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USS Fort McHenry Departs Dublin; Heads for APS

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120904-06

By Ensign Lara Price, USS Fort McHenry Public Affairs

DUBLIN (NNS) -- The amphibious dock-landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) departed Dublin, Ireland, after a four-day port visit, Sept. 3.

During the visit, Fort McHenry held an all-hands call with several U.S. military officials, hosted a reception and held tours for local government and military officials. Many of the crew attended the Emerald Isle Classic football game.

The all-hands call was held in honor of Secretary of Navy (SECNAV), Ray Mabus, Adm. Johnathan Greenert, chief of Naval operations, Vice Adm. Frank Pandolfe, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick West.

The following day, Fort McHenry hosted a pre-game reception for the Emerald Isle Classic football game between the U.S. Naval Academy and University of Notre Dame. Additional guests to the event included U.S. Army Gen. Maritn E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny, Daniel Rooney, U.S. ambassador to Ireland, and Irish navy Commodore Mark Mellett, Irish naval service.

"I was very honored to ring on so many prestigious officials," said Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Alfred Wright. "Not too many people in the Navy can say they have done that."

After the reception, 300 Sailors and Marines made their way over to Aviva Stadium where the Naval Academy took on Notre Dame for a classic rivalry match.

"When the Navy and Notre Dame teams met on the gridiron they were like titans on the field," said Cmdr. Ray Hartman, commanding officer of Fort McHenry. "Even though our Navy team did not win, it was already a win for the Irish and Americans alike. Fort McHenry thanks the people of Dublin for hosting us and opening their homes and hearts to the Sailors and Marines of the U.S. military."

After the game, Fort McHenry opened the ship to the public for tours.

"The crew and marines had a fantastic port visit in Dublin, Ireland," said Cmdr. Eric Kellum, executive officer of Fort McHenry. "We were honored to host the SECNAV's reception aboard, provide tours to over 1,200 Irish citizens and root for Navy at the Emerald Isle Classic. We feel that this was a huge victory for the U.S. Navy, the United States and Ireland in building and strengthening relations with our Irish friends."

Fort McHenry will next make its way to Africa to continue it's mission in Africa Partnership Station (APS) 2012. APS is an international security cooperation initiative, facilitated by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, aimed at strengthening global maritime partnerships through training and collaborative activities in order to improve maritime safety and security in Africa.

Fort McHenry, homeported in Little Creek, Va., is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

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