USS NASSAU, At Sea (NNS) -- Nassau Sailors and Marines welcomed a pair of Canadian Army dentists from the Canadian Forces Dental Services when the ship left her homeport of Norfolk for Exercise Phoenix Express 2007 on March 28.
Canadian Army Capt. Raymond Liew and Canadian Army Sgt. Tod Sinclair, whose ranks are equivalent to a Navy lieutenant and a first class petty officer, respectively, arrived on board to train with Nassau's medical department.
Liew, originally stationed at Gauge Town, New Brunswick, and Sinclair, stationed at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, are volunteers for Nassau's six-week deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.
"A message came out for tasking on Nassau, and we put in requests and were picked to go," said Sinclair. "We weren't informed on what we were going to be doing, but we both wanted to try something different."
"I am impressed by all the new things I am seeing and learning. This is our first time on a ship and it is amazing how integrated U.S. Sailors are. Everyone has been so helpful and courteous," said Liew.
Training and working alongside Nassau's hospital corpsman, Liew and Sinclair see patients on a regular basis.
"We have 30 percent more appointments available now, which benefits the crew greatly. We are all working just fine together, and they have blended in well with us and they are familiar with our equipment," said Capt. Micheal Lewis, Nassau's dental officer.
The Canadian Forces Dental Services Headquarters are based out of Ottawa, Canada. Although this is the first time that members of the Canadian Forces Dental Services have been on board Nassau, Canadian dentists and hygienists volunteer to work all over the world, including as individual augmentees in Iraq.
Phoenix Express 2007 is a multi-national exercise that includes participants from Algeria, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United States.
The exercise is focused on developing the individual and collective maritime proficiencies of participating nations. The exercise promotes friendship, mutual understanding and cooperation with regional partners.
For more news from USS Nassau (LHA 4) visit, www.news.navy.mil/local/lha4/.