JAKARTA, Indonesia (Feb. 23, 2011) From left, U.S. Reps. Lois Capps, David Price, Indonesian Navy Western Fleet Commander, Rear Adm. Hari Bowo, Rep. David Dreier, the guided-missile frigate USS Reuben James (FFG 57) Commanding Officer Cmdr. David E. Miller and Rep. Jim McDermott meet and greet with one another on the ship’s flight deck during a reception. (U.S. Navy photo)

JAKARTA, Indonesia - The guided-missile frigate USS Reuben James (FFG 57) hosted 119 distinguished visitors and dignitaries from Indonesia and the surrounding region during a reception on Feb. 23.

Guests included members of U.S. House of Representatives: David Dreier (R-CA 26), Lois Capps (D-CA 23), Sam Farr (D-CA 17), Jim McDermott (D-WA 7) and David Price (D-NC 4).

In addition to U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Affairs Scot Marciel; Indonesian Navy Western Fleet Commander, Rear Adm. Hari Bowo; Commander, Main Naval Base III of Indonesia, Brig. Gen. Arief Suherman; and Indonesian Deputy Assistant to Naval Chief of Staff, Commodore Agus Heryana.

U.S. Navy flag officers Commander, Task Force (CTF) 73, Rear Adm. Ron Horton, the Attending Physician for the U.S. Congress and United States Supreme Court, Rear Adm. Brian P. Monahan; and Commander, Submarine Group 7 and Task Force (CTF) 74, Rear Adm. David M. Thomas Jr. also attended.

The reception took place on the ship’s flight deck, as guests met members of the crew and toured Reuben James’ spaces.

Marciel and Bowo addressed the attendees, expressing their gratitude to Reuben James’ Commanding Officer Cmdr. David E. Miller, for the ship’s visit to Jakarta and hospitality during the port visit. “It is very rare that the ship’s schedule aligns with a congressional delegation visit,” Miller said. “The unique opportunity of hosting such a broad range of both U. S. and Indonesian military and governmental figures strengthens our country’s ties with Indonesia and furthers our common goal of theater security cooperation in Southeast Asia.”

Reuben James’ four-day visit to Jakarta was filled with events designed to strengthen military-to-military relations with the Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Laut (Indonesian Navy), and build bonds with Indonesian government officials and the local population.

During the port call, hundreds of distinguished guests, students, military cadets and local citizens toured the ship.

“Presenting our ship and its mission while in Jakarta was extremely rewarding,” Lt.j.g. Cole Smith, Reuben James’ damage control assistant said. “Everyone from congressmen to students were interested in our jobs, proving that our efforts in this area can provide hope and change to our volatile world.”

Sailors from Reuben James met with students from the Kenang-Kenan Secondary School during a community service project.

“It was a privilege to visit their school, interact with the students, and learn about their culture,” said Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Justin Custer.

Reuben James is currently in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility on deployment to promote peace, stability in the region, strengthen interoperability with allied countries sharing common interests of maritime security, counter-terrorism, humanitarian and disaster assistance cooperation.