THE USS John C. Stennis Strike Group (JCSSG) arrived in Manila Saturday for a routine port call, a statement from the US embassy in Manila said over weekend.
The JCSSG consists of the Nimitz class USS John C. Stennis with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 and Destroyer Squadron 21, guide missile destroyers USS Stockdale (DDG-106), USS Chung-Hoon (DDG-93) and USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) and Guided missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG-53).
“We are excited to visit Manila and Subic Bay. This is a great opportunity for our sailors to see the sights and experience the warm hospitality of the Filipino people,” said Rear Admiral Marcus Hitchcock. “Many of our sailors look forward to reconnecting with family and friends in the local area.”
The strike group is the centerpiece of the Great Green Fleet (GGF) and uses energy conservation measures and operational procedures in the course of its normal operations to increase energy efficiency.
The JCSSG participated in the Balikatan exercises in April.
While in the Philippines, strike group personnel will conduct cultural exchanges by participating in community relations projects (COMRELS).
“Sailors plan to visit local elementary schools, cemeteries, memorials, and a medical center,” the statement added.
Approximately 8,500 sailors make up the strike group, of which at least 238 are of Filipino heritage. The Commanding Officer of USS Stockdale (DDG 106), Cmdr. Raphael Castillejo, is among those sailors.
Castillejo was born at the Makati Medical Center and moved to the United States as a boy. He has served in the Navy for 23 years.