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Gettysburg Departs Benidorm, Spain after Successful Port Visit

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110610-12

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Betsy Lynn Knapper, USS George H.W. Bush Public Affairs

BENIDORM, Spain (NNS) -- The guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) departed Benidorm, Spain, June 9, after a three-day port visit.

The visit marked the first U.S. Navy port call to Benidorm in the last 10 years.

"The city was very eager to get a U.S. ship to visit and did everything possible to support the visit," said Cmdr. John R. Gray, executive officer of Gettysburg. "The hospitality was tremendous. Everyone in the city was warm and welcoming."

During the ship's port visit, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sponsored events such as jeep safari tours, kayaking trips along the mountain coast and a wine tasting trip.

"This was a wonderful city with much to offer our Sailors for rest and relaxation," said Gray. "From the beaches to the kayak tours, Benidorm had something there for them."

Sailors, including Capt. Patrick O. Shea, Gettysburg commanding officer, also participated in a community relations (COMREL) project, where they volunteered their time to help paint and do masonry at local homes built for protected and orphaned children.

While in port, Gettysburg also hosted several visitors aboard including Benidorm's Mayor, Agustin Navarro Alvado and Naval Commander of Alicante Cmdr. Bruno Fernandez Garrido, along with 20 local leaders.

"This port visit was an absolute huge success," said Gray. "The security and support of local law enforcement was superb."

Gettysburg is deployed as part of the George H.W. Bush Strike Group. The strike group is made up of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22 staff, guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68), the guided-missile destroyers USS Truxtun (DDG 103) and USS Mitscher (DDG 57) and Spanish navy frigate ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbon (F 102).

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