The first United States warship to be commissioned in a foreign port has been put into service in Sydney. Dignitaries and leaders of both the United States and the Australian navies attended the event that took place at Garden Island.
On Saturday, the USS Canberra, a littoral combat ship with a crew of fifty, saw her colours hoisted to the mast. At the same time, its company of servicemen and servicewomen welcomed the addition of the ship to the fleet.
The battle vessel is only the second in the United States Navy to be named after a city that is not located in the United States. In addition to being very agile, it is capable of reaching high speeds of up to 40 knots.
It wasn’t until its predecessor, the USS Canberra heavy cruiser, which was launched in 1943 during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration, that another United States ship had the name of a city located outside of the United States.
As a way to commemorate the sinking of the HMAS Canberra and the lives of more than 80 sailors while it was screening the American invasion of Guadalcanal off the coast of Savo Island, Roosevelt issued the order. He did so in order to pay tribute to the fallen.
Commander William Ashley of the USS Canberra expressed gratitude to the ship’s builders, praising them for delivering a “great ship” to the navy.
He praised her remarkably, stating, “She handles like a dream and meets every mission she was intended for.”
Ashley hailed the renaming of the USS Canberra for further strengthening the ties that bind the United States and Australia. He also lauded the efforts of his crew.
“The crew that you just saw bring this ship to life is one of the best I’ve ever served with during my 30 years in the Navy,” he added. “You just witnessed the ship’s maiden voyage.”
“They look out for each other, they love this ship, and they pour their blood, and sometimes even their tears, into her.”
Richard Marles, the defence minister of Australia, stated that in order to maintain the strong relationship that exists between the navies of the two nations, an Australian officer will always be a member of the crew of the USS Canberra.
Marles asserted that Australia’s close relationship with the United States was the most important factor in ensuring the country’s safety.
The only coalition that exists is this one. “[It] has been fundamental, and it will continue to be astounding,” he added. “[It] will continue to be.”
After spending a month at sea travelling to Australia from its base in San Diego, the USS Canberra will now host the opening ceremony of Exercise Talisman Sabre, which is a military training activity between Australia, the United States, and regional partners, including Japan, Indonesia, France, and the United Kingdom, amongst other countries.