By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs
The U.S. 6th Fleet Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) departed Valletta, Malta on, Feb. 12, 2020 following a scheduled port visit to demonstrate our enduring partnership with Malta and our mutual commitment regional security and stability.
While in Valletta the Mount Whitney hosted a reception aboard the ship for local dignitaries and distinguished guests giving attendees the opportunity to meet with 6th Fleet Staff and the crew of the Mount Whitney.
“We were honored to host the reception and spend time with our guests in the beautiful harbor of Valletta,” said Capt. Cassidy Norman, commanding officer of Mount Whitney.
During the reception guests enjoyed a world class menu prepared by Military Sealift Command civil service mariners, music performed by the U.S. Naval Forces Europe band, and heard remarks from Capt. Cassidy Norman, commanding officer of Mount Whitney, Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, and Chargé D'Affaires Mark A. Schapiro.
“It is important to host these engagements,” said Norman. “Partnerships are built on shared values and experiences and events like these help us come together and strengthen bonds.”
Before departing Gaeta, Italy, the Mount Whitney embarked the U.S. Naval Forces Europe Band and while in Valletta the band played two concerts each in the local area.
The first concert was held in Freedom Square by the U.S. Navy 4-person Jazz combo with the second performed by the U.S. Navy Woodwind Quintet at Great Siege square.
“It was a great opportunity to connect with the local people of Valletta,” Said Musician 2nd Class Matthew Jones, pianist, U.S. Navy 4-person Jazz Combo, U.S. Naval Fleet Forces Europe Band.
Crew members of the ship also had the opportunity to volunteer with the Inspire Foundation where they helped remove tile from a kitchen.
“I enjoyed helping the people at the Inspire Foundation,” said Yeoman Seaman Destiny Myers, assigned to Mount Whitney. “It’s good for us to give back and show our appreciation to the community who welcomed us during this port visit.”
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.
Mount Whitney is the U.S. 6th Fleet flagship, homeported in Gaeta, and operates with a combined crew of U.S. Sailors and Military Sealift Command civil service mariners.