MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69) departed Bahrain Aug. 24 following a regularly-scheduled port visit.
The visit helped to continue U.S. 5th Fleet effort building global maritime partnerships with Middle Eastern nations and improving maritime safety and security in the region.
"It was good to have some much needed (rest and relaxation) after a lengthy underway," said Lt. Robert E. Danielson, operations officer aboard Vicksburg. "The long underway was strenuous, but we are here to (complete) a mission and that always comes first."
Though Sailors still had to stand duty and perform regular maintenance while the ship was in port, they were also able to take advantage of the facilities at Naval Support Activity, Bahrain.
"There were a lot of uniform items I needed, so it was good to be close to a Navy Exchange again," said Operations Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Priestly J. Birks.
In addition to having access to the base, Sailors were able to take part in Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) tours such as go-cart racing, a beach barbeque at the Al Bander Resort, a fishing trip, a trip to the Lost Paradise Water Park and a trip to the Bahrain Dolphin Resort, complete with a chance to swim with dolphins.
Apart from the MWR-sponsored tours, there were many other activities to choose from, including sampling the wide variety of cuisine available in Bahrain.
"I spent most of my time using the internet and enjoying the local food," said Birks. "Overall, it was nice to be back on land."
Others used the port visit as an opportunity to display their athletic abilities.
Sailors from Vicksburg's Deck department defeated a group of Vicksburg officers, including the ship's commanding officer, in a basketball game 45-35.
"The officers played very well," said Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class (SW) Jeremy Anthony who played on the Deck department team. "We had a lot of fun. The commanding officer played well, the executive officer played well, but in the end, nobody beats Deck."
This was Vicksburg's second visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain this deployment.
Vicksburg is on her final deployment, and is currently operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom.
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