America Prepares to Visit Colombia on Maiden Transit 

FILE PHOTO. PASCAGOULA, Miss. - Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) America (LHA 6) returns to Ingalls Shipyard Jan. 31 from Acceptance Trials. During the trials, the ship's main propulsion, communications, steering, navigation and radar systems were tested. America will be the first ship of its class, replacing the Tarawa-class of amphibious assault ships. The ship was christened on Oct. 20, 2012 and is currently undergoing construction in Pascagoula, Miss. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael
McNabb/Released)
America Prepares to Visit Colombia on Maiden Transit 
From USS America Public Affairs  
CARIBBEAN SEA (NNS) -- The future amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) will conduct a port visit to Cartagena, Colombia on July 17.

During the visit, the ship's military and civilian crew will have the opportunity to experience the rich culture of this host nation and serve as goodwill ambassadors.

Additionally many of America's Sailors and Marines will have the chance to volunteer for enhancement projects at local schools, orphanages and other facilities.

"The Sailors and Marines aboard USS America have worked hard to get to this point and are looking forward to visiting Colombia," said Capt. Robert A. Hall Jr., America's commanding officer. "This will be our first port during the ship's 'America Visits the Americas' transit and the crew and I are excited to enjoy the rich culture of the country."

The ship will visit Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Peru as well as Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba while also conducting engagements with other valued partners in the area of responsibility. These nations are valued friends and partners and the visits to these ports will enhance these partnerships.

America is the first ship of its class, replacing the Tawara-class of amphibious assault ships. As the next generation "big-deck" amphibious ship, America is optimized for aviation, capable of supporting current and future aircraft such as the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey and F-35B Joint Strike Fighter. The ship is scheduled to be commissioned Oct. 11 in San Francisco.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command / U.S. 4th Fleet and U.S. Marine Forces South support U.S. Southern Command's joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.
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