USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) arrived in Pireaus, Greece, for a scheduled port visit, May 23, to enhance the partnership between the U.S. and Greece as the two nations continue to work together to fortify regional security and stability.
“Each nation stands to gain from visits by foreign militaries because they learn the SOPs (standard operating procedures) on how they do certain things,” said Cmdr. John Lucas, Bulkeley’s executive officer. “And this interaction helps to build common knowledge of maritime tactics, professionalism, social understanding and trust. So that’s also what we want to do is build trust. But moreover, these visits help strengthen relationships between our nations.”
According to Lucas, Bulkeley will offer tours of the ship to the local population, providing an opportunity for civil-to-military engagement.
While in port, Bulkeley’s crew will have the opportunity to participate in a local community relations (COMREL) project. The crew has had an overwhelming response to the prospect, and the effort is at maximum capacity for volunteers.
In addition, tours have been arranged through Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) that will allow Sailors to visit landmarks such as the Acropolis and Poseidon’s Temple. As is always the case with port visits, Sailors also welcome the chance to partake in the culinary specialties the host nation has to offer.
“We are so proud and happy to be here,” said Lucas. “We are very honored that the Greeks will have us in their country. We look forward to showing them the best behavior that Sailors of the United States Navy can display to the local populous, and leave a positive impression when we depart.”
Bulkeley is currently deployed as part of the Harry S. Truman carrier strike group. With the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) as the flagship, deploying strike group units include staff, ships and aircraft of Carrier Strike Group EIGHT (CSG 8), Destroyer Squadron TWO EIGHT (DESRON 28) and Carrier Air Wing ONE (CVW-1); as well as Sachsen-class German Frigate FGS Hessen.