American Frigate USS Carr Arrives in Murmansk
American frigate USS Carr arrived in Murmansk on Sept 2. At request of American party, previously scheduled call port Severomorsk was changed for Murmansk. Host ship was also changed; instead of large ASW ship Admiral Levchenko, American sailors were met by large landing ship Olenegorsky Gornyak headed by Capt 2 rank Yury Davitian.
As was explained by the frigate’s commanding officer Cmdr Patrick Kulakowski, refusal to call at Severomorsk was related to administrative disagreements, but American servicemen were glad to visit Murmansk as well.
Changing of the call port did not affect the visit program much. On the first day the American delegation visited Murmansk regional administration and senior naval officer – Northern Fleet ( NF ) Deputy Commander for Logistic Support Rear Admiral Alexei Belkin. Traditionally, a banquette was given in the evening on board the visiting ship for the host party.
Sport events were held in Avangard Sports Center on Sept 3. Russian and American sailors competed in swimming, indoor soccer, and tug-of-war. Crewmen of USS Carr visited one of Murmansk schools, played sport games with senior schoolchildren and drew pictures with kids. According to executive officer Cmdr James Sposato, chatting even with somebody else’s children alleviates separation from families, since the crewmen are far away from home for several months.
Cultural program prepared for the USS Carr‘s crew included coach tours around the city of Murmansk and a visit to NF Naval Museum. Also, the crewmen familiarized with Murmansk being on leave.
The frigate’s top officers accompanied by NF command visited the Memorial to Defenders of Soviet Arctic and laid wreaths at eternal light and honored graves of Arctic Convoys’ participants buried at Murmansk International Cemetery.
The visit of USS Carr to Murmansk lasted till Sept 5.
Source: rusnavy, September 6, 2011;