DOHA, Qatar --
USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) joined 12 other warships from around the world at the Doha international port to participate in the Doha International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference March 29-31.
In the second year of this biennial event designed to address the growing need for naval equipment to control the seas in the region, the Marines and Sailors aboard USS Mesa Verde guided touring visitors through the ship and set up displays of various vehicles, weapon systems and equipment where guests could interact both with the gear and the Marines who use it.
“The purpose of DIMDEX is to bring several of our regional partners together and share best practices,” said Cdr. Larry LeGree, commanding officer, USS Mesa Verde. “This venue gives us an opportunity to show our commitment to this region and it’s a great chance for everyone aboard our ship to interact with personnel from the other navies represented here, learn from them and see what our greater role being here in the Middle East is.”
Joining USS Mesa Verde at the port were ships from Australia, France, India, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Pakistan, Turkey and the UK. All participants in the event were granted tours of each ship in port, providing Marines a unique chance to see what life is like aboard other vessels.
“I enjoyed seeing and learning about how they do business and most of all the exchange of stories and banter only those in the military, regardless of which nation you call home, share,” said Capt. Ethan Crumnell, AH-1W Super Cobra pilot, Marine Medium Tilt-Rotor Squadron 162, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
U.S. Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked aboard USS Mesa Verde spent countless hours helping prepare the ship for exhibition and then setting up and manning the static displays.
“The Marines did a great job helping the crew prepare the ship – cleaning and painting, providing static displays of vehicles, weapons, explosive ordnance disposal equipment, aircraft, and participating in the tours of the ship,” said Lt Col. Scott D. Sutton, commander of troops aboard USS Mesa Verde and commanding officer, Combat Logistics Battalion – 24.
After three days of tours, to include hosting a reception where senior military leaders from across the globe gathered aboard the flight deck, and interacting with representatives from more than 20 countries, it was clear the Marines and Sailors played a far more important role than just being seen.
“To let the partnership countries in the area at the event get an idea of the capabilities we bring to the region, to see the embarked Marines aboard, it shows the type of commitment the United States has toward peace and security in this part of the world,” said Sutton. “Seeing the goodwill we have by letting them come aboard and see what we do, the trust we showed in sharing our capabilities fosters better facilitation, cooperation, and engagement in the area. The Marines and Sailors did a fine job, worked hard and really represented the United States well.”