September 15, 2005

By Tom Burkindine
The Kaselehlie Press

The United States Navy warship, USS Fitzgerald, called port in Pohnpei last weekend and Navy personnel joined in the state's Liberation Day Celebrations and assisted in several community improvement projects.

Pohnpei's Liberation Day on September 11 is Pohnpei's celebration of the end of the Pacific War. These celebrations usually involve athletes from the various municipalities in Pohnpei competing in different sporting competitions. USS Fitzgerald crew members participated in friendly exhibition games of softball, volleyball, and basketball played throughout the weekend.

In addition to the Liberation Day Celebrations, crew members also assisted in various community service projects. These projects included renovations of three school buildings in the municipalities of Madolenihmw, Sokehs, and U as well as a speech given to students at the COM-Kolonia campus.

Base in Yokosuka, Japan, and under the command of Commanding Officer CDR David W. Hughes, the USS Fitzgerald is a relatively fast warship that safeguards larger ships in a fleet or battle group.

Although ships were discouraged from approaching the USS Fitzgerald In light of the USS Cole incident, US Embassy personnel were able to board the vessel for a tour. A reception was held on September 9 at the US Embassy residence for the officers and various crew members of the ship.