By MC2 Kristina Young, USS America Public Affairs
USS America (LHA 6) sits along the pier at Changi Naval Base in Singapore, Aug. 6. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Kristina Young) >>
SINGAPORE - The amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) arrived in Singapore for a port visit, Aug. 6.
The port visit is an opportunity for Sailors and Marines aboard America to experience the country by volunteering their time to various community service projects and experiencing the rich culture Singapore has to offer.
America, serving on its maiden deployment, has been at sea conducting unit-level training in a number of warfare areas in Indo-Asia-Pacific region over the past several weeks since departing its homeport of San Diego in early July.
“The America team is honored to visit Singapore," said Capt. Joseph Olson, America commanding officer. "Our visit is an opportunity for the ship to replenish supplies, and experience the country’s rich culture as we represent our country as ambassadors of goodwill."
The crew of America is looking forward to serving in the community as a way to foster strong relationships with regional allies, partners, and friends.
“Not only are community service projects a way for us to bridge the cultural gap by working hand-in-hand with the local community, but they allow us to leave port with a sense of pride and accomplishment, knowing we helped make a difference,” said Religious Program Specialist 1st Class Jasmine Edwards, assigned to America. “From helping out in a local soup kitchen, playing with special needs children and helping them with their homework, there’s a little bit of something for everyone.”
With various tours and park excursions scheduled during the visit, there will be no shortage of opportunities for Sailors and Marines aboard America to unwind after some time at sea.
“Particularly for people who’ve never been overseas, I would say the benefits of participating in these tours, would be experiencing the local cultures, sights they’ve never seen and hopefully try some food that they’ve never been exposed to,” said Shannon Smith, America’s Fun Boss. “My favorite part about planning all of these tours is seeing people enjoy the tours and hearing about how much they enjoyed the event.”
After visiting Singapore, America will continue training with allies and partners in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
The America ARG/15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) provides senior U.S. military leadership and partners with a flexible force which can rapidly respond to contingencies and crises within the region. With ships, aircraft, troops, and logistical equipment, the ARG/MEU is a self-contained and self-sustained task force capable of conducting everything from combat operations to providing humanitarian assistance.
The America ARG, commanded by CPR-3, consists of the, amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6), the amphibious transport dock USS San Diego (LPD 22), and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52). They will operate with embarked forces of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, the “Wildcards” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23, and detachments from Assault Craft Unit 5, Naval Beach Group 1, Beachmaster Unit 1, Fleet Surgical Team 1 and Tactical Air Control Squadron 11.
The 15th MEU is a Marine Air-Ground Task Force comprised of a ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 5th Marines; an aviation combat element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161 (Reinforced); a combat logistics element, Combat Logistics Battalion 15.
The 7th Fleet’s area of operation spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South.