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OLONGAPO, Philippines - Members of Military Sealift Command’s (MSC) dry cargo ship USNS Amelia Earhart (T-AKE 6) and Military Sealift Command Far East visited three locations in Olongapo City, Philippines, to participate in community outreach events during a routine port visit at Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, June 14.
The team visited the Subic Bay Children’s Home, Social Development Center, and the Foundation for Differently-Abled Persons to deliver donations from the crew of Amelia Earhart that included clothes, snacks, school supplies and more than 660 lbs. of rice.
“It’s encouraging to see the immediate reward and positive impact from the dedication and contributions of Amelia Earhart’s crew,” said Navy Lt. Eric R. Bryan, chaplain, MSC Far East. “It’s special when a partnership addresses and supports one another’s needs. Moments like these strengthen the relationship we have with the people here in Olongapo and the region.”
According to civilian mariner Robert Misenas, meeting with the local population is an important way to bridge cultures and participate in the community.
“This is my first time at the Subic Bay Children’s Home, but the ship has sent crew members here before,” said Misenas, a boatswain mate with Amelia Earhart and 21-year MSC veteran. “Usually when the ship arrives here, we try and do something in the community, if time allows. This time we were able to take donations of clothes, snacks, and school supplies, as well as purchase rice with donations from the crew.”
The Subic Bay Children’s Home presented Misenas and civilian mariner Mohammad Motombo, also with Amelia Earhart, a certificate of appreciation in recognition of the donations.
Additionally, the MSC members interacted with staff and children, while Chaplain Bryan provided some musical entertainment for the kids by playing the guitar and singing songs.
“These community relation events allow us to slow down, even for just a day, to engage in a true, life-changing moment,” said Bryan. “We walk into a room full of strangers only to leave with new friends and memories that motivate us to continue finding ways to support when we can in the future. I love how these events are merely the beginning of a great friendship and partnership for the years to come.”
The USNS Amelia Earhart is currently operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
MSC operates approximately 115 non-combatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.