6,500 sailors aboard USS George Washington enjoying Guam - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

6,500 sailors aboard USS George Washington enjoying Guam

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Joseph Borja reunites with his younger brother Ivan Borja who is serving on the USS George Washington. Joseph Borja reunites with his younger brother Ivan Borja who is serving on the USS George Washington.
 by Jolene Toves

Guam - If you notice an increase in sailors exploring the island then you are right as the USS George Washington is here with about 6,500 sailors enjoying their liberty. It was in 2012 when the USS George Washington last made a port call to our island and after being out at sea for a month and recently participating in the Valiant Shield 2014 exercise the USS George Washington is back.

Battle Force 7th Fleet Task Force Seven Zero Carrier Strike Group Five Rear Admiral Mark Montgomery told KUAM News, "I would like to comment that we completed a very meaningful and educational exercise. Exercise Valiant Shield 2014 where we were able to test and demonstrate our interoperability where US Air Force, US Marine Corps, US Army units out here which is obviously one of the best training ranges available to the Navy anywhere in the worked and certainly the best in the Pacific."

With about 6,500 sailors aboard the aircraft carrier they are here for some much needed rest and relaxation over the next five to six days, the ship's commander Captain Greg Fenton said, "I get to see a lot of sailors everyday and one of the questions I always ask them is what is your favorite port they like to visit and many of them will say they enjoy coming here to Guam."

Fenton says the crew is excited to get the opportunity to enjoy their liberty ashore. And while they are here they will be participating in community relations projects as well as schedule supporting events on base and around the island. One of those sailors is AB2 Chester Abad who said, "It's a good place to walk around and I've seen a lot of good sites when we were here last time so I want to revisit it and relax pretty much."

Meanwhile visiting for the first time ABE Megan Gregory is very excited to experience Guam's nature, saying, "First thing I would like to do is go snorkeling I heard it is a really great experience down here."

According to Fenton on any given day about 2,500 sailors will be out and about enjoying "Where America's Day Begins". As for him and Montgomerry they will be enjoying the company of their families which have flown here from their home duty station Japan. But they are not the only ones who will be reunited with their families as Guam native Lieutenant Commander Ivan Borja was surprised to be welcomed by his brother Joseph Borja who traveled from California.

He said, "I've been in Japan for almost three years so I visited him before I left so four years." He said when standing next to his brother, "Time doesn't change so every time I see him its like last week since we have seen each other."
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