BAY OF BENGAL -- The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26), with embarked elements from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), participated in maneuvering and communication drills with Indian Navy Rajput-class destroyer INS Ranvijay (D 55), June 14.
The interaction between the U.S. and Indian navies this year prepares both maritime forces to conduct their first bilateral, tri-services amphibious exercise.
"Conducting these drills with the Indian Navy and enhancing our maritime cooperation was a great way to follow up our successful port visit to Visakhapatnam," said Capt. Kevin Lane, commanding officer of John P. Murtha.
John P. Murtha recently finished a scheduled port visit in Visakhapatnam, India, where Sailors and Marines strengthened partnerships by holding professional exchanges with their Indian Navy counterparts, conducting community relationship-building projects, and hosting U.S. Consul General Hyderabad’s English ACCESS Microscholarship program participants aboard for a ship tour.
“On behalf of the crew of the John P. Murtha, we are truly thankful to U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad and the people of Visakhapatnam for their warm hospitality in welcoming us, and we look forward to future opportunities to strengthen our partnership with India,” said Lane. “I am enormously proud of the work done by our Sailors and Marines that helped form lasting relationships with our Indian counterparts.”
USS John P. Murtha, named in honor of Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania, is the 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship of the United States Navy and is homeported in San Diego and part of Naval Surface Forces and U.S. 3rd Fleet.
John P. Murtha, currently on its maiden deployment and part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) team, is deployed to the 7th Fleet area of operations to support regional stability, reassure partners and allies, and maintain a presence postured to respond to any crisis ranging from humanitarian assistance to contingency operations.