Guam – Sailors assigned to submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) worked alongside National Park Service Rangers, as well as Sailors from various other commands around Guam for the beautification of the War in the Pacific National Historical Park at the Asan Bay Overlook, Jan. 26.
Volunteers, led by Frank Cable chaplain Lt. Matthew Prince, removed invasive and overgrown plants, bushes and tree stumps, replacing them with new plants and trees.
“The Navy is involved in these projects because we are a global force for good,” said Prince. “Helping the community means that the people who live in that community will want the U.S. Navy to be present.”
The Guam Department of Agriculture Division of Forest and Soil Resources brought in the new foliage and worked hand-in hand with Sailors, including Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion on Naval Base Guam, to enhance the historic World War II site.
“It means a lot to the National Park Service to have volunteers come out and help support us with big projects like this,” said Anita Bates, park guide for the National Park Service. “As many people know the economy is down and we are short of staff.”
The War in the Pacific National Historical Park Asan Unit was once the site of a massive amphibious assault that led to the liberation of Guam during World War II battlefields and still contains gun emplacements, trenches, and other historic structures. All serve as a reminder of the battles fought and the sacrifices made by U.S. service members and the local Chamorro people.
“This project in particular allows Sailors to honor those who gave their lives in World War II and to remember their sacrifices,” said Prince. “Those who participated are also afforded the opportunity to serve which gives them a sense of accomplishment and a positive outlook.”
Sailors such as Religious Specialist 3rd Class Donald Bishop see the value in these types of projects for maintaining positive relationships with the island residents and as a chance to learn about Guam’s role in WWII.
“I feel that is always great to get involved with the local community to build better relations,” said Bishop, “It has a very positive effect I believe and also shows that we care to help out since they are hosting us in their country.”
Together, Sailors and park rangers planted 14 foxtail palm trees, six plumeria plants, pandanas, and an assortment of ornamental grasses.
“The Sailors have been nothing but helpful and eager to get their hands dirty, and make a huge difference and impact on this park unit,” said Bates.
Frank Cable conducts maintenance and support of submarines and surface vessels deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.
For more news from USS Frank Cable (AS 40), visit www.navy.mil/local/as40/.