The USS Stockdale (DDG-106), the third US vessel to visit the Philippines since January, will replenish supplies as well as offer its crew an opportunity for rest and relaxation, the embassy said in a statement.
The Stockdale’s routine port call and goodwill visit at Subic Bay — once one of the largest US military installations in the world outside of the American mainland — “is a great opportunity to continue the long-term relationship between the Philippines and the United States,” said ship commanding officer Cdr. Lex Walker.
This will be the Stockdale’s first visit to the Philippines. The visit is part of the ship’s nine-month deployment to the Western Pacific that began in January 2013.
During the visit, Stockdale sailors will also engage in a number of community relations projects including visits to local orphanages, the embassy said.
The USS Stockdale was commissioned on April 18, 2009, and is homeported in San Diego, California. It is named for Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale, who was the highest ranking US naval officer to be held as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam.
Walker also spoke about the diversity of his crew. “We have quite a few Filipino –American Sailors among our crew, and I hope that the citizens of the Philippines can look at our ship and see that their people and their culture are well represented and respected in the U.S. Navy.”
Some 15 Filipino-Americans sail aboard the USS Stockdale, among them sailors with family ties to Baguio City, Manila, Marikina City, Orion, Olongapo City, Quezon City, and Santa Monica.
Some, like Geno C. Uy (GSM2) and Ryan Angeles (AM2), were born in the Philippines and immigrated to the US in recent years. Others, including Joel Marsigian (AM2) and Dean Rivera-Villanueva (ADAN), were born in the US but still have relatives in the Philippines.
Many of the Stockdale’s sailors plan to visit family while in port, the embassy said. — Michaela del Callar/KBK, GMA News