Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman (SW) Declan Barnes, NPASE Japan
MANILA, Philippines – The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85), along with the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) and Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63), visited Manila, Philippines, Oct. 24-29 for a goodwill port visit.
The visit is part of the U.S. Navy’s ongoing commitment to theater security cooperation and partnership with allied navies and presented an opportunity to promote peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific Region.
“The crew of McCampbell was very excited to spend time interacting with the wonderful people of Manila and enjoying their culture,” said McCampbell Command Master Chief Michael Magnetta. “We are very grateful for the hospitality of the Filipino people and had a great time experiencing and honoring their customs and traditions.”
During the visit, Sailors had an opportunity to experience Filipino culture and take part in a variety of Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) events. Many Sailors also volunteered to participate in community service projects in the local area.
The crew of McCampbell spent a day interacting with the children of the San Roque Elementary School of Marikina City in the Manila metro area. The crew met and played with the kids, passing out stickers of the ship’s crest and telling them about life at sea. In turn, a number of different groups performed for the Sailors – from the school’s marching band that played a welcome song to the hearing impaired students who performed using sign language. Each performance served as a token of appreciation for the Sailors’ visit and the Sailors were equally grateful for the experience.
“I had a blast visiting the school and getting to know the kids,” said Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 2nd Class James Young, “I felt that what we did really made a difference and brightened up their lives. I can’t wait to come back to the Philippines again.”
McCampbell is part of the George Washington Carrier Strike Group, the U.S. Navy’s only forward deployed carrier strike group, based out of Yokosuka, Japan, and is conducting a routine western Pacific Ocean patrol.