The USS Anchorage- amphibious transport docks- joined the Sri Lankan naval ship ‘Suranimila’ to conduct an exercise at sea in the Indian Ocean, on August 28, the US embassy in Colombo said today.
“The exercise allowed the ships to improve each crews' knowledge and strengthen a wide variety of seamanship skills critical to operating throughout a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” it said.
During the exercise, multiple ships sailed in formation to practice communications and maneuvering procedures. In addition to the Anchorage and Suranimila, two landing craft air cushions (LCACs), one AH-1Z Cobra helicopter, and one UH-1Y Huey helicopter participated.
“The Sailors and Marines on the USS Anchorage were honored to work with our partners in the Sri Lankan navy during their port visit,” said Rear Admiral Brad Cooper, Commander of the Amphibious Force U.S. 7th Fleet. “The close teamwork we've seen in this visit, U.S.-Sri Lankan participation in multiple military exercises over the past year, and the hospital ship USNS Mercy's visit to Trincomalee in April reflects our mutual commitment to strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and Sri Lankan militaries.”
For the Sailors aboard the Anchorage, it was also a chance to improve their skills with their Sri Lankan counterparts sailing alongside. A part of a growing U.S.-Sri Lanka naval partnership, the at-sea exercise follows the Anchorage’s theater security cooperation exercise conducted with the Sri Lankan Navy and Navy Marines, the Sri Lankan Navy’s inaugural participation in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise that concluded August 2, as well as the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Sri Lanka, held for the first time last year.
“The Anchorage team and I had an incredible time in Trincomalee and we are proud to be serving alongside the Sri Lankan Navy,” said Captain Dennis Jacko, Commanding Officer of the USS Anchorage. “Not only do we increase our proficiency in communications, but we continue to build on a strong and lasting partnership with the Sri Lankan Navy.”