NAS Whidbey Island Community
Kearsarge Departs Souda Bay, Greece
Story by PO3 Kaitlyn E Eads on 01/14/2019
Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kaitlyn E. Eads, USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) Public Affairs
SOUDA BAY, Greece The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge departed Souda Bay, Greece, following a scheduled port visit, Jan. 10.
The three-day visit allowed for the ship to refuel, receive supplies and perform maintenance, but the crew also had time to enjoy the culture and hospitality of Crete.
“Our port visit to Souda Bay was just what the ship and crew needed after several weeks underway since our departure from Norfolk, Virginia,” said Capt. Jason Rimmer, commanding officer of Kearsarge. “The visit afforded time for Sailors and Marines to enjoy the stunning surroundings of Crete and historic Greek culture through numerous MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) tours, sports activities, and liberty. Kearsarge was warmly welcomed during the visit and received outstanding support from the command leadership and support personnel at Naval Support Activity Souda Bay. I sincerely thank all who had a hand in making our visit a success.”
In port, many Sailors, and embarked Marines with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, explored Chania, Crete’s second largest city, while others participated in a variety of tours organized by Kearsarge’s MWR program.
“We went on a tour of a winery and it was absolutely beautiful. It looked exactly like what you see in paintings,” said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Charlene Bedard, who participated in an MWR tour that took Sailors and Marines to a local winery, archaelogical site, market and restaurant.”You could see mountains in the distance and the building looked like a small castle covered in vines. We got to see the wine presses and the cellar lined with barrels. Later, we were treated to a lunch in a warm and uplifting environment where they served local cuisine. It was definitely a new experience that was very enjoyable from beginning to end.”
A few Sailors and Marines engaged in some friendly competition through a soccer game against a local Greek club.
“On the ship, we don’t have much opportunity to practice soccer,” said Aviation Support Equipment Technician 1st Class Romeo Martin. “We were worried about how well we would play against a team that regularly gets to practice. The game was competitive and fun. The other team was very friendly and respectful.”
While the game ended in a draw, Martin said everyone who played won.
“Sharing this experience with the other team built a bond, a friendship and an experience, that I will remember for a long time, and I hope the other team will too.”
Kearsarge is on a scheduled deployment as part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) in support of maritime security operations, crisis response and theater security cooperation, while also providing a forward naval presence.
The Kearsarge ARG consists of Amphibious Squadron 6, the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24), the Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), as well as Kearsarge and the 22nd MEU.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/naveur/.
For more news from USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), visit http://www.navy.mil/local/lhd3/ and “Like” https://www.facebook.com/kearsarge.