NEW ORLEANS (NNS) -- The crew of the Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72) wrapped up a five-day port visit March 10 to New Orleans, the first ship in five years to make a visit there during Mardi Gras.
While in port, the crew participated in a number of events, including marching in both the Bacchus and Rex parades. Fire Controlman 1st Class Joshua Briles chose to have his reenlistment ceremony on the USS Constitution float during the Bacchus Parade.
"It was a unique experience that I'll never forget," said Briles.
The ship's distinguished visitors included Rear Adm. Brian Brown, commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command; Erin Kern, director, Shore Readiness and Logistics; and actor Hugh Laurie, famous for his lead role as Dr. Gregory House in the television show "House."
On March 2, Mahan's Crew hosted a group of local Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) Sea Cadets. The Sea Cadets were given a tour of the destroyer and were able to get some hands-on training on damage control equipment and line handling at various stations around the ship.
"It was great being able to give them some real fleet experience," said Yeoman 2nd Class Jason Taylor.
Wrapping up their stay, a group of 20 Mahan Sailors visited the New Orleans Children's Hospital March 10, to deliver gifts and spend time with the kids. For crewmembers like Senior Chief Logistics Specialist LaClondria Caddell, the children's hospital visit was just another example of how the port call was about more than Mardi Gras.
"Anywhere we go, we always reach out and help the local community however we can," said Caddell. "This was my favorite part of our port visit."
Cmdr. Zoah Scheneman, Mahan commanding officer, said the visit was a great success.
"We were happy to visit a city so rich with history and tradition, especially during the Mardi Gras," Scheneman said. "It was an experience for our Sailors to participate in the celebration."
USS Mahan is the fifth ship named after Rear Adm. Alfred Thayer Mahan, a naval theorist and author of "The Influence of Sea Power upon History," and considered the father of modern navies.
For more information on the USS Mahan (DDG 72), visit www.public.navy.mil/surflant/ddg72.
For more news from Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/surflant.