U.S. Navy ship USS Arlington (LPD-24) docked in the port of Klaipėda today for logistical resupply and military equipment maintenance after the intensive military exercises in the Baltic Sea. The Lithuanian and US navies have been actively cooperating for more than 30 years.
On September 13 the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24) docked in Klaipėda for logistical resupply and military equipment maintenance after an intense military maneuvers in the Baltic Sea over the summer. It was escorted into the Klaipėda harbor by LNS Žemaitis (P11) patrol ship and Special Operation Forces combat divers with speedboats while Harbor and Coastal Defence Service of the Navy ensured the protection.
While in Klaipėda, the U.S. ship crew leadership is expected to meet with Commander of the Navy Captain (Navy) Giedrius Premeneckas, U.S. crew members are also planned to visit the Klaipėda Navy Cadet School and Lithuanian cadets and troops are expected to visit the ship.
USS Arlington is a 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit ship, its flagship USS Kearsarge visited Klaipėda Seaport back in August. USS Arlington was built in 2010, 208 meters in length, is accommodates the crew of over three hundred officers, NCOs and seamen. It launches two types of landing craft (one of the two has air cushions) for marine operations right onto the water out of a large gate in the rear and has CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters aboard. The ship is capable of transporting approx. 800 marines with vehicle organic to the unit.
The Lithuanian Navy and the U.S. Navy has had intense cooperation since 1992 when it was re-established. The first U.S. ship, USS Hawes (FFG-53) frigate paid a visit to Klaipėda right that summer. The cooperation is intensely practiced at various exercises in the Baltic Sea, Lithuania officers and seamen are constantly improving qualifications at different schools and courses at the U.S. Navy invitation.
Photo credits: PO 1st Class Audrius Vitkauskas and Ensign Rūta Abramovičiūtė