ISTANBUL, Turkey – The amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) arrived in Istanbul, Turkey, for a scheduled port visit, Feb. 24.
Mount Whitney crew members will participate in theater security and cooperation engagements, meet with the people of Istanbul, and experience the rich history and culture of Turkey.
“I am excited about the opportunity to explore some of the local sights,” said Navy Counselor 1st Class Jerry Wagoner. “I plan to tour the Grand Bazaar, the Sultan Ahmed ‘Blue’ and Hagia Sophia Mosque while we are in port.”
While in Turkey, Sailors and Military Sealift Command civil service mariners (CIVMAR) will host residents and city officials during a reception onboard Mount Whitney, give ship tours to distinguished guests, and partake in various tours provided by the Moral, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) team.
“I am truly looking forward to experiencing the Turkish culture and history,” said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Jennifer Caldwell. “I plan to try as much of the local cuisine as possible before we leave.”
After the Sailors and civilian mariners wrap up their port visit, Mount Whitney will get underway and continue operating forward; one of the Chief of Naval Operations’ tenants.
“This has been a great underway so far,” said Yeoman 2nd Class Alexi Rivera. “This port visit should be awesome, but I know we still have a lot of work to do once we get back underway.”
Mount Whitney, homeported in Gaeta, Italy, got underway Jan. 31 to conduct maritime security operations and to establish and enhance cooperation, mutual training and interoperability with regional partner nations and allies, in the Black Sea. Mount Whitney serves as the flagship for Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet.
Safely alongside: The pilot of USS Mount Whitney for Istanbul berthing; Captain Cahit Istikbal (second from Left) together with Chief mate/USS MOUNT WHITNEY and Commander Craig Clapperton and Turkish Naval Officer Burak İnan right after the berthing meneouver.