Koror, Palau – USS BENFOLD (DDG 65) departed Koror, Palau after a scheduled four day port visit. This was BENFOLD’s first overseas port visit since deploying.
Commanding Officer, CDR Dave Oden, visited with the Palauan President, Johnson Toribiong, as an opportunity to express the mutual goodwill between the United States and Palau. CDR Oden stated during a 4th of July reception co-hosted with the US Embassy that, “The United States is very proud of the partnership it has with Palau, and, on this 4th of July, we reflect on those Palauan service members who have fought side by side with Americans in our armed forces.
BENFOLD took part in a double elimination basketball tournament with the Palauan Junior National Basketball Team. “Coming to another country and playing a game that you both grew up playing is a pretty unique experience,” said LS3 (SW) Jesse Jessen. “Representing the United States and USS BENFOLD in this basketball tournament is a memory I will treasure forever.” BENFOLD Sailors were split into two teams and played several rounds where the Palauans edged out a hard won victory.
The crew also spent the rest of their time exploring Palau's famous Rock Islands, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming with stingless jelly fish, hiking, and most importantly, strengthening the bond of friendship with our wonderful Palauan hosts.
BENFOLD is an Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer and serves as one of the Navy’s premier Ballistic Missile Defense ships in the Pacific. BENFOLD is currently operating in the Seventh Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).