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Tarawa Hosts Coalition Leadership in Djibouti

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080410-02
Release Date: 4/10/2008 10:12:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Mike Leporati, Fleet Public Affairs Center Pacific

DJIBOUTI (NNS) -- Amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa (LHA 1) welcomed aboard coalition leaders from Pakistan, France, Ethiopia, Egypt and the U.S., April 1.

Guests included U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Sanford Holman, the deputy commander of Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa, and Brig. Gen. Roosevelt Barfield, the prospective deputy commander; Egyptian Army Col. Ezz El Din Hosen; Egyptian Army Lt. Col. Khaled El Essawy; Ethiopian First Secretary Motuma Getacheew; Egyptian Consular Ashraf El Wardany; French Navy Cmdr. Patrice Barrier and Pakistani Air Force Wing Cmdr. Tahir Munir.

Tarawa's commanding officer Capt. Brian E. Luther personally guided the distinguished visitors around the ship.

"It is important for citizens of other nations to be aware of the wide range of capabilities that a ship like Tarawa brings to a region," said Luther. "We're warfighters, but we're also nation-builders. Touring the ship provides the officials of coalition nations a first-hand look at all those capabilities and gives them a chance to understand and describe them accurately to their colleagues and fellow citizens back home."

During the tour, Luther showed the visitors Tarawa's well-deck and landing craft, medical and surgical spaces, pilothouse and AV-8B harrier flight operations. Additionally, the guests spent two hours interacting with Sailors and Marines as they learned about the ship's namesake and its mission.

"All in all, it was a good exchange of foreign cultures," said Luther. "I believe the sentiments expressed by the generals were shared by all the visitors, and the visit was, in every sense, a great success."

Tarawa is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of Maritime Security Operations.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.



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