USS Vandegrift Arrives in Vladivostok, Russia

21 September 2012

From Ensign Erik M. Selberg

The Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigate USS Vandegrift (FFG 48) arrived in Vladivostok, Russia for a port visit during operations in the Western Pacific, Sept. 20.

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia – TThe Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigate USS Vandegrift (FFG 48) arrived in Vladivostok, Russia for a port visit during operations in the Western Pacific, Sept. 20.

While in port, Vandegrift Sailors will conduct professional exchanges with Russian Naval Officers and Sailors as well as participate in host city tours and community service events with Ostryakova Children’s Hospital and Pos’yetskaya Street de Motion Dance Center.

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to visit Vladivostok and experience all the city has to offer," said Cmdr. Joseph R. Darlak, commanding officer of Vandegrift, “Our Sailors are especially looking forward to visiting a different land and making new friends.”

For most Vandegrift Sailors, this will be their first time in Russia.

“I enlisted in the Navy to see the world and this is one of those unique opportunities to do just that,” said Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) 3rd Class Benjamin Underhill. “I have heard Vladivostok has so many interesting things to see and do, I can’t wait to get ashore and explore.”

“The United States has many common interests with Russia including mutual security, and maintaining peace and stability,” said Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Andrew Habib, “Port visits such as this one to Vladivostok help both our countries work together to advance those goals.”

Vandegrift left its home port in San Diego in May to begin its deployment through the Western Pacific Ocean.

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