Friday, 17 July 2009
Today STOUT left Batumi, Georgia and conducted training with two Georgian Coast Guard Patrol Craft. We had some exchange officers who spent the day with us as we transited north to Poti, Georgia. In the spirit of cooperation two Officers from STOUT also spent the day on the Georgian Patrol Craft conducting training with us. It was a good day of training and I believe will benefit both nations. At the conclusion of training we anchored off Poti.
Even though today was a busy day that included getting underway, operating with two foreign Coast Guard Vessels, hosting several foreign Officers onboard, small boat operations and anchoring, the most memorable thing of the day was a very routine event, morning colors.
At 0800 every morning all around the world, Navy ships inport or at anchor raise the colors. It is usually a short but solem ceremony where the flag bearers raise the flag as the Command Duty Officer and one or two others looking on stand at attention and salute.
This morning's colors was special. We have a Sailor who has been away from us for over a year serving in Afghanistan. She returns home to Norfolk today and will be on leave for a few weeks. Because we are deployed and are unable to meet her at the airport, her Senior Chief asked that volunteers come out to colors this morning and observe. He had a photographer standing by to take pictures so we could send them to her and welcome her home.
Even though it was voluntary, we had a tremendous turn out. It was a wonderful show of support from the crew and a beautiful way to end our port visit to Batumi.