Military News

Monday, June 08, 2015

USS Shiloh Sailors Strengthen Bonds with Philippines



By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Raymond D. Diaz III, USS Shiloh Public Affairs

SUBIC BAY, Philippines (NNS) -- The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) departed Subic Bay, June 2, after a four-day liberty port visit.

This was Shiloh's second visit to the Philippines in fifteen months, the first being a port visit in Cebu early 2014.

During the visit, Shiloh Sailors participated in numerous community outreach events to include basketball and soccer games with local teams, spending an afternoon with students from the Association of Differently Abled Persons of Zambales in Olongapo City, and a flag raising ceremony at Olongapo City Hall.

"Of the more than 380 crew members aboard, 31 Filipino-Americans call Shiloh home," said Capt. Kurush F. Morris, commanding officer of Shiloh. "This visit gave many Sailors the opportunity to meet up with family and friends during our stay."

While the Shiloh was in Subic Bay, some of the Sailors who had family members in the Philippines had an opportunity to visit their relatives.

"I'm from Dagupan, which is three-to-four hours away from Subic and Olongapo," said Machinist's Mate 1st Class Mylene Abrajano. "Instead of going back home, I told my father we'll stay in Subic to do some sightseeing. "My dad always told me Subic and Olongapo are really nice - they have nice beaches, nice people and rich in history."

Naval Base Subic Bay closed in 1992, and since then the Philippines converted the area into the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ), which is the first of its kind in the country.

"I'm really proud of my crew; they really put their best foot forward, and I'm happy moving forward knowing we departed Subic Bay leaving a positive impression from both perspectives, created lasting memories, and laid a positive foundation for future port visits," exclaimed Morris.

Shiloh, forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.

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