Coinciding with Kuwait's ongoing national festivals, the USS Arlington (LPD-24) amphibious carrier is currently in the country for the first time to join the national celebrations in reiteration to Washington's commitment to Kuwait's safety and security, US diplomat confirmed Tuesday.
The amphibious transport ship, which docked at Shuaiba Port, south of Kuwait City, on late Monday, is also present to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Liberation and honor US and Kuwaiti military veterans who participated in Operation Desert Strom and the Liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Mark Bosse, Press Attache at US Embassy, said during an ceremony held by the ship's command for the military veterans of the 1991 Gulf War.
"We brought the USS Arlington in here especially to show the United States' commitment to Kuwait and our determination to not only celebrate 25 years of partnership since the liberation in 1991, but also to consolidate our shared future of peace and prosperity, where we work together to solve regional problems and regional security issues," Bosse stated to KUNA.
"The presence of the USS Arlington (LPD-24) in Kuwait symbolizes the strong partnership and unbreakable friendship bonds between Kuwait and the United States in many fields, including military, economic, educational, and social," added the US diplomat.
He also stressed the importance of the 25th anniversary of Liberation Day as an opportunity to step back and appreciate the strong friendship between Washington and Kuwait, which also serves as basis for the two countries' future partnership for many years to come.
"We have US military veterans who served in the liberation of Kuwait and we also have Kuwaiti veterans who served in the liberation of their country. I think there is no better symbol of the strong military partnership than to see these friends coming back together after 25 years, sharing stories, recollections, laughing, and showing that these bonds are unbreakable that stretch across many fields," Bosse said.
The US diplomat wished Kuwait happy 25th anniversary of liberation, 55th anniversary of National Day, and 10th anniversary of His Highness the Amir's accession.
For his part, Captain Sean Bailey, Commander of USS Arlington (LPD-24), expressed his pride in hosting the special 25th anniversary of the liberation of Kuwait for US and Kuwaiti military veterans, noting that Operation Desert Strom was a landmark event built upon a solid relationship between the United States and Kuwait. "We came together to help lead a coalition of number of countries toward the liberation of Kuwait. It's a very true honor to be able to recognize the eventers of Desert Strom and liberation of Kuwait, and recognize their services and efforts," Baily said during the honoring ceremony.
Meanwhile, Colonel Roderick Arrington, US marine commander and a Gulf War veteran, described to KUNA the USS Arlington's presence in the country for the first time as a "rare event" that signifies the partnership between the US and Kuwait, and boosts the bilateral military cooperation between the two countries.
For his part, Sergeant Ali Al-Miqahwi, a Kuwaiti Gulf War veteran, expressed his pleasure and happiness to see the USS Arlington's participation in the 25th anniversary of Liberation Day, hoping for further development and prosperity in the Kuwaiti-US military ties that secure the safety Kuwaiti territories in light of current turmoil and instability in the Middle East region.
Sergeant Ali Dashti, another Kuwaiti Gulf War veteran, described the US government's supportive stand by Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion in 1990 as "unforgettable", pointing out the US military's significant part and role in the country's liberation.
Dashti also said that the USS Arlington's participation in Kuwait's national festivities consolidates the bilateral ties between the two countries and shows Washington's appreciation of the Kuwaiti citizens who took part in liberating their country. Sergeant Youssef Al-Khawari, also a Kuwaiti Gulf War veteran, said that the impact of the US stand and efforts in liberating Kuwait is still apparent through continuation of safety and security in the country, expressing his hope that the US-Kuwaiti military ties continue to develop and prosper on all levels.
The USS Arlington (LPD-24) is the third ship of the United States Navy to be named for Arlington, Virginia, the location of the Pentagon. It was named in commemoration of the September 11, 2001 attacks. LPD-24 is also the eighth ship in the San Antonio-class amphibious dock ships that was first commissioned in 2013, and currently scheduled on a seven-month deployment from its home board in Norfolk, Virginia.