Capt. Greg Fenton, commanding officer of USS George Washington (CVN 73), center, speaks to distinguished visitors from Singapore. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Liam Kennedy)

SOUTH CHINA SEA - Distinguished visitors and representatives from Singapore embarked aboard the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), Oct. 24.

The purpose of the visit was to receive a general orientation of an underway aircraft carrier and enhance partnerships in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).

"The purpose was to fly distinguished visitors aboard the George Washington to educate them on what a strike group does and how and aircraft carrier functions," said Rear Adm. Cindy Thebaud, commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific. "They also learned what the George Washington's purpose is in the U.S. 7th Fleet AOR."

Ambassador Kirk Wagar, U.S. ambassador to Singapore, Mr. Blair Hall, deputy chief of mission, and Thebaud were three of the 19 visitors to embark for the day.

"I think the U.S. Navy plays a very big global role," said Soh Poh Theen, Singapore Civil Aviation Director. "Coming to the carrier helps us to understand how they fulfill that global role with how efficient and ready they always are."

U.S. Navy ships have conducted exercises and supported Singapore as an ally in the Western Pacific ocean Since the 1800's.

"This really was an educational trip for me," said Wagar. "This was tremendous because it showed the best of America working together. It doesn't matter where you are from, we are all here for the same dream, which is to ensure our assets are protected and our values are projected.

Everything the George Washington does out here is incredibly important." George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.