KARACHI: US guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) on Tuesday reached Karachi port on a two-day visit. The cruiser is deployed with the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKE CSG).
During the ship’s visit, US Embassy Chargé d’affaires a.i. Lesslie Viguerie came aboard and met with the crew.
“The military-to-military ties between the United States and Pakistan are strong and enduring,” said Chargé Viguerie. “Through staff exchanges and joint exercises, we are working together to protect the world’s most important shipping lanes, combat piracy, and counter-terrorism. Together, we can help ensure a more peaceful, stable, and prosperous South Asia.”
The Monterey’s visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team also improved bilateral maritime security capabilities and interoperability through a subject matter expert exchange with their Pakistani counterparts.
“Monterey’s crew was excited for the opportunity to visit Pakistan,” said Captain Joseph A Baggett, commanding officer of Monterey.
“It’s important that we continue to work together with regional and coalition partners and reinforce our mutual commitment to maritime security and stability.”
While in the 5th Fleet, the IKE CSG is operating and training alongside regional and coalition partners and providing naval aviation support to Operation Inherent Resolve.
The 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse comprises 20 countries and includes three chokepoints, critical to the free flow of commerce.
All aspects of the port visit were planned and carried out in full compliance with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Defense (DOD), and the host nation’s COVID-19 mitigation measures.