KHALIFA PORT, Abu Dhabi
- The U.S. Embassy to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) hosted a reception for senior UAE officials, business leaders, members of the press, and members of the diplomatic corps aboard USS Rushmore (LSD 47), Jan. 27.
The San Diego based Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship arrived at Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port on Jan. 26, making the United States ship the second to call on the port since its official opening on Dec. 12, 2012.
The Michael H. Corbin, the U.S. Ambassador to UAE, called the inauguration of the port and Rushmore’s visit a historic moment.
“I look forward to having U.S. ships visit the port on a regular basis,” said Corbin. “The use of the Khalifa Port for our naval vessels is yet another symbol of the strong bilateral relationship that the United States shares with the United Arab Emirates.”
During the reception, Cmdr. Tate Robinson, Commanding Officer of Rushmore, expressed his appreciation for the warm welcome to the newest United Arab Emirates port.
“It is an honor to be able to showcase the U.S Navy and to highlight our partnership with the U.A.E.,” said Robinson.
Also during the reception Robinson shared Rushmore’s history and ship capabilities and offered tours of the ship to guests.
Managed by Abu Dhabi Ports Company, the new Khalifa Port is the first semi-automated container terminal in the region and is a key part of the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) megaproject. Through phased development, the port is designed to grow to a capacity of 15 million containers of traffic and 35 million tons of general cargo by 2030.
Rushmore is a part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group, with the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and is currently deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.