New Liberian president thanks U.S. Sailors for support
USS MOUNT WHITNEY, Atlantic Ocean — The Sailors formally welcome newly elected Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to the Mount Whitney here Jan. 17, 2006. The president visited the crew of the Mount Whitney the day after her inauguration. (Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kurt Riggs)
1 photo: USS MOUNT WHITNEY, Atlantic Ocean — The Sailors formally welcome newly elected Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to the Mount Whitney here Jan. 17, 2006. The president visited the crew of
Photo 1 of 1: USS MOUNT WHITNEY, Atlantic Ocean — The Sailors formally welcome newly elected Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to the Mount Whitney here Jan. 17, 2006. The president visited the crew of the Mount Whitney the day after her inauguration. (Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kurt Riggs) Download full-resolution version

MONROVIA, Liberia — The newly elected president of Liberia visited USS Mount Whitney Sailors and civilian mariners Jan. 17 while the ship was off the coast of Liberia's capital city, Monrovia.

Mount Whitney, the U.S. 6th Fleet's flagship, and frigate USS Carr were deployed to the area as a sign of support for the newly elected leader.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf came aboard via "Ghostrider," the MH-60S helicopter stationed aboard Mount Whitney. She briefly met with Navy Capt. Ladd Wheeler, the ship's skipper, and several other key staff members before having a brief tour and addressing the crew.

"Thank you so much for all your help," she said. "Your presence here is a reminder to the people of Liberia that we can count on the United States for anything. We have much work to do in our country, but we know that you and your country will be there to stand by us no matter what."

After her speech, the president stood with the crew as USS Carr sailed past and rendered honors with its crew manning the rails.

The crew of the Mount Whitney listened to Johnson Sirleaf's remarks, and many said that hearing the new president speak was the highpoint of their trip to the region.

"We didn't know she was going to come visit the ship, and we certainly didn't think she was going to address the crew," Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Kristen Brown said. "Hearing her speak was definitely a highlight. I think that it was good for her as well as the ship."

(Compiled from U.S. Naval Forces Europe news releases.)

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