MANILA, Republic of the Philippines–
Philippine Vice President Jejomar C. Binay and the U.S. Ambassador
to the Republic of the Philippines Harry K. Thomas were among the
more than 700 military officials and distinguished guests that
attended a reception on board USS George Washington (CVN 73) (GW)
The reception was held during the
four-day port in Manila and served to affirm the alliance between
the two nations.
The vice president spoke of the long standing relationship between
the Philippines and U.S., characterizing the service members from
the two nations as “emissaries of peace in the region.”
In a speech to those in attendance at the reception, Binay quoted
the late President John F. Kennedy and praised the service of the
Sailors serving aboard GW and throughout the U.S. Navy.
“‘I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be
asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I
think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: ‘I
served in the United States Navy.’
I am sure that the Sailors aboard George Washington feel the same;
and you should. You have done a lot of things as Sailors here in the
Philippines,” said Binay.
The vice president also thanked the crew for their contributions to
the people of the Philippines through the ship’s community relations
This was GW’s second visit to Manila in two years. Last year’s visit
marked the first time an American aircraft carrier had visited
Manila in 13 years.
“I am thrilled to welcome the George Washington back to the
Philippines for a goodwill visit,” said Thomas. “May you bring honor
to your ship and your nation.”
During the two-hour reception, guests mingled with GW crew members
and learned about their lives at sea.
“This is my third time on an aircraft carrier,” said Gerald Cruz, a
junior officer from the Philippine navy. “But it’s my first time
being on an aircraft carrier in the Philippines.”
GW is currently underway on its 2010 summer patrol in the Western
Pacific Ocean and is commanded by Capt. David A. Lausman, the
flagship of the George Washington Carrier Strike Group (CSG), which
is commanded by Rear Adm. Dan Cloyd. The GW CSG includes CVW-5,
Destroyer Squadron 15, and the guided-missile cruisers USS Shiloh
(CG 67) and USS Cowpens (CG 63).