(November 25, 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The United States Marine Corps from 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit taking time during their Thanksgiving holidays to work with the Sri Lanka Navy on readiness operations.
The US Naval Ship, “USS Somerset” arrived at the Port of Trincomalee on a training visit on 22 November 2016, in view of sharing Theatre Security Cooperation (TSC) with the Sri Lanka Navy’s Marine Forces. The military exchange will focus on enhancing relationships between the two Marine Corps, honing basic military skills and small boat operations that could support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions. Additionally, the TSC will provide an opportunity for U.S. Marines to pass, to their newly-formed counterparts in Sri Lanka Navy, the fundamentals of being a marine.
Images provided by Sri Lanka Navy and US Embassy in Colombo
Following a visionary concept of Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, the Sri Lanka Navy established its first ever Marine Forces in September of this year adopting the model of United States Marine Corps. Accordingly, 7 officers and 150 sailors are currently undergoing training attached to the Marine Forces of the Sri Lanka Navy. Their healthy partnership with US marine personnel onboard ‘USS Somerset’ will immensely help Sri Lanka Navy’s Marine Force personnel to acquire much needed professional experience during the period of training. The training exercise is being conducted at the Special Boat Squadron Headquarters at the Naval Dockyard, Trincomalee.
Incidentally, several amphibious and beaching exercises were carried out by over 150 US Marines along with military vehicles specially designed for such exercises. The array of exercises conducted during the training programme also included a fast-roping exercise jointly carried out by Special Boat Squadron and US Marine personnel. Moreover, a series of training exercises are also scheduled to be conducted during the stay of “USS Somerset” in Sri Lanka. Apart from the training exercises being held, the ship’s crew is due to visit places with historic attraction at Naval Dockyard, Trincomalee. “USS Somerset” is expected to leave Sri Lanka on 26th November.