SEMBAWANG, Singapore (NNS) -- The Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) departed Singapore Sept. 28 following a weeklong port visit.
While moored in Singapore, the ship's crew held a "Halfway Party" to mark the mid-point of the ship's final deployment. Sailors also had a chance to explore Singapore and participate in community relations by playing soccer with children from the Muhammadiyah Welfare Home in Bedok.
Ship's Serviceman 1st Class Sherman Ryan, from New York, enjoyed sightseeing in downtown Singapore. Ryan's trip included a visit to Marina Bay, where he went shopping, tasted the local cuisine, and got a bird's-eye view of downtown from the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel observation deck.
"Liberty in foreign ports is important because it gives us insight," said Ryan. "Knowing how other people live and integrating with other cultures helps us to grow as people."
During Rodney M. Davis' halfway celebration, the crew took part in a picnic and Captain's Cup events, including friendly competitions in basketball, swimming, softball and volleyball.
"Our Sailors have been doing an awesome job and I think this was a great way to wrap up the first half of our deployment," said Command Senior Chief Raymond Alvarez. "I'll remember it as a highlight. As hard as they work, it pays off when we pull into a port and they're out there walking with their chests out and their heads held high with pride in their accomplishments."
Fourteen Rodney M. Davis Sailors also participated in a community service event during a visit to the Mohammadiyah Welfare Home, an institution for boys with disciplinary problems.
"In cases like this, I believe troubled kids can benefit from positive energy and motivation," said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Xavier Lemus Rivera, from New Orleans, a event participant. "For all we know, we may have changed their course toward a better and healthier lifestyle. Our command always says liberty is a mission and community service events are a prime example of why we are out here."
After a friendly soccer match with some of the boys, the players shook hands and the Sailors handed out ship stickers, T-shirts, and board games.
"It was a revitalizing experience that really brought home what international relations can be about," said Engineman 2nd Class Jared Keirn, from Perryville, Maryland. "It was eye-opening how we connected across language and socioeconomic boundaries, through soccer. That's something I will never forget."
Cmdr. Todd Whalen, commanding officer of Rodney M. Davis commended his crew for a successful port visit.
"One of our key missions is to make lasting friendships with our partner nations," said Whalen. "During the first half of our deployment, my crew has participated in multi-national exercises at sea and community relations projects ashore - I am proud of their performance and impressed by their professionalism."
Rodney M. Davis, stationed in Everett, Washington, is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.