PHUKET, Thailand (NNS) - USS Peleliu (LHA 5) and the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) visited Phuket, Thailand Nov.13-16.

During the port visit Sailors and Marines interacted with the local population and participated in community relations projects to build relationships with the Thai people.

"Visiting places like Phuket is essential to the continued relationship between the Navy and the countries in 7th Fleet," said Capt. Mark Cedrun. "Peaceful interaction helps maintain the trust and friendship that exists between our two nations."

While the ship was in port, Sailors and Marines had the opportunity to see the country through tours in and around Phuket. Activities included boat trips to surrounding islands, fishing, shopping, and Muay Thai boxing exhibitions.

"The Sailors and Marines of Peleliu have earned this liberty port," said Command Master Chief Brent Williams. "They've had an incredibly successful deployment and should take pride in what they've accomplished. Phuket provides the Sailors and Marines of Peleliu one of the best liberty ports in the 7th Fleet. It's exotic and rich in quality recreational activities."

Peleliu last visited Phuket in 2008. The ship is transiting through the Pacific and will arrive at her home port of San Diego, Calif., later this year.

Peleliu completed more than 100 days of operations in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), supporting humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations in Pakistan, conducting maritime security operations, supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, and participating in exercises promoting security and stability with partner nations in the region.

Peleliu is the flagship of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group, and with the 15th MEU, is currently in the U.S. 7th Fleet AOR as part of a routine deployment to promote peace, partnership and cooperation throughout the region.

For more news from USS Peleliu (LHA 5) , visit