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USS Emory S. Land Hosts Independence Day Celebration for Montenegro

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070524-13
Release Date: 5/24/2007 6:33:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Campbell, Fleet Public Affairs Center Detachment Europe

TIVAT, Montenegro (NNS) -- Adm. Harry Ulrich, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe (CNE), was in Tivat May 21 to meet with President Filip Vujanovic to discus the strengthening relationship between the two countries maritime forces.

While in Montenegro, Ulrich attended a ceremony aboard USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) with members of the Montenegrin government and the crew of Emory S. Land to celebrate the country’s first year as an independent nation.

In his opening remarks Ulrich congratulated the local government on their first year of renewed independence since the country joined Serbia in 1918.

“We’re honored to be here during this historic time of renewed independence in Montenegro’s proud history,” said Ulrich. “I’m also proud to have worked regularly with many of the visionary leaders of your great nation in the last year.”

Minister of Defense, Boro Vucinic spoke on behalf of Montenegrin president Filip Vujanovic about what it meant to them to have the United States as a partner during the developmental stage of their nation.

According to Vucinic, the immediate goal for the country is to reform their defense system using U.S. and European countries as models.

“We firmly believe that with the assistance of our American friends and our European friends, we will be making huge steps forward on this path,” said Vucinic.

Following the opening remarks, the ceremony continued with Ulrich and Montenegrin military officials getting to know the crew of Emory S. Land. The event included a live performance by the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe Band.

Emory S. Land visited Tivat to provide training and assistance for the Montenegrin Navy and to strengthen the relationship between the two navies. The ship visit allowed Emory S. Land Sailors to help their Montenegrin counterparts in improving their maritime security and safety by capability.

“It was a really exciting time,” said Matt Bridges a CNE band member. “It was evident to me that the Montenegrins we saw were excited. They are really proud of their independence and have had a lot of successes in such a short time.”

The U.S. submarine tender’s homeport is La Maddalena, Italy and is currently operating in the U.S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet area of responsibility as part of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, Sixth Fleet’s strategic priority of improving maritime security and safety.

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