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US battleships, jets arrive at M'sian port

Publication Date : 08-10-2012

 

Three American battleships, including the nuclear-powered supercarrier USS George Washington, sailed into Malaysian town Port Klang for a five-day goodwill visit.

The ships, with more than 5,500 sailors and 67 fighter jets on board, made a scheduled port call at the Port Klang Cruise Centre yesterday.

The USS George Washington, also known as the CVN-73, and its two destroyers will welcome on board more than 500 Malaysian dignitaries, US embassy and military personnel today.

CVN-73 commanding officer Captain Gregory J. Fenton said the call would provide an opportunity for his sailors to meet and develop relationships with Malaysia and US embassy officers.

“We hope to learn a lot from the Malaysian enforcement,” he said yesterday.

The ship is scheduled to conduct 11 tours for Malaysian business and civic leaders and military officials. It will not, however, be open for public viewing.

“US Navy ships and personnel have learnt a lot about South-East Asia and tropical operations from our counterparts,” Capt Fenton said.

The ships had previously made port calls in South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan.

He added that a few hundred sailors had also volunteered for six community service programmes, including at the School of Myanmar Refugee Children, Juara-Glad Tidings Home for Children and other children's homes here.

In an unrelated development, the USS John C. Stennis which visited Kota Kinabalu last week, rescued a Malaysian found floating at sea yesterday.

Sailors from the John C. Stennis Strike Group rescued the man from the South China Sea while transiting through the Straits of Singapore.

The man was spotted by sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier at about 9:00am before being airlifted by a helicopter from the Stennis' flight deck.

Seaman Abel Cardona was on lookout duty when he saw the man bobbing in the water.

“I saw something moving between the waves,” said Cardona. “Then I saw a man in the water waving his hands screaming help, help, help!'”

Cardona immediately threw a life ring into the water and called the navigation bridge. The man was rescued at 9:54am and provided medical treatment before being transferred to the Singaporean Coast Guard.

 

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