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USS Howard is in New Zealand for a standard port visit and to consult on cooperative exercises. Professional engagement with friends, partners, and allies in the region allows the opportunity to build upon the existing, strong relationships and continue our shared learning.
USS Howard will take part in a range of activities with the New Zealand Defence force, including training and interoperability exercises and official engagements.
Having taken measures to mitigate and operate in a COVID-19 environment, Sailors will be granted liberty in Wellington.
The U.S. Navy is dedicated to the health of its force and families. Mitigation for the continuing COVID-19 pandemic in partner nations has been a key component of port visit planning. The U.S. Navy continues to take appropriate force health protection measures, helping to mitigate the spread of COVID while maintaining the commitment and capability to train and operate in the COVID environment.
This marks the first visit of a U.S. warship to the country since USS Sampson (DDG 102) visited in 2016 following the Kaikoura earthquake.
U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility. As the U.S. Navy's largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability, and prevent conflict.
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