HONG KONG (NNS) -- Dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) departed Hong Kong following a successful port visit, March 25.
The visit allowed Sailors and Marines the opportunity to experience culture, cuisine, people and landscape of the city, while exploring in their own groups and during Morale, Welfare and Recreation tours organized by the ship's MWR committee.
"It was so cool to be able to experience the incredible diversity in culture, one second you're walking in a modern city and the next you're in a local market or coming across a temple or monument," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Matthew Gentile.
In addition to MWR tours, the crew had the opportunity to participate in cultural exchanges coordinated by the ship's chaplain and to interact with local youth and children at the G.T. (Ellen Yeung) College, Cheerland Nursery School Kindergarten, and CMA Choi Cheung Kok Secondary School.
"It was incredible to see how much simply playing and reading with these children improved their day," said Information Technician 3rd Class Megan Ellison, who participated in the cultural exchange. "That experience was the highlight of my Hong Kong port visit."
The crew also did a subject-matter expert exchange with the Hong Kong Marine Police Harbor division to practice visit, board, search and seizure tactics.
According to the ship's Chief Master-at-Arms Jose Cruzalvarez, the Sailors and Marines conducted themselves professionally, and successfully upheld the image of good order and discipline that the ship promotes while in port.
"The crew of Harpers Ferry continued its record of successful operations by viewing liberty as a mission and enjoying Hong Kong without any liberty incidents," said Cruzalvarez.
Since leaving San Diego Feb. 12, Harpers Ferry has conducted operations in the U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleet areas of operations to include participation in Exercise Ssang Yong 16.
Harpers Ferry is part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG). The Boxer ARG, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit team is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security efforts in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
For more news on USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) visit http://www.navy.mil/local/lsd49.