Thursday, July 15, 2010

USS Pearl Harbor Arrives in Trincomalee

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Russell, Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group Public Affairs

TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines aboard USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) arrived in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, July 13 to participate in exercise Benevolent Phoenix 2010.

During the visit, the crew of the San Diego-based ship will participate in a variety of shipboard training scenarios, relationship-building activities and conduct several medical and dental events with members of the Sri Lankan Military.

"The mission in Sri Lanka is a fantastic opportunity to get quality mil-to-mil training and to share our knowledge and experience in amphibious operations while strengthening our partnership with their nation," said Lt. j.g. Robert Rusticus, the ship's boatswain.

While some Sailors and Marines are planning to help with military-to-military training on board Pearl Harbor, others are planning on volunteering for medical assistance events ashore. One such volunteer, Religious Programs Specialist 3rd Class Jennifer Louviere, will be participating in a medical event that will be held in Trincomalee.

"My passion in life is helping those in need, especially when I get the chance to help someone in need of medical attention. It's a privilege to help and I feel honored to serve," said Louviere.

"We look forward to creating a strong relationship with the Sri Lankan Navy by engaging in a two-way professional military exchange as well as experiencing the country's unique culture," said Cmdr. Dave Guluzian, Pearl Harbor's commanding officer. "Our visit demonstrates the cooperation between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the United States of America in promoting peace and stability both in theater and around the globe."

Pearl Harbor is part of Pelelieu Amphibious Ready Group (PEL ARG). Other elements of the PEL ARG include Commander, Amphibious Squadron 3, the command element; Fleet Surgical Team 1; Tactical Air Control Squadron 11; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23, Detachment 5; Assault Craft Unit 1, Detachment F; Assault Craft Unit 5, Detachment B; and Beachmaster Unit 1, Detachment D.

The PEL ARG is transiting the 7th Fleet area of responsibility and reports to the Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. Richard Landolt, who is headquartered in Okinawa, Japan.