USS Charleston welcomes German Minister of Defense
GUAM OF THE NAVAL BASE – The crew of the Independence variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18) greeted the German Minister of Defense, who visited the ship while it was docked at Naval Base Guam on May 28.
German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer spent the afternoon meeting the Charleston crew, discussing the US-German common interest of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Joined by Rear Admiral John Menoni, Commander of the Mariana Joint Region, the Commander Charleston explained the mission and role of the ship during their current rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet.
“The USS Charleston was honored to welcome Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer. This visit was an excellent opportunity to strengthen our bilateral relationship,” said Cmdr. Joseph Burgon, Commanding Officer, Charleston Gold Crew. “My crew look forward to the moment when we meet our German friends at sea, with the common goal of securing the freedom of the seas.”
While visiting the ship, the crew reported German-designed engineering equipment built into the LCS. The main propulsion diesel engines, the ship’s service diesel generator and other engineering equipment are based on designs by the German company MTU Aero Engines.
“This is a unique opportunity to discuss the commonalities between the LCS and our bilateral partners, both in ship design and in the mission,” said Captain Tom Ogden, Commanding Officer of Destroyer Squadron Seven (DESRON 7) . “Visits like this one with the German Defense Minister help to develop our partnership and cooperation, and underline the shared responsibility for promoting maritime peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region.”
Charleston recently completed a joint mission with the United States Coast Guard in the Western and Central Pacific under the Oceania Maritime Safety Initiative (OMSI) to reduce and eliminate illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, combat against transnational crimes and strengthen regional security. Charleston embarked a Coast Guard Police Detachment from the Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team to support OMSI, a Secretary of Defense program that taps Department of Defense resources to support stability regional and partnerships in Oceania.
The rotating deployment to Charleston marks the seventh littoral combatant presence in the Indo-Pacific, which includes the USS Freedom (LCS 1), USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), USS Coronado (LCS 4 ), USS Montgomery (LCS 8), USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) and USS Tulsa (LCS 16).
Attached to DESRON 7, Charleston is on a rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of regional security and stability, and working alongside Allied and Partner Marines to provide security maritime and stability, key pillars of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
As a forward deployed US Navy destroyer squadron in Southeast Asia, DESRON 7 is the primary tactical and operational commander of the Coastal Combatant Ships deployed on a rotational basis to Singapore, ESG7s Sea Combat Commander, and establishes partnerships through training exercises and military-military engagements.
The 7th Fleet is the US Navy’s largest forward-deployed fleet, employing 50 to 70 ships and submarines in the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. 7th Fleet regularly operates and interacts with 35 maritime nations while conducting missions to preserve and protect a free and open Indo-Pacific region.