KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia – USS
Reuben James (FFG 57) arrived in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, Oct. 9 for a
scheduled port visit.
Reuben James Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Rich Haidvogel said the visit,
while deployed to the 7th Fleet area of responsibility, helped
strengthen the relationship between the U.S. Navy and Malaysia, and
gave his crew some much deserved time off.
“We really enjoyed spending some time in Kota Kinabalu,” he said.
“This port visit presented a golden opportunity for us to enjoy some
of the customs and traditions of Malaysia while enhancing our growing
relationship of peace and prosperity.”
A reception onboard Reuben James was held for guest from the Embassy,
mayor’s office and Rotary Club.
Sailors had the opportunity to see the sights and engage with
Malaysian citizens. The ship’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation Division
set up tours and community relations projects.
While in port, Reuben James Sailors participated in a variety of
activities such as rafting, hiking, snorkeling and scuba diving.
“I was really excited to pull in,” said Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class
Sean Cruz. “We went white water rafting and it was a lot of fun.”
Community relations projects included visits to the Don Bosco, a teen
girls school near Mt. Kinabalu and Batik Harapan, an all boys special
education school, to deliver Project Handclasp items. The Sailors also
participated in a clean-up of the Likas River.
“Our purpose was not to clean the entire river, but to show that we
care about it,” said Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class James Smith. “Picking up
trash heightened the environmental awareness of the local people, and
many of them came out of their houses to help us.”
Reuben James is currently deployed in the Western Pacific. The frigate
is homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.