SINGAPORE – Sailors assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) and embarked Marines assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) participated in a community service project at a school for early developmentally disabled children in Singapore, Nov. 21.
The project took place at the Genesis School during Makin Island’s Nov. 18-22 port visit to Singapore, and enabled nearly two dozen Sailors and Marines to interact with students.
The crew members sang, read and played games with students during their four-hour visit to the school.
"It is a joy to be a part of this ongoing relationship with Genesis School,” said Lt.Cmdr. Aaron Carlton, a chaplain assigned to Makin Island. “It was clear that the kids have such a warm regard toward our Sailors and Marines. Our men and women love interacting with the kids, because they themselves are big brothers, sisters or parents. Being able to interact with kids reminds us of home and we get to share our common humanity. It is a wonderful experience.”
Sailors and Marines said they were grateful for the opportunity to help out the community.
“Doing this not only allows us to go out and experience the culture,” said Chief Petty Officer Jeremiah Cleveland, a Sailor assigned to Amphibious Squadron Five, embarked aboard Makin Island. “It also gave the fulfilling experience of getting to work with people from another country; it’s a great way to say thanks for your hospitality.”
This was Makin Island’s first port visit since departing Naval Station San Diego for deployment to the U.S. 3rd, 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operation, Oct. 14.
Makin Island, the flagship of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, with the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
The 7th Fleet area of operations includes more than 48 million square miles of the Pacific Ocean, running from the international dateline to the eastern coast of Africa, and from the Antarctic to the Kuril Islands, Northeast of Japan.
While in 7th Fleet, the Makin Island ARG and 11th MEU will be assigned to Commander, Amphibious Force U.S. 7th Fleet, the Navy's only forward-deployed amphibious force, headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa.