By MCSN(SW) Daniel Pastor, USS America (LHA 6) Public Affairs
SINGAPORE – The amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) with the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) concluded a port visit to Singapore, Dec. 28.
During the first port visit in their return to 7th Fleet, the crew had the opportunity to embark on tours and events organized by the ship’s afloat recreation program similar to the ones held during the ship’s first visit back in August, to include Universal Studios, majestic arts at the Lion City, a night safari at the zoo and many others.
“There was so much to see the first time we were here that I didn’t get to do some of the things I really wanted to,” said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Shaka Harvey, assigned to America.
Sailors and Marines also participated in organized athletic events to include soccer, basketball, and flag football games.
“We all had a great time playing flag football with the Sailors assigned to Changi Naval Base,” said Personnel Specialist 1st Class Jonerik Flake, America’s flag football team captain. “It’s always great when things like this come together.”
Not only did Sailors and Marines get the chance to decompress and enjoy a healthy outlet through these recreational events, some of the crew also participated in a community service project organized by the command religious ministries department. During the project, they helped serve meals at the Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen.
“Giving back to those that need extra help around the holidays, no matter where you are in the world, is always a good thing to do,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd class Rio Fields, from USS America’s weapons department. “We had a good time helping the locals that were also there taking time out of their day to give a little back to those that need it.”
On Christmas day, the America culinary staff helped bring Sailors and Marines a piece of home by providing a special holiday dinner. The meal consisted of favorite holiday dishes such as ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, eggnog and various others. For many on board, this was their first Christmas away from home.
“It was really great that we were able to be in port for the holidays,” said Cpl. Emmanuel Carrera, assigned to the 15th MEU. “It gave us time to relax, make phone calls to family and friends back home, and enjoy all (Singapore) has to offer.”
America, part of the America Amphibious Ready Group, with embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is operating in the Indo-Asia Pacific region to strengthen partnerships and serve as a ready-response force for any type of contingency.