Pacific Partnership 2017 will get underway at the Chinese built Hambantota Port tomor-row (March 7) with the participation of US Navy ship Fall River and over 100 US, Japanese and Australian marines.
The joint exercise initiated after Dec. 2004 tsunami, this year involves Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka (host nations), the US, Japan, Australia and Canada.
There hasn’t ever been such an exercise at the Hambantota Port built during the previous SLFP-led administration.
Navy headquarters said that 60 air borne US marines and navy personnel would take part in the exercise.
SLNS Samudura (formerly of the US Coast Guard) will join the 10-day exercise.
Last week a delegation of US Congress members visited the Hambantota port.
Currently, Sri Lanka and China are negotiating an agreement for the former to run the port. (SF)
(Maritime in SriLanka - 06032017)