NATO sailors visit Plympton Academy

Staff and students at Plympton Academy had some unexpected guests last week.

USS Gravely is currently in Devonport Naval Base and their Chaplain, Lieutenant Michael Taulbee, brought 12 sailors to visit the school and work with the students.

The ship, an Arleigh Burke Class Guided Missile Destroyer left her home base port of Norfolk, Virginia on 28th December as part of a NATO deployment.

The USS Gravely is named in honour of Samuel Lee Gravely who was the first African American in the US Navy to serve aboard a fighting ship as an officer, the first to command a Naval ship, the first fleet commander and the first to become a Vice Admiral.

It was very flattering to be asked to host crew from the USS Gravely

Martin Edmonds

Lieutenant Taulbee said “We really appreciate Plympton Academy having us today – everyone really enjoyed getting off the ship and working with the students. All the students and teachers were very welcoming and friendly.”

He added; “So far on our deployment we have had port visits to Copenhagen in Denmark, Bergen in Norway and Rostock in Germany but this is our first school visit.” 

Student Tye Pedro, aged 13, said “It was a pleasure to meet the visitors from America.  We talked about what life was like on board their ship and back in the US. It was really interesting and I am glad they visited us.”

Teacher Martin Edmonds added “It was very flattering to be asked to host crew from the USS Gravely, particularly as the ship is named after such a remarkable man. 

“Meeting new people and talking about our lives and different experiences is hugely beneficial in developing our students’ general knowledge and helping to widen their cultural horizons.”