Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Charles Oki, CTF 70 Public Affairs

GOA, India – Sailors from the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) painted class rooms at the Bhatikar Model English School in Goa, India.

Less than an hour after mooring..., Sailors from both ships hopped onto busses and made their way to the school where they painted classrooms and interacted with the school staff and students. More than 40 Sailors attended the event and repainted 4 classrooms in a span of 2 hours.

“Many of the Sailors stepped off the ship only minutes after the brow set,” said Lt. Michael Tagaloa, Shiloh’s command chaplain. “Instead of rushing to go on liberty we had many Sailors rushing to go to the community service project. The Sailors love being able to reach out to the community and even in such a short time they learned a lot about the people and the culture. The Sailors worked hard and they did a wonderful job.”

The staff in attendance at the event included several teachers and the principal of the school.

“I must say that they are doing a wonderful job,” said Revathy Kane, the headmistress of the Bhatikar Model English School. “I am so happy to see the Sailors doing the work sincerely and so systematically. I know that they didn’t have any rest before coming here and we greatly appreciate the help. I hope that if the Sailors come back that we can welcome them once again.”

Shiloh and Lassen’s visit is the first part of Exercise Malabar 2010, a bilateral exercise with the Indian Navy. As an important military exercise, Malabar helps the U.S. and Indian navies maintain a strong bond. Community service projects often times help Sailors make that same bond with citizens out in the general population.

“We’re here to show the people of India that we’re here as friends,” said Operations Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Joshua Eddy, a Cleveland native and Lassen’s community service coordinator. “Malabar might be an important event for our navies but the most important thing is to build a bond of friendship with the people. Every time we go anywhere, community service projects provide Sailors a way to become friends with the people no matter what country we are in.”

For some Sailors, the port visit is the first of many and a great opportunity to help people who are less fortunate.

“This is my first everything,” said Serviceman Seaman Apprentice Takado Hunt, a Wichita, Kan. native assigned to Shiloh. “This is my first time being outside of the U.S., first deployment, first port visit, and first community service project and it’s been great so far. I joined the Navy to see the world and to help people so being able to do all of those things in one day. The only thing I can think of is how much of a blessing this experience has been.”

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USS Shiloh arrived in Goa, India, April 23 to represent the U.S. Navy during Exercise Malabar 2010 hosted by the Indian Navy.

GOA, India – Ships, submarines and aircraft from the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet arrived in Goa, India, April 23 to begin Exercise Malabar 2010 hosted by the Indian Navy.

Even today onboard SHILOH you can see some of the history behind the battle, the most common being in the ship's crest.
Blue and Gold are the traditional Navy's colors. Red denotes courage, sacrifice, and the blood shed at the epic battle of Shiloh. White represents high ideals and optimism. The anchor symbolizes sea power, while the cross o...n the stock refers to Shiloh Church and the Civil War battle for which our ship is named. The red compass rose, simulating a burst, symbolizes the concentration and the intense fighting in the "Hornet's Nest" at Shiloh. The compass rose also represent the multi-faceted mission of SHILOH. The red and white wavy bars commemorate "Bloody Pond" and the valor displayed during the battle. also refer to the sea and SHILOH's three mission areas: anti-air, anti-surface, and anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

The arrowhead, divided into blue and gray, together with the Union and Confederate flags, recall the Civil War. The arrowhead also suggests the vertical launch capabilities of the Aegis Cruiser. The splintered peach tree symbolizes the aftermath of the Battle of Shiloh. The peach trees, in bloom at Shiloh during the battle, stood stark contrast to the destruction and violence of the fight which pitted brother against brother.

The Civil War weapons, the musket and the cannon, reflect the close conflict on the field of Shiloh. It was the greatest battle ever fought on the American continent, up to that date.

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History of the Battle of Shiloh

In March 1862, Major General Henry W. Halleck was put in command of all Federal forces in the Mississippi Valley, and he initiated a slow advance which he sent his two armies along the Tennessee River. By early April Ulysses S. Grant had some 37,000 men near Shiloh Church and Pittsburg Landing, close to the Tenn...essee-Mississippi border, and off to the east Don Carlos Buell's 25,000 were on their way from Nashville to join him. Meanwhile, Albert Sidney Johnston was desperately assembling all the Confederate troops he could find Corinth, Mississippi. He had more than Grant, but he would have to strike before Buell arrived.

The Union position was a reasonably strong one, but Grant and his division commanders felt it would be bad for morale to have the men entrench. General C.F. Smith told Grant, "By God, I want nothing better than to have the Rebels ... attack us! We can whip them to hell. Our men suppose we have come here to fight, and if we begin to spade, it will make them think we fear the enemy." In the Federal camps a peach orchard was in glorious bloom, and war and killing seemed remote.

But just 25 miles to the south Johnston was pushing his raw levies onto the roads. Like most of Grant's men, these Confederates were as green as grass. They ambled along, whooping and shouting, firing their guns just to see if they would work, driving their officers into a frenzy. P.G.T. Beauregard, second in command, urged that the attack be called off, but Johnston was adamant: "I would fight them if they were a million." He ordered an assault for dawn on Sunday, April 6.

Grant was caught off guard, and in the first day's fight his army was almost pushed into the Tennessee River. It rallied just in time, Johnston was killed in action, and at dark Buell's troops began to arrive and one of Grant's divisions which had been delayed in reaching the field got to the scene. On the second day the Federals reversed the tide, and by mid afternoon Beauregard had to admit defeat. He drew his badly battered army back toward Corinth, and the Federals, equally battered, made no more than a gesture at pursuit. The greatest battle ever fought on the American continent, up to date, was over. The Federals had lost 13,000 men, the Confederates, 10,000. The troops had fought with impressive valor, but they had been poorly handled, especially on the Union side.

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