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USS Bataan Completes Final Deployment Port Visit to Lisbon, Portugal

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120127-08

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dylan Miles, USS Bataan Public Affairs

LISBON, Portugal (NNS) -- Sailors and embarked Marines aboard the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) visited Lisbon, Portugal from Jan. 20 to Jan. 25, as the last port visit prior to their return home from a deployment which started Mar. 23, 2011.

The crew explored the country's capitol city of Lisbon, and experienced the culture of Portugal during their five-day stay.

"The city was amazing; there was so much to do," said Aviation Maintenance Administrationman Airman Eric Tomlinson, a native of Detroit. "I was really surprised by how friendly and willing to help the people of Portugal were."

The ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) office provided the crew with a variety of activities. They were able to participate in tours to the villages of Sintra and Fatima, and a Jeep Safari.

"I think the tours were good for the ship," said Aviation Support Equipment Technician Airman Marcglenn Orcullo, a native of Aiea, Hawaii. "They were great to help people unwind, and I thought they were an excellent way to finish our deployment."

Several Sailors and Marines participated in community relation events while in port. Some of the crew assisted at a women's institute, while other members played a game of soccer against the Portuguese Navy.

"I went to the women's institute to help stock food and I thought it was amazing," said Damage Controlman 3rd Class Patrick May, a native of Nacogdoches, Texas. "Interacting with the women and people that work there was fun, even if there was a pretty big language barrier between us."

Bataan also hosted a reception during their stay in Lisbon, with more than 150 guests including U.S. Ambassador to Portugal the Honorable Allan Katz, Portuguese Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Jose Montenegro, and other distinguished ambassadors from more than 20 nations.

"This was definitely a fitting way to close out a highly successful deployment," said Capt. Erik M. Ross, commanding officer, USS Bataan. "Now we're focused on a safe return home, getting a little time with our families, and prepare the ship ready for our next tasking."

Bataan surged three months early on Mar. 23, 2011, and will have completed a ten-and-a-half month deployment by the time she returns home, the longest deployment for a U.S. Navy ship since the early '70s. Bataan is the command ship of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

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