COCHIN, India - The guided-missile Frigate USS Ford (FFG 54) arrived in Cochin, India for a port visit Oct. 1.
The visit to Cochin is a first for Ford’s Commanding Officer Cmdr. Donald Foss and his crew. He said the entire crew is looking forward to engaging with the Indian navy and interacting with the local community.
“My crew and I look forward to this experience and fostering a growing relationship with our Indian counterparts,” said Foss. "The U.S. and India share a common interest in promoting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and we are honored to be here.”
When in port, Ford will host a reception on its flight deck for Indian military officials and distinguished guests. Ford Sailors will provide guided tours of the ship for media and guests.
While USS Ford Sailors look forward to enjoying the hospitality, culture and sights of Cochin, they will also be spending time giving back to the local community.
More than 40 Ford Sailors will be volunteering to help underprivileged children at the YMCA Home for Poor Boys, and Nature Club of Sacred Heart’s College.
In addition to Community Relations, USS Ford Sailors will have a chance to engage in sporting events, such as a competitive soccer game. Sonar Technician 2nd Class (SW) Tim Brogdon of Camarillo, Calif., who is the captain of the soccer team, stated “Not only am I looking forward to playing with our Indian hosts, I love Indian cuisine. I want to experience some delicious curry.”
To many USS Ford Sailors the opportunity to visit India is something they said they would never forget.
“To see the world is one of the reasons I joined the Navy, I am really looking forward to seeing India,” said Operations Specialist Seaman James Wallace of Stuart, Fla. “How many people can say they have been to India? I am eager for new and exotic cultural experiences.”
Since the departure from its homeport of Everett Wash. in May, USS Ford has visited Hawaii, Guam, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, South Korea and Thailand. USS Ford has also taken part in a Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility, further strengthening international partnerships through a range of joint naval operations.
USS Ford is assigned to Destroyer Squadron 9. The ship is an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate and can provide defense in-depth against air, surface and sub-surface threats for military and merchant shipping.