USS STOUT, At Sea (NNS) -- Commander, USS George Washington (CVN 73) Carrier Strike Group, Rear Adm. Joseph K. Kilkenny visited USS Stout (DDG 55) April 24 for a chance to speak with the crew and explain the importance of their mission during the "Partnership of the Americas" deployment.
"This is a great opportunity to help our neighbors to the south," he said "We need to keep up relations with our important Latin American allies, so we don't get caught off guard by an event like hurricanes when we are out of sync from not working together."
He spoke about the George Washington Carrier Strike Group's mission and Stout's part in the picture, including counter-narcotic missions and establishing relationships with the countries in U.S. Southern Command.
"When you did community relations projects, you publicized to the rest of the world we're not just warriors in a uniform, but humans with feeling just like everyone else," he said. "I have been to the schools and orphanages and painted them. If we can make an impact for just an hour or so, you are doing the right thing."
After his speech, Kilkenny listened to the crew's concerns and answered their questions. The crew responded with numerous questions about the deployment and future plans they might be involved in. Before he left the crew he offered a few words of encouragement.
"I never give up an opportunity to go out and see Sailors and thank them for what they do," he said. "It's important for them to know how essential they are to the mission."
Stout is operating in the Caribbean Sea as part of George Washington Carrier Strike Group conducting "Partnership of the Americas," a training and readiness deployment of U.S. Naval forces with countries from the Caribbean and Latin America, in support of U.S. Southern Command objectives for enhanced maritime security.
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