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America Departs Singapore

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS170809-04
Release Date: 8/9/2017 11:08:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kristina Young, USS America (LHA 6) Public Affairs

SINGAPORE (NNS) -- The amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) with embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) departed Singapore after a scheduled port visit, Aug. 9.

While in Singapore, America Sailors and 15th MEU Marines lent a hand to the local area by participating in several community service projects planned during the visit and toured local sites. Each of these opportunities allowed them to experience the diverse country.

The crew of the America, serving on its maiden deployment, is returning to sea to resume unit-level training in a number of warfare areas in Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

"I personally enjoyed every part of our visit to Singapore," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jami Zuber, a native of Oak Harbor, Washington, assigned to the ship's Medical department. "The opportunity to enjoy liberty after being out to sea was a welcome change of pace for me."

America Sailors and 15th MEU Marines worked together to strengthen the relationship with Singapore by participating in four community service events.

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Christopher Quijano, a native of Elizabeth, New Jersey, assigned to the ship's medical department, joined his fellow military brothers and sisters at a local school for special needs children, spreading smiles and joy among the children and the teachers.

"The best part of volunteering was seeing the smiles on the children's faces," said Quijano. "While the teachers were grateful we were there, the children seemed to be excited to learn more about us, and where we had come from and that made me feel like I left behind some kind of impact."

During the visit, the ship hosted visits and tours with members of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), Republic of Singapore Army and Rear Adm. Don Gabrielson Commander, Logistics Western Pacific/Task Force 73. Each of these visits served with the purpose to strengthen and foster a deeper relationship with the country and their military as well as gain an understanding of one another's maritime and amphibious capabilities.

After visiting Singapore, America will continue training with allies and partners in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
The America ARG/15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) provides senior U.S. military leadership and partners with a flexible force which can rapidly respond to contingencies and crises within the region. With ships, aircraft, troops, and logistical equipment, the ARG/MEU is a self-contained and self-sustained task force capable of conducting everything from combat operations to providing humanitarian assistance.

The America ARG, commanded by CPR-3, consists of the, amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6), the amphibious transport dock USS San Diego (LPD 22), and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52). They will operate with embarked forces of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, the "Wildcards" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23, and detachments from Assault Craft Unit 5, Naval Beach Group 1, Beachmaster Unit 1, Fleet Surgical Team 1 and Tactical Air Control Squadron 11.

The 15th MEU is a Marine Air-Ground Task Force comprised of a ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 5th Marines; an aviation combat element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161 (Reinforced); a combat logistics element, Combat Logistics Battalion 15.

The 7th Fleet's area of operation spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South.

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