PEARL HARBOR - USS Port Royal (CG 73) hosted a tour for 30 high level military, civilian and academic professionals attending the Symposium on East Asia Security (SEAS), Aug. 22.
The shipboard tour allowed SEAS members to gain a better understanding of U.S. military capabilities to support multilateral disaster response and security issues in the Asia-Pacific region.
This year's SEAS includes participants from 23 countries and reinforces cooperation in strengthening disaster mitigation, preparedness and response as well as highlighting security issues within the region.
"We had a tour through the pilot house and through the Combat Information Center (CIC). Just walking around the ship and being introduced to how the entire ship functions, (showed us) how all the important parts come together... as a fighting unit," said Maj. Gen. Chia Choon Hoong, commander of the 9th Singapore division chief infantry officer, Singapore Armed Forces.
SEAS is a three-week program jointly sponsored by U.S. Pacific Command and the Department of State and has been held annually since 1986. This year's symposium began, Aug. 20 in Hawaii and will continue to Manila, Philippines, Yogyakarta and Jakarta in Indonesia and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. SEAS participants consist of professionals throughout the Asia-Pacific region who are entering policy-making ranks. At each location, participants will meet with senior officials, visit military units and engage in discussions about security issues.
"Our visit to the USS Port Royal was one of the highlights of the Honolulu portion of our symposium. Not only did the crew provide a warm welcome to our visitors, but their explanation of the dual capabilities of the ship expanded the participants understanding and helped us achieve our program goals," said Karen Grissette, public diplomacy advisor at U.S. Pacific Command.
The visit to Port Royal and other military units throughout SEAS' schedule allows participants to expand their professional networks, reinforce multilateral security cooperation between the participating countries and discuss any current security concerns within the region.
"We are very proud and happy to be participating in the SEAS for 2012," said USS Port Royal Chief Engineer, Lt. Cmdr. Derek Randall Jr. "The opportunity to meet people from various backgrounds throughout the eastern Asian-Pacific region is crucial to our development and allows us an opportunity to expand our horizons."
The Hawaii portion of the symposium is scheduled to conclude this weekend and resume next week in Manila. SEAS alumni currently consist of more than 600 professionals throughout 28 nations in the Asia-Pacific region.