BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (Sept. 1, 2016) – USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) hosted a multinational Embassy reception onboard, engaged in a community relations elementary school beautification project and played soccer with the Barbadian Coast Guard in Bridgetown, Barbados during a port call Aug. 30 – Sept. 1.
These engagements not only solidified a strong partnership with the Barbadian government but also served as a testament to the dedication and sense of pride the Sailors of John P. Murtha possess acting as ambassadors during their maiden voyage.
“This visit demonstrates the relationship and support we have with the Barbadian Defense Force as part of our joint security. It demonstrates Barbados’ and the U.S.’s commitment to securing cooperation to curb transnational crime, to protect commerce and ensure secure borders,” said Ambassador of the United States of America to Barbados and Eastern Caribbean Linda Taglialatela. “These are fundamental to promoting economic prosperity and stable democracies in the region.”
John P. Murtha hosted a reception onboard where U.S. and French naval personnel interacted with delegates from Barbados, China and Canada to strengthen relationships and build new friendships.
“This port visit to Barbados was truly a rewarding experience for the crew,” said Capt. Kevin Parker, commanding officer of John P. Murtha. “The warm hospitality we received from our hosts made us feel right at home and the crew was able to give back to the community with a successful community relations project at a local school in Bridgetown.”
He said the crewmembers were able to rest and relax, making Barbados a memorable place for the ship to visit.
During these engagements, the crew painted and cleaned the Gordon Walters primary school as well as played soccer with the Barbadian Coast Guard.
“The Sailors of USS John P. Murtha have a great desire to serve others, even using their liberty to do so,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Gregory, LPD 26 command Chaplain. “We were privileged to be able to partner with the students and staff of the school; and in doing so, we worked together successfully to beautify a small part of an already beautiful country.”
John P. Murtha is currently in the 4th Fleet Area of Responsibility enhancing maritime partnerships for improved security, unity and stability in the region. The ship is sailing toward Philadelphia for their commissioning ceremony.