Sydney, Australia, July 22 (EFE).- The United States warship USS Canberra entered active service in Australia on Saturday, the first time that a US Navy ship has been commissioned in a foreign port, amid deepening defense cooperation between both countries.
The Independence-class littoral combat ship, named after a Royal Australian Navy cruiser that sank while supporting the US Marine landings on Guadalcanal in 1942, was commissioned in a ceremony at an Australian naval base on Sydney Harbor on Saturday.
“The commissioning of the USS Canberra is an opportunity to reflect on the shared history, friendship and cooperation between Australia and the United States,” Australian Defense Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said.
“Australians can be proud that this ship, designed in Western Australia by local industry and named after HMAS Canberra, is being commissioned here for the first time in the history of the United States Navy,” he added.
With this ceremony, the ship officially joined the active fleet of the US Navy “in a period of global uncertainty” due to the “challenges” posed by countries such as Russia, Iran, China and North Korea to the laws governing the international order, US Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said at the event.
The ceremony took place a day after the start of the biennial Talisman Sabre military exercises between the US and Australia, in which more than 30,000 troops and 11 other countries, including Germany, France and Japan, are taking part.
The drills, which will take place at several locations in Australia over two weeks, include ground force maneuvers, and air combat and maritime operations.
These exercises come at a time when several Western countries are coming together in a show unity in the face of China’s aggressive expansion in the strategic Indo-Pacific region, traditionally linked to the US and Australia.
The Australian navy said this week that it was preparing for the arrival of two Chinese “spy ships” to monitor the military exercises from international waters.
In September 2021, Australia and the United States, along with their ally United Kingdom, formed the AUKUS security pact to share advanced defense technology in what has been seen as an effort to counter China.
Australia plans to acquire a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines through the pact. EFE