SINGAPORE (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) departed Republic of Singapore after a five-day scheduled port visit, Oct. 31.
The Republic of Singapore welcomed more than 5,000 George Washington and embarked staffs' Sailors to experience its culture, and to share goodwill and friendship between nations.
"It's always a great opportunity for us to share our culture during these port visits," said George Washington's Command Master Chief Shaun Brahmsteadt. "Visits like this give our regional allies and partners, and their communities the opportunity to increase our combined interoperability and build an understanding that is vital to maintain our friendships."
George Washington kicked off the port visit with a welcome reception and hosted more than 500 U.S. and Singapore dignitaries.
"Our two countries share a multifaceted and solid relationship that is anchored by strong people-to-people ties, as well as many shared economic and security interests," said Rear. Adm. Timothy Lo Khee, fleet commander, Republic of Singapore navy.
More than 1,200 students, military personnel, local officials and families were also provided the opportunity to tour the ship during its port visit.
"We give these tours to allow our allies and the local community the opportunity to observe life aboard a ship and to intermingle with our Sailors," said Brahmsteadt. "It truly makes me proud to watch our Sailors interact with the host nation, shake hands and make friendly conversation. It makes me confident in our abilities to represent the U.S. as ambassadors."
George Washington's command religious ministries department organized eight community service (COMSERV) projects that allowed Sailors to volunteer to help the local community.
"It means a lot for the staff and residents for Sailors to take time out of their day to interact with people who live here," said Chan Chooi Ling, chairperson of the Cheshire Home Management Committee.
George Washington will continue its 2013 patrol of the U.S. 7th fleet of operations.
"We were honored to be guests in Singapore and we look forward to our next visit," said Brahmsteadt. "We were fortunate to have been welcomed by such a beautiful nation."
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn73/.