November 6, 2018 – USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) departed Manama, Bahrain, Oct. 31, after an eight-day port visit for a mid-deployment voyage repair (MDVR) and to give crewmembers an opportunity to volunteer at a local school.
Jason Dunham, which deployed from Norfolk, Virginia June 2, spent 66 consecutive days underway before arriving in Manama for the ship’s MDVR.
“Being far away from homeport and at sea for a long period takes a toll on equipment that is continuously operating,” said Lt. Antonio Thompson, the ship’s maintenance officer. “Manama is a great stop for an MDVR because it offers many resources that you also find at homeport.”
Thompson said the Dunham was able to receive help from contractors for major repairs, technical assistance and conduct preservation maintenance that couldn’t be done while underway, and the hard work from Dunham’s Sailors was vital to complete those necessary jobs.
“I am proud of the work that our Sailors produce and accomplish on a daily basis, and this was just another time where that was evident,” said Thompson. “From the most senior Sailor to the most junior, everyone was engaged and significant repairs were accomplished.”
Apart from working hours, Sailors were able to explore the city and also given the opportunity to volunteer at Bahrain School in Manama.
“This was a perfect day for Sailors to come in because they were able to help with all the [Halloween] activities we had,” said Mrs. Julie Castner, a kindergarten teacher at Bahrain School.
Throughout the school day, 21 of Dunham’s Sailors helped students with many activities including a trick-or-treat parade for the younger students to gather candy around the school. Sailors also assisted other students in physical fitness, computer and music classes, and then decorated the school for its Halloween “Spooktacular” weekend carnival.
“Helping and being with the kids was a breath of fresh air,” said Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class Talisman Nellum. “Especially for me, I miss my kids so this was really nice.”
Nellum said volunteer events for Sailors are another way to give back and show a different side of the Navy.
“We joined the Navy to protect the country but by helping people in other countries I think can personalize the Navy with different nations,” said Nellum.
The students and teachers both appreciated having the Sailors for a day.
“The students’ loved having the Sailors here to visit with and just have fun together,” said Castner. “For the teachers, it’s good to have extra hands.”
Jason Dunham is continuing on deployment in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.