US Navy ship visits North Sumatra

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The USS RODNEY M. DAVIS, a U.S. Navy frigate with a crew of 200 sailors is visiting Medan, North Sumatra, from October 23-27, 2014, the U.S. Embassy here said on its official website on Friday.

The U.S. Secretary of The Navy, Ray Mabus, will arrive in Medan on October 25 to meet with Sailors aboard the frigate and attend a reception for Indonesian military officers, elected officials and business and society leaders.

On the ship, Mabus will meet with Indonesian Navy Chief of Staff Adm. Marsetio and a number of Sumatran Governors. They will discuss a variety of topics including the importance of a strong partnership between the U.S. and Indonesian navies as well as potential opportunities for future military cooperation.

Prior to arriving at Belawan Port, the ship will conduct communication and maneuvering drills with the Indonesian Navy.

The Commanding Officer of the ship, Commander Todd Whalen expresses his enthusiasm about the visit to Indonesia, saying: "Rodney M. Davis has a rich history of close integration with our partners in the Asia-Pacific region. My crew and I worked with the Indonesian Navy during several previous joint and multi-national exercises, and we are excited to visit Medan and build on our communication and interaction, foster closer relationships and make new friends."

Crew from the ship will visit local high schools and the University of North Sumatra to talk about their work and life on the ship, and provide local students with first hand insight into the diversity of personnel that serve in The United States Navy.

The outreach sessions will also assist Sumatran students in their goal of learning English and of gaining a greater understanding of the United States and its people.

The Ships Captain, crew, United States Naval Attach� Captain Robert Stacpoole, U.S. Consul for Sumatra Robert Ewing, and the team of the U.S. Consulate will also partner with a local environmental organization and the Mayor and Government of the City of Medan to clean up and beautify a local city park.

"This event will serve as an expression of our shared goals in a wide range of areas, including stewardship of the environment and the promotion of citizen involvement in their communities," he said.

The Ship is an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate that patrols the U.S. 7th Fleets area of responsibility, supporting security and stability in the Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific region. In August 2014, the ship participated in Indonesia-hosted "Sail Raja Ampat" maritime event in the waters of West Papua.

"Sail Raja Ampat" included over 50 ships from Indonesia, Singapore, and Australia. Previously the ship conducted counter-narcotics patrols off the coast of South America. The Ship is named for Marine Sergeant Rodney M. Davis, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism in the Vietnam War.

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