USNS John Ericsson crew aids Filipino shelters

The following blog was written by Ed Baxter, Military Sealift Command Far East public affairs. Civil service mariners embarked aboard USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194) participated in a community service project at Olongapo City, Philippines Feb. 18-20, donating supplies, performing maintenance and placing a fresh coat of paint at three shelters for homeless women, children and families.

(OLONGAPO CITY, PHILIPPINES) USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194) civil service master Capt. Anthony Boudouin, center, joins Rolen Paulino, mayor of Olongapo City, left, and Lynn Habeck, director of the not-for- profit Wings of Change Foundation, a charitable organization based in Guam, in a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the completion of a small chapel at Olongapo City’s Center for Youth during a ceremony held Feb. 20. Civil service mariners painted the floor of the chapel as part of a community service project. (U.S. Navy photo by Jeyh Janik)

(OLONGAPO CITY, PHILIPPINES) USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194) civil service master Capt. Anthony Boudouin, center, joins Rolen Paulino, mayor of Olongapo City, left, and Lynn Habeck, director of the not-for- profit Wings of Change Foundation, a charitable organization based in Guam, in a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the completion of a small chapel at Olongapo City’s Center for Youth during a ceremony held Feb. 20. Civil service mariners painted the floor of the chapel as part of a community service project. (U.S. Navy photo by Jeyh Janik)

Recognizing the ship’s contributions to the citizens of Olongapo, Mayor Rolen Paulino presented Ericsson’s civil service master Capt. Anthony Boudouin with a Certificate of Appreciation during a ceremony held at the city’s Center for Youth Feb. 20. Ericsson was conducting a routine port call at nearby Subic Bay the time.

“This partnership represents the close ties between our countries and its long standing friendship,” said Boudouin.

Ericsson crewmembers donated 18 cargo pallets of supplies including clothing, school supplies, board games, toys, bicycles, an office desk and filing cabinets to Olongapo City’s Center for Youth, Social Development Center, and Center for Women. Most of the supplies were collected in Guam in partnership with a Guam-based private charitable organization called the Wings of Change Foundation.

Dozens of crewmembers formed working parties at the shelters painting the floor of a new chapel along with a stairwell at the Center for Youth. Volunteers repainted the entire interior of the Social Development Center. Ericsson’s crew donated paint, brushes and rollers for the projects. They also performed minor repairs to the centers’ infrastructure such as fixing broken doors. Ericsson’s communications officer Pablo Torres repaired more than 20 electrical outlets which had not been working because of faulty wiring.

Boudouin joined the mayor and Wings of Change charities foundation representative Lynn Habeck at a ribbon cutting ceremony Feb. 20 to formally open the new chapel.

“The opportunity to help improve the living conditions for the women, children and families who call the shelters home has been very rewarding,” said civil service mariner Joel Barnecut, Ericsson’s operations officer.

Ericsson left Subic Bay, Philippines, Feb. 21 to return to its duties as U.S. 7th Fleet’s primary fleet replenishment oiler. Ericsson performs underway replenishment of fuel and supplies to Navy ships at sea.

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