By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Barnes
The U.S. 6th Fleet Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) arrived in Stockholm, Sweden, for a scheduled port visit July 7, 2019.
The visit serves to demonstrate an enduring partnership with Sweden and a mutual commitment to regional security and stability.
"Our longstanding partnership with Sweden is built on shared values, common interests, and vision. We learn a great deal from the highly professional operators in the Swedish Navy. Their remarkable knowledge of the Baltic Sea is invaluable," said Capt. Cassidy Norman, the commanding officer of the USS Mount Whitney. "We recently completed dynamic partnership building operations during BALTOPS 2019. During the exercise, we were quite impressed with Sweden's involvement in BALTOPS, including the modernized Visby-class corvettes, HSwMS Nykoping and HSwMS Karlstad, and Södermanland class submarine, HSwSUB Sodermanland. Training together for mine clearance operations, including the recently updated Swedish fleet of minehunters, is vital in keeping the sea lanes free and open for all vessels."
Mount Whitney arrived in Helsinki following a visit in Estonia, Finland, and participation in the 47th iteration of exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) from June 9-21, 2019.
During the visit, the crew of Mount Whitney is scheduled to hold a reception for distinguished visitors and local leaders aboard the ship, conduct an office call at the City Hall of Stockholm, and participate in a community relations clean up run, known as plogging.
“We were honored to have a liaison officer from Sweden onboard the Mount Whitney during BALTOPS andafter chatting with the liaison officer, several members of our crew are now even more excited to visit Stockholm," said Norman. "We are grateful for the hospitality of our Swedish hosts and are happy to have the chance to meet with Swedish political and military leaders to continue building the strong relationship between the U.S. and Sweden."
Mount Whitney, homeported in Gaeta, Italy, is the U.S. 6th Fleet flagship and operates with a combined crew of U.S. Sailors and Military Sealift Command civil service mariners. U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.