Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus visited sailors and Military Sealift Command (MSC) civil service mariners attached to the U.S. 6th Fleet command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), June 7.
The SECNAV’s visit included a tour of Mount Whitney, a chief pinning ceremony and an all-hands call aboard the ship.
“I feel very honored to have had the SECNAV visit our ship and crew, it really motivated the sailors who participated in the event,” said Information Systems Technician Senior Chief Petty Officer Allen Drum, one of three senior chief petty officers pinned by the SEVNAV. “My division said they were proud to have the SECNAV pin on my anchors, and I myself was proud to have him do it.”
During the all-hands call, Mabus discussed having the right equipment in the Fleet to achieve the Navy’s mission, building partnerships between nations and the high quality of today’s naval force.
“I would like to thank you for your skill, your dedication and for all of the work that you have done to get here,” said Mabus. “The training you have all gone through and the things you have sacrificed for America – you do things that the people back in America can’t see, so don’t realize how great you really are out here.”
Mabus also remarked on Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2014, a multi-national exercise in which Mount Whitney is participating with numerous Baltic nations.
“It’s important to show how we work together with our friends and allies, how we’re interoperable and the resolve that we’re going to continue to do the work of the United States Navy,” said Mabus.
The Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise is the largest, multinational exercise taking place in the Baltic region this year and aims to improve maritime safety and security through increased interoperability and cooperation among participating nations.
Press Release, June 09, 2014; Image: US Navy