ANOTHER warship of the United States has docked at the Manila Bay as part of what American authorities described as a “routine visit” for maintenance and crew rest.
According to the US Embassy in Manila, the USS Russell (DDG 59), an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, dropped its anchor in the Philippine port last Sunday.
Reports said it is already the fifth US Navy ship to arrive in the country this month.
USS Russell is making its way back to its home port in San Diego, California after a highly-successful deployment to the US Fifth Fleet’s Area of Responsibility. The Fifth Fleet is responsible for providing naval forces in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.
Its port visit is intended “to strengthen the relationship between the US Navy and the people of the Philippines.”
“It is a once in a lifetime occasion,” Sonar Technician 3rd Class Jonathan Ferrel said. “Manila presents a unique chance to experience a rich culture different from my own.”
The embassy said USS Russell’s crew are looking forward to exploring the city, interacting with local citizens, enjoying opportunities for recreation, shopping and local cuisine and learning more about the Philippines’ cultural roots and historical sites.
It added that almost a dozen Russell sailors with family ties to the Philippines will use their time to visit loved ones while in Manila.
“This port call is a fantastic opportunity for our crew,” said Gill McCarthy, commanding officer of the USS Russell. “We are excited to develop deeper ties with the people of the Philippines and enjoy the tremendous offerings of the city of Manila.”
Following the visit to Manila, the American destroyer will continue its voyage home, hoping that its crew will bear a better understanding of the history, culture and people of a strong regional partner.
The port visit of US warships is allowed under the Philippines’ longstanding Mutual Defense Treaty and Visiting Forces Agreement with the US.