News: US 6th Fleet flagship departs France
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Collin Turner
USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) Public Affairs Office
THEOULE-SUR-MER, France – The U.S. 6th Fleet flagship, USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), concluded a port visit to Theoule-sur-Mer, France, after taking part in several events honoring the 68th anniversary of the Liberation of Provence, Aug. 19.
During the visit, sailors hosted ship tours and took part in a wreath-laying ceremony, parade, and a reception at city hall.
After the ship’s arrival, Mount Whitney’s crew began preparing for public tours of the ship. Capt. Ted Williams, commanding officer of Mount Whitney, and several of the crew, participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Cross of Lorraine monument to honor the allied troops who fell during the beach landing, Aug. 14, 1944.
“I felt truly blessed to have had the opportunity to have taken part in this ceremony,” said Personnel Specialist 2nd Class Lynette Smith. “It gave me goose bumps knowing that I was there honoring the sacrifice made by service members during World War II.”
Sailors also participated in a parade from the pier to the center of the city and attended a formal reception at Theoule-sur-Mer’s town hall.
“It was an honor and privilege to be a part of all the ceremonial events honoring our fallen veterans as well as bonding with the local community,” said Master Chief Jonathon Carter, Mount Whitney’s command master chief. “I have made many friends and I hope that Mount Whitney will be chosen to participate next year.”
Mount Whitney, homeported in Gaeta, Italy, is the U.S. 6th Fleet flagship and operates with a combined crew of U.S. sailors and civil service mariners. The civil service mariners perform navigation, deck, engineering, laundry and galley service operations, while military personnel aboard support communications, weapons systems and security.