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2011 Chennai Press Releases

USS Decatur makes port call in Chennai, India

March 16, 2011

Chennai: The U.S. Navy's Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73) will make a three-day port visit to Chennai, India, March 16-19. The Decatur is led by Commander Shanti Sethi, an American of Indian descent. Commander Sethi is also the first female commanding officer of a U.S. Navy ship to visit Chennai.

Following the arrival of the USS Decatur in Chennai, U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer remarked: "A strong defense relationship is essential to the U.S.-India strategic partnership. Ship visits strengthen our already strong bilateral military relationship and augment the extensive maritime security efforts between our two democracies. They enhance the people-to-people ties that are the bedrock of the global U.S.-India partnership. That the USS Decatur is led by Commander Shanti Sethi, an Indian-American woman, is yet another example of the close bond between the American and Indian people. Our people to people ties continue to grow and expand in education, business, the arts, intelligence, and in defense."

The primary mission of Decatur is to operate with Expeditionary Strike Groups and Carrier Strike Groups in high-threat environments. The ship can also provide essential escort capabilities to Navy and Marine Corps amphibious forces, combat logistics ships, and convoys.

While in Chennai, Decatur crewmembers will participate in various community service events. Commander Sethi will also hold a roundtable discussion with local female students.

The port call of USS Decatur to an Indian port comes close on the heels of the USNS Safeguard, a salvage class vessel, which visited Port Blair from January 4-11. U.S. Navy port visits promote peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and demonstrate U.S. commitment to regional partners while fostering growing defense relationships