ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates
- The crew of the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) hosted a reception on the ship’s flight deck for senior military and civilian officials from the U.S. United Arab Emirates and other foreign nations, Jan. 10.Cmdr. Dennis Jacko, commanding officer of New Orleans, welcomed Michael H. Corbin, U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, as the honored guest.
During the evening, the ambassador spoke about the importance of relations between the two nations.
“For me, this is a symbol of the strength of the security partnership between the U.A.E. and its allies, and this is just one facet of our cooperation,” said Corbin. “When I asked for a ship visit here I didn’t expect one of our largest and newest ships. We’re going to have more maritime cooperation as part of the enormously strong U.A.E.-U.S. relationship.”
Following the reception, Jacko and distinguished guests participated in a cake cutting ceremony. After the cake cutting, guests mingled with the New Orleans’ crew as they dined on a buffet served by the ship's culinary specialists.
Crews participating in an international sailing competition were also in attendance, including several Americans. For them, being on board an American warship so far from home was a source of pride.
Members of New Orleans’ crew gave tours of the ship to visitors and made themselves available to guests’ questions regarding life on a navy vessel. The interaction with guests also benefited the crew by providing them the opportunity to learn more about Abu Dhabi’s culture.
Operations Specialist 2nd Class Cameron Notaro, a member of the ship’s color guard, expressed his excitement about being able to participate in the ceremony.
“I rendered and retired the U.A.E. colors and it was a great experience; it was a good thing to be a part of,” he said. “I feel we’ve made a positive impression and this event is a perfect way to show our appreciation for the wonderful hospitality shown to us during our port visit.”
New Orleans and embarked Marines assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are deployed as part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.