United States Navy Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport vessel USNS Millinocket (T-EPF-3) is currently in Puerto Princesa, Palawan as part of US Navy 7th Fleet theater security cooperation (TSC) patrol. The vessel arrived in Puerto Princesa on June 4.
USNS Millinocket was sent off from Singapore on May 19 for the TSC patrol.
“The 7th Fleet team, consisting of more than 40 servicemembers including the US 7th Fleet band and Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team Pacific (FASTPAC) Marines, have already been to Singapore and Malaysia, where they participated in flag-level staff talks, community relations projects and a number of band engagements and receptions aimed at enhancing relationships and partnerships throughout the Indo Pacific and demonstrating 7th Fleet’s commitment to the region,” US Navy 7th Fleet said.
In Puerto Princesa, the 7th Fleet team plans to engage in bilateral training with FASTPAC and Philippine Marines, subject matter exchanges, 7th Fleet Band performances, community outreach events and senior leader discussions.
US 7th Fleet deputy commander Rear Admiral Joey Dodgen is also scheduled to meet with several government and military officials in addition to hosting a Big Top reception on board Millinocket for local dignitaries.
“The long-standing alliance between the Philippines and the United States has contributed to peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo Pacific region for more than 60 years,” said Dodgen. “Our discussions with the Republic of the Philippines continue to focus on strengthening our alliance through increased interoperability and capabilities. I hope my brief interactions with a variety of community and military leaders here in Puerto Princesa will be the beginnings of fruitful relationships.”
USNS Millinocket is one of three expeditionary fast transport ships in the US 7th Fleet area of responsibility, designed for the fast intra-theater transportation of troops, military vehicles, and equipment. She was chosen for this unique mission due to her mobility, flexibility, and ability to pull into ports not usually accessible to a ship of her size.
Sources: http://www.c7f.navy.mil/Media/News/Display/Article/1539212/usns-millinocket-arrives-in-puerto-princesa-philippines-in-support-of-7th-fleet/; http://www.cpf.navy.mil/news.aspx/110513