USS Charleston hosts German Defense Minister

28 May 2021

From Lt. Lauren Chatmas, DESRON 7

Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer met with the crew and toured the littoral combat ship while it was moored at Naval Base Guam.
210528-N-WU807-1090 APRA HARBOR, Guam (May 28, 2021) Lt j.g. Amber Mendez, left, from Carlsbad, Calif., gives German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer a tour of the pilot house aboard Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18), May 28. Charleston, part of Destroyer Squadron Seven, is on a rotational deployment operating in the U.S. 7th fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as a ready-response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam Butler)
Lt j.g. Amber Mendez, left, gives German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer a tour of the pilot house aboard USS Charleston (LCS 18). (U.S. Navy/MC3 Adam Butler)
210528-N-WU807-1090 APRA HARBOR, Guam (May 28, 2021) Lt j.g. Amber Mendez, left, from Carlsbad, Calif., gives German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer a tour of the pilot house aboard Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18), May 28. Charleston, part of Destroyer Squadron Seven, is on a rotational deployment operating in the U.S. 7th fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as a ready-response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam Butler)
210528-N-WU807-1090
Lt j.g. Amber Mendez, left, gives German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer a tour of the pilot house aboard USS Charleston (LCS 18). (U.S. Navy/MC3 Adam Butler)
Photo By: Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam Butler
VIRIN: 210528-N-WU807-1090

NAVAL BASE GUAM - The crew of Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18) hosted Germany's Defense Minister, who toured the ship while moored at Naval Base Guam, May 28.

German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer spent the afternoon meeting with Charleston's crew, discussing the shared U.S.-German interest of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Joined by Rear Adm. John Menoni, commander, Joint Region Marianas, Charleston's commanding officer explained the ship's mission and role during their current rotational deployment to U.S. 7th Fleet.

"USS Charleston was honored to host Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer. This visit was a great opportunity to strengthen our bilateral relationship," said Cmdr. Joseph Burgon, commanding officer, Charleston Gold Crew. "My crew looks forward to the time we meet our German friends at sea, with the common goal of ensuring freedom of the seas."

While touring the ship, the crew signified German-designed engineering equipment integrated into the LCS. The main propulsion diesel engines, ship's service diesel generator, and other engineer equipment are based on designs by German company MTU Aero Engines.

"It's a unique opportunity to discuss commonalities between LCS and our bilateral partners, both in ship design and in mission," said Capt. Tom Ogden, commander, Destroyer Squadron Seven (DESRON 7). "Visits like this with Germany's Minister of Defense help grow our partnership and cooperation, and emphasize shared responsibility of promoting maritime peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region."

Charleston recently completed a joint mission with U.S. Coast Guard in the Western and Central Pacific under the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) to reduce and eliminate illegal, unregulated, unreported fishing, combat transnational crimes, and enhance regional security. Charleston embarked a Coast Guard law enforcement detachment from the Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team to support the OMSI, a Secretary of Defense program that leverages Defense Department assets to support regional stability and partnerships in Oceania.

APRA HARBOR, Guam (May 28, 2021) German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer speaks with Sailors aboard Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18), May 28. Charleston, part of Destroyer Squadron Seven, is on a rotational deployment operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operation to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as a ready response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam Butler)
210528-N-WU807-1122 German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer speaks with Sailors aboard USS Charleston (LCS 18). (U.S. Navy/MC3 Adam Butler)
SLIDESHOW | 4 images | 210528-N-WU807-1122 German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer speaks with Sailors aboard USS Charleston (LCS 18). (U.S. Navy/MC3 Adam Butler)
APRA HARBOR, Guam (May 28, 2021) German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, left, tours the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18) with Cmdr. Joseph Burgon, from Cottonwood, Calif., May 28. Charleston, part of Destroyer Sqaudron Seven, is on a rotational deployment operating in the U.S. 7th fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as a ready-response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby Mothershead)
210528-N-JO829-1036 German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, left, tours USS Charleston (LCS 18) with Cmdr. Joseph Burgon. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Colby Mothershead)
SLIDESHOW | 4 images | 210528-N-JO829-1036 German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, left, tours USS Charleston (LCS 18) with Cmdr. Joseph Burgon. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Colby Mothershead)
APRA HARBOR, Guam (May 28, 2021) German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer departs the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18) following a tour, May 28. Charleston, part of Destroyer Squadron Seven, is on a rotational deployment operating in the U.S. 7th fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as a ready-response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Colby Mothershead)
210528-N-JO829-1131 German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer departs USS Charleston (LCS 18) following a tour. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Colby Mothershead)
SLIDESHOW | 4 images | 210528-N-JO829-1131 German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer departs USS Charleston (LCS 18) following a tour. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Colby Mothershead)
210528-N-WU807-1161 APRA HARBOR, Guam (May 28, 2021) German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer departs Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18), May 28. Charleston, part of Destroyer Squadron Seven, is on a rotational deployment operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operation to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as a ready response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam Butler)
210528-N-WU807-1161 German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer departs USS Charleston (LCS 18). (U.S. Navy/MC3 Adam Butler)
SLIDESHOW | 4 images | 210528-N-WU807-1161 German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer departs USS Charleston (LCS 18). (U.S. Navy/MC3 Adam Butler)

Charleston's rotational deployment marks the seventh littoral combat ship presence in the Indo-Pacific, which include USS Freedom (LCS 1), USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), USS Coronado (LCS 4), USS Montgomery (LCS 8), USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), and USS Tulsa (LCS 16).

Attached to DESRON 7, Charleston is on a rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the region, and to work alongside allied and partner navies to provide maritime security and stability, key pillars of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

As the U.S. Navy's destroyer squadron forward-deployed in Southeast Asia, DESRON 7 serves as the primary tactical and operational commander of littoral combat ships rotationally deployed to Singapore, ESG7s Sea Combat Commander, and builds partnerships through training exercises and military-to-military engagements.

7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed fleet and employs 50 to 70 ships and submarines across the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. 7th Fleet routinely operates and interacts with 35 maritime nations while conducting missions to preserve and protect a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

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