The USS Howard, a United States Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer warship, arrived in Wellington’s harbour on Friday to conduct exercises with the New Zealand Defence Force.
A United States warship has arrived in Wellington to conduct exercises with the Defence Force.
The crew of the USS Howard, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, “manned the rails” as it sailed into the harbour and pulled alongside Aotea Quay on Friday morning.
The USS Howard is the same type of ship as the USS Sampson, which was visiting New Zealand in 2016 when the Kaikōura earthquake struck.
New Zealand Navy Rear Admiral David Proctor, in a statement issued last week about the USS Howard’s impending arrival, said New Zealand ships regularly participate in US-led exercises, including last month in Guam.
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“Ship visits like this are a demonstration of the US’ active engagement in our region. They present opportunities for improving interoperability between our forces and building trust and understanding between partners,” Proctor said.
“It is nice to be able to return the courtesy and show goodwill as we host a US Navy vessel and her crew here in New Zealand again.”
The crew of the USS Howard have spent at least 14 days at sea before arriving in New Zealand, which amounted to the required self-isolation period required to enter New Zealand.
All crew had been fully vaccinated for Covid-19, and would be tested for the virus before disembarking the ship in Wellington.
It will not visit any other port during its time in New Zealand.