USS Anchorage arrives in Sri Lanka | Sunday Observer

USS Anchorage arrives in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, August 24: Amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23), with the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, for a scheduled port visit Aug. 24.

During the visit, Sailors and Marines will have opportunities to explore the local area and meet with their counterparts during exercises with the Sri Lankan Navy and Marines. The visit is also an opportunity for U.S. Seventh Fleet to explore local logistics support services for visiting naval forces operating throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

Part of a growing U.S.-Sri Lanka naval partnership, the visit follows the Sri Lankan Navy’s inaugural participation in exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), which concluded Aug. 2, as well as exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Sri Lanka, held for the first time last year.

Robert Hilton, Chargé d’affaires ad interim of the United States Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, welcomed the arrival of the USS Anchorage and embarked MEU. “This visit and training will build our shared capacity to respond to humanitarian emergencies in the Indo-Pacific region. We’re also excited to try out the air logistics hub concept which utilizes Sri Lanka’s strategic location in the Indian Ocean to ensure the quick availability of relief supplies, equipment and other material when needed by the U.S. and partner militaries and humanitarian organizations.”

“Our Navy and Marine Corps team is deeply committed to continuing to strengthen our partnership with the Sri Lankan armed forces,” said Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, commander, Amphibious Force U.S. 7th Fleet. “We are proud of the tremendous work that American Sailors and Marines are doing alongside their Sri Lankan teammates.”

Capt. Dennis Jacko, commanding officer of Anchorage, said Sailors and Marines are focused on completing a successful mission and representing America in Sri Lanka.

“These ship visits help demonstrate the value of the growing U.S.-Sri Lanka partnership,” said Jacko. “The goal with Anchorage is to not only enhance security cooperation, but to build understanding of the HADR (humanitarian assistance, disaster relief) capability that contributes to disaster response, along with sharing of best practices and enabling more efficient joint relief efforts in the event of a future disaster.”

Approximately 300 Sri Lankan naval academy midshipmen and 40 distinguished visitors, will tour Anchorage to learn about the ship’s amphibious capabilities. Additionally, Sailors and Marines will conduct training in visit, board, search and seizure, security force reaction techniques with the Sri Lankan Navy and Marines.