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US Warship Arrives for Joint Exercise
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The USS Juneau (LPD 10) arrived on Wednesday at Zhanjiang, a port city of south China's Guangdong Province
to prepare for a joint search-and-rescue exercise with the Chinese navy.


This marks the third visit for the US warship to Zhanjiang since this south China port opened to foreign warships in 2003.


The USS Juneau, the US navy's only forward-deployed amphibious transport dock, is captained by Commander of the US Pacific Fleet Gary Roughead. Roughead will oversee the joint search-and-rescue operation between the two navies.


The USS Juneau’s 650-strong crew were warmly greeted by over 400 Chinese navy officers and sailors.


Later Wednesday, Roughead will meet with Gu Wengen, commander of the South China Sea fleet of the PLA’s Navy.


The exercise will be held in the South China Sea on Sunday, according to the Chinese Defense Ministry. The exercise will involve China's guided missile destroyer "Zhanjiang", fuel tanker "Dongting Lake," the USS Juneau (LPD 10) and the USS missile destroyer Fitzgerald.




"These exercises will help improve understanding and build mutual trust between the two militaries, particularly the two navies," said a statement issued by the Chinese Defense Ministry.


The event is the second phase of the first-ever joint Sino-American search-and-rescue exercises, as agreed on by Chinese and US military leaders. The first phase took place in September off Hawaii and consisted of communications and passing exercises.







(Xinhua News Agency November 16, 2006)

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