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    USS Arlington, USS Gunston Hall Completes U.S. - Finland Interoperability Exercise; Port in Riga, Latvia

    USS Arlington arrives in Riga, Latvia

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class John Bellino | 220820-N-PC065-1015 RIGA, Latvia (Aug. 20, 2022) – The San Antonio-class amphibious...... read more read more

    RIGA, Latvia (Aug. 20, 2022) – The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24) and Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) with embarked Marines assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in Riga, Latvia for a scheduled port visit, Aug. 20, 2022.

    Arlington and Gunston Hall’s presence in Latvia builds on the strong and enduring relationship the United States share with the Baltic country and underscores increasing interoperability opportunities between the United States and NATO allies and partners..

    "Our visit to our Latvian NATO allies comes on the heel the Secretary of Defense Austin's visit last week as a physical demonstration of the United States commitment to our Baltic Allies," said Capt. Eric Kellum, commanding officer of Arlington. "The Kearsarge ARG-MEU brings substantial capability that is flexible, agile, mobile, and ready to rapidly respond to threats or potential threats in the region. The primary advantage is we show up ready to work on day one. I know my crew looks forward to spending quality time ashore and experiencing the Latvian culture and rich history."

    Arlington and Gunston Hall’s visit comes after Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) called on Riga in early July. The relationship built between the United States and Latvia is rooted in a foundation of shared values and vision, and both nations further enhance the relationship through mutual participation in exercises, operations, and port visits like these.

    While in port, Arlington will host a ship tour for members of the U.S. Embassy in Latvia while Gunston Hall will host ship tours for Embassy and Latvian government officials. Additionally, Sailors and Marines assigned to both ships will be able to explore the city of Riga and participate in Morale, Wellness and Recreation (MWR) tours to Riga Old Town and Gauja National Park.

    "The Gunston Hall crew and embarked Marines are excited to be heading to Riga to experience the rich culture and history of Latvia,” said Cmdr. Beth Nelson, commanding officer of Gunston Hall. “We are thrilled to be strengthening relationships with our Baltic Allies while also enjoying some rest and recreation. We thank Riga for the hospitality and look forward to our visit."

    The Kearsarge ARG and embarked 22nd MEU, under the command and control of Task Force 61/2, consists of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship and flagship of the ARG USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), in addition to Arlington and Gunston Hall.

    Embarked commands with the Kearsarge ARG include Amphibious Squadron SIX, 22nd MEU, Fleet Surgical Team 2, Fleet Surgical Team 4, Tactical Air Control Squadron 22, Tactical Air Combat Squadron 22, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28, Naval Beach Group 2, Assault Craft Unit 2, Assault Craft Unit 4, and Beach Master Unit 2.

    Amphibious ready groups, and larger amphibious task forces, provide military commanders a wide range of flexible capabilities including maritime security operations, expeditionary power projection, strike operations, forward naval presence, crisis response, sea control, deterrence, counter-terrorism, information operations, security cooperation and counter-proliferation, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

    For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with our Allies and Partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.

    Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.



    Date Taken: 08.20.2022
    Date Posted: 08.20.2022 12:23
    Story ID: 427708
    Location: RIGA, LV

    Web Views: 437
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