MANILA, Republic of the Philippines -- The Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) arrived in Manila, Republic of the Philippines, for a port visit, Sept. 29.
Germantown, along with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), arrived in Manila after nearly a month and a half underway conducting security and certification exercises in the Western Pacific.
“We’ve accomplished a significant amount of unit-level and integration training with our Marine counterparts during our time at sea operating with the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group.,” said Cmdr. Severn Stevens, commanding officer of Germantown. “We are now preparing for combined training with our Philippine counterparts and this is a great opportunity to experience such a vibrant and diverse nation as the Philippines prior to commencing PHIBLEX. Our Sailors and Marines look forward to these visits, which allow us to experience local culture and build relationships, ultimately strengthening our military partnership with the armed forces of the Philippines.
Germantown is visiting the capital city to provide the Sailors and Marines an opportunity to experience the rich culture of the Philippines.
While in Manila, Germantown Sailors and Marines will get to experience shopping, dining, and special Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) events such as cultural and nature tours.
“I am very excited to be visiting Manila,” said Cpl. William K. Austin, assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 31. “This will be my first time in the Philippines and I know there are great things for me and the other Marines and Sailors to do after all the hard work we put in the weeks prior to arriving.”
The 31st MEU is based out of Okinawa, Japan. Germantown, attached to Expeditionary Strike Group 7, is underway in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operation in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.