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MAKASSAR, Indonesia - The expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Millinocket (T-EPF 3) departs Makassar May 4, marking the first visit by the Navy.
The port visit served to strengthen the U.S.-Indonesia partnership while reinforcing mutual commitment to bilateral and multilateral exercises and future port visits in Indonesia.
"The U.S. Navy's first-ever visit to Makassar is a result of the strong relationship we have with the partner nation including the people of Indonesia," said Capt. Lex Walker, commodore of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7. "Our continued visits to Makassar will enhance the U.S. Navy's operational flexibility to remain forward deployed while providing naval presence in cooperation with our regional partners."
The U.S. Navy continues to work closely with the Indonesian Navy through annual bilateral and multilateral exercises including the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise series conducted since 1995, Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT), Pacific Partnership, and the Multinational Naval Exercise Komodo.
Millinocket's visit to Makassar provided the ship and crew with an opportunity to experience Indonesian culture and conduct cooperative engagements with leaders from the Indonesian Navy Main Naval Base Makassar.
"As a vital port in the eastern Java Sea, we look forward to once again visiting Makassar," said Walker. "The U.S. Navy values the close partnership with the Indonesian Navy, and we look forward to even more frequent port visits throughout Indonesia in the near future."
Millinocket is one of three expeditionary fast transport ships in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility to continue its mission of providing rapid intra-theater transport while providing a viable platform for theater security cooperation exercises and engagements.
As U.S. 7th Fleet's executive agent for theater security cooperation in South and Southeast Asia, Commander, Task Force 73 and DESRON 7 conduct advanced planning, organize resources and directly support the execution of maritime exercises and engagements, such as Pacific Partnership, the bilateral CARAT series, the Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) with Vietnam and multilateral SEACAT. Task Force 73 and DESRON 7 also tactically control and coordinate maintenance for rotationally deployed LCS and EPFs.