LISBON, Portugal (NNS) -- The commander of 6th Fleet and the U.S. ambassador to Portugal co-hosted a reception for more than 250 distinguished guests aboard USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20) Aug 4.
Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander, 6th Fleet, and Allan J. Katz, U.S. ambassador to Portugal, hosted the reception, which highlighted the partnership between Portugal and the United States and provided the two countries' military and civilian officials an opportunity to strengthen that bond.
"The relationship between the United States and Portugal began in 1791 and is still enduring today," said Katz. "I have the opportunity to represent the United States of America as an ambassador to Portugal; both are great allies and Portugal is a magnificent place to live."
Following Katz's remarks, Harris addressed all guests and thanked them for attending.
"Our ships and aircraft in the U.S. 6th Fleet have been welcomed here in Portugal for decades and the hospitality given to our Sailors is nothing short of wonderful," said Harris.
Harris continued to discuss the importance of the two nations working together.
"Whether we're involved in military training exercises, working together for regional stability or combating terrorism in Afghanistan, we must continue to learn from each other and from the ways we do business," said Harris. "These are the important military links that bind our countries."
Before closing his remarks, Harris stated a quote from Benjamin Franklin that emphasizes the relationship between the United States and Portugal.
"There is a sanction like that of religion which binds us in partnership in the serious work of the world," said Harris.
Following the remarks, the guests enjoyed music provided by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe bands' brass quintet "Top Brass" based in Naples, Italy, and a catered buffet.
Mount Whitney is the flagship for 6th Fleet and is on a scheduled deployment in 6th Fleet's area of responsibility.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe -U.S. Naval Forces Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/naveur/.