NEWS | Nov. 19, 2015

Stethem Sailors Reach Out in Shanghai

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin V. Cunningham

SHANGHAI, China (NNS) -- Crew members assigned to the forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) joined with members of the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLA N) in visiting the Shanghai School for the Blind, Nov. 18.

"It is an honor to host and share a little of our life with our own nation's Navy, as well as the United States Navy," said the school's principal, Hongmei Xu. "The students are more than happy meeting guests who care to learn what we do here."

The event started with musical pieces performed by the students, followed by those of both navies. Stethem Sailors ended their presentation with the gift of freshly baked cookies from the ship's galley.

Before leaving, Ms. Xu led the participants in a tour of the school grounds, giving a brief history of the 103-year old academy.

"The students' enthusiasm and joy made this a special event," said Operations Specialist 3rd Class Jason Aldez, from Flower Mound, Texas. "The example and dedication of both the students and staff members reminds us of our own dedicated lives as Sailors."

Stethem arrived in Shanghai, Nov. 16, for a scheduled port visit to build relationships with the PLA N, and demonstrate the U.S. Navy's commitment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Stethem, forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, and a member of Destroyer Squadron 15, plays a vital role in maintaining partnerships in the 7th Fleet area of operations.

Established in 1943, 7th Fleet has been promoting security and stability for more than 70 years. 7th Fleet's area of operation spans from the International Date Line in the east to the India/Pakistan border in the west, and from the Kuril Islands in the north to the Antarctic in the south.