In this file photo, the guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) transits off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, July 14. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker)

GAN, Maldives - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) arrived in Gan, Maldives for a port visit Sept. 28.

The visit to Gan is an opportunity for Russell Sailors to engage with their Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) counterparts and to interact with the local community.

“We are honored to be here in Gan,” said Cmdr. Joseph Carrigan, Russell’s commanding officer. “The U.S. and the Maldives share a common interest in promoting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. My crew and I look forward to this experience and fostering a growing relationship with our Maldivian counterparts.”

While in port Gan, Russell Sailors will provide guided tours of the ship for media and guests, participate in a soccer match and a culinary exchange where coast guardsmen from the Maldivian Coast Guard Ship (CGS) Shaheed Ali will teach Sailors how to cook traditional Maldivian dishes aboard Russell.

Sailors look forward to enjoying the hospitality, culture, and sights of Gan, and some female Sailors will have the chance to spend time and share high tea with 30 local female high school students, teachers and parents. During the engagement, Sailors will share their experiences and talk about life for women in the U.S. Navy and gain a better understanding of Maldivian life from the students.

Sailors will visit CGS Shaheed Ali and train alongside MNDF coast guardsmen in small engine and diesel maintenance, preventative maintenance and trouble shooting. While aboard CGS Shaheed Ali, Sailors will also participate in damage control drills, train on firefighting and dewatering to help all the participants gain an understanding of the different techniques used.

Russell’s visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) team will have a chance to board a Maldivian government own fishing vessel during an exchange with the MNDF coast guardsmen.

Russell is currently on an independent deployment from her homeport of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and on patrol in the Western Pacific Ocean.