Bangladesh Navy is acquiring USCGC Jarvis (WHEC-725) Himilton Class Cutter
USCGC Jarvis (WHEC-725) A Himlton Class Cutter in 2013
Admiral Cecil Haney said the partnership was important to understand ‘complex’ maritime domain as ‘economy depends on the free movement of commerce.’
On his first official visit, the commander met with his military counterparts and National Security Adviser Tarique Saddique before meeting the press at US Ambassador Dan Mozena’s residence.
He said they would continue their efforts to assist Bangladesh Navy and Coast Guard in improving capabilities.
As part of its assistance, the Commander said the US would transfer its recently de-commissioned ‘coast guard cutter Jarvis’ to Bangladesh Navy later this year. The process began ‘after a formal request from Bangladesh’.
Once transferred, ambassador Mozena said, “This ship would be the biggest ship in the Bangladesh Navy. It’s a gift from US.”
Last year US handed over three ‘defiant-class’ boats to Bangladesh Coast Guard to enhance its capabilities to quickly respond to natural disasters.
The Ambassador said 16 more such ‘super-high performance’ boats would be given to the Coast Guard in coming days.
He added building of 130 cyclone shelters were going and 30 of them would be coastal crisis management centres.
Two of those centres would be opened in March.
“The centres would be prominently manned by Bangladesh Coast Guard. There will be facilities for land transportation, boat transportation and cyclone-proof communication capabilities.”
Mozena further said the commander came to Bangladesh as ‘part of our outreach campaign to further bolster and support the military-to-military engagement between the US and Bangladesh’.
Admiral Haney said they were working with Bangladesh solely on ‘partnership built upon years of working together.”
US Pacific Fleet protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the United States and its allies as well as partners in the Asia-Pacific region.
With allies and partners such as Bangladesh, US Pacific Fleet enhances stability, promotes maritime security and freedom of the seas, deters aggression and when necessary, fights.
“I hope my presence here helps to reinforce to you the value that I place to our relationship, the importance of this vital region and our commitment to continuing to work with Bangladesh navy for maintaining security to support peace and prosperity,” he said.
The Commander said South Asia is critical for the movement of goods and services in the world economy today.
“My hope is that my Pacific Fleet in Bangladesh through exercising, training and education exchange will improve the ability to conduct operations together, share information and develop relationships to address shared security concerns.”
“Together we can build strong military security frameworks that benefit security and economy of all,” he said.
He said in the Indian Ocean through the Malacca Straits, South China Sea, there are probably over $ 5 trillion commerce that goes through the region which is associated with the global commerce of nations in the Pacific.
“About $ 1.3 trillion are directly related to US,” he said
At the same time, the US Ambassador said, Bangladesh as a second largest exporter of household textiles depends on sea for its commerce.
Citing successes of Bangladesh and US maritime partnership, Mozena said the Coast Guard improved their capabilities to respond to robbery, which was why the incidence of robbery has declined 70 percent on Chittagong coast.
The US government last year took a strategy for the 21st century with focus on rebalancing in the Asia Pacific.