VISAKHAPATNAM, India (NNS) -- The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) with embarked elements from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) hosted U.S. Consulate General, to India, Katherine Hadda and Indian navy sailors for ship tours and a reception as part of a scheduled port call in Visakhapatnam, India June 13.
The Indian sailors toured various spaces throughout the ship such as the well deck and bridge while learning about the mission and capabilities of an amphibious transport dock ship.
The reception was the culmination of the crew’s time in Visakhapatnam which included three community relations engagements and two sporting events alongside both Indian navy sailors and civilians.
“Our Sailors and Marines really went above and beyond during this port call,” said Capt. Kevin Lane, commanding officer, USS John P. Murtha. “They spent what time they had volunteering in the local community and participating in sporting events with our Indian navy partners. This port call really highlighted the strength and dedication of our crew.”
Consulate General Katherine Hadda attended both the ship tour and reception.
“I felt a great deal of pride during my time on board USS John P. Murtha,” said Hadda. “I was proud to see our sailors and marines so warmly welcome young students from the surrounding community to tour the ship and share their personal stories. It was clear to me that these crewmembers truly understand the power of cultural exchange and act as fantastic cultural envoys wherever they go. The reception held on board was another moment of pride and seeing the camaraderie and warmth between the American and Indian Naval personnel really brought home the potential of the defense and strategic partnership between our two nations.”
The John P. Murtha crew also strengthened partnerships between the U.S. and India by hosting a group of young women from St. Joseph’s College for Women, who are engaged in U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad’s English ACCESS Microscholarship program, for a ship tour. Through the English ACCESS program, participants build their English language ability and enhance their critical-thinking skills.
“It is a wonderful program and I am grateful I was able to participate,” said Lt. j.g. Jeanelle Seals, Operations, Information division officer. “It was the first time many of these women were able to have an experience like this and it was humbling to help facilitate this opportunity. It was rewarding to demonstrate an example of the things a woman can accomplish.”
USS John P. Murtha is the 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship of the United States Navy and is named in honor of Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania and homeported in San Diego and is part of Naval Surface Forces and U.S. 3rd Fleet.
John P. Murtha is currently on its first deployment and part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) team and is deployed to the 7th Fleet area of operation to support regional stability, reassure partners and allies, and maintain a presence postured to respond to any crisis ranging from humanitarian assistance to contingency operations.
For more news from USS Boxer (LHD 4), visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd4/.