US naval ship to visit Maldives

A United States naval ship is due to visit the Maldives in mid-October as part of a routine patrol of the Indian Ocean, the US embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka has said.

The USS Rodney M. Davis is “an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate with the U.S. 7th Fleet”, the embassy explained in a press release.

The ship’s officers and crew are expected to work with the Maldives National Defence Force, including its coast guard, “to improve regional security through close communication, coordination and information exchanges, while supporting at-sea and ashore training opportunities.”

“It will be tremendously beneficial to build on our excellent relationships with the maritime nations of the Indian Ocean,” the press release quoted Vice Admiral Robert Thomas, Commander US 7th Fleet, as saying.

“The area is critical to regional security, and the partnerships we build with this training will go a long way to creating a more professional and stable maritime environment.”

“My crew and I are excited to visit the Maldives,” said Commander Todd Whalen, commanding officer of the Rodney M. Davis, expressing gratitude to the Maldivian government for the opportunity to visit the country.

“We are grateful for the chance to make new friends and work with our counterparts in the Maldivian National Defence Forces.”

According to the embassy, “the Rodney M. Davis is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”