DUQM, Oman (Feb. 24, 2014) 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Sailors and Marines aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) made a historic four-day port call in Duqm, Oman, Feb. 20.
New Orleans is the second U.S. warship and the first U.S. amphibious ship to moor pier side in Duqm.
“The port of Duqm is a fast growing town, and it’s an honor to be part of the history of what will be a huge, thriving city,” said Cmdr. D. Michael Ray, USS New Orleans commanding officer. “This port gave the crew and Marines a chance to take some well-deserved time off and simply relax.”
Duqm hosted Sailors and Marines in two of its resort hotels, and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) assisted with reducing dining costs to help the service members experience the resorts’ menus more affordably.
New Orleans presented the two hotels and the port of Duqm with plaques of appreciation and USS New Orleans memorabilia for being gracious hosts to the crew.
“This port visit was even better than I expected,” said Logistics Specialist Seaman KeDerrick Holmes. “Duqm did a great job hosting us with everything they provided.”
“Similar to a family style barbecue, MWR provided music, food, beverages, and opportunities to socialize on the pier next to New Orleans,” said MWR representative Ensign Sarah Wood. “We provided activities on the pier such as soccer, board games and karaoke.”
The crew was recharged after a very relaxing time in Duqm ready to continue on with their deployment.
“I spent most of the days by the pool with a few of my friends at the hotel and talked with my family back in the states,” said Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Cory Shields from Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 1. “Later we would relax by the pier and talk about what we’re going to do when we get home.”
New Orleans is part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, with the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.