SUBIC BAY, Republic of Philippines (NNS) -- Twenty-eight Sailors assigned to Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) conducted two community outreach events during the ship's port visit to Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines.
The command staff of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 31 and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104), along with an embarked helicopter detachment from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49, arrived in Subic Bay June 18.
On June 19, Sailors visited students of the Association for Differently-Abled Persons in Zambales, which caters predominately to deaf youth. In a converted studio apartment located above a laundromat, the association's president and administrator welcomed the Sailors and explained the association's history and goals of enabling deaf youth to succeed through education and employment.
Ranging in ages from elementary school to university, the students then conducted a dance performance for the Sailors, set to visual cues provided by staff members. The final act of the performance saw the Sailors join the students in dance.
The visit drew to a conclusion with Sailors sitting individually with students and communicating with them, first through written notes and progressing to rudimentary sign language.
Operations Specialist 1st Class Charles Hammond, a Kansas City, Missouri native, praised the "great interaction" with the students and the opportunity for learning sign language.
"It looks like they worked really hard on the performance, and we all enjoyed ourselves. We had a great turnout, we were very excited to be here," he said. "We're here because we care - we're not doing this for an eval bullet. This was something we all wanted to do."
Two days later, on June 21, Sailors visited the Social Development Center for Girls. The center, founded in 2000, serves as a residential facility for 30 underprivileged girls who are affected by abuse, who receive personal care and rehabilitative services. The Sailors sang songs, danced, played games and drew pictures, with several sitting down to receive hair-braiding from the students.
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jarrad Howse, a Fort Worth, Texas native, noted the importance of leaving a lasting influence in the places the Navy takes Sailors.
"It's a great opportunity to be grateful for what you have, and it's critical to take advantage of every opportunity you get," he emphasized. "We have to go out there and meet other people when we visit, and leave an impression of kindness. This is what we're really about."
The Sterett-Dewey SAG is operating with regional naval services to conduct routine patrols, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation activities to enhance regional security and stability in the Western Pacific.
Since deploying in March, Sterett has conducted routine patrols, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation activities with allies and partners to enhance regional security and stability. Sterett participated in joint exercises with the U.S. Air Force and several multilateral exercises with naval units from Japan, France, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Thailand, as well as maritime maneuvers with China. Sterett additionally welcomed distinguished visitors to include Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John M. Richardson; Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. Scott Swift; members of the House Armed Services Committee, and the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy, constantly coordinating with U.S. 7th Fleet to plan and execute missions based on their complementary strengths to promote ongoing peace, security, and stability throughout the Pacific theater of operations.
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