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George Washington Arrives in Guam for Port Visit

02 October 2014

From Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chris Cavagnaro

The aircraft carrier arrived in Guam Oct. 2 for a visit in the midst of its ongoing regional patrol, which most recently included exercise Valiant Shield.

APRA HARBOR, Guam - The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) arrived in Guam for a goodwill port visit, Oct. 2.

This marks George Washington's third visit to Guam since relieving the now decommissioned USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) in 2008.

"It's an honor return to Guam," said Capt. Greg Fenton, George Washington's commanding officer. "This port visit offers George Washington Sailors an opportunity for many cultural exchanges with our Guamanian friends and plenty of well-deserved liberty."

George Washington is currently conducting its 2014 patrol in the 7th Fleet area of operations, and most recently completed the joint exercise Valiant Shield 2014 in the Guam operating area, as well as unit level training-sustainment (ULTRA-S) certification. ULTRA-S is an evaluation designed to evaluate a ship's readiness in different requisite warfare areas to capture the culmination of the forward-deployed naval forces carrier unit level training and ensure it perpetuates the highest possible levels of proficiency.

"I couldn't be more proud of the way our crew performed during ULTRA-S and Valiant Shield," said Fenton. "They showed enthusiasm and dedication toward completing our mission, and performed remarkably every step of the way."

More than 5,000 George Washington Sailors will have the opportunity to volunteer in various Guam communities by participating in community relations (COMREL) projects organized by George Washington's Command Religious Ministry Division (CRMD), including volunteer opportunities at five local high schools, a Special Olympics Guam bowling tournament and two animal shelters.

"These projects help the people of Guam understand the Navy's role in building and strengthening partnerships, not only with the island of Guam, but throughout the Pacific region," said Lt. j.g. Cole Yoos, a chaplain aboard George Washington. "These COMRELs offer an incredible opportunity to tangibly give back to the people of Guam who have always provided a beautiful and inviting welcome for our Sailors."

Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) is offering multiple tours and excursions for Sailors to enjoy in Guam, including an island tour of Guam's cultural and historical sites; a kayak adventure along the Ugum River to visit an ancient Chamorro village; and a submarine expedition to give Sailors a view of Guam's aquatic life from 30 meters below the ocean surface.

"I have been looking forward to this port visit since I checked aboard the ship," said Ship's Serviceman Seaman Brandon Mason, from Mabank, Texas. "I'm really excited to go on the MWR kayak tour, hang out with my friends and enjoy some liberty. Guam seems like a really good place for outdoor activities and I couldn't be happier to be here."

George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 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.

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