USS Bulkeley Arrives in Taranto

By Mass Communication Specialist Anna Wade

TARANTO, Italy – (January 30, 2011) Guided missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) anchored off the coast of Taranto, January 29th to begin their first port-of-call during deployment with Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (CSG).
For Bulkeley Sailors, this visit marks their first step on land since leaving home early this January. Taranto is Italy’s 3rd largest city with over 200,000 people. Naval Base, Taranto is the largest base in Italy which lies along this coastal city looking out across the Ionic Sea
Port-of-calls not only provide opportunities for Sailors to experience new cultures, but serve the purpose of building bonds between allied countries.
“This was an excellent opportunity for BULKELEY to not only visit a beautiful country, but also to work with the outstanding professionals of the Italian Navy and to continue to build our strong NATO ties,” said Cmdr. Christopher DeGregory, Commanding Officer aboard Bulkeley.
Community Relations (COMREL) gave Sailors a chance to actively participate in foreign affairs as ambassadors to the United States. Bulkeley Sailors were given the opportunity to participate in a command sponsored project at Saint Giuseppe Cataldo Church in Taranto. This church serves as a local community center for children and maintains the local play ground Chiesa di San Giuseppe. Sailors had the chance to play soccer and football with the children after the work was completed.
Sailors were also given the opportunity to participate in a Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) tour that included visits to Martina Franca, Saint Martin’s Cathedral, Alberobello, and Ducal Place. MWR was able to help lower the costs, so nearly half of the Bulkeley crew members will be able to attend the tour.
“This is my first time leaving the United States, not to mention my first deployment as well. I am excited to see how other people live and I am especially excited to eat the food!” said Hull Maintenance Technician 3RD Class Ethan Dotson.
Bulkeley is part of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (CSG) in support of Maritime Security Operations and Theater Security Cooperation and has entered U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, where theater security cooperation efforts and maritime security operations require strong ties with allied nations for support in foreign waters.
Enterprise (CSG) consists of Bulkeley, USS Enterprise (CVN 65), the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), the guided-missile destroyers USS Barry (DDG 52) and USS Mason (DDG 87); USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8), Carrier Air Wing 1 and Destroyer Squadron 2.

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