Friday, March 11, 2016

Kearsarge Completes MDVR, Departs Bahrain

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Travis DiPerna, USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) Public Affairs

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), along with embarked Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), departed Bahrain after a scheduled mid-deployment voyage repair (MDVR), Feb. 23.

 While in port, Sailors and Marines were able to perform scheduled maintenance and preservation throughout the ship.

 "MDVR is important because it gives us time to make sure the ship is in its best material condition to finish out deployment," said Cmdr. Gregory Chapman, Kearsarge's operations officer. "We accomplished quite a bit during this maintenance period. We were able to work on several critical systems that enabled us to meet the Fleet Commander's requirements."

 Although maintaining equipment and preservation was part of the mission, Sailors and Marines also had the opportunity to enjoy Bahrain. They experienced the rich history and culture of the region such as the Grand Mosque and other guided tours offered through the ship's Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) office.

 "The Grand Mosque was such an incredible experience," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Justin Green, from Pittsburgh. "The building itself was beautiful and so much bigger than I expected. I would recommend anyone visiting Bahrain to go see it."

 Also during the ship's stay in Bahrain, the Sailors and Marines had the chance to experience some live music. Country music's super group, The Frontmen, performed in the hangar bay of Kearsarge.

 The Frontmen includes Richie McDonald, of the country band Lonestar; Tim Rushlow, formerly of the band Little Texas; Larry Steward of the band Restless Heart and Donnie Reis of The Donnie Reis Band.

 According to the band, The Frontmen have been performing for military members around the globe for more than 15 years.

 "I was really excited to see The Frontmen play, especially after hearing them during the sound check," said Damage Controlman Fireman Casey Amerson, from Huntsville, Alabama. "I heard them practicing and went total 'fanboy'."

 Kearsarge is the flagship for the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (KSGARG) and, with the embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.