In this file photo, members of USS Guardian's (MCM 5) crew and the ship's guest riders from the Royal Australian Navy gather for a group picture on the ship's foc'sle April 8 while transiting from Singapore to Makassar, Indonesia. (U.S. Navy photo by Mineman Seaman Daniel Chaboya)

MAKASSAR, Indonesia - The crew of mine countermeasures ship USS Guardian (MCM 5) experienced Indonesian culture and strengthened America’s connections with Indonesia during an April 11-12 visit here.

Guardian received a warm welcome from Indonesia’s military marching band and cultural dancers upon the ship’s arrival.

Once the ship was moored, Guardian’s Commanding Officer Lt. Cmdr. Ken Brown, addressed the crowd on the pier.

Brown also visited the commander of Main Naval Base VI and the Mayor of Makassar, presenting plaques on behalf of Guardian’s crew.

On April 12, several members of the crew visited the local university in Makassar and discussed their decisions to join the military and jobs aboard the ship. The visit gave the students a positive impression of U.S. service members and the crew enjoyed the experience.

“It was a great experience getting to meet and talk to the local students at the university. I think everyone that went really enjoyed it,” said Mineman Seaman Keenan Rogers. “The students were welcoming and we had the chance to talk to a lot of them about our experiences in the navy one on one. I’m glad I had the chance to go.”

The ship’s short stay in Indonesia was a good opportunity for many of Guardian’s Sailors to learn more about Indonesia’s culture.