After an absence of nearly seven years, the U.S. Navy has returned to pay a call on Bali. On Saturday, January 31, 2009, the U.S.S, Lassen, an 155-meter-long destroyer dropped anchor off Bali's southern shore with its complement of 27 officers and 261 seamen.
While the ship's next port-of-call remains classified, it is known that the ship sailed into Bali after a visit to East Timor.
The Commander of the Asia-Pacific Fleet, Vice-Admiral John M. Bird, told the press that the stop in Bali was to allow a rest and recreation opportunity for the ship's crew and to allow a courtesy call on colleagues from the Indonesian Navy.
The U.S.S. Lassen's home port is in Yokosuka, Japan.
The U.S.S. Lassen is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer equipped with two Sea Hawk helicopters and a full array of weaponry propelled by a power plant that allows the vessel to sail at more than 30 knots.
Local press reports indicate that the U.S. ship's visit saw heightened security at Benoa harbor where the ship's landing craft embark and disembark crew. In addition to a large contingent of U.S. security personnel, two units from Indonesiaís elite "88 Anti-terror Squad" were on continuous stand-by to facilitate security for the visit.
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