USS INDEPENDENCE, At Sea - The littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2) departed Manzanillo, Mexico, April 28, concluding the ship's first foreign port visit since its commissioning.
Independence and embarked Mine Countermeasures Detachment One Sailors visited Mexico while on the ship's maiden voyage to its homeport of San Diego, marking the first foreign port visit by any Independence-class ship.
While in port, Independence Sailors volunteered at a community service project at a local orphanage and participated in various Morale, Welfare and Recreation tours, including scuba diving, a rain forest hike, and a day-trip to Guadalajara.
"I think we picked a great place to come as our first foreign port visit," said Engineman 1st Class John Bemis. "I enjoyed the food, friendliness and scenery Mexico has to offer. It was a much-needed and relaxing liberty port."
Independence also held a reception on the flight deck of the ship hosting Manzanillo dignitaries.
"It was an honor to be the first LCS crew to bring Independence to a foreign port," said Cmdr. Gerald Olin, commanding officer of the ship's Gold Crew. "We appreciated the city's hospitality and enjoyed the opportunity to share this one-of-a-kind ship with members of the Mexican Navy."
Independence departs Manzanillo to complete its journey to the ship's homeport of San Diego, where it will arrive later this week.
"This was a great opportunity for the crew to enjoy some time off after close to five months on-hull," said Cmdr. David Back, executive officer of Independence's Gold Crew. "Everyone got a chance to recharge, and now we're ready to continue the transit and bring our Sailors home to San Diego."