Sailors and Military Sealift Command civilian mariners aboard tUSS Frank Cable (AS 40) heave a line used to moor the ship as it arrives in Sepangar, Malaysia, April 13. (U.S. Navy/MCSN Gabrielle Joyner)

SEPANGAR, Malaysia - The submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) arrived in Sepangar, Malaysia, April 13, for a port visit as part of a regularly scheduled underway period in the Western Pacific.

"The purpose of our visit to Malaysia is to promote stability and security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, to demonstrate commitment to regional partners, and to foster growing relationships," said Capt. Mark Benjamin, commanding officer of Frank Cable. "This port visit offers Frank Cable Sailors an opportunity to learn the rich culture and deep heritage of the great nation of Malaysia and to meet the friendly people therein."

During the port visit, Frank Cable Sailors plan to participate in community service events and get to know the local culture by visiting museums and sight-seeing locations throughout the area. The community service events planned include visits to Likas Hospital, Bukit Harapan Children's Home and Single Mother's Association of Karambunai. There will also be opportunities for Frank Cable Sailors to meet with and exchange ideas with their counterparts from the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN).

"Our goals are to engage RMN submarine force leadership to continue building relationships and a better understanding of each others' capabilities," said Benjamin. "The U.S. Navy and RMN will train together in the areas of Anti-Surface Warfare, Anti-Submarine Warfare, and Quality Assurance maintenance practices. Frank Cable will also host the RMN on board the ship for tours which will be focused on submarine repair and support."

Many among the crew look forward to volunteer opportunities and to experience the local culture.

"I'm excited to see more of Malaysia," said Yeoman 2nd Class Tui James, who has visited Malaysia once before. "I'll be going to the Bukit Harapan Children's home. It's great seeing the kids, they always make me smile."

Malaysia is a nation of approximately 30 million people located in southeastern Asia and has had diplomatic ties with the U.S. since the nation was established in 1957.

"We must maintain our growing relationship with the RMN in order to promote the region's security and prosperity," said Benjamin. "Our strong and enduring security partnership is critical to combating transnational threats, international peacekeeping, maritime security, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response."

Frank Cable, forward deployed to the island of Guam, conducts maintenance and support of submarines and surface vessels deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility and is currently on a scheduled underway period.