Thursday, April 18, 2013
The San Diego-based USS Freedom arrived in Singapore today on the first phase of its Southeast Asia deployment.
Freedom's commanding officer Navy Cmdr. Timothy Wilke said of the arrival:
"We plan on spending most of our time here in Southeast Asia. This will be Freedom's neighborhood for the next eight months. We are eager to get out and about, work with other regional navies and share best practices during exercises, port visits and maritime security operations."
In May, Freedom is scheduled to participate in the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference in Singapore. Later on in its deployment, the Freedom will participate in maritime exercises with "regional navies" and other vessels in the U.S. Navy deployed in U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.
Like the San Diego-based Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group's recent port visit in Hong Kong, much is being made by Asian media about the Freedom's presence in the region during a time of tension in the Korean Peninsula. BBC News put together a fascinating video feature on the USS Freedom, its arrival in Singapore, and Asian nations' reactions to the arrival. I've posted that video up top.