HOBART, Australia - The guided-missile destroyer USS Shoup (DDG 86), pulled into the city of Hobart on the Tasmania island state of Australia on Feb. 23.

This is the first visit by an U.S. naval vessel since the amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa (LHA 1) visited the island May 9-13, 2008.

Shoup sailed across the Great Australian Bight and Bass Strait Shoup to arrive in Hobart, commented Lt. Colin Kennedy, Shoup’s operations officer.

“Pulling into port was interesting because it reminded many of pulling into Pugent Sound and the U.S. North West where we are from,” said Kennedy. “We look forward to interacting with the people and learning the culture in Tasmania.”

Shoup will participate in community relations projects while in Hobart at a local high school and a children’s hospital.

“Our sailors are very excited to interact with community,” said Capt. Joe Nadeau, Shoup’s commanding officer. “There are some sailors who are only participating in community service projects while in Hobart because they loved the ones in Fremantle so much. The community response was overwhelming.”

Shoup is in Australia to support the Australian International Air Show at Avalon on behalf of the U.S. Defence Department's participation, and to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Royal Australian Air Force along with the 60th anniversary of the Anzus Treaty, a defense agreement signed in 1951 by the Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S.

Shoup is homeported in Everett, Wash., and is currently conducting operations in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility.