USS Vandegrift Port Visit in Vladivostok, Russia 

120920-N-NJ243-021 VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (September 20, 2012) – Commander Joseph R. Darlak, Commanding Officer, takes a bite of a traditional offering of bread and salt after Oliver Hazard Perry-class Guided Missile Frigate USS Vandegrift (FFG 48) arrived in Vladivostok for a port visit during operations in the Western Pacific. (U.S. Navy Photo by Lieutenant Junior Grade Ryan P. Murtha)
USS Vandegrift Arrives in Vladivostok, Russia 
By Ensign Erik M. Selberg, USS Vandegrift Public Affairs  
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia – Oliver Hazard Perry-class Guided Missile Frigate USS Vandegrift (FFG 48) arrived in Vladivostok, Russia Sept. 20 for a port visit during operations in the Western Pacific.

While in port, Vandegrift Sailors will conduct professional exchanges with Russian Naval Officers and Sailors as well as hosted city tours and community service events with Ostryakova Children’s Hospital and Pos’yetskaya Street de Motion Dance Center.

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to visit Vladivostok and experience all the city has to offer," said Cmdr. Joseph R. Darlak, Commanding Officer of Vandegrift, “Our Sailors are especially looking forward to visiting a different land and making new friends.”

For most Vandegrift Sailors, this will be their first time in Russia.

“I enlisted in the Navy to see the world and this is one of those unique opportunities to do just that,” said Gas Turbine Systems Technician Mechanical Third Class Petty Officer Benjamin Underhill. “I have heard Vladivostok has so many interesting things to see and do, I can’t wait to get ashore and explore.”

“The United States has many common interests with Russia including mutual security, and maintaining peace and stability,” said Boatswain Mate Third Class Petty Officer Andrew Habib, “Port visits such as this one to Vladivostok help both our countries work together to advance those goals.”

Vandegrift is home ported in San Diego, Calf. and is underway on a deployment through the Western Pacific Ocean which began in May.
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