MANAMA, Bahrain – Sailors and Marines assigned to the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) participated in three volunteer events Aug. 27-28, during a port visit to the gulf island nation.
Sailors and Marines from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), Destroyer Squadron 9 staff, CSG 11 staff and Carrier Air Wing 11 got involved with the local Bahraini community at the American Mission Hospital, the American Cultural and Educational Center and the Muharraq Horse Riding School.
“It’s important to interact in the capacity that we do because we don’t want to just come to Bahrain and be nothing but Sailors,” said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class William Hardin, of Miami. “We have to come as more than that. We have to come as humans and let them know that we are interested in their community. We want to learn about it and help out with it in any way we can.”
Volunteers at the American Mission Hospital spent their time assisting hospital staff by painting hallways and helping with other manual labor throughout the building.
Those that attended the American Cultural Educational Center met in classrooms to engage in English conversation with local students in an effort to promote the exchange of traditions and knowledge.
“This was a learning experience for me,” said Aviation Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Derek Fryer, a native of Los Gatos, Calif. “I enjoyed listening to these students about their culture. I liked talking about our cultures together.”
At the Muharraq Horse Riding School Sailors worked with locals and spent time learning how to properly groom horses. After the work was complete they prepared the horses with saddles and got an opportunity to ride them.
“It was nice to get the chance to be out there having fun with everyone,” said Hardin. “The locals are not looking at us any differently than we are looking at them. It’s a good change of pace and exchange of culture for both of us.”
Nimitz is underway in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. While in this region, the ship and strike group are conducting maritime security operations to reassure allies and partners, preserve freedom of navigation, and maintain the free flow of commerce.
Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Holly L. Herline