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USS Juneau Makes Farewell Visit to Namesake City

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080802-10
Release Date: 8/2/2008 8:45:00 AM

By Wesley DeShano, Commander Navy Region Northwest Public Affairs

JUNEAU, Alaska (NNS) -- USS Juneau (LPD 10) arrived at the Coast Guard Station pier in Juneau July 26, to begin a four day visit to her namesake city. It will be here last visit there before deactivation in San Diego.

An enthusiastic crowd of approximately 200 people welcomed Juneau when the ship pulled alongside the pier. While the Sailors "manned the rails," or stood on the deck, they waved to people ashore.

The Juneau Volunteer Marching Band also played several different songs, including "Anchors Aweigh," as the vessel approached.

Juneau is an Austin-class amphibious transport docking ship that serves to deliver and support troops abroad. She has a crew of 420, including 24 officers and 396 enlisted personnel.

The visit also coincides with Alaska's 50th anniversary of statehood celebration. The public had the opportunity to tour the ship.

After the ship moored in Gastineau Channel, Capt. Dennis Mikeska, Juneau commanding officer, and a group of 12 Sailors, including the command master chief and Bluejacket of the Year, attended a welcoming reception.

Six Tlingit women from the Yees Ku Oo Dance Group performed a song for the crew and residents of the community. While one woman tapped a rhythm on a drum, the group sang along.

In a fitting coincidence, Carolyn Noe, the leader of the dance group, said that women from the tribe she is from are called "sailor women."

Mikeska thanked the city for its welcome and said that he is honored to visit Juneau and to enjoy the city's hospitality.

"I hope that we're making sincere memories for the people of Juneau," he said.

Mikeska said that the city is the "perfect Navy town" and that it has a history "rich and full of tradition."

Dixie Lee Weiss planned on hosting a Sailor during the ship's visit and taking him or her to ride Juneau's tram or see Mendenhall Glacier.

"It's so heartwarming to see the residents of Juneau show us love," said Lt. Don Tennant

Karen Edgar described Juneau's visit as a "once in a lifetime" event and also planned on hosting a Sailor.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Northwest, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrnw/.



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