Jeddah Port Welcomes LHD 7 USS Iwo Jima
Around 2,100 sailors, US Marine Corps, US Navy commanders and other onboard crew members participated along with representatives from the Royal Saudi Navy and the Foreign Affairs Ministry in the official reception of American amphibious assault ship “USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7),” which docked at Jeddah Islamic Port on Tuesday.
US Consul General Thomas Duffy received the onboard crew led by commanding officer of the USS Iwo Jima Capt. Grady Banister over a well-attended aboard banquet.
According to Banister, the purpose of the maritime visit to Saudi Arabia was to carry out naval training with members of the Royal Saudi Navy, which is part of the US naval cooperative relationship with regional partners. He told Arab News that regional security and stability were directly linked to enhanced cooperation, understanding and collaboration with partner nations, friends and allies.
USS Iwo Jima has played a major role in providing humanitarian assistance over the years. In the aftermath of the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, the Iwo Jima served as the command ship for relief operations. The ship was also part of Operation Continuing Promise in South America.