LANGKAWI, Malaysia -- The commander of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet told a gathering of naval and air leaders from around the Indo-Pacific that all nations, regardless of size, have benefitted economically from the stability at sea brought by following international law. Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. John Aquilino, spoke to the group at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition held in Langkawi, Malaysia, Mar. 26.
LIMA 2019 marks the 15th iteration of the biennial trade show, which brings together government, military and industry leaders from many Indo-Pacific nations for a four-day event dedicated to maritime and aerospace defense sectors.
Aquilino and his counterpart from the Sri Lankan navy spoke at a chief of navy panel hosted by the Royal Malaysian Navy.
“Bi-lateral and multilateral operations and cooperative deployments underpin our collective maritime efforts in the region,” said Aquilino. “My promise to you is that we will continue to partner and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all nations who share a mutual respect for and adherence to international law, as well as a vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Aquilino also talked about his expectation for all regional navies to operate safely and professionally in open sea-lanes in accordance with international law. He pointed to the U.S. Navy’s continued operations as examples of an enduring commitment to regional security and stability.
“There is no better signal of our desire to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific than U.S. Naval operations in the region,” said Aquilino. “That is why we will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows.”
Approximately 1,400 U.S. Navy and Air Force personnel are participating in LIMA19. U.S. Navy aircraft on display include a P-8A Poseidon, EA-18G Growler, and MH-60R Seahawk. The 7th Fleet flagship, USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), and destroyer, USS Preble (DDG 88), arrived Mar. 25.
U.S. participation in exhibitions like this continues to enable stronger relations with Malaysia and throughout a free and open Indo-Pacific.
U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward deployed naval operations that provide security throughout the Indo-Pacific. As the U.S. Navy’s largest overseas fleet, 7th Fleet continues to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability and prevent conflict.