Sailors and Marines “man the rails” as the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage enters the port of Visakhapatnam, India. Marine Corps photo

The amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage along with embarked elements of the Camp Pendleton-based 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit have arrived in Visakhapatnam, India, for a port visit.

During the visit, sailors and Marines will hold professional exchanges with their Indian Navy counterparts. They will also have opportunities to explore the port city on the Bay of Bengal over the holiday season.

U.S. Consul General Katherine Hadda greeted the San Diego-based amphibious ship on its arrival Saturday.

“It is an honor to welcome to India the captain and crew of the USS Anchorage,” said Hadda. “I would like to express my gratitude and the thanks of the U.S. Mission in India for the service of our sailors and Marines, who are serving far from home this holiday season.”

The Anchorage’s port call, and a visit to the Indian capital New Delhi earlier this month by Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet, are the latest examples of a growing naval partnership between the two countries.

“The engagement of the U.S. 7th Fleet both with India and with this region of India is a positive development,” said Hadda. “And we are proud that the first port-of-call for the USS Anchorage in India is here in Vizag.”

During the visit, more than 100 distinguished Indian visitors, including naval officers and sailors, as well as 25 local students, will tour the Anchorage to learn about the ship’s amphibious capabilities.

The Anchorage is part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, which is deployed to the 7th fleet area to support regional stability, reassure allies, and maintain a presence in order to respond to any crisis.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.