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SINGAPORE - The American military community in Singapore rallied to support the crew of USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) Aug. 21-25 through donations, volunteer work and food distribution. Community support will continue while McCain is moored in Singapore.
Singapore-based service members, DoD civilians and families brought food and other items to the pier shortly after McCain arrived at Changi Naval Base Aug 21. The Singapore military community also provided clothing, personal effects, food and water, 180 rooms reserved at the Navy Gateway Inns and Suites, bus transportation from the ship to installation facilities, and free Wi-Fi access.
An open call center was also established to provide phone access to the Sailors and their families. Spouse volunteers assisted in setting up a distribution centers.
"Our Navy community in Singapore is coming together in very meaningful ways to support the men and women of USS John S. McCain," said Rear Adm. Don Gabrielson, commander, Task Force 73/Singapore Area Coordinator. "The outpouring of support and generosity from our Sailors, civilians, and families, our allies and partners, and in particular, our Singapore hosts, has been positive, helpful, and frankly incredible. It personifies the character of our naval service where shipmates help shipmates in need."
Additional support for McCain Sailors also included issuing replacement DoD ID cards for those lost during the collision. The Singapore Navy Exchange has also submitted orders for new uniforms. Counselors from the Singapore Area Coordinator family services office are providing counseling services and additional counselors from U.S. Navy installations in Japan and Diego Garcia are also on hand to support.
Meanwhile, the American expat community in Singapore is also providing support for McCain Sailors through donations to the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society and by volunteering to assist Sailors and their families in a variety of projects.
“At this great time of need, we all need to pitch in and we all need to support our fellow Sailors,” said Tina Jones, work and family life specialist, Singapore Area Coordinator. “When times get tough, our larger Navy family will always be there to ensure we can remain resilient and continue our important mission in this region.”
McCain was involved in a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Strait of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21. The incident is under investigation.