Oak Hill Increases Interservice Interoperability During Birthday Celebration

Story Number: NNS090618-25Release Date: 6/18/2009 8:59:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Cory Rose, USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The crew of the USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) celebrated the Army's birthday with Soldiers from the 55th Signal Company, an Army combat camera element from Fort Meade, Md., June 14.

Soldiers, embarked to provide visual documentation in support of Oak Hill's Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2009 deployment, were honored with a surprise cake-cutting ceremony in the ship's wardroom.

The Soldiers, possibly deploying aboard a Navy ship for the first time, said they appreciate their Navy counterparts taking a few minutes to honor the Army.

"I think that it was a unique experience celebrating the Army's birthday onboard a Navy vessel," said Army Sgt. Ricardo Hernandez-Arocho. "I was very surprised and thankful for the warm reception that my Soldiers and I received while onboard the Oak Hill."

"I thought that it was an honor for another service to help us celebrate the Army's birthday," added Army Pfc. Michael Loggins.

The interoperability of the U.S. military is such that more and more Soldiers and Sailors are working together. Taking time to observe the Army's birthday was an opportunity to improve on those relationships between the services, said Capt. Brad Williamson, Oak Hill SPS 2009 deployment mission commander.

"Today, more than ever before, the U.S. military is working jointly all over the world," said Williamson. "It is an honor to have our brothers from the Army out here with us, and I'm pleased to be able to celebrate their 234th birthday here aboard Oak Hill."

Oak Hill is participating in the combined multinational naval and amphibious operational exercise with maritime forces from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Uruguay.

Oak Hill is also supporting U.S. Marine Corps during in a multinational amphibious exercise known as Southern Exchange 2009.

For more news from USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), visit www.navy.mil/local/lsd51/.

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