U.S. to expand naval engagements with Southeast Asian nations

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The U.S. Navy will begin expanding its interaction and engagements with navies of Southeast Asian nations in the months ahead, largely through the use of Littoral Combat Ships.

According to Rear Adm. Don Gabrielson, the commander Logistics Group Western Pacific/Task Force 73, the command will build upon on this year’s successful engagements, which were carried out by the Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado (LCS-4) and the Expeditionary Fast Transports (EPF) USNS Millinocket(EPF-3), USNS Fall River (EPF-4) and USNS Brunswick (EPF-6).

Additional engagement is intended to complement, not supplant, existing long-standing exercises held in the region.

“We’re using these strong relationships we’ve built with regional navies over the past 20-30 years to generate additional opportunities to train at sea together in ways that benefit all of our navies,” Gabrielson said.

“We’re using the LCSs and EPFs, both individually and together, to conduct these engagements because they are the right-sized platforms and frankly they bring the right kind of skills for many navies to take on the challenges that they are dealing with,” he added. [source]

The objective? Think Chinese expansionism and the region.

Information in this article helps satisfy Priority Intelligence Requirement 2:  What is the current situation report and risk of war in each of the four flashpoints?

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