VILNIUS – The USS Kearsarge (LHD-3), the largest warship ever to visit Lithuania, arrived in the port of Klaipeda on Saturday, the US embassy in Vilnius said.
"@USSKearsarge (LHD 3), flagship of @22nd_meuin, largest military ship to ever visit #Lithuania, arrived in #Klaipeda port early in the morning today," the embassy tweeted on Saturday.
"It is here to demonstrate US unity & solidarity w/ Lithuania & other #NATO allies. It will be @portofklaipeda1until 08/23."
An official welcoming ceremony for the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, the flagship of the 22nd US Marine Expeditionary Unit, is scheduled for Monday.
Kearsarge is 257.3 meters long, 60.1 meters wide and has a draft of 10.5 meters. The ship has a crew of more than 2,000, but up to 1,500 crew members are on board at a time.
The US is Lithuania’s strategic partner and key ally in ensuring security of the Baltic region, and Vilnius is seeking a permanent and continuous presence of American troops in the region in various forms.
Currently, the fifth US heavy battalion with Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles is deployed in Pabrade, close to Vilnius. US troops regularly participate in exercises in Lithuania.