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SECNAV Visits Sailors Aboard USS Mount Whitney in Sweden

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS140607-11
Release Date: 6/7/2014 6:11:00 PM

By Secretary of the Navy Public Affairs

KARLSKRONA, Sweden (NNS) -- KARLSKRONA, Sweden - Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus spoke to Sailors aboard USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) during a visit to the ship June 7.

Mount Whitney, the U.S. 6th Fleet flagship, is in Sweden participating in exercise Baltic Operations 2014 (BALTOPS 14). BALTOPS 14 is a joint and combined exercise conducted in the spirit of Partnership for Peace (PFP) in order to promote mutual understanding, confidence, cooperation and interoperability among participating nations in the Baltic region.

While aboard Mabus toured the ship and conducted an all-hands call, thanking Sailors aboard for their efforts while forward deployed, discussing personnel issues and addressing the importance of working with partner nations.

'Our defense strategy says to concentrate on building partnerships, to concentrate of increasing interoperability - things like you are doing here in BALTOPS,' he said. 'The importance of the work you are doing here cannot be overstated.'

Mabus also expressed his appreciation to the Mount Whitney crew for their contributions to the Navy's ability to maintain a global presence.

'I refer to the Navy and Marine Corps as 'America's Away Team,'' he said, 'because that's what you are. You are in the right place, not just at the right time, but all the time.'

While aboard, Mabus also took the time to promote five Mount Whitney Sailors to the next paygrade and take photos with the crew.

Mabus' stop in Sweden is part of a multi-nation visit to the U.S. European and Africa Command areas of responsibility focused on reinforcing existing partnerships and visiting Sailors and Marines providing forward presence.

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