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Bataan Sailors, Marines Depart Kusadasi, Turkey

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS141008-10
Release Date: 10/8/2014 8:24:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Mark Hays, USS Bataan Public Affairs

KUSADASI, Turkey (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) departed Kusadasi, Turkey, Oct. 7, after a scheduled port visit.

Bataan's presence in Turkey reaffirms the United States commitment to strengthening ties with NATO allies and partners, while working toward mutual goals of promoting peace and stability in the region.

While in Turkey, Bataan's Morale, Welfare, and Recreation team hosted tours for Sailors and Marines to many ancient sights such as Ephesus, Pamukkale, Priene, Miletus, Didyma, Pergamon and the Virgin Mary House.

'I went on the Pamukkale tour,' said Personnel Specialist 2nd Class Anthony Christie, from Priory, St. Ann, Jamaica. 'It was an amazing experience seeing the historical theatre, and swimming in a hot spring pool.'

This was Bataan's first port visit since transiting the Suez Canal Oct. 2, and leaving the 5th Fleet area of responsibility. Deployed since Feb. 8, Bataan is wrapping up an almost nine-month deployment and is returning to its homeport in Norfolk, Va.

'The Sailors and Marines of the Bataan and the 22nd MEU embarked aboard the ship has proven day in and day out that they can support any mission in front of them, and our port visit to Kudasi was no different,' said Bataan Commanding Officer Capt. George J. Vassilakis. 'While in 6th Fleet, we'll continue our mission and bring our Sailors and Marines home safely.'

During its brief time in 6th Fleet, the Bataan's presence will help to strengthen regional maritime partnerships with our partner nations and help us maintain a safe and secure maritime environment. The U.S. Navy has historically maintained a presence in 6th Fleet.

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