By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Curtis D. Spencer, USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) Public Affairs
The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) with embarked elements from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in Visakhapatnam, India for a port call June 11.
During the visit, Sailors and Marines will work to enhance U.S. and Indian military cooperation by conducting professional exchanges with their Indian counterparts and will have the opportunity experience India.
"This is the continuation of a relationship critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans," said Capt. Kevin Lane, commanding officer, USS John P. Murtha. "We look forward to enhancing our partnership with India, experiencing local culture and recharging with some well-deserved rest."
U.S. Consul General Katherine Hadda greeted the ship’s arrival.
“It is an honor to welcome Captain Lane and the crew of the USS John P. Murtha. This visit builds on the growing Indo-Pacific defense collaboration between the United States and this region of India, and the many substantive exchanges during this visit will further solidify our partnership,” commented U.S. Consul General Katherine Hadda. “I’m also so proud that that the crew will be engaging so closely with the community through service projects and ship tours. These activities leave a lasting impact and are another demonstration of the positive impact that the U.S.-India relationship can have for ordinary citizens here and in the United States.”
Sailors and Marines will strengthen partnerships between the U.S. and India by hosting a group of young women from St. Joseph’s College for Women, who are engaged in U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad’s English ACCESS Microscholarship program, for a ship tour aboard John P. Murtha. The group will visit ship spaces such as the well deck and bridge to learn the mission skill set of an amphibious transport dock ship. Through the English ACCESS program, participants build their English language skills for professional development and enhance their critical-thinking skills.
The crew and embarked Marines will also participate in several community relationship-building projects throughout Visakhapatnam that will see them engage in activities with the city’s students and youth.
“The U.S.-India partnership is extremely important to us,” said Lane. “Being able to work together in partnership and allow our Sailors to help in the local community is a way to build stronger bonds with India.”
USS John P. Murtha is the 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship of the United States Navy and is named in honor of Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania and homeported in San Diego and is part of Naval Surface Forces and U.S. 3rd Fleet.
John P. Murtha is currently on its maiden deployment and part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) team and is deployed to the 7th Fleet area of operation to support regional stability, reassure partners and allies, and maintain a presence postured to respond to any crisis ranging from humanitarian assistance to contingency operations.