DAVAO CITY -- The commanding officer of the Independence-class littoral combat ship USS Montgomery (LCS 8) clarified over the weekend that its presence in this city is purely a "goodwill visit".
USS Montgomery Commander Edward Rosso said they also want to strengthen exchanges of cultural ideas for an inter-operation with the Philippine Navy.
“Port visits allow us to demonstrate our commitment to maritime security in the region while strengthening relationships with our friends, partners, and allies,” Rosso said in an interview.
Rosso added that they also wanted to see Davao, the ship's first port visit to the Philippines. The USS Montgomery arrived in Davao late Saturday afternoon. It has 70 personnel on board.
Rosso said it is an honor to visit one of the longest-standing US allies in the Indo-Pacific region.
“My crew and I are very much looking forward to visiting Davao City,” Rosso said.
In a press release issued by the US Embassy Public Information Office, Rear Admiral Joey Tynch, commander of the Logistics Group Western Pacific, stressed the importance of the US-Philippine partnership - with the two countries' long history of cooperation and partnership based on mutual trust, respect and decades of friendship.
"Every port visit and exercise we complete together continues to strengthen maritime security and regional stability," Tynch said.
USS Montgomery is known to be a fast, agile and mission-focused, littoral combat ships designed to operate in near-shore environments and employ modular mission packages that can be configured for surface warfare, mine countermeasures, or anti-submarine warfare.
The US 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of US national interests in the Indo-Pacific area of operations.
As the US Navy's largest numbered fleet, the US 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability and prevent conflict. (PNA)