USA: Guided-Missile Destroyer Builds Camaraderie with Embarked Singaporean Staff

Guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) held an event celebrating the culture of the embarked Singaporean staff of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, May 14.

Once a week while they are on board , CTF 151 staff members cook and serve traditional foods, and both the staff and Mason’s crew get a chance to relax, and socialize, which contributes to building morale.

“Morale is an important part of running any warship. Group events like this are about camaraderie, and building a bond between crew members,” said Command Master Chief Raymond Kemp. “Camaraderie becomes more important when we have Sailors from a different country aboard, like our Singaporean friends.”

Mason is the flagship for CTF 151, a multinational anti-piracy task force, currently commanded by the Singaporean Navy. Mason is the base of operations for CTF 151’s anti-piracy mission across the Gulf of Aden and the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC).

Singapore Night” provides time for both crews to relax and enjoy each other’s company,” said Singaporean Military Expert 4 Soonchye Ng. “When two crews come together, they understand each other and work together as one team.”

“As a crew with an embarked foreign staff, we are ambassadors for our country,” said Kemp. “It’s our job to show our guests what Americans are like and make them feel like they are part of the Mason family.”

According to Soonchye, Mason crewmembers are doing just that.

“I can’t say enough about the hospitality Mason has showed us,” said Soonchye. “They have made us feel welcome, and it is a privilege to share our food and culture with them on ‘Singapore Night.'”

Mason is the flagship for Combined Maritime Forces’ (CMF) CTF 151, supporting counter piracy and maritime security operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. CTF 151 is a multi-national task force established by CMF in January 2009 to conduct counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin and Arabian Sea.
Source: navy, May 26, 2011;