DARWIN, Australia (NNS) -- United States Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich visited dock-landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) in Darwin, Australia July 5, during a scheduled port visit.
Germantown is in port with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) to conduct a bio-security inspection as a precursor to a complex training evolution that combines the Navy and Marine Corps maritime sea-to-shore capabilities with those of the Australian navy; a relationship that serves as a cornerstone of regional stability.
"We've been working closely with Australia for years and maintain a consistent schedule of U.S. and Australian training exercises," said Cmdr. Jason R. Leach, Germantown's commanding officer. "Having the ambassador aboard for a tour really helps our exposure as a strong partner nation with Australia."
Bleich was accompanied by Australian Consul-General Mary Warlick, Consular Chief Nathan Flook, and other members of their staff.
Germantown is on patrol with the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group and, with the 31st MEU, is currently conducting routine joint-force operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.
The Bonhomme Richard ARG reports to the Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. Jeffrey A. Harley, headquartered in White Beach, Okinawa, Japan.
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www.public.navy.mil/surfor/lsd42 or www.cpr11.navy.mil.