MANAMA, Bahrain - The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSSG) departed Manama, Bahrain, Nov. 24, after a routine four-day port visit.
While in port, Sailors visited local cultural sites and participated in two community relations projects (COMREL).
On Nov. 21, Stennis Sailors led discussion topics about American culture at the American Cultural Education Center, helping Bahraini teens better develop their English language skills. The second COMREL, held at the Regional Institute for Active Learning on Nov. 22, gave Stennis volunteers the opportunity to tutor children with special needs on math, English, and dance.
"It is always a great experience to see people having a new positive impression of Americans after interacting with them through COMRELs," said Chief Navy Counselor Hero Lamy, lead COMREL coordinator aboard Stennis. "It's a unique opportunity to be in a situation to make a difference in the local community by either renovating establishments, interacting with local youths, or providing relief to the under-privileged of the population."
"It was a great way for everyone at the center to get to know each other and see that we aren't so different from one another," said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Jason Mushorn, from Phoenix, Ariz. "The kids I interacted with at the center reminded me of so many kids I knew back in Arizona; it was an awesome experience."
Additionally, U.S. service members from guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), Stennis and Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain competed against each other in sporting events including soccer, volleyball, softball, basketball, dodgeball, football, and rugby.
On Nov. 22, families from the NSA chapel community invited Stennis and Mobile Bay Sailors into their homes for a Thanksgiving meal. Stennis, Mobile Bay and NSA Bahrain also provided Thanksgiving meals throughout the day for all of its service members.
The JCSSG, consisting of Stennis, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, Destroyer Squadron 21, and Mobile Bay, are forward deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to strengthen regional partnerships, sustain maritime security, and support combatant commander requirements for assets in the area.