Panaji: In its first visit to India, American Navy’s amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor arrived in Goa on Thursday as part of defence cooperation between the two countries. USS Pearl Harbor is a Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship with a crew of over 700 sailors and marines. The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), which is one of seven marine expeditionary units of the US Marine Corps, has also come to Goa as part of the trip. While in Goa, the ship’s sailors and marines will conduct exchanges with the Indian Navy’s marine commandos relating to amphibious warfare, the US embassy said in a statement.
“We are thrilled by the opportunity to visit India,” said Theodore Essenfeld, USS Pearl Harbor’s commanding officer. He said the sailors and marines of Pearl Harbor were looking forward to experiencing the culture and traditions of India while strengthening the US Navy’s long-standing partnership with the Indian Navy. USS Pearl Harbor was launched on February 24, 1996, and commissioned on May 30th, 1998. The ship is based in San Diego, California.
The 15th MEU is based at Camp Pendleton, California. Both USS Pearl Harbor and the 15th MEU are currently deployed as a part of the USS America Amphibious Ready Group, which is operating in the Indo-Asia Pacific region to strengthen partnerships and serve as a ready-response force for any type of contingency, the US Embassy said.