The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61) docked briefly in Lebanon, the U.S. embassy in Beirut said on Sunday, as regional tensions continue to rise.
U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard and Vice Admiral James Malloy hosted “an on-board reception for U.S. and Lebanese officials”, it added.
USS Ramage docked at the port of Beirut for 24-hours as a “security reminder,” Richard said.
“The US Navy is not far away, and our ships were often near the Mediterranean, and will remain so,” the American envoy added.
During the reception, the vice admiral and ambassador underscored “the ongoing commitment of the United States to be a strong and enduring partner for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), with the goals of enhancing military-to-military cooperation and promoting security and stability in the region”, according to the statement.
“This remarkable U.S. ship, docked in this remarkable Lebanese city speaks volumes about the partnership between the U.S. and Lebanese militaries,” Richard said.
The U.S. is currently engaged in a stand-off with Iran and its Lebanese ally, the Shiite movement Hezbollah, which has been slapped with sanctions and classified as a “terrorist” organisation by Washington.
Hezbollah is a sworn enemy of Israel and a key player in Lebanese politics, represented both in parliament and the cabinet.
USS Ramage is equipped to operate in a high-density, multi-threat environment as an integral member of a carrier battle group or surface action group. In addition to her own self-defense capabilities in air warfare (AW), undersea warfare (USW), and surface warfare (SUW), Ramage can effectively provide local area protection to the battle group, surface action group, and other ships.
The ship is named for Vice Adm. Lawson P. “Red” Ramage, who received the Medal of Honor for his “conspicuous gallantry” while in command of the submarine USS Parche (SS-384) during World War II. Ramage commissioned July 22, 1995.