USS Anchorage pulls into Sri Lanka on Western Pacific deployment

US Navy’s amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23) arrived in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, on August 24 as part of her Western Pacific deployment.

The ship got underway from San Diego early July to operate as part of the Essex amphibious ready group together with amphibious assault ship USS Essex and dock landing ship USS Rushmore.

Anchorage arrived in Trincomalee with the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

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.

The visit is also an opportunity for U.S. 7th Fleet to explore local logistics support services for visiting naval forces operating in a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

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 US-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.

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.”

Photo: Photo: US Embassy Colombo