TIMOR LESTE (April 18, 2011) U.S. Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste, Judith Fergin talks with USS Guardian's (MCM 5) commanding officer, Lt. Cmdr. Ken Brown,on the fantail of the ship during a visit. Ambassador Fergin visited the command to discuss training and service projects with the Timor Leste Navy and local community. (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Justin Van Es)

TIMOR LESTE (NNS) - USS Guardian (MCM 5) welcomed United States Ambassador to Timor Leste, Judith Fergin, aboard April 19.

Ambassador Judith Fergin's visit and tour coincided with training and community service Guardian Sailors were conducting in Timor-Leste.

While aboard, the ambassador expressed her excitement over Guardian's positive experience with Timor Leste.

Fergin has spent the last seven months working closely with the Timor Leste government and strengthening their relationship with the United States. Guardian's visit to the area complimented her efforts.

Guardian Sailors trained Timor-Leste Defense Forces (F-FDTL) in a wide range of areas, including first aid, damage control, engineering, navigation, seamanship, and anti-terrorism force protection.

Mineman Seaman Damond Daley, who serves as one of Guardian's stretcher bearers, was a participant in the first aid training.

"I really enjoyed working with the East Timorese. I am happy to have been able to share some important skills with them that really might make a difference one day," said Daley. "This was a great country to visit, and it gives me a feeling of achievement knowing that we are helping good people and supporting their training."

Guardian strengthened U.S. relations not only with the F-FDTL but with the greater Timor Leste community as well as several Sailors went ashore and played a friendly soccer game with the locals.

Culinary Specialist Seaman David Chery participated in the game.

"I enjoyed myself at the event. I think that we really interacted well with the locals and I would love to do it again," he said.

Guardian is the first U.S. Navy ship to conduct hands-on training with the F-FDTL and is currently on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

For more news from Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c7f/.