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APS Gunston Hall Sailors refurbish Childhood Development Center

March 11, 2014 at 12:12 PM UTC

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) John Stratton, Africa Partnership Station 2010 public affairs


SEKONDI, Ghana – Sailors from USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) and Africa Partnership Station (APS) West took part in a community relations (COMREL) project March 11-13 at St. Theresa’s Early Childhood Development Center during the ship’s port visit to Ghana.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) John Stratton, Africa Partnership Station 2010 public affairs


SEKONDI, Ghana – Sailors from USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) and Africa Partnership Station (APS) West took part in a community relations (COMREL) project March 11-13 at St. Theresa’s Early Childhood Development Center during the ship’s port visit to Ghana.

Sailors taking part in the COMREL on the first day prepared the center for work to be done the following two days. Sailors scraped paint from exterior walls and cleaned them, while others began a site survey of what grounds keeping needed to be done.

“Our main goal for this first day is exterior protection,” said Construction Electrician 1st Class (SCW/IUSS) Keith Evans, from Mansfield, Ohio, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 7. “We have 15 gallons of primer that we’ll use today and then we’ll start painting the last two days.”

Applying primer and general grounds keeping weren’t the only things keeping the Sailors busy. Lt. Megan Brelsford, ship’s medical officer, from Albany, N.Y., had fun playing with the children.

“A few of us sang and read books to the children,” she said. “This is the kind of stuff you join the Navy for and to have the opportunity to help out an organization that helps kids is great.”

“What we’re doing over the next three days will give these kids a positive learning environment,” said Logistics Specialist Seaman Apprentice Brian Welch, from Orlando, Fla., another Gunston Hall crewmember.

St. Theresa’s was built in 1935 and currently has 185 students, aged 2 – 6.

Both the head mistress and school priest were excited to have Gunston Hall Sailors helping out.

“We are very, very grateful for this help,” said Florence Adei, head mistress for the development center.

“You all coming here is God’s intervention,” said Reverend Father Eshun Anthony, acting priest for the center.

Gunston Hall is on a scheduled deployment in the 6th Fleet area of responsibility in support of APS West, an international initiative developed by Naval Forces Europe and Naval Forces Africa that aims to improve maritime safety and security in West and Central Africa.

Find out more about Gunston Hall at www.gunston-hall.navy.mil. You can follow Gunston Hall and APS at their respective Facebook pages, www.facebook.com/GunstonHall and www.facebook.com/AfricaPartnershipStation.