By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chris Roys
The Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) pulled into Riga, Latvia for a scheduled port visit, June 22, 2019.
The port visit comes at the conclusion of Fort McHenry’s participation in Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2019, the premier annual maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic region and one of the largest exercises in northern Europe.
“After a demanding two week exercise, it’s nice to get some down time for the crew,” said Cmdr. Steve Schmidt, commanding officer of Fort McHenry. “I know the crew is looking forward to exploring downtown Riga while on liberty.”
The port visit will afford Fort McHenry Sailors the opportunity to enjoy some time off and a rare opportunity to see a country not frequented by U.S. Navy vessels. They will also participate in community relations projects to give back to the city that has welcomed them.
Fort McHenry is currently on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th fleet areas of responsibility.