USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) sits along the pier in Goa, Aug. 24. (U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. F. Cordoba)

GOA, India - The amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), with embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), arrived in Goa for a scheduled port visit and subject matter expert exchange, Aug. 24.

USS Pearl Harbor is a Whidbey Island-class (cargo variant) amphibious dock landing ship with a crew of more than 700 Sailors and embarked Marines.

While in Goa the ship's Sailors and Marines will conduct exchanges with the Indian Navy and Indian Navy Marine Commandos relating to amphibious warfare.

They will also engage in community service events and have the opportunity to experience Indian culture while enjoying liberty in one of the country's most beautiful regions. This is the ship's first visit to India.

"We are thrilled by the opportunity to visit India," said Cmdr. Theodore Essenfeld, Pearl Harbor's commanding officer. "The Sailors and Marines of Pearl Harbor look forward to experiencing the culture and traditions of India, while strengthening our long-standing partnership with the Indian Navy."

USS Pearl Harbor was launched on Feb. 24, 1996 and commissioned on May 30, 1998. The ship is based in San Diego. The 15th MEU is based at Camp Pendleton, California.

Both USS Pearl Harbor and the 15th MEU are currently deployed as a part of the USS America Amphibious Ready Group, which is operating in the Indo-Asia Pacific region to strengthen partnerships and serve as a ready-response force for any type of contingency.