KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia - The guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) arrived here for a port visit Oct. 21 during its deployment with the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group to the 7th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility.

“We value this brief stop in Kota Kinabalu first and foremost as an opportunity and a mission to build upon the long standing friendship Americans have with Malaysians,” said, Cmdr. Jordy Harrison, Halsey’s commanding officer. “This has been our first opportunity since leaving San Diego where our Sailors had the opportunity to have a well deserved liberty. Our Sailors had valuable time to ‘re-charge their batteries’ before heading out once again to serve and defend the United States.”

The American Ambassador to Malaysia, Paul Jones toured Halsey following her arrival in Kota Kinabalu and spent the time getting to know the crew.

While in port, Halsey crew members organized several tours for Sailors to experience local culture in Kota Kinabalu ranging from diving adventures to mountain peak hikes.

Sixteen Sailors volunteered their time at a local madrasah, which is a local school, where the crew members cleaned the grounds at the Madrasah Kampung Warisan.

“It was a unique experience,” said Operations Specialist 1st Class Lisa Capell. “We were told this was the first time the U.S. Navy visited a madrasah in Kota Kinabalu.”

Following Halsey’s departure on Oct. 25, two Royal Malaysian Navy warships joined Halsey in a maneuvering exercise. The three warships choreographed precision movements within 1,000 feet of each other.

“Our Malaysian counterparts demonstrated superb ship handling,” said Harrison. “It was an honor to work side by side with the Royal Malaysian Navy.”

Halsey departed San Diego, Calif. on Sept. 11, and prior to Kota Kinabalu, the ship made a port visit to Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines for a series of exercises with the Filipino Navy in support of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Philippines 2010.

Halsey is part of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group consists of flagship USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), embarked Carrier Air Wing 2, embarked Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9 and the guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71).