SEPANGAR, Malaysia - The amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8), along with the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), arrived in Sepangar, Malaysia May 18, for a port visit.
The visit is part of the U.S. Navy's ongoing commitment to theater security cooperation and partnership with allied navies, and presents an opportunity to promote peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific Region.
During the visit, Sailors and Marines will have an opportunity to experience the Malaysian culture and take part in a variety of Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) events. Many Sailors and Marines will also be participating in community service projects in the local area.
"The Sailors and Marines of Makin Island have been looking forward to visiting Malaysia for several months" said Capt. Cedric Pringle, Makin Island's commanding officer. "We have worked hard at sea and this port visit is an opportunity to add to the great memories of our maiden deployment. As ambassadors of the United States, we are also looking forward to professionally representing our country while experiencing the hospitality of the Malaysian people and their culture."
While in Malaysia, many Makin Island Sailors and Marines are expected to take advantage of MWR tours, local attractions and sporting events with the Royal Malaysian Navy.
Kristen Venoy, Makin Island's MWR "Fun Boss," said she hopes all Makin Island Sailors and Marines have a memorable port visit to Malaysia.
"We have scheduled several great tours, and we don't want anyone to miss out on the opportunity to experience all that Malaysia has to offer," said Venoy.
This is the first time Makin Island has visited Malaysia. The ship and its crew, along with the embarked 11th MEU, departed San Diego Nov. 14, 2011, on deployment.
Makin Island is the first U.S. Navy ship to deploy using a hybrid-electric propulsion system. By using this unique propulsion system, the Navy expects over the course of the ship's lifecycle, to see fuel savings of more than $250 million, proving the Navy's commitment to energy awareness and conservation.
This initiative is one of many throughout the Navy and Marine Corps that will enable the Department of the Navy to achieve the Secretary of the Navy's energy goals to improve our energy security and efficiency afloat and ashore, increase our energy independence and help lead the nation toward a clean energy economy.
Makin Island is the flagship of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group that is currently deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
The 7th Fleet area of operations includes more than 52 million square miles of the Pacific and Indian oceans, stretching from the international date line to the east coast of Africa, and from the Kuril Islands in the north to the Antarctic in the south.