San Antonio-Class Amphibious Transport Dock Ship USS Mesa Verde Visits Greece



The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) anchored off the coast of Corfu, Greece, for a scheduled port visit, Oct. 30.

This is Mesa Verde’s first port visit in 65 days of operations in the Mediterranean Sea.

“It’s good to have everyone recharge their batteries,” said Cmdr. John P. Pienkowski, Mesa Verde’s executive officer. “It also gives a chance to see a new port and enjoy the different culture. It’s a chance to be [goodwill] ambassadors for the United States. We can exchange ideas and be exposed to a different culture and learn from each other.”

Sailors and Marines will have the opportunity to participate in Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) tours such as trips to the Achilleon Palace in the village of Gastouri.

“We’re very happy we were able to offer a tour,” said Yeoman 1st Class Makeba Ramsey, an MWR representative. “It’s a great opportunity for everyone to see some historical landmarks in Greece.”

“This is my first port and I’m very excited; it’s a great experience and it’s something I always wanted to do,” said Quartermaster Seaman Hilary Bunker. “I plan on talking to my daughter online; I will also see as many sites as I can and enjoy the local food.”

It’s great we could get a port visit after being out to sea for so long,” said Quartermaster 2nd Class Michele Reyes. “It’s great for the morale aboard the ship.”

“I’m pretty excited to get off the ship,” said Cpl. Nicholas Wilson, assigned to the embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit​. “It’s nice to break up the routine of being underway and see the sites and relax for a little bit.”

Mesa Verde deployed from her homeport of Norfolk, Va., March 23, as part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group. The Bataan ARG relieved the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group April 27, in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn, later becoming Operation Unified Protector enforcing United Nations Security Council resolutions in Libya.

Source: navy, November 02, 2011;