CEBU, Philippines - Sailors and embarked Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard USS Dubuque (LPD 8) wrapped up a three-day port visit to the Republic of the Philippines island of Cebu on Nov. 26.

The visit by the amphibious transport dock ship allowed the ship’s crew to explore the island through Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) tours at the island’s traditional markets and modern malls, and experience the island’s vibrant night life and continue the advancement of a decades-old relationship between the U.S. Navy and the Philippines since World War II.

“The friendship of our two nations is linked to naval tradition and a shared interest in the security of the region,” said Capt. Christopher Bolt, the commanding officer of Dubuque. “Also, there are many Sailors from the Philippines serving on Dubuque and for them this was a homecoming, which many took leave to visit family in their homeland.”

The rare port visit to Cebu provided the island’s influential leaders a chance to visit and tour Dubuque.

“It was also an opportunity for representatives of the Republic of the Philippines military, Cebu police and port authority leaders to tour a famous amphibious assault ship,” Bolt said.

Cebu is one of the final liberty ports for Dubuque in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) before returning to its homeport in San Diego.

Dubuque recently completed five months of operations in the 5th Fleet AOR with the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group conducting maritime security operations and participating in exercises