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U.S. vessel taking relief assistance to Tonga, resupplies in the territory

USS Sampson docing in Pago Pago harbor
Gov bestows gifts — all COVID restrictions observed
compiled by Samoa News staff

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — On January 16, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer of the United States Navy, USS Sampson (DDG 102), pulled into American Samoa for a brief resupply visit.  The vessel is now in Tonga participating in the relief effort after the U.S. dispatched USS Sampson as well as a coast guard vessel.

According to a press release from the Governor's Office, the current COVID-19 Emergency Declaration and the State of Emergency for the Territory did not allow any Sailors to come ashore, nor did it allow any civilians from American Samoa to board the US Navy vessel.

In an email correspondence between the USS Sampson's Commanding Officer CDR Adam Soukup and Governor Lemanu, Mr. Soukup recognized how "impressed" he was of everyone's "spot-on performance" in getting them the services that they required.

Governor Lemanu reminded CDR Soukup of the rich US Naval history here in American Samoa. He was regretful that the USS Sampson's crew could not come to shore and be welcomed to American Samoa in the traditional Samoan way. Governor Leamanu remarked, "I  wished that American Samoa could have honored the USS Sampson's presence here in our Samoan way. Unfortunately, due to scheduling and COVID19 restrictions, on behalf of American Samoa, I welcome you and Sailors of the USS Sampson."

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a traditional tanoa, fue, and to'oto'o as well as a samoan basket and framed Samoan weapon for Mrs. Soukup, were delivered on board by the Chief of Staff Tuimavave Laupola to CDR Soukup. 

CDR Soukup had assured Governor Lemanu that the gifts would be displayed on board the USS Sampson to remind everyone of their visit here.

(Source: Governor's Office press release,