The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Ford (FFG 54) departed Kochi, India on Oct. 5.
During the visit the crew of Ford had a full schedule of sporting events, receptions, community service (COMSERV) events and interaction with the local community and Indian navy.
“What a wonderful place this has been.” said Lt.j.g. William Morrison, Ford’s Navigator. “Without a doubt one of the most beautiful and vibrant places I have ever been. The local people and culture has been one that has been more than hospitable. The variety of events the crew was able to attend only added to the fantastic port that this is.”
During their time ashore, the crew was fortunate enough to be able to enjoy much of the local shopping, cuisine and culture. The crew made the most of their time to see all the sights as well as attend various naval sponsored events.
We only had a limited amount of time to enjoy the area, however there was so much to enjoy,” said Yeoman Seaman Kyle Sheffler.” I was able to interact with the local people and experience the shopping, customs, and most notably the cuisine.”
Sailors took part in COMSERVs and sporting events with the Indian navy to come together and give back to the community and have some fun.
“I couldn’t believe the happiness and hospitality of all the people from each event I attended, from the COMSERV activities to the sporting events, everyone was so welcoming and happy to have us, it is truly a unique and special opportunity to be able to give back to an area of the world such as this,” said Sonar Technician (Surface) 2nd Class Timothy Brogdon.
Ford Sailors had the opportunity to give back and interact with children at the YMCA Home for Poor Boys and Nature Club of Sacred Heart’s College.
The stay in Kochi was wrapped up with media tours of Ford, receptions hosted by the U.S. and Indian Navy, and tours of the Kochi Naval Base learning facilities.
“What a day our final day was in Kochi,” said Ensign Kate Rovynski, “I was able to experience authentic Indian cuisine and tour the Indian Naval Base learning center. The teaching programs and learning facilities are very modern and I was very impressed with how thorough and well versed the Naval Base was with regard to teaching young Sailors and officers.”
“I am proud to say that I was given the opportunity to be hosted in such a wonderful place,” said Foss, “The interaction with the Indian people, culture, and Indian Navy has been more than rewarding. I sincerely hope I and the crew of USS Ford are provided this opportunity again someday in the future.”
Since the departure from its homeport of Everett Wash. in May, Ford has visited Hawaii, Guam, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Thailand, and India. Ford has also taken part in a Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility, further strengthening international partnerships through a range of joint naval operations.
Ford is assigned to Destroyer Squadron 9. The ship is an Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate and can provide defense in-depth against air, surface and sub-surface threats for military and merchant shipping.