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USS MV with MVNP staffMesa Verde, CO:  Staff at Mesa Verde National Park were honored to host seven crewmembers of the USS Mesa Verde the week of April 2, 2018. While staying in the park, the ship’s crew met with the operations chiefs to get an overview of the park, toured Balcony House and Cliff Palace cliff dwellings, performed trail maintenance work on the Petroglyph Trail, and toured the park’s archives and curation.  The crew had the special opportunity to meet tribal officials of Mesa Verde’s twenty-four affiliated tribes in a special reception on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, the crew participated in a potluck luncheon provided by park staff, where Command Master Chief (CMDCM) Graham Luby and Lieutenant (LT) Andrew Brod presented park Superintendent Cliff Spencer with a US Flag that was flown over the ship the previous week, and a commemorative plaque featuring insignia and photos of the ship. The crew also met former Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Linda Campbell, the ship’s sponsor, and Peter Pino, former Govenor of Zia Pueblo, who were all at the ship’s dedication on January 15, 2005.

The crewmembers who visited Mesa Verde are rated as the top of their particular class for the year. The crew visiting Mesa Verde included Captain Max Clark, CMDCM Graham Luby, LT Andrew Brod, Quartermaster Seaman (QMSN) Ansenette Equia, Information Technologist (IT3) Joseph Amaya, Boatswain’s Mate (BM1) Dominique Maisonette, and Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (ABF2) Dante Bryant.

“Experiencing the dwellings and the landscape was remarkable, but what truly struck us was the spirit of the people. Meeting with the people who call Mesa Verde home opened our eyes to the park, not just being history, but being part of their present and future,” LT Brod expressed. “Interacting and working alongside the park staff gave us a renewed appreciation for their work and a vision for what our country does to protect our natural resources.”

“The reception with the tribes was a very impactful event for both the tribal members and the ship’s crew. I am honored to have had the opportunity to witness the connections that were made over the course of the evening,” said Superintendent Cliff Spencer.