BALI, Indonesia (May 4, 2011) Lt. Cmdr. Tim Carter, executive officer of the mine countermeasures ship USS Guardian (MCM 5), gives a plaque to an Indonesian official as a gift during a community service event at a local school in Bali. (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Michael Burling)

BALI, Indonesia— The mine countermeasures ship USS Guardian (MCM 5) took part in community service events at local schools and hosted shipboard tours while moored at Port Benoa on the Indonesian island of Bali, May 4.

On board Guardian, tours of the ship were held for distinguished visitors and U.S. Embassy-sponsored community outreach tours.

Guardian’s commanding officer, Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth Brown, led several of the tours on board the ship.

“The children were very engaged and eager to learn about the ship and its mission,” Brown said. “They were also very excited to be given this opportunity by the U.S. Embassy, as part of its outreach program.

“Local officials were extremely grateful for the ship visit and expressed a desire to have more visits. In the end, it was a great day of exchanging ideas and engaging with the Archipelagic Nation of Indonesia and the wonderful people of Bali,” Brown added.

Sailors paired up and escorted tour groups around the ship, stopping at certain locations, which included the fo’c’sle, boat deck, fantail, pilothouse and the Mine Neutralization System deck.

“The tours were a fun and exciting opportunity to interact with the Indonesian people and share our cultures with one another,” said Mineman Second Class Joseph Cooper, who participated in the shipboard tours.

Subject matter experts were stationed at each stopping point to explain how the equipment in the space works. The visitors said the tour of the ship was enjoyable.

On the island of Bali, several Guardian Sailors visited two local schools and shared with students their decisions to join the Navy and the opportunities it has provided. At each school, the Sailors introduced themselves to the students and explained how they came to join the Navy and the experiences it has offered them. After all the Sailors were introduced the group answered questions from the students. Following the question session, the Sailors were grouped with students and toured the schools.

Guardian’s executive officer, Lt. Cmdr. Tim Carter, concluded the visits at the local schools with a plaque exchange, as a gift from the ship to school officials.

The Sailors who participated in the community service project said they were happy to take part in the cultural exchange event.

Guardian is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility.