USS Frank Cable Sailors Make Impression on Saipan Communities

Sailors assigned to the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) concluded a week-long series of community service (COMSERV) projects, Jan. 16.

While in port to support their primary mission of submarine repair, Sailors spent a great deal of their spare time reaching out to local communities by providing cosmetic maintenance to churches and schools, and even hosted a few ship tours for students of the island’s schools.

According to the executive officer, Capt. Timothy Sparks, letting people see first hand what a U.S Navy ship is like, as well as talking to and interacting with the crew, is one of the ways the Frank Cable builds relationships around the world.

Sailors joined students from the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) at Marianas High School, Jan. 12, to clean up, scrape and repaint the yellow curbs of the driveway and parking lots.

“I can’t imagine doing this on our own,” said 16-year-old Law Itibus, a junior at Marianas High School. “There are not a lot of us so it’s a big help for them to come.”

Marianas High School has an impressive JROTC program with 269 students, about a quarter of the school population, enrolled. With such a large program it’s not uncommon for more than 5 percent of the school’s students to join the U.S. military after graduation.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for them to talk to us and get our perspective,” said Electronic’s Technician 3rd Class Alicia LeBeau. “Especially them being JROTC, they get an insight of what we go through every day and can base their later decisions on our perspectives.”

A second group of Sailors visited Guam United Methodist Church and helped rebuild the church’s playground equipment and performed maintenance on the church building. Inside they painted rooms, ripped down ceiling tiles and patched the roof.

On Jan. 14, the ship hosted the elementary school students from several grades at the Grace Christian Academy for tours. During the following two days, students from Marianas High School JROTC and the junior and senior students of Grace Christian Academy were given a tour and had lunch on board in the mess decks with Frank Cable Sailors.

“They’re really nice,” said 7th grade student Peggy Pixley. “When you walk up to them they’re so respectful and kind.”

January 15 marked a day of sports with the Grace Christian Academy and Frank Cable. Sailors participated in playing volleyball and basketball games against the school’s volleyball and basketball teams.

Frank Cable conducts maintenance and support of submarines and surface vessels deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

Naval Today Staff, January 22, 2013