In this file photo, USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) approaches the pier at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in January. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Somers T. Steelman)

VICTORIA, British Columbia - The amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) arrived in Victoria for a scheduled port visit, April 12.

The port visit gives Sailors aboard Pearl Harbor an opportunity to visit a new country and to gain memorable experiences from right across the U.S. border.

“This visit helps to demonstrate the continuing commitment the U.S. has to our long-standing and important relationship with Canada,” said Cmdr. Ben Miller, Pearl Harbor’s commanding officer from Mobile, Ala.

“The U.S. and Canada share not only a border, but common interests in regional and global security. In addition, the port visit gives the crew of Pearl Harbor a chance for some rest and relaxation away from homeport and the opportunity to engage in partnership-building activities with our Canadian counterparts,” continued Miller.

Joint interagency and international relationships strengthen our ability to respond to crises and protect the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.

“This port visit represents that coveted opportunity for U.S. Sailors to represent their service and country proudly,” said Command Master Chief Jason Ortega, CMC assigned to Pearl Harbor from San Antonio.

“This is another great opportunity for our Sailors to build memories and visit a new place to tell their families about. This is also a valuable time for our Sailors to decompress and show the roughly 30 brand new Sailors their very first port visit. These are the memorable times that stand out in a Sailor’s mind over the course of a career,” said Ortega.

While in Victoria, Sailors will be able to experience its historic Victorian architecture such as the Craigdarroch Castle, British Columbia Parliament buildings and plenty of outdoor activities including walking through Butchart Gardens, Fisherman’s Warf Park and touring the Fisgard Lighthouse.

“I think it’ll be a good place to visit because I’ve always wanted to see Canada,” said Information System Technician 3rd Class Justin Pethtel, a Sailor assigned to Pearl Harbor. “I’m excited to meet the people there and put a face to the country.”

Pearl Harbor recently completed a seven-month deployment to the Indo-Pacific and Middle East. The ship is currently in a sustainment phase, preparing for an extended maintenance availability.

Pearl Harbor is a Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship, part of U.S. 3rd Fleet. The ship is named after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy. Third Fleet constantly coordinates with U.S. 7th Fleet to plan and execute missions that promote ongoing peace, security, and stability throughout the Pacific.