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Patong and Phuket roll out the welcome for US Navy vessels every time

Phuket Economy Boosted By US Sailors, Marines

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
PHUKET: A large contingent of US sailors and marines is enjoying shore leave on Phuket - and boosting Phuket's economy in all the usual ways.

The amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18), the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), along with embarked Marines assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), arrived in Phuket, Thailand for a port visit yesterday, says a media release.

USS Pearl Harbor Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Homer Denius, said the visit is a welcomed break for the Sailors and Marines aboard.

''It's a chance for our Sailors and Marines to experience the incredible culture of Thailand, in the spirit of goodwill and friendship,'' said Denius.

This will be Denius's first visit to Phuket, although he has visited Pattaya before.

''I look forward to expanding my experience of Thailand in Phuket,'' he said. ''I know our Sailors and Marines are going to enjoy participating in community service projects, taking tours, shopping in the markets and meeting the friendly people.''

Denius will also visit with members of Thailand's navy and other local officials during the visit.

''Thailand is the United States' oldest friend in Asia and it's important that we continue to foster this close relationship,'' he said. ''These close ties allow us to understand both of our country's interests and find more common ground to expand our friendship.''

Commanding Officer of Pearl Harbor's embarked Combat Logistics Battalion 11, Lt. Col. Andrew Bergen, echoed the thoughts of Denius.

''We are excited to learn about the culture and enjoy Thailand, a beautiful land with which the United States has a friendship dating to early 1800s,'' said Bergen.

''We hope to make new friends and strengthen the bonds we have through community relations projects and when enjoying some time off in this wonderful country.''

Community service activities will include painting at the Phuket Soi Dog Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that helps homeless, neglected and abused dogs and cats, as well as doing minor facility repair and painting at the Home and Life Orphanage and a local international school.

''We have some great opportunities to be good ambassadors, I think it's really important to see out side of the place we're going to visit," said Lt. Daniel Spies, a Navy chaplain assigned to the 11th MEU embarked aboard New Orleans.

''It'll take us off the beaten path of all the tourist trails and give us an opportunity to what some of these organizations are doing for the local community.''

In addition to the community service projects, Sailors and Marines will experience Thai culture through tours offered by the ship's morale, welfare and recreation department.

MWR tours will feature a variety of options showcasing the country's culture and landscape. Tours included area trip to Phuket's Wat Chalong monastery, a day long big fishing adventure in Chalong Bay and an elephant ride through the rain forest.

''Thailand is one of my favorite ports to visit, I've been here five times,'' said Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Jomel Jones, a New Orleans Sailor. ''Every time I go, I always have a great time. It's a beautiful country with great beaches, friendly people and outstanding food.''

New Orleans and Pearl Harbor, along with the embarked 11th MEU are part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, which is deployed to the US 7th Fleet area of operations.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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''Thailand is one of my favorite ports to visit, I've been here five times.''

I wouldn't like him navigating my vessel. Probably end up in Taiwan.

Posted by Sam W on May 15, 2012 13:54

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I have nothing but respect for the Marines but if it is Thai culture they want to experience, they could hardly choose worse places to visit than Pattaya and Phuket. Too bad you can't dock next to Soi Cowboy in BKK, huh ?

Posted by Steve C. on May 15, 2012 14:45

Editor Comment:

That's unfair and untrue, Steve C. Don't imagine your outlook on life is as widely shared as you appear to think.

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@ Sam W. What?

Posted by Joe on May 15, 2012 15:46

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''It's a chance for our Sailors and Marines to experience the incredible culture of Thailand, in the spirit of goodwill and friendship,'' said Denius.

Yeahh dont f--- hookers on your on backyard !!!
Go to Thailand and do it !!!
Typical Americans !!!

Posted by jorgen48 on May 15, 2012 17:11

Editor Comment:

Typical jorgen48, who came to Thailand for the food.

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@ Steve C....no mate, Ed's right..hundreds of them in temples and up at big buhda today...honest!!! hahaa, yeh, right..

Posted by davidj949 on May 15, 2012 17:31

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@joe thailand is a country not a port.

Posted by john s on May 15, 2012 17:48

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For once I agree with Mr Ed. These guys put a lot more into the community on their short breaks than the majority do in a full holiday. Feel free to visit the local orphanage or AIDS hospice with a contribution any time, Steve.

Posted by Mister Ree on May 15, 2012 18:59

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@ Sam - It's a "port of call" for navy you numpty

Posted by stu on May 15, 2012 19:02

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@ Mister Ree

I not only acknowledge but also know in detail what and how much they DO contribute to the local communities they visit. Hence my respect.

Point is simply why the need to visit places known for their racy nightlife ?

Plenty of ports to call along Thai coastline that don't offer such "services" and certainly have no shortage of communities in need of help.

The Secret Service recently made for some interesting headlines. No need for more of the same, mmh ?

Posted by Steve C. on May 15, 2012 21:23

Editor Comment:

Which other ports are you thinking of, Steve C? Places where sailors and marines can easily meet relatives who have flown in to greet them? Places where the variety of recreational activities are enormous? Stuck with innuendoes still?

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Some of these comments are pathetic. The sailors are not afraid to spend money on leave not like some of you tight as.. You all must have short memories because most of us would not be here if the U.S didn't sort out world war 2. yes i know they have not won a war since but that was the war they needed to win. No i am an Aussie, not a Yank. Enjoy life, it's not a dress rehersal.

Posted by chaseone on May 16, 2012 07:45

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I agree with chaseone. Why are so many of you so intent on putting these military folk down? How have they affected your life? If it was the British or Australian navy, would you be as equally negative?

Posted by Paoa on May 16, 2012 14:04

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Ed, why hasn't my comment been posted?

Posted by AdamLookingForEveAgain on May 16, 2012 16:48

Editor Comment:

Your comment hasn't been posted, AdamLookingforEveAgain, because your conclusions have no basis in fact. It may be that your experience in Phuket's sex industry gives you some knowledge of it, but to assume that the US Navy drops anchor off Phuket in the 21st century because of its sex industry is ridiculous. There isn't a port that doesn't have prostitutes, if that's what people want. In this part of the world, Singapore is a worthy competitor, not far away. It also becomes boring when you and others continue to stereotype the US forces, based on your own narrow outlook. The reasons why the US Navy continues to anchor off Phuket have nothing to do with sex. Sex is a given in virtually every port, for those who want it. Get over it.

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How long will they be in town?

Posted by Anonymous on May 18, 2012 06:18

Editor Comment:

The ships sail today.

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Is this spirit of goodwill and friendship extended from the tuk tuk drivers after there last blockade to stand over the USA navy its a wonder the USA Navy didnt weigh anchor for good and forever then Phuket would cry and wonder why.

Posted by traveller on June 6, 2012 22:49


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