MINA SALMAN PIER, Bahrain (NNS) -- Kazakhstani Deputy Minister of Defense, Lt. Gen. Bulat Sembinov visited the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) Nov. 1 as part of a theater security cooperation event aimed at enhancing international support of the coalition's efforts toward maintaining maritime security and stability in the region.
"The opportunity to host Deputy Minister Sembinov on [board] Wasp gives us the chance to showcase our defense capabilities," said Wasp Commanding Officer, Capt. Michael Hawley. "After our meeting, I feel confident that [Sembinov] has a better understanding of Maritime Security Operations (MSO) and the capabilities of Coalition forces in the area."
Hawley greeted Sembinov, a two-star general, on the ship's quarterdeck and provided a tour of the ship.
"As always, I was very proud to show off our fine warship," Hawley said. "Our crew keeps it in outstanding condition and their professionalism validates the reputation as the 'number one ship in the fleet.'"
Wasp began a humanitarian assistance/crisis response exercise Nov. 1, involving amphibious, air and medical forces in the Persian Gulf. Commander, Task Force 59 is leading the exercise, focusing on furthering the region's humanitarian and disaster response capability.
Wasp is on a regularly scheduled deployment to the Central Command area of responsibility conducting MSO. Coalition forces conduct MSO under international maritime conventions to ensure security and safety in international waters so that all commercial shipping can operate freely while transiting the region.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.