PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) departed Palma de Mallorca, Spain, March 30, concluding the first port visit of the ship's current deployment.
While in port, Porter's crew got a chance to sample the local culture and cuisine, while also giving a little back to the community of Palma.
"There was a lot for our Sailors to do around here. Whether it was sightseeing, MWR tours, shopping or simply just sampling the local food, there was plenty to do for everyone," said the ship's Executive Officer, Cmdr. Jennifer Couture.
The crew also completed a community relations project, helping the town of Fornalutx recover from forest fires by planting a variety of trees and shrubs on the side of one of the tallest peaks on Palma.
"The area of Fornalutx, where we did the reforestation, is used by the public for weekend outings. The people of Palma go there to hike, have cookouts and to just enjoy the beauty of nature," said Machinery Repairman 1st Class Nathan D. Kopp, Porter's community relations coordinator. "By planting new trees and shrubs, it will ensure that the park there remains open for many people to enjoy in the years to come."
Porter Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Martin F. Arriola, said the port visit was a successful one and furthered relations with our Spanish partners.
"The crew performed their mission as ambassadors ashore tremendously, while simultaneously taking advantage of Palma's great food, sights and shopping," said Arriola.
The Hard Rock Cafe in Palma also hosted the ship's off-duty rock band for a once-in-a-lifetime performance on a stage that commonly sees multi-platinum recording artists perform.
"It was a big hit. There definitely weren't enough seats for everyone," said Culinary Specialist 2nd class (SW) Elijah M. Biron, a member of the ship's Supply department and keyboardist. The band included seven Porter crew members..
The crew also enjoyed the local nightlife, getting a taste of the local cuisine.
"The Paella was amazing. My goal was to sample the local food and do some sightseeing," said Gunner's Mate Seaman Shaina M. Hammack, assigned to the ship's Weapons department.
After the last night of liberty, the crew shifted into a mission-oriented mindset.
"Everyone had a great time, got a chance to relax and recharge, and we gave a little back to Palma. Now it's time to get underway to continue our mission," said Arriola.
Porter is currently deployed as part of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group to support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.
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