help develop security in the maritime environment, which promotes stability and global prosperity. These operations complement the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations and seek to disrupt violent extremists' use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.

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