The US is 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 US and partner militaries and humanitarian organizations, an official of the US Embassy in Sri Lanka said today.
In a statement issued over the arrival of the USS Anchorage at Trincomalee Port, Robert Hilton, Chargé d’affaires ad interim of the US Embassy said thearrival of the ship and scheduled training will build shared capacity to respond to humanitarian emergencies in the Indo-Pacific region.
Amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23), with the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in Trincomaleefor a scheduled port visit on Friday.
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 US Embassy said the visit is also an opportunity for US Seventh Fleet to explore local logistics support services for visiting naval forces operating throughout the Indo-Pacific region.
Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, commander, Amphibious Force U.S. 7th Fleet said the US Navy and Marine Corps team is deeply committed to continuing to strengthen our partnership with the Sri Lankan armed forces.
“We are proud of the tremendous work that American Sailors and Marines are doing alongside their Sri Lankan teammates.”
Captain Dennis Jacko, commanding officer of Anchorage, said 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.
Captain Jacko also emphasized the damage control training that will occur during the visit. “The US Navy damage control program is the world’s most proficient, and I’m excited to be a part of sharing our best practices with the Sri Lankan Navy. I’m also very pleased to be able to return to Sri Lanka since visiting in 2010 on USS Pearl Harbor.”
Cmdr. Deborah K. McIvy, assistant chief of staff, Expeditionary Strike Group 7 said the Sri Lankan navy, host nation support team and the US Embassy have provided tremendous assistance and cooperation in developing the first temporary air logistics hub concept in Sri Lanka.