The USS Reuben James (FFG-57) of the United States Navy, an anti-submarine guided missile frigate and also a convoy commander’s flagship – prominent for being one of the few US Navy ships in film history to actually portray itself in a movie – dropped anchor yesterday at Tacloban City.
The frigate, an Oliver Hazard Perry class and the third ship of the U.S. Navy named after Reuben James, appeared in the movie, The Hunt for Red October and in the book, Red Storm Rising, both by Tom Clancy.
It was a superpower visit. And, more significantly, an R & R visit – something unheard of in Tacloban City in so many years. Previous visits of US ships to Tacloban happened either in connection with the annual Gen. MacArthur’s October 20 Leyte Landing commemoration or tied up with a medical or educational visit. But while here on R & R, the officers and crew of the USS Reuben James plan to help in the shelter program, Bahay Kalinga.
Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, together with other City officials, welcomed the visitors headed by Commander Rick Haidvogel in simple ceremonies held at the Tacloban wharf area.
Commander Rick Haidvogel, right, with Mayor Alfred Romualdez.
The USS Reuben James, with a contingent of some 200 enlisted men, 18 chief petty officers and 26 officers, including crew of two helicopters, drops anchor off Dio Island, Tacloban City.
Before coming to Tacloban, the ship visited Dumaguete City.
Among the early birds:
They explore the city for a couple of days before they head back to their station in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.