SEPANGGAR, Malaysia (NNS) -- USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) completed a port visit to Sepanggar, Malaysia Aug. 26 while on their transit back to homeport in San Diego.
On the first port call of Fort Worth's journey home, sailors participated in a joint outreach activity with the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) to help foster a culture of cooperation and service in the local Malaysian community. Sailors interacted with students on an individual level speaking to the theme of "chasing your dreams" while participating in a physical fitness activity alongside the children.
Greeted by thousands of cheering students, sailors led a presentation on the U.S. Navy and the LCS program for students and teachers at SJK(C) Chung Hwa primary school. Accompanied by members of the Royal Malaysian Navy, the group facilitated the running of a high energy and exciting aerobics program for the children.
"The kids were so energetic and full of life," said EN1 Ricky Ahnert, leader and coordinator of the event. "It was very refreshing and inspiring to see a group of people in such great spirits after something as simple as our visit."
Prior to sitting down with Malaysian sailors and school administrators to share in a traditional Malaysian meal, students graciously thanked the sailors for their time by requesting photographs and autographs by the dozens.
"For our Fort Worth sailors, the trip to the primary school was the highlight of our visit," said Cmdr. Michael Brasseur, commanding officer, USS Fort Worth, "The Malaysians were the most gracious hosts. To be welcomed into their community with open arms and treated with such hospitality is a humbling experience."
In addition to the community service event, sailors facilitated tours of the USS Fort Worth for sailors from the RMN. While onboard, the sailors shared knowledge and compared experiences with their Malaysian counterparts as part of efforts to strengthen relationships throughout the region. Malaysian ships share many similarities with the LCS class ships; both boast minimally manned crews and increased automation.
USS Fort Worth has been deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet for more than 18 months, completing many multilateral exercises and participating in evolutions such as the AirAsia flight QZ8501recovery efforts. In collaboration with the U.S. 7th fleet, she has helped to support U.S. interests throughout the region along with protecting maritime security and promoting regional stability.
The U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy's largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build maritime partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability and prevent conflict.
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For more news from Destroyer Squadron 7, visit www.navy.mil/local/ds7/.