Friday, February 12, 2016

USS Farragut Concludes Mobile Port Visit

By Ensign George Hinerman, USS Farragut Public Affairs
MOBILE, Ala. (NNS) -- Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99) completed a scheduled port visit in Mobile, Feb. 10.

The ship visited Mobile, the birthplace of Mardi Gras in the United States, as part of the Navy's Community Outreach Program.

Upon arrival, the ship received a warm welcome from various community leaders including U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne of Alabama's 1st Congressional District, as well as Gina Gregory, president of the Mobile City Council representing District 7.

While in port, the crew conducted a community relations (COMREL) project at the Harmon Recreational Center and participated in numerous Mardi Gras parades and balls. Farragut also hosted a ship tour for the Davidson High School Navy Junior ROTC and Sea Cadets, as well as a breakfast for several distinguished guests including the city of Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson and retired Rear Adm. Rich Landolt.

"The Navy's ties to the city of Mobile continue to grow stronger," said Cmdr. Cory Applebee, Farragut's commanding officer. "With its rich history that includes Adm. Farragut himself and extends up to the production of the Navy's newest warships, it was a pleasure to meet some of the community's most influential leaders that truly appreciate our nation's brave men and women."

More than 15 Farragut Sailors volunteered their time to help paint designs on the walls of the Harmon Recreation Center as part of the COMREL project.

"The Harmon Recreation Center COMREL was a great success," said Chief Electrician's Mate Francisco Eraula. "Everybody had fun and enjoyed volunteering for the benefit of the kids of Mobile. We are standing by to help more communities in the future."

Farragut Sailors also had the opportunity to experience many of the Mardi Gras events, a first for many of them, while others took the opportunity to visit other local attractions including USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park.

"Mobile has a rich, vibrant, and welcoming culture that was appreciated by the Farragut crew," said Lt. j.g. Richard Schroyer. "I would love to visit the area again with my family."

Several Sailors who are natives of Mobile also had an opportunity to visit with family members.

"I was able to visit many family members, attend and actually march in a Mardi Gras parade," said Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Johnathan Austin. "Hearing all of the applause from the crowd showed how much support the Navy has."

David Glasgow Farragut, the ship's namesake, was a flag officer of the United States Navy during the American Civil War. He was the first rear admiral, vice admiral, and admiral in the United States Navy. He is remembered for his order at the Battle of Mobile Bay, in which he was victorious, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead."