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George Washington Strike Group Visits Hong Kong

07 November 2013

From Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Trevor Welsh

The George Washington Carrier Strike Group anchored in Victoria Harbor Nov. 8 for a port visit.

HONG KONG - The USS George Washington (CVN 73) Carrier Strike Group anchored in Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong for a port visit, Nov. 8.

The strike group's more than 6,000 Sailors will represent the U.S. Navy as ambassadors, as they interact and create goodwill and friendships with its host nation.

"Our talented young men and women on board look forward to the opportunity to enjoy the culture and charm of Hong Kong during our port visit," said Capt. Carlos Sardiello, George Washington's executive officer. "They do a fantastic job each and every day at sea in support of our mission."

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier's command religious ministries department (CRMD) has organized 16 community relations (COMREL) projects that provide the opportunity to interact with Hong Kong residents.

"It's simply amazing to see such an overwhelming response each and every time we launch a new [COMREL] opportunity," said Lt. Glen Kitzman, CRMD division officer. "We see hundreds of Sailors come to the CRMD spaces to sign-up, which reinforces how generous and giving our Navy personnel truly are."

During the underway period after the strike group's most recent port visit to Singapore, George Washington underwent a three-day supply management inspection (SMI) that scrutinized every aspect of the ship's supply department. SMI ensures and certifies the department's ability to support the aircraft carrier's needs.

"I was thoroughly impressed," said Lt. Cmdr. Marcus Jones, principal assistant for services aboard George Washington. "If not for the entire crew and all the hard work and long hours they put in, we wouldn't have received the score that we did. They blew it out of the water; we are lucky to have such dedicated Sailors."

While anchored in Hong Kong, the strike group will also have the opportunity to enjoy the local culture and all the "Pearl of the Orient" has to offer.

"I am excited to visit Hong Kong; this is my first time," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Airman Chanah Turis, from Snowflake, Az. "I really want to see the city from the top of Victoria's Peak, do some shopping and try the local cuisine."

George Washington Strike Group includes the guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS Cowpens (CG 63), and the guided-missile destroyers USS Lassen (DDG 82) and USS Mustin (DDG 89).

George Washington Strike Group provides 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.

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