USNS Millinocket (T-EPF 3) and embarked U.S. 7th Fleet staff Sailors and Marines arrived in Manila, Republic of the Philippines June 11.
Manila is the final port of the U.S. 7th Fleet theater security cooperation (TSC) patrol. More than 40 servicemembers including the U.S. 7th Fleet band and Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team Pacific (FASTPAC) Marines will participate in community relations projects and band engagements while here, as well as experience the local culture and interact with the city’s citizens. Many of the Philippine-born staff also look forward to reconnecting with family and friends while in Manila, and enjoying foods rarely offered outside of the Philippines.
“There’s no place like home,” explained Lt. Ivin Dysangco, from Lucban, Quezon. “I’m really excited to be here, and walk through the malls and little eateries in Manila sampling food you can only find here. It’s been seven years since I had this opportunity.”
Members of the 7th Fleet Band expressed similar excitement at the chance to perform in schools, malls and auditoriums throughout Manila.
“As performers, when we’re onstage, we tend to feed off the energy from the audience. The more they give us, the more we give back,” said Musician 1st Class Vincent Moody. “I can tell you from experience that the energy we get from our audiences in the Philippines, especially the kids, is unmatched. They are some of our biggest fans!”
Seventh Fleet, which celebrated its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South. Seventh Fleet’s area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world’s population with between 50-70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 Sailors in the 7th Fleet.