Thursday, 31 January 2008 12:00 PM

US Warship on Goodwill Visit

A United States warship, USS Reuben James, is on a "goodwill visit" to the Solomon Islands.

USS Rueben James arrived at the Point Cruz wharf yesterday with more than 200 sailors onboard.

The visit has been described by crews of the warship as a "once in a lifetime trip" to the infamous battle grounds of Guadalcanal where World War II took place some 65 years ago.

The visiting ship will host a reception with invites for guests and government officials this evening.

During their five-day stay in Honiara, the US sailors will be involved in community activities, which include maintenance and sports activities.

Sailors are today deployed to help in renovation works on the Women's Refuge Centre at Tetere in the eastern side of Honiara, while another group will work at the Red Cross School at Rifle Range.

A First Class Store Keeper, an avid volunteer who never misses any community project if he can help it, says when there is an opportunity to "step away from our training and give back to the communities by offering our support and assistance to local areas, it makes all the long hours we spend from our family worthwhile".

The sailors will visit the US memorial at Skyline on Friday, where a ceremony will take place in remembrance of US soldiers who fought and died in Solomon Islands during World War II.

A basketball game will take place after the memorial ceremony between the Solomon Islands basketball team to the South Pacific Games in Samoa and the US Sailors.

The visiting US Sailors will play a soccer match with the Red Devils at the AE Oval Saturday afternoon.

USS Rueben James is ported in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, and has been operating as part of the US seventh fleet.