PIRAEUS, Greece (NNS) -- USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) departed Piraeus, Greece Mar. 7, following a three-day port visit.
While in Greece, Sailors experienced the local culture and participated in community relations events (COMRELS) to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
"This port visit greatly exceeded my expectations," said Culinary Specialist Seaman Matthew Kinsel, a native of Colorado Springs, Colo. "It was truly a once in a lifetime experience."
Sailors visited SOS Children's Village, an orphanage in the city of Vari, where they had an opportunity to give back to the local community
"We cleaned up the area around the orphanage and helped with some repairs as well," said Chief Religious Program Specialist Terence Newton. "We also had a chance to stock their pantry."
The ship's Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) division hosted nine tours reaching more than 800 Sailors highlighting historic sites like the Acropolis and the Temple of Zeus.
"It was really amazing to see architecture that has been standing for so long," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate Airman Christopher Brown, a native of Rochester, Mich. "The view from the top of the Acropolis was beautiful and the people were really friendly."
The ship hosted a reception on board that included military-to-military talks and ship tours for several local groups including Greek military personnel, government officials and local business owners.
"It was a great pleasure to come to Greece and see this beautiful place," said Capt. Andrew Loiselle, commanding officer of George H.W. Bush. "It was an honor to be able to return the favor with some of our hospitality."
George H.W. Bush, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2, is in the 6th Fleet area of operations supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. The visit to Greece was the first port call of George H.W. Bush's 2014 deployment.
For more news from USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn77/.