DARWIN, Australia -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106) arrived in Darwin, Australia, April 17, for a scheduled port visit.
The visit provides Sailors the opportunity to experience Darwin’s culture and explore the outback.
"My Sailors are looking forward to being in Darwin and experiencing Australia,” said Cmdr. Leonard Leos, Stockdale’s commanding officer. “It's rich culture, wildlife, and shared naval heritage make it one of our favorite places to visit. We have a special relationship with Australia, a critical Indo-Pacific ally who has fought alongside the United States for over 100 years.“
Leos also mentioned the historical significance of the waters above Australia’s north-central port city.
“On the way into Darwin we passed the Sunda Strait. My crew learned about HMAS Perth and USS Houston, who together made the ultimate sacrifice over 77 years ago," Leos said. "Our military ties and interoperability have only grown stronger since WWII, and this port visit will go a long way to continue that relationship, as well as give the crew some much needed down time."
For many Sailors, this was not only their first 7th Fleet port visit, but also their first time in Australia.
“I am very excited to visit Darwin because I’ve always wanted to go to Australia,” said Personnel Specialist Seaman Pedro Sanchez, from Sacramento, California. “I am looking forward to meeting the people in Australia and enjoying the culture. I plan on sightseeing, exploring the city and trying their native cuisine.”
Stockdale Sailors will also have the opportunity to participate in community relations events while in port Darwin.
The Stockdale is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.