Friday, November 30, 2007

U.S. ship in Cambodia on medical, military mission

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- The United States' amphibious assault ship USS Essex arrived here on Monday morning to carry out medical, military and civic engineering missions in several provinces of Cambodia.

The staff members will carry out medical and dental operations for the civilians in Kampong Cham and Preah Vihear, civic engineering operation in Kampong Chhnang, military training with Cambodia's National Counter Terrorism Task Force and military exchange with the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces in Phnom Penh, as well as community relation construction programs in Sihanoukville, said a press release from the U.S. Embassy.

The six-day stay comes out of the interests of both sides and the U.S. hopes for stronger relations with Cambodia in the future,said Captain Brian T. Donegan.

On the ship, Sihanoukville Governor Say Hak told reporters that the arrival of the ship shows that the friendly relationship and cooperation between the two countries are deepened.

Piper Campell, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy, said that both sides will carry out more cooperation in the navy field and U.S. ship visits will continue in the coming times.

The 844-foot long, 44,000-ton vessel will stay in Cambodia until Nov. 2.

It is originally based in Japan, capable of transporting, deploying, commanding and supporting all elements of marine landing force of over 2,000 troops during an assault by air and amphibious craft.

Essex has been the second U.S. military ship that visited Cambodia this year. In February, the USS Gary guided missile frigate visited the kingdom and carried out civic mission in the country.

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