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Davao is 1st port visit of USS Montgomery’s 1st deployment

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The USS Montgomery (LCS 8) is one of the US Navy’s newest and most technologically-advanced vessels, designed for both operations in near-shore environment and open ocean independently or with a strike group. -- BW/LEAN S. DAVAL, JR.

THE UNITED STATES Navy’s combat ship USS Montgomery (LCS 8), escorted by the Davao coastguard and the Philippine Navy, arrived at the Sasa Port in Davao City Saturday, it’s first port visit on its first deployment. “This is the first visit for Montgomery and this is our main deployment, everything is a first for us,” Commander Edward A. Rosso, the ship’s commanding officer, said in an interview with the media. He said port visits are valuable as it allows them to demonstrate their commitment to maritime security in the region while strengthening relationships with allies. “We arrived here aiming to strengthen our partnership and our alliance with the Philippines by exchanging cultural ideas, interoperability,” said Mr. Rosso, who was stationed at the former US military’s Clark Air Force Base in Luzon in 1990-1991. “We had an opportunity today wherein two coastguard ships and Philippine Navy ships escorted us. It is a good opportunity to establish a dialogue and work some communication and language barrier. That is the kind of stuff that we need to work on,” he added. Mr. Rosso also dismissed speculations that their port call has something to do with the recent large research vessels sent by China in Davao. “It has nothing to do with the Chinese. The US and the Philippines have been in a partnership over the years. Think about the over four million Filipino-Americans in the US. Anytime is 350,000 Philippine citizens traveling in the US and most of them US veterans,” Mr. Rosso also said, “We have a bunch of sailors from Filipino-American descent. They’re excited to be back here in the Philippines and show off what they have learned and how they support the US-Philippine alliance.” — Maya M. Padillo





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