DUQM, Oman (NNS) -- The amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8), embarked with Amphibious Squadron Five and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) concluded a seven-day port visit in Duqm, Oman Jan. 5.
The visit provided Sailors and Marines the opportunity to experience the culture and hospitality of Oman after 115 days at sea.
"I am very proud of the ambassadorship our Sailors and Marines displayed in this port," said Capt. Jon P. Rodgers, commanding officer, USS Makin Island. "The welcoming hospitality we've received in Duqm was a first for many, and the crew can state they celebrated the New Year in Oman alongside the wonderful Omani people. While being at sea for more than 100 days is often routine because of the operational demands in this theater, the 'salt' in this crew more than proved the expeditionary value of our naval force; but it is good to pull into a port when we can."
During the port visit, Sailors and Marines participated in various festivities on the pier including team sports such as flag football, soccer, a basketball tournament, a 5K run/walk and even a game of cricket with some of the local workers. Local vendors also provided souvenir shopping.
Makin Island's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) staff coordinated a tour for Sailors and Marines to visit a local resort where they were able to go swimming, utilize the facility's wireless internet access and try the local cuisine.
"It was very relaxing and enjoyable," said Personnel Specialist 1st Class Walter Vergara, assigned to Makin Island's administrative department. "The food and entertainment were great and it was nice to be able to get off the ship, relax and enjoy time off in a different country."
The visit also gave the crew an opportunity to complete many tasks including preservation of the ship's hull and inport maintenance.
"We accomplished a lot during this port visit," said Seaman William Mack, a Sailor assigned to Makin Island's Deck Department. "It's nice to look at the ship and see all of the hard work we were able to get done here in Duqm."
The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
For more news from USS Makin Island (LHD 8), visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd8/.