The guided-missile destroyer USS Shoup arrived in Suva yesterday as part of the ship’s Oceania Maritime Security Initiative deployment.
Ten Pacific Island Nations are assisted by the US Coast Guard through bilateral agreements, to patrol the waters around the Exclusive Economic Zones.
For the first time in its history, the eighth Oscar Austin-class Guided Missile Destroyer USS Shoup docked at the port in Fiji’s capital yesterday.
The short stop is for engagement and partnership purposes, as well as a fueling stop before they head to Vanuatu.
“Fiji is a key partner in the western pacific and we are here to enjoy this beautiful country. We are also operating in the area with US Coast Guard partners, conducting Oceania Maritime Security Initiative or AMSY to ensure economic prosperity through securing the high seas and enforcement of maritime walls,” said Andy Strickland – Commanding Officer.
There are approximately 330 naval personnel on board who will conduct community service around the Capital.
“The US Navy maintains its presence in the Indo Pacific to maintain peace and security and to further partnerships with friends like Fiji. All the countries in this region experienced economic prosperity largely because the security stability that exist at sea,” said Andy Strickland – Commanding Officer.
The crew also met with the Fijian Navy but Strickland did not disclose what would be discussed.
He emphasized that their agenda is to reinforce and build a partnership with Fiji.
“This is a multi-mission ship, it is capable of anti air warfare, anti submarine and surface warfare and it compliments the larger strike groups.”
The USS Shoup deployed for duty at the end of July and operated fully in the Pacific.
The ship was at Guam before heading to Fiji.