USS Mustin (DDG 89)
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Mustin Departs Malaysia After International Exhibition

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nardelito Gervacio, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West Det. Japan

USS MUSTIN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Mustin (DDG 89) departed Langkawi, Malaysia, Dec. 5 after a five-day port visit.

The ship and crew participated in the annual Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) along with 93 other warships and vessels and 24 participating countries.

Mustin arrived in Langkawi Nov. 30 after departing Sepangar Naval Base near Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia on Nov. 27.

During the four days at sea between Kota Kinabalu and Langkawi, eight sailors from the Royal Malaysian Navy embarked Mustin to observe how operations were performed on a U.S. destroyer. They were fully integrated into the crew by participating in two underway replenishment operations with the USNS Pecos (T-AO 197) and USNS Walter S. Diehl (T-AO 193) and a total ship survivability exercise, which included placing the ship in general quarters.

"Being on the Mustin is a nice experience for all of us, we get to see how things are done from U.S. side, seeing an underway refueling and taking over as conning officer and giving orders to the helmsman was something we have not done before," said Lt. Mohd Edie Mohd Khalil of the Royal Malaysian Navy. "Everyone on board is very helpful. They gave us a tour of the pilot house, the ship's armory and the store and what surprised me the most was Sailors manning CIC twenty-four hours, which I did not know."

After the two days underway, Mustin dropped anchor off the coast of Langkawi where the ship and crew would participate in LIMA 09.

The LIMA 09 convention serves exhibitor's needs by assembling key decision makers from the defense, enforcement and civil sector.

"Our first visit to Malaysia was so awesome; I wasn't expecting it to be so beautiful. Compared to the other port visits we had in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore, Malaysia is by far my number one port," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Nicholas Vazquez of Staten Island, N.Y.

The ship hosted a reception on the flight deck within two hours of arriving on the pier in Langkawi, Dec. 2.

"Getting the reception ready once we were moored up in two hours was amazing and was praised by Ambassador Keith and Vice Admiral Bird; we had nothing but praises from all who were in attendance," said Cmdr. Michael Misiewicz, Mustin's commanding officer.

While in port, Sailors once again had the opportunity to tour the cultural sights using the ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation program, enjoyed the local cuisine, shop and also participated in a community relations project at the Community Center for Special Children.

"We are ambassadors when we visit other countries so it's always important to give back to people in need and thank them for their hospitality," said Chief Fire Controlman Carlton Seals of Houston.

The events scheduled in port were included a Maritime Cultural Night and the Battle of the Bands.

"Cultural Night was an experience I'll never forget, meeting all the people from different countries and sharing ideas of cooking with them, tasting their food and seeing their smiles when they sampled our food," said Senior Chief Culinary Specialist David Jones of Memphis, Tenn. "Getting ready for this event took planning with the husbanding agent to ensure the booth was set up to represent our country. Preparing the food took a lot of planning because we have so much diversity in American culture, and the fact that we had to come to an agreement on what to serve that night, and in the end it all came together and everyone enjoyed themselves."

"Cultural Night at the Awana Porto Malai Beach Resort was a wonderful experience where everyone got together and shared their individual cultures and also put on a show for everyone," said Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 2nd Class Christopher K. Jaus of Herndon, Va., who along with eight Sailors on Mustin, participated in a talent show and sang "Anchors Aweigh" to a packed crowd during International Maritime Night.

"Everyone was very polite and friendly and I met a lot of foreign nationals; we accepted everyone's customs and everyone loved the different kinds of food from various nations that were in attendance that night."

The Battle of the Bands on Dec. 4 marked the conclusion of LIMA 09, where bands from various nations competed with one another in a friendly competition.

"The Battle of the Bands was pretty awesome. It was a great experience seeing different variety of music from different parts of the world and to actually compete in it was really fun. We showed them what we had and I was surprised how similar we are in many ways," said Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) Fireman Nicholas R. Folsom of Texas, and guitarist for Rumors of War, the band that represented Mustin. "Malaysia is one of my favorite ports, very nice, and the people are so friendly here."

After the show, Cmdr. Michael Misiewicz thanked the crowd for a wonderful visit, and great hospitality.

Helping to build and foster relationships, Mustin's visit to Langkawi strengthened bilateral ties by increasing the level of professional and maritime interaction between two countries as well as promoting security and stability within the region.

"The overall behavior of the Sailors on Mustin was flawless in Langkawi and most importantly what I'm impressed with is the attitude throughout the whole visit," said Misiewicz. "It was a lot of work; we were in Langkawi to engage in and do theater security cooperation and we did it with 100 percent effort."

"Quite honestly, I know through our visit alone, we did more to progress the relationship with the United States and Malaysia than any other past events we've done and that says a lot," said Misiewicz.

Mustin, commanded by Cmdr. Michael Misiewicz, is one of seven Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15 and is permanently forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, with approximately 60-70 ships, 200-300 aircraft and 40,000 Sailors and Marines assigned at any given time.

Story Number: NNS091208-11 Release Date: 12/8/2009 3:15:00 PM

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