GOA, India – Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS O’Kane (DDG 77) visited Goa, India, April 4-6, en route to the 5th Fleet area of operation.
After being greeted by Rear Adm. Balvinder Parhar, Goa naval area commander, O'Kane crew members interacted with Indian navy counterparts during ship tours, a reception, and a cricket and soccer match. O'Kane Sailors also participated in a community relations project at the Don Bosco All Boys School.
“The community relations project was a great opportunity to connect with the students of Don Bosco and the Indian navy through basketball and board game activities,” said Fire Controlman First Class Dallas Vance. “After a good game it was neat to socialize and enjoy snacks with the students.”
Additionally, members of the Indian navy provided O’Kane’s Commanding Officer Cmdr. James Juster and his crewmembers with a tour of the Indian Naval Air Base, while O’Kane hosted a ship tour for 25 Indian naval officers.
“I enjoyed the enthusiasm and interest the Indian navy expressed in the role I serve as a Vertical Launching System Technician,” said Gunner’s Mate Second Class Stephen Lyons, O’Kane’s tour guide.
During the port visit, O’Kane hosted a reception for 55 Indian naval officers and guests. Following the reception, Ensign Samuel Ross said, “This port visit has been an amazing experience and opportunity to meet and enjoy the culture of the Indian Navy.”
O'Kane departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific Ocean and Arabian Gulf, March 7.