By MC2 Tim D. Godbee
USS Simpson Public Affairs
The guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) arrived in Casablanca, Morocco, for a scheduled port visit, March 6.
Simpson's visit serves to strengthen the existing partnership between Morocco and the U.S., and provide each other with opportunities for cultural exchanges.
"I am excited Simpson has been given another opportunity to visit Casablanca and operate with the Royal Moroccan Navy," said Cmdr Christopher Follin, Simpson's commanding officer. "It's not very often that one of our ships has the opportunity to re-visit friends we made on a previous deployment. We are looking forward to building upon the cooperative efforts and interoperability in training that both of our Navies strengthened during our last visit. When we share ideas and learn to operate together, we become twice as strong a force to improve maritime safety and security for all nations in the region."
During the visit, Simpson is scheduled to conduct a passing exercise with the Royal Moroccan Navy, hold office calls and gift exchanges with a number of Moroccan officials, host a reception, and conduct a community relations event with the Bennani Center Girl's School.
"Every time we go out and do something for the communities we visit, we have a great time," said Ship's Serviceman 1st Class Manuel Dulucgomez, Simpson's community relations event coordinator. "The location we chose for this port visit gives us an opportunity to make a great impression on the youth of Morocco and hopefully we'll make a difference in their lives."
As a part of the visit, Simpson Sailors will also have an opportunity to go on a number of tours through the ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation department, most notably a tour of the Hassan II Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world.
"The ship stopped here on its last deployment, and I've heard nothing but good things about it," said Yeoman Seaman Luis Burks. "The culture here is very rich, and every corner you turn there's a piece of history waiting to be learned about. Hopefully I'll be able to see it all while I'm here."
Simpson is on a scheduled deployment supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.