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USS Monterey Successfully Completes Port Visit in Cyprus

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS131126-02
Release Date: 11/26/2013 9:02:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Billy Ho, USS Monterey Public Affairs

LIMASSOL, Cyprus (NNS) -- Guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) returned to her mission of supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations after completing a scheduled port visit in Limassol, Nov. 21.

The first day in port, Monterey conducted a change of command ceremony where Capt. Rick Cheeseman relieved Capt. Thomas Kiss as the ship's commanding officer.

'Monterey had a very successful port visit in Limassol,' said Cheeseman. 'An important aspect of deployed forces is the fact that liberty is a mission. Monterey's Sailors portrayed themselves as perfect ambassadors for the U.S.'

Taking full advantage of the time in port, personnel improved the material condition of the ship by preserving and painting parts of the ship's hull. Throughout the rest of the visit, Sailors engaged in community events and enjoyed some much deserved liberty.

Over two dozen of Monterey's Sailors volunteered their time participating in a community service (COMSERV) project at the Theotokos Foundation, a school for children with special needs. Sailors spent five hours cutting grass and cleaning up areas in and around the school.

'Being able to give back to these communities is always a great feeling, especially when we are in a foreign port,' said Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Shane Tiffany, the COMSERVs coordinator and a participant. 'Monterey Sailors had done a great job making the surrounding areas of the Theotokos Foundation looks more appealing than it had been.'

While in port, the ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) provided the crew with many affordable tours to explore the cultures and scenery, to relax and recharge for the next underway period.

'Crew morale goes hand in hand with this mission,' said Cheeseman. 'Monterey Sailors are leaving this port refreshed and ready to meet any mission requirements put forth to them.'

Monterey is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.

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