AT SEA - USS Dubuque (LPD 8) and elements of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) began a visit in the Republic of the Maldives July 14.

The visit is designed to enhance cooperation with the people of the Maldives and the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF).

“The purpose is for the MNDF to become familiar with the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine military capabilities specifically in the areas of smuggler interdiction and anti-piracy,” said the Commanding Officer of the Dubuque, Capt. Christopher Bolt.

Marines will engage in military-to-military training and exhibitions with the MNDF intended to develop interoperability and practice skill sets that will help prevent crime on the high seas in the region.

Dubuque will also conduct flight demonstrations and host tours of the ship for Maldivian High School Cadets and a reception for civilian dignitaries and military leaders. In addition, Sailors and Marines from the ship will conduct community service projects that will further build relations between the U.S. and the Maldives.

USS Dubuque entered the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Operations May 30 and is currently on a scheduled deployment as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group (ARG). The ARG consists of the USS Peleliu (LHA 5), USS Dubuque (LPD 8), USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) and the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.