USS Nitze Arrives in France

Story Number: NNS120326-12Release Date: 3/26/2012 5:15:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jeff Atherton, Enterprise Strike Group Public Affairs

VILLEFRANCHE, France (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94) arrived in Villefranche, France March 26 for a regularly-scheduled port visit.

The visit serves to continue U.S. 6th Fleet efforts to build global maritime partnerships with European nations and improve maritime safety and security in the region.

"We believe that regularly-scheduled port visits to our allies in the Mediterranean region increase our ability to work together for mutual prosperity and enhanced maritime security," said Cmdr. Christopher Nerad, Nitze's commanding officer.

"We are going to Villefranche to strengthen relationships between France and the U.S.," said Master Chief Bill Arbuckle, Nitze's command master chief. "It will also give our Sailors a chance to see new places and to see some French culture."

While in port, the officers and crew will meet with local officials, host a tour of the ship for the U.S. Navy league, play sports with local teams and help maintain a local World War II U.S. cemetery.

"We will be cleaning and maintaining the cemetery," said Nerad. "We will be paying our respects and assuring that, for many years to come, it will be a place that people can come to remember the sacrifices of those who went before us."

This port visit also serves as an opportunity for the crew to soak in the French culture.

"The crew will be able to gain an appreciation for the historical and cultural significance of the area," said Nerad. "They will be able to relax and enjoy all that Villefranche has to offer."

Nitze is conducting this port visit as part of a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

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