US sailors a welcome arrival

The USS Carl Vinson, USS Bunker Hill and USS Gridley brought with them more than 5000 United States sailors eager for some rest and relaxation after months of operations in the Middle East.

Rear Admiral Chris Grady said the sailors had worked hard for the past few months and had been looking forward to relaxing in Fremantle.

�The men and women of this strike group were looking forward to the warmth and hospitality of Western Australia,� he said.

Commanding officer of the USS Carl Vinson, Karl Thomas, said for many members of the crew it had been their first time visiting Fremantle.

It was not all fun and games for the visitors though, with many volunteering to help out at various organisations around Perth, including maintenance and lawn mowing at Shenton Park Dogs� Refuge Home, painting at Parkerville Children and Youth Care and building new water bird enclosures at Bibra Lake�s Native Arc.

City of Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the City was always happy to welcome the US sailors to town.

�Our volunteer Fremantle Tourist Guides and Fremantle Visitor Centre staff, with assistance from Tourism WA, were on hand at Victoria Quay to welcome personnel and provide maps, guides, directions and general visitor information,� he said.

�Reports have come through that Fremantle was busy on both Sunday and Monday, with feedback from staff at the port indicating that many sailors were keen to relax and explore Fremantle, particularly our new restaurants and eateries.�