BALI, Indonesia (Nov. 20, 2011) – Senior military and civil officials from the U.S. and Indonesia attended a reception hosted onboard the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) Nov. 20 to celebrate cooperation between the two countries.
More than 200 people were in attendance, including Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia Ted Osius, Indonesian Navy Commodore Sulaeman and the Commodore of Amphibious Squadron 11 Capt. Bradley Lee.
Throughout the evening, leaders from both countries spoke about the importance of building stronger ties between their two navies and nations.
“It is an honor and a privilege to visit this wonderful country and interact with the Indonesian military,” said Capt. David Fluker, Essex commanding officer. “It is obvious that the United States and Indonesia continue to be natural partners sharing domestic and sea faring traditions, as well as a mutual desire for maintaining stability in the region.”
The Essex honor guard began the ceremony with presentation of the colors as both nations' national anthems were played. After presentations by Capt. Fluker, Cdre Sulaeman and Mr. Osius, the Indonesian and American guests socialized on the flight deck under a beautiful Bali sky and enjoyed a buffet and refreshments served by the ship's culinary specialists.
The common theme for the evening’s speakers was maintaining stability in the region through cooperation.
“Over the last few years the United States and Indonesia have developed a comprehensive partnership in the political, economic and people-to-people realms,” said Osius. “Thanks to the warm hospitality and the leadership of Indonesia, the nations of the ASEAN region and the rest of Asia have come together and are charting the course for peace and stability in this region.”
Essex is currently conducting a port visit in Bali in order to allow its crew to experience the local culture and to enhance partner relations through several cultural exchanges. During the visit, Essex Sailors will have the opportunity to visit a local university and speak with students about the U.S. Navy and also participate in a sports day with the Indonesian navy.