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Liberty Call for USS Mount Whitney in Rhodes, Greece

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120627-10

By Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Denise Alford, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

RHODES, Greece (NNS) -- Amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) arrived in Rhodes, Greece for a port visit, June 26.

More than 300 Sailors and civil service mariners are expected to go ashore to visit the city, participate in cultural exchanges and conduct moral, welfare and recreation tours.

After running numerous at-sea drills and training, crew members look forward to taking advantage of the beaches, restaurants and local shops that Rhodes has to offer.

"I have always heard people talking about the great food in Greece, and this is my first time here, so I am really excited to try the food," said Fire Controlman 3rd Class Heriberto Barrientos.

The food wasn't the only thing that keeps Rhodes as a favorite port call for Sailors aboard Mount Whitney, even returning Sailors look forward to the sights.

"I'm looking forward to returning back to Rhodes, it's one of Europe's most beautiful vacation spots," said Capt. Ted Williams, commanding officer of Mount Whitney. "The crew members will have no problem finding something to do."

Ensign James Tolman, the ship's "fun boss," set up a variety of island tours for the crew to enjoy and to learn about the culture and history of Greece.

"I'm really excited to experience the culture and find out a little more about the history of Greece," said Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 1st Class Jacob Wallace.

Mount Whitney is the U.S. 6th Fleet flagship homeported in Gaeta, Italy, and operates with a combined crew of U.S. Sailors and Military Sealift Command civil service mariners. The civil service mariners perform navigation, deck, engineering, laundry and galley service operations while military personnel aboard support communications, weapons systems and security.

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