Friday, April 25, 2008


USS Fiztgerald, first foreign ship berthed at Sepanggar Naval Base


The United States navy ship, USS Fitzgerald, has become the first foreign navy ship to berth at the Royal Malaysian Navy’s second largest base in Sepanggar Bay. The destroyer, which berthed at the Sepanggar Bay Navy Base here, yesterday morning is here with The 1oyal Brunei Navy and French Navy ships to participate in the Freedom of Entry To The City, jointly organised by the Malaysian Navy and Kota Kinabalu City Hall this Saturday. In the past, all visiting foreign navy ships including the Austalian HMAS Leeuwin’s surveyor warship which visited the Sepanggar navy base in May last year were berthed at the Kota Kinabalu Port. “I am very impressed with the beauty of this area. When we entered the Sepanggar waters, we can clearly see Mount Kinabalu afar from here,” said Commander Daniel Dusek, the USS Fitzgerald Commanding Officer, to reporters here. “Even, I myself had dived into the sea from this ship with about 20 metres height for fun yesterday and I have planned to go to the nearby Pulau Sapi (Sapi Island) on Sunday for scuba-diving,” Dusek added. He said the 13-year-old navy ship with 300-crew members, including 32 officers, is based in Japan and will leave Kota Kinabalu for undisclosed destination on Monday. He said besides participating in the Freedom of Entry To The City, some of the crew members also planned to climb Mount Kinabalu and join a Proboscis monkey tour in Klias. The USS Fitzgerald is equipped to operate in a high density, multi-threat environment as an integral member of a carrier battle group, surface action group or underway replenishment group. In addition to her own self decense capabilities in anti-air warfare (AAW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and anti-surface warfare (ASUW), the USS Fitzgerald can effectively provide local area protection to the battle group, surface action group and other ships. Dusek, who started his carreer as a US navy officer in 1989, also paid a courtesy call on the Naval Region Two Commander, First Admiral Syed Zahiruddin Putra Syed Osman,