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  • Renee Cluff

    Email Renee Cluff

    G'day Sailors! Cairns welcomes US Navy personnel for rest and relaxation

    USS Green Bay has steamed into Cairns, delivering 550 sailors who are keen to spend up their hard-earned cash.

    The ship has been at sea for four months at sea, and arrived at HMAS Cairns just days after being involved in security duty at the weekend APEC summit in Port Moresby.

    Commanding officer Captain Tom Shultz said they’ll be here for a ‘handful’ of days.

    ‘As long as the US Navy will let us stay here,’ he said.

    ‘This is a great place.’

    'We have been at sea since early August so we have a lot of money to spend.’

    It’s the USS Green Bay’s second visit to Cairns in as many years and Captain Schultz said the sailors feel welcome.

    ‘This is our second home port, we like to say that.

    ‘We love Sesabo in Japan, which is where we’re from, but Cairns is right up there with it.’

    The 210m-long vessel is the US Navy's only forward-deployed amphibious transport dock ship.

    It features a detachment of six UH-1Y Marine Corps Huey helicopters on the flight deck and is named after the city of Green Bay, Wisconsin, home to the famous Green Bay Packers NFL team.

    The vessel pays tribute to its gridiron links by flying the Green Bay Packers flag just under the US flag.

    It also features staircases that have been painted to look like gridiron fields.

    “Green Bay has the nickname of Title Town, USA,’ said Captain Schultz.

    “We call this ship Title Town, US Navy.”

    The visit comes just days after the US, Australia and the United States agreed to create the joint Lombrum Naval Base on PNG’s Manus Island.