HONG KONG –
The George Washington (CVN 73) Carrier Strike Group (GWCSG) anchored in Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong, for a scheduled port visit, June 16.
The GWCSG's more than 6,000 Sailors will have the opportunity to experience the culture, participate in Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) tours, and volunteer for goodwill exchanges and community relations (COMREL) events.
"GWCSG Sailors have an amazing opportunity to experience a truly unique port visit," said Capt. Greg Fenton, commanding officer of George Washington. "Hong Kong is a vibrant city with a rich history, and I can't think of a better way for our Sailors to enjoy some well deserved rest and relaxation."
George Washington departed its forward-operating location of Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, May 24, and most recently completed Core Training I to assess the carrier's watchstanders in requisite warfare areas such as damage control, navigation and training teams.
"I'm extremely impressed with how diligent the crew performed during [Core Training]," said Fenton. "Their hard work and dedication proved that George Washington and its crew are ready to carry out its mission in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations."
The strike group will have the opportunity to foster relations with the local community during a welcome reception for more than 500 Hong Kong dignitaries as well as participate in 18 COMRELs organized by the ship's command religious ministries department (CRMD).
"COMRELs offer an opportunity for Sailors to gain experience and exposure to various cultures and customs of our host nations," said Lt. j.g. Cole Yoos, CRMD division officer. "Everyone who participates has the chance to leave a lasting impression upon those whom may have little firsthand experience understanding the United States and its people."
George Washington and its embarked staffs will also get some well-deserved liberty and experience all that Hong Kong's culture has to offer.
"I'm excited to return to Hong Kong for our first port visit," said Logistics Specialist Seaman Vincent Snyder, from Fayetteville, North Carolina. "This is one of my favorite ports. I look forward to hanging out with my friends, eating some local food and buying some gifts for my family back home."
GWCSG includes the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS Shiloh (CG 67), and the Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyers USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) and USS Kidd (DDG 100).
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.