Mission peace and security

Guided-missile destroyer USS Shoup (DDG 86) at Suva wharf for Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) deployment. Picture: RAMA

THE US Navy’s guided-missile destroyer USS Shoup (DDG 86) arrived into the country on October 14 as part of its Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) deployment.

During their three-day visit, the USS Shoup hosted military dignitaries from Fiji, Australia, Spain, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and Japan on its deck.

The arrival of the warship marked decades of Fijian and American naval partnership.

Shoup Commanding Officer Commander Andy Strickland said the partnership between the two navies was a foundation to “ensuring a maritime security and stability within the region”.

“What we do here sets the standard for advancing maritime security globally,” he said in a statement.

Charge d’ Affaires, US Embassy in Fiji, Michael Goldman, added the importance of Fiji and American relations ensured peace and security in the region .

“We’re a Pacific nation; we’ve always been in the Pacific; we’re always going to be in the Pacific. We share a commitment, as a Pacific nation, to the peace and security of the Indo-Pacific region,” he said in a statement.

“We fought alongside our Pacific partners honourably and bravely. We share values in democracy, bonds in history and faith. We are your brothers and your sisters. We share a commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

The US Navy has patrolled the Indo-Pacific for more than 70 years promoting regional peace and security.