USS Hue City, FGS Hamburg Dock in Alicante

The Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Hue City (CG 66) and German frigate FGS Hamburg (F220) arrived in Alicante, Spain, March 6.

The ships began the second half of an extended deployment for the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Strike Group on Feb. 21 and Alicante marked their first port call in 2013.

The scheduled visit will provide the crews a break before continuing to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

“I look forward to the sights, sounds and enjoying the food of Alicante just like any new port,” said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Jessica A. Haywood of Hue City. “I hear great things and I am very excited go out and meet new people and try something new.”

Routine port calls such as Alicante bolster the relationship between the U.S., Germany and Spain and enhance maritime partnerships. They also provide the crews an opportunity to sightsee and rest.

Hamburg, a Sachen Class Frigate, was originally assigned to the USS Harry S. Truman Strike Group but joined Eisenhower when Truman did not deploy last month. While in port, the Hue City and Hamburg will use the time to become better acquainted by sharing in a steel beach barbeque hosted by the German Sailors.

“Alicante will be the first time my crew will get to meet with the crew of Hue City,” said Cmdr. Ralf Kuchler, commanding officer of Hamburg. “We will be working closely with each other over the following months and this port visit is a good opportunity for us to get to know each other.

The ships are deployed to support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. Navy’s 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.

“As we steam along, both crews will build lasting relationships that will hopefully radiate through both countries enhancing a bond that has been in place for quite some time,” said Capt. Daniel B. Uhls, commanding officer of the Hue City. “The more our crews get to spend together, the more skillful they will become.”

Naval Today Staff, March 7, 2013