USS Hue City, German Frigate FGS Hamburg Leave Alicante, Spain

Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Hue City (CG 66) and German frigate FGS Hamburg (F220) departed Alicante, Spain, March 10.

For the ships of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group 8 (CSG 8), Alicante was an opportunity to continue to build cooperative relationships with each other and with the Spanish community.

 “Part of being in the Navy is being an ambassador for our nation,” said Hue City Command Master Chief Raymond F. Charest. “The interactions between the Hamburg and Hue Sailors continue to contribute to a stronger relationship between the two of us.”

Alicante marked Hue City’s first port call since Hamburg joined CSG 8 in Norfolk Feb. 21. CSG 8 was at sea for most of the second half of 2012, deployed to the U.S. Navy’s 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.

The crews of the two ships relaxed in Alicante with a steel beach picnic aboard Hamburg and made a few last-minute preparations for their deployment.

 “We moored close to USS Hue City and it was a good opportunity for each crewmember to meet his or her counterpart in person,” said Cmdr. Ralf Kuchler, commanding officer of Hamburg.” In the following weeks, we will face a lot of challenges and I believe this experience has enhanced our relationship.”

Hue City Sailors also took the opportunity to sightsee and enjoy Spanish culture with tours provided by the ship’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation department.

 “Mediterranean port visits are great for our Sailors to unwind before getting back to doing what we are paid to do,” Charest said. ” We considered it as sort of a reward for all of the hard work our Sailors did in part one of deployment and for all of the hard work they will do in part two.”

The ships will now focus on training to maintain crew readiness. Hue City and Hamburg are on a deployment to support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. Navy’s 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.

Naval Today Staff, March 12, 2013