|USS Vella Gulf Visits Miami|
USS Vella Gulf Visits Miami
From USS Vella Gulf Public Affairs.
Miami, Florida -- (NNS) November 20, 2002 -- Sailors aboard USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) explored the sights and enhanced community support during a recent port visit to Miami.
U.S. Navy file photo of USS Vella Gulf (CG 72)
Vella Gulf, an Aegis guided-missile cruiser homeported in Norfolk, Va., completed a two-week underway operation as an opposing force (OPFOR) unit in support of the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Battle Group Joint Task Force Exercise, prior to pulling into Miami. The ship’s port visit coincided with numerous Veterans' Day weekend events planned throughout the Miami and Dade County area.
In opening festivities for the weekend events, senior Navy League members, along with prominent business and community leaders, enjoyed an early evening tour and reception aboard Vella Gulf while moored at the Port of Miami.
Vella Gulf was the first U.S. warship to visit the port in more than a year. The tour and reception offered an excellent opportunity for Navy League and business leaders to discuss a wide range of topics relevant to future cooperation and mutual support.
One of the highlights during the port visit was the presentation of colors during an NBA basketball game at the Miami Arena. Vella Gulf’s honor guard presented colors at center court during the opening ceremony of the nationally-televised game between the Miami Heat and the visiting Seattle Supersonics.
The honor guard, accompanied by Vella Gulf Commanding Officer Capt. Rick Rikard and more than 40 Vella Gulf Sailors, enjoyed the action-packed game while on liberty.
Throughout the weekend visit, Sailors enjoyed tours around Miami and local events arranged by the ship’s Moral, Welfare and Recreation Committee in conjunction with local tour agencies and businesses. From excellent shopping, to world-renowned hospitality and nonstop nightlife, Miami provided some excellent liberty for the entire crew.
Vella Gulf will return to Norfolk, Va., while continuing the ship’s interdeployment training cycle workups in preparation for a major Baltic Exercise in June 2003.