USS CLEVELAND, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines of the amphibious transport dock USS Cleveland (LPD 7) hosted more than 300 guests June 19 for a Friends and Family Day Cruise on the Navy's oldest operating amphibious ship.
Friends and family members boarded the ship at Naval Station San Diego's Pier 6 and were treated to an event-filled day at sea.
The 10-hour cruise provided an excellent opportunity for Cleveland Sailors to demonstrate daily ship operations at sea to their families.
"This is a great way for me to show my family what life is like at sea," said Yeoman 1st Class Michael Black. "I can write emails or explain to them what it is we do out here, but letting them experience it first hand is really exciting."
After boarding the ship, guests were greeted by Capt. Kevin Couch, Cleveland's commanding officer, and were encouraged to learn as much as possible about the ship.
"I want you to learn and ask questions today," said Couch. "If you have questions, please ask any of the Sailors or Marines you see walking about the ship, including me!"
Guests were given the opportunity to watch Landing Craft Utility (LCU) launch and recovery operations and the promotion of two Sailors as part of the Command Advancement Program (CAP) while enjoying a steel beach picnic. Damage control equipment, crew-served weapons, and deck riggings were also on display for friends and family members to view.
"I brought my wife, two of my nephews and two brothers-in-law," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Logan Hitchman. "The crew really put on a show for the families. Everybody that I brought aboard was impressed with the ship and the crew of Cleveland."
Friends and family day cruises afford Sailors the opportunity to share their accomplishments at sea and allow their family members the chance to experience Navy life for a day.
Cleveland is currently attached to Commander Amphibious Squadron 7 and is training for an upcoming deployment with a full complement of Marines, several of whom brought their families to the event.
For more news from USS Cleveland, visit www.navy.mil/local/lpd7/.