Sri Lanka and the US 7th Fleet have enhance bilateral cooperation following talks between senior military leaders from the US 7th Fleet and the Sri Lanka Navy and Air Force, the US 7th Fleet said in a statement.
Both sides met to discuss operational topics aboard the fleet’s flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) during its visit to Sri Lanka.
Sixteen officials from Sri Lanka Navy and Air Force attended the bilateral meeting hosted by 7th Fleet, designed to share knowledge and discuss lessons learned within the Indo-Asia-Pacific.
“I hope that we can have something constructive so that we can follow up for months and years to come,” said Director General Operation for Sri Lanka Navy Rear Adm. Dharmendra Wettewa, who attended the bilateral meeting.
There were also discussions about potential bilateral training between the U.S. and Sri Lanka during Pacific Partnership, a joint effort between the United States, foreign militaries, and other organizations to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian and civic assistance, as well as veterinary, medical, dental and civil engineering support..
Blue Ridge and the embarked 7th Fleet staff are in Sri Lanka conducting a port visit to build new ties and promote peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.
7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin envisions a stronger partnership with Sri Lanka. “We would like to come back and bring more of our Seventh Fleet ships to Colombo and to Sri Lanka,” Aucoin said.
The U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Asia Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy’s largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build maritime partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability and prevent conflict. (Colombo Gazette)