OKINAWA, Japan - Sailors attached to Austin-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver (LPD 9) visited Kanasa Nursery School in Okinawa, Japan for a community relations (COMREL) project Feb. 25.
The volunteer Sailors played games and danced with the 3 to 5 year old students for an afternoon.
The students greeted the Sailors by saying "hello" in English before performing two dance sequences.
"It was great to see them interact with us a little bit in English," said Lt. Robert Spivey, USS Denver's chaplain. "For many of them this was their first time interacting with American people and by them greeting us in English, it showed their appreciation of us being there."
Sailors then showed the students how to perform dances native to the United States.
The roles were switched as students from Kanasa Nursery School showed Denver Sailors how to conduct dances of their own.
"I thoroughly enjoyed myself," said Spivey. "It was good to see them perform the different dance moves and to demonstrate it willingly."
Denver Sailors were then instructed on how to play a different version of rock, paper, scissors by the students before playing with each other.
The day ended with students of Kanasa Nursery asking Sailors questions before shaking hands and saying goodbye.
"This was Denver's first cultural exchange event in Okinawa in three years," said Spivey. "It was important to help further a positive image of the U.S. Navy for local Japanese residents in Okinawa and at large, in support of the whole U.S.-Japan alliance."
Denver, which will be decommissioned later this year, is performing an onload at White Beach Naval Facility in Okinawa, Japan that includes Marines and equipment for an upcoming certification exercise (CERTEX).
For more news about USS Denver (LPD 9), visit http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/lpd9/Pages/default.aspx or https://www.facebook.com/USSDenverLpd9.