SUBIC BAY, Republic of Philippines (NNS) -- Submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) arrived in the Republic of the Philippines for some well-deserved liberty, Sept. 3.
This visit to Subic Bay is the first foreign port Frank Cable has visited since finishing its dry dock period in Portland, Ore. After six months of extensive work, Frank Cable returned to Guam ready to continue its mission in the Western Pacific.
"The crew has worked very hard preparing the ship by completing several major inspections to certify the ship for a visit of this nature," said Frank Cable Command Master Chief James Schneider. "They have earned the opportunity to experience the culture and traditions that the Philippines have to offer."
According to Schneider, the ship and her crew had no problem returning to business as usual during this underway period, including training, running drills and improving the material condition of the ship.
"Every day in our Navy is a training opportunity," Schneider said. "We have performed a fire drill, flooding drill, a force protection drill, several man-overboard drills and a gun exercise. We also had the opportunity to hone our navigation skills, as we transited a challenging passage through the Philippine island chain."
For some Sailors, this trip to the Philippines is a first time experience. For others, like Ship's Serviceman 2nd Class Barry Degoma, who is native to Novalichez Quezon City, Manila, it is a return to a place that holds fond memories.
"I am excited to be home again," Degoma said. "It gives you that great feeling that you will get to see old friends, and more especially your families, and relatives."
Degoma said he is excited for his fellow shipmates to see all that the Republic of Philippines has to offer, saying that there are many tours, parks and volunteer opportunities for Frank Cable Sailors.
Religious Programs Specialist Seaman Donald Bishop, who visited Subic Bay with the ship before, agrees with Degoma on the area's rich history and its people.
"I was there last year and was out and about getting materials for [community service projects] as well as going on them, and everywhere I went there were friendly, helpful people who were just overjoyed with us helping out," said Bishop.
During their stay, the Frank Cable crew has several community service projects scheduled. Schneider said he is looking forward to Sailors having the opportunity to reach out to the local community.
"Our increased presence in the region will allow us to provide services that are not normally accessible such as medical/dental services," said Schneider. "In port, we are taking on several challenges in the community and getting involved with the community service projects. Interacting one on one with the local population is the best training and education we can get."
Frank Cable conducts maintenance and support of submarines and surface vessels deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.
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