PIRAEUS, Greece (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) hosted a reception during a regularly scheduled three-day port visit to Piraeus, Greece, March 28.
The reception, which provided an opportunity for the U.S. and Greece to highlight the partnership between the two countries, was attended by the U.S. Ambassador to Greece Daniel Bennett Smith.
"I think having this reception aboard Enterprise sets a standard for relations with our European partners," said Smith. "The love and connectivity of everyone here just makes it a wonderful visit for the crew."
More than 900 Greek officials, Greek, European and U.S. military leadership, including Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, and USS Vicksburg (CG 69) Commanding Officer Capt. Logan Jones were in attendance.
"This is a unique opportunity for us to welcome Greek guests and other foreign guests to the largest aircraft carrier in the world," said Rear Adm. Ted Carter, commander of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group. "I can't tell you how exciting it is for people to visit a carrier and to see it in person. It's also a symbol of cooperation and history between our two countries."
The event was held in the hangar bay and tours of the ship's spaces were provided to visitors interested in seeing the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
"To visit this legendary ship has its symbolism," said Hellenic Minister of Defense Dimitris Avramopooulos. "It comes at a very difficult moment for our country. So, the message the United States has sent to us is solidarity and friendship. As President (Barack) Obama, Secretary (Hillary) Clinton and Ambassador Smith, have previously stated, 'We stand next to Greece.' We should never forget that we fight together for a supreme and noble cause."
Enterprise Sailors were responsible for the set up and service during the event. Entertainment was provided by the U.S. Naval Forces Band, "Flagship," and the Enterprise Chorus.
"Tonight I had a conversation with the minister of defense," said Personnel Specialist Seaman Angelo Smith, an Enterprise Sailor. "We are happy to be here in their country, but yet they have the same amount of gratitude for having us here. I realized as an enlisted member that this is where it actually happens. Like they say, communication is key. That's not just for a relationships and friends, it is for nations."
During Enterprise's stay in Piraeus, Sailors and Marines will have time to enjoy the sites and culture of Athens and the surrounding area before continuing with the ship's deployment.
"Today we share a wish, for all of you to have a peaceful journey and always have honor in the duty served for the causes that bring us together," said Avramopooulos.
Enterprise is deployed as part of Enterprise Carrier Strike Group supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.
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