In this file photo, USS George Washington (CVN 73), operates in the East China Sea earlier this month. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Declan Barnes)

SINGAPORE - The U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, arrived in Singapore for the third port visit of their 2013 patrol, Oct. 26.

The crew of more than 5,000 Sailors will visit the island city-state, located in Southeast Asia, to build friendships and goodwill with the people of Singapore.

"Being in Singapore again is a real pleasure for our crew," said Capt. Greg Fenton, George Washington's commanding officer. "Our Sailors and crew look forward to the cultural exchange with the local people."

In the days preceding the Singapore visit, George Washington hosted four distinguished visitor (DV) embarks for civic, government and military representatives from the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Malaysia to better understand the daily operations of an underway aircraft carrier.

"DV visits are extremely important to build and maintain the relationships we have with our allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region," said Fenton. "This is one small thing we can do to show them what we do at-sea to maintain peace and stability."

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier also had a busy flight schedule with 12 days of 1,800 aircraft launched and recovered.

"It's important to fly often in order to maintain mission readiness and pilot proficiency, and to ensure we maintain our overall posture as a U.S. 7th Fleet asset; deployable, ready and committed to the vision of regional stability, cooperative security and expanded partnerships," said Lt. Cmdr. Kaz Hashigami, George Washington's assistant air operations officer.

The officers and crew of George Washington, and its embarked staffs, will also have the opportunity to experience the culture and hospitality Singapore.

"I am excited about Singapore since we had to leave Korea a day early due to weather," said Damage Controlman 2nd Class Jamie Parker." This is my first time in Singapore. I plan on going to Universal Studios and the underwater aquarium, and try some local cuisine, wine and bread as part of my standard port visit to-do list."

The ship will also host more than 400 Singapore dignitaries for a welcome reception, as well as an expected 1,600 guests for tours.

"Engagements like this demonstrate a stable, reliable and continuous relationship between our two countries," said Fenton. "The officers and crew of George Washington are honored to be the guests of Singapore and we look forward to our next visit."

George Washington and 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.