The USS Montgomery docked at Muara Port. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

United States (US) Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship, the USS Montgomery (LCS-8), docked in Brunei for the first time as it completed its first international exercise for the 25th Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Exercise recently.

Representatives from local media were given the opportunity to tour the ship to be familiar with the functions and capabilities of the independence-variant Montgomery.

Being an aluminum trimaran, the ship is faster, capable of reaching up to speeds of at least 40 knots, and with its shallow draft, the USS Montgomery is able to make port calls in locations that would not accommodate larger vessels.

A view inside the USS Montgomery cockpit when it was docked at Muara Port. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

“We have only been commissioned in 2015, so we have been training to get to this point, where we can join Seventh Fleet and participate in these exercises,” said USS Montgomery spokesperson, Lieutenant Junior Grade Israel Varela.

“We are in a phase where we are trying to establish a specific mission area for our ships, there are none as of yet, but we are here now to promote public and international relations as well as to set a precedent for future LCSs overseas”.

A view inside the USS Montgomery when it was docked at Muara Port. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

He added that prior to docking at the Muara Commercial Port in the sultanate, the USS Montgomery took part in a joint maritime exercise with the Philippine Navy for the Maritime Training Activity (MTA) Sama Sama.

Public Affairs Officer of the US Navy Lieutenant Lauren Chatmas said that the USS Montgomery is prepared to take on any mission or role that is assigned to it, noting the ship’s weapons and tactical communications system.

“The Montgomery has only been out in the Indo-Pacific region only for a few months, so it is pretty new for this region,” she added.

Some of the crew of the USS Montgomery relaxing in the lounge when the ship was docked at Muara Port. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

“So far, they have done presence patrols, patroling the oceans around the region as well as participated in exercises with other nations, including the ASEAN-US Maritime Exercise (AUMX) and the Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) ”.

Present during the ship tour was US Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Matthew J Matthews who toured the USS Montgomery alongside its Commanding Officer, Commander Matthew Richter.

U.S. Ambassador to Brunei Matthew J. Matthews departing the USS Montgomery after a tour of the ship when it was docked at Muara Port. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

The Bruneian | BRUNEI – MUARA

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