RAJA AMPAT, Indonesia –
The crew of Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) sailed alongside other navies during Sail Raja Ampat Aug. 22-23.
Sail Raja Ampat is part of a series of international maritime events hosted by the government of Indonesia in West Papua, Indonesia.
Crew members welcomed Indonesian navy Ensign Michael Kasake, a liaison officer, on board to help coordinate the ship's participation in Sail Raja Ampat.
"I'm proud to be involved in something that lets us and our allies work together like a family and showcase our partnerships and this island to the world," said Kasake.
Rodney M. Davis Sailors manned the rails as the ship joined a formation of more than 50 ships from Indonesia, Singapore, and Australia. The ships sailed past a crowd ashore at Torang Cinta Beach, Waisei on the island of Waigeo and rendered honors to distinguished visitors , which included the President of Indonesia, Susilo Yudhoyono, and U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) Deputy Commander, Rear Adm. Robert Girrier.
The overcast skies and falling rain did not dampen the spirits of the participants.
"A little rain isn't going to stop a Rodney M. Davis Sailor," said Electronics Technician 1st Class Christifer Dearing, from Redmond, Oregon.
Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Robertus Sulistiono, from Los Angeles, serves in deck department's 1st division on board Rodney M. Davis. Sulistiono, who was born in Indonesia and lived there for more than 20 years, acted as an interpreter during the event.
"I'm proud that I could help out," said Sulistiono. "I'm happy to do whatever I can for the ship."
Participation in events like Sail Raja help advance regional partnerships and alliances with navies throughout the region.
"Sail Raja Ampat was another great chance for us to work with our Pacific allies" said Cmdr. Todd Whalen, Rodney M. Davis's commanding officer. "We also sailed with ships from Indonesia, Singapore, and Australia during Rim of the Pacific 2014 last month, so our participation in Sail Raja helps sustain those relationships."
Rodney M. Davis, based out of Everett, Washington, is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.