US Coast Guard's Legend-class vessel docks in Port Klang


KLANG: The United States Coast Guard's Bertholf vessel has docked for the first time at Port Klang.

Its crew is here on a mission to strengthen relationships with regional counterparts.

The ship's commanding officer Capt William L. Mees said they were here to build a more stable, free, open and resilient Indo-Pacific.

"As a trusted partner, the US Coast Guard is proud to operate with the Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) to conduct professional exchanges to improve the maritime capabilities of both countries.

"By partnering with the MMEA, the US Coast Guard seeks to strengthen global maritime governance to preserve sovereignty, share information to facilitate force multiplying partnerships and demonstrate professional standards of behaviour to reinforce the rules of law at sea," he told members of the press on board the vessel on Friday (March 1).

Capt Mees and his crew welcomed members of the press and gave them a tour of the vessel on Friday afternoon.

The Bertholf is the first Legend-class maritime security cutter of the US Coast Guard.

The ship, launched on Sept 29, 2006 is 127m long and is powered by two diesel engines and a gas turbine.

It was named after Commodore Ellsworth Price Bertholf, the Coast Guard's first Commandant.

Capt Mees said he and the crew were excited to be in Malaysia.

"We are going to enjoy our stay here and are looking forward to seeing Kuala Lumpur.

"The food, I heard, is very good," he said.

When asked about the most dramatic experience he experienced, Capt Mees said it was their journey to Klang.

"It happened in the past few days going through the Strait of Singapore and the Strait of Malacca.

"I think we encountered thousands of vessels that averaged from 800ft (243.8m) to 1,300ft (396.2m) long.

"It really shows how this area is the epicentre of worldwide maritime commerce," he said, adding that their first time experiencing it was "intense".

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