US destroyer Shoup on second Fiji stop in two weeks

Days after wrapping up the deployment’s first Fiji port call, US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Shoup (DDG 86) returned to Suva, Fiji, on October 14.

USS Shoup previously arrived in Suva as part of the ship’s Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) deployment on October 3.

The US Navy did not provide specific information as to why the destroyer was making a return visit in such a short span saying only the port call was part of the ship’s maritime security mission with Pacific Island nations.

“While in Suva, USS Shoup will host a formal reception, highlighting the partnership between the US Navy and country of Fiji, as well as Shoup’s OMSI mission,” the navy said. Shoup sailors will also conduct professional exchanges with Fijian sailors and participate in community events during the port visit.

“We’re looking forward to hosting our Fijian counterparts aboard the Navy’s finest warship,” said Cmdr. Andy Strickland, commanding officer of USS Shoup. “Our last port visit here, while short, was an incredible experience. I know our crew is looking forward to exploring the island and engaging with the local community again.”

A US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) from the Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team is embarked on Shoup as part of the OMSI mission. Through bilateral agreements, the US Coast Guard assists 10 Pacific Island nations in patrolling the waters around their exclusive economic zones (EEZs). Each of the nations have territorial waters stretching out 12 miles from shore. Beyond that, stretching out 200 nautical miles are EEZs, areas defined by national law that allows each nation exclusive rights to the exploration and use of maritime resources.

OMSI deployments are a secretary of defense initiative aimed at diminishing transnational illegal activity on the high seas in the Pacific Island nations of Oceania’s exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and enhancing regional security and interoperability with partner nations.

Photo: USS Shoup (DDG 86) on its first OMSI port call in Suva, Fiji, on October 3. Photo: US Navy