BATUMI, Georgia (NNS) -- Guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68) completed its third successful Black Sea port visit in Batumi, Georgia, June 9-12.
The crew of Anzio was met at the pier with a welcoming ceremony attended by Mayor Robert Chkhaimze, Chief of the Georgian Coast Guard Capt. Besik Shengelia, and several high-ranking members of the Georgian Coast Guard and local U.S. Embassy.
"Our Sailors don't normally get to see this type of outward hospitality on the pier when pulling into a foreign port," said USS Anzio Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Donnie Novak. "Batumi was different. The drummers and dancers were incredible, and I'm sure we'll remember this for a long time."
While the crew was in Batumi, they not only experienced the sites the city had to offer, but also worked with members of the Georgian Coast Guard and Special Forces on visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) training.
"We were able to share a lot of our procedures with them and how we operate," said Chief Fire Controlman (SW) Chad T. McQueen, VBSS leading chief petty officer. "Also, we got a lot out of them as well when it came to ground-based tactics. We integrated them into our team and even though there was a language barrier, with the training both teams had we were able to move around tactically with hand signals as a team."
The Georgian military members also conducted training on shipboard damage control and firefighting techniques.
Fourteen Anzio Sailors also worked with several Georgian Special Forces and U.S. Embassy volunteers with repairing and painting two large rooms at the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs LEPL "State Care Agency" orphanage, as part of a community relations (COMREL) project.
"I didn't do any COMRELs last deployment, and I really regretted it so I was looking forward to them this time," said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Jae Y. Choi. "We had a language barrier with the children, but we did talk a lot about football [American soccer]. They knew a lot about the different squadrons and teams, it was really fun talking to them," Choi said.
Anzio is deployed as part of the George H.W. Bush Strike Group, comprised of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22 staff, guided-missile cruisers Anzio and USS Gettysburg (CG 64), and guided-missile destroyers USS Truxtun (DDG 103) and USS Mitscher (DDG 57).
For more news from USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn77/.