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USS Vella Gulf Concludes Port Visit to Sevastopol, Ukraine

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120131-26

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brian T. Glunt, Navy Public Affairs Support Element-East Detachment Europe

SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine (NNS) -- The guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) concluded its port visit to Sevastopol, Ukraine, Jan. 30.

During the visit, Ukraine and U.S. Navy personnel worked together in formal and informal environments to share techniques and experiences on how each navy manages leadership development.

"We talked about how taking care of Sailors on the basic level gives us a better-producing Sailor in the long run," said Vella Gulf Command Master Chief Sheila Langejans.

Sailors also had the opportunity to enjoy a number of local tours, as well as host a tour of the ship for several Ukrainian sailors and officers, including a visit from Ukrainian Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Sergei Ryabstery.

"I was truly honored when I got to meet the Ukrainian master chief petty officer of the navy," said Langejans.

In addition to tours and sharing leadership experiences, Ukrainian and U.S. Sailors conducted various types of shipboard training, including damage control; medical; and visit, board, search and seizure.

"We were able to show the Ukrainian sailors our emergency training kits that we keep on board and how we train the crew as well," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Ryan King. "They had a lot of response to how we train our crew. I think this is important because if we work with them in the future and something happens we know that they have a little bit of understanding for what we do and we have an understanding of what they do."

Vella Gulf, homeported in Norfolk, is conducting theater security cooperation and maritime security operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

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