Peleliu, Halsey Sailors Lend a Hand in Sydney

Story Number: NNS081013-05Release Date: 10/13/2008 12:31:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Sarah E. Bitter, USS Peleliu Public Affairs

SYDNEY, Australia (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines from the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5), along with Sailors from the guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97), lent a hand to a local ambulance service Oct. 11 as part of a community relations (COMREL) project during their scheduled port visit to Sydney.

The group worked at St. John's Volunteer Ambulance Station where they cleaned ambulances, organized the garage and fixed ambulance radios and other equipment. The ambulance station is an organization run mostly by volunteers in the Australian community and provides charitable and humanitarian services to individuals, groups and organizations.

Workers at St. John expressed their appreciation for the U.S. volunteers and what they do for the Sydney community.

"St. John's Ambulance thanks the U.S. Navy for their continued support by helping keep our building, equipment and vehicles in order to enable our volunteers to put all their time and effort into providing first aid and medical care to the local community," said John Wakefield, property and fleet service officer.

A Marine aboard Peleliu described how he enjoyed helping the Australian community.

"It feels good helping the community," said Lance Cpl. Eric Hirwa. "This is my first time to Sydney, and I am here because I like helping people and being involved. The community does a lot for me, and I feel it is time to give something back to it."

Peleliu is the flagship of the Peleliu Expeditionary Strike Group and the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit which is currently conducting operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

The U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, with approximately 60-70 ships, 200-300 aircraft and 40,000 Sailors and Marines assigned at any given time.

For more news from USS Peleliu (LHA 5) - Peleliu Expeditionary Strike Group, visit

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