By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason J. Behnke, USS Pearl Harbor Public Affairs
USS PEARL HARBOR, At Sea
– U.S. Sailors and Marines assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) hosted three members of Australia’s Parliament for a tour aboard amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), April 9.
The Honorable Louise Markus, Alan Griffin and Ken Wyatt, all from the Australian House of Representatives, visited the ship as part of the Australian Defence Force Parliamentary Program (ADFPP).
ADFPP provides members of the Australian Parliament a chance to spend five to ten days with a unit from the Australian Defence Force.
The representatives were underway aboard Australian guided-missile frigate HMAS Melbourne (FFG 05) when the visit was coordinated.
“They wanted to take a look at our ship and it was a great opportunity to meet some key decision makers from one of our allies,” said Cmdr. Homer Denius, Pearl Harbor’s commanding officer. “The crew was very pleased to have a chance to show off their ship and gear.”
“Lt. Col. Bergen [Commanding Officer of Combat Logistics Battalion 11 embarked aboard Pearl Harbor] and I always welcome the opportunity to introduce others to the incredible Sailors and Marines aboard this ship,” added Denius.
The two-hour visit gave the representatives a chance to observe the capabilities of Pearl Harbor and its embarked Marines.
"I feel truly humbled to be showing off this great warship to one of United States’ oldest and most reliable partners,” said Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 2nd Class Joshua Kennedy. “I am honored to share my knowledge with the Australians and show them the hard work our Sailors and Marines put in while deployed around the world.”
Pearl Harbor and embarked Marines assigned to the 11th 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.