Nimitz Sailors Visit Lantau Island


Story Number: NNS100224-23Release Date: 2/24/2010 7:34:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Scott A. McCall, USS Nimitz Public Affairs

HONG KONG (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) participated in the Lantau Explorer Tour Feb. 18 sponsored by the ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) department during the ship's four-day port visit to Hong Kong.

Lantau Island is the largest island in Hong Kong, said San Cheung, tour guide.

"We just wanted to show a little bit of the rural side of Hong Kong," Cheung said. "Unfortunately, when people come to Hong Kong everybody thinks this is a shopper's paradise with no scenic part to the city and without any good culture to see, but this tour gives you a little bit of that."

During the tour, Nimitz Sailors visited some of Hong Kong's most famous landmarks including the Tsing Ma Bridge and Po Lin Monastery, as well enjoy a cable car ride on the sky-rail.

"The overall purpose of the tour is we go to learn a little bit of Buddhism, enjoying the cable car ride and it's a good view," said Cheung.

"I went to experience more of the culture in Hong Kong," said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class (SW/AW) Kristina Francis. "It was amazing."

Francis added that her favorite part of the tour was the cable car ride because she was able to enjoy the scenery.

Sailors also visited Ngong Ping Village and the main attraction of the Po Lin Monastery - the giant bronze seated Buddha statue and museum.

"It was awe-inspiring because of all the work that it took to construct the statue," said Francis.

There's about 250 steps that lead up to the Buddha statue, Cheung said. It's one of the biggest outdoor Buddha statues in Asia.

The tour included a round-trip ticket from Fenwick Pier in Hong Kong, admission to the Buddha Statue Museum, a Chinese vegetarian lunch, round-trip sky rail ride and guide service throughout the trip.

Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is on a routine deployment in the region, and is comprised of USS Nimitz, embarked Carrier Air Wing 11, embarked Destroyer Squadron 23, and the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65). Ships assigned to Destroyer Squadron 23 include the destroyers USS Pinckney (DDG 91), USS Sampson (DDG 102)and the frigate USS Rentz (FFG 46).

Squadrons from CVW 11 include the "Black Aces" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 41, the "Tophatters" of VFA 14, the "Warhawks" of VFA 97, the "Sidewinders" of VFA 86, the "Indians" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 6, the "Black Ravens" of Electronic Attack Squadron 135, the "Providers" of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 and the "Wallbangers" of Carrier Airborne Command and Control Squadron 117.

Helicopter detachments include the "Easy Riders" of Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 37, the "Battle Cats" of HSL 43, the "Wolfpack" of HSL 45, the "Scorpions" of HSL 49 and the "Wildcards" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23. Also accompanying the Nimitz CSG are Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 11 and the USNS Bridge (T-AOE-10).

For more news from USS Nimitz (CVN 68), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn68/.

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