The amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) and the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in Goa today for a scheduled port visit. The ship’s Commanding Officer Theodore Essenfeld said their mission in Goa is to conduct the professional subject matter expert exchanges with the Indian Navy, Marine Commandos, and Army. He said during their stay in Goa, they will meet their Indian Navy and Army counterparts “in a rare opportunity for joint and combined exchanges, honing our interoperability in amphibious skills, medical care, visit, board, search and seizure procedures, and helicopter operations”.
He interacted with media persons on board the ship at Vasco, 35 kms away from here. The commanding officer said the crew wanted to participate in Ganesh festival beginning tomorrow. USS Pearl Harbor is an amphibious dock landing ship, designed to support U.S. Marine Corps operations from the sea. The ship can operate the full range of landing craft and helicopters in the U.S. inventory in support of combat or humanitarian missions. “The purpose is to enhance our interoperability and establish a stronger esprit de corps between our militaries.
Our countries have a long history of military cooperation, based on our shared ideals of democracy, international rules and norms, and our desires for peace, security and prosperity across the region,” he said. Lieutenant Colonel James Stover, Commander of Troops, leading embarked elements of the 15th MEU, said no single nation can combat regional threats alone. “We must work together to share best practices, each nation’s unique experiences, and encourage interoperability and teamwork to enhance readiness and regional stability.
“Both the US and India recognise that the Indian Ocean is vital to the security of the region and the global economy. Positive mil-to-mil relationships are based on common interests related to maritime security, counter-terrorism, defence trade and security of the global commons, and this is why we have invested in making time to exchange ideas with the Indian Armed Forces while here,” he said. Lt. Colonel Stover said the primary objective of the visit was to build relationships with navies in this region and to help them develop effective and legitimate security institutions that can provide for their countries’ security while contributing to regional and multi-lateral responses to shared threats.
He said the US is now India’s leading military training partner and the relationship between the navies of both the countries is “deep, multi-faceted, and includes interactions both at the institutional and individual levels”. Meanwhile, the commanding officer said, “In addition to our stated mission, the sailors and marines of USS Pearl Harbor look forward to experiencing the history and culture of India. Goa is renowned as one of India’s most beautiful regions”. He said the crew was looking forward to participate in Ganesh festival.