The U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) arrived in Port Sudan for a scheduled port visit on Mar. 1, 2021, the U.S. Navy announced with a press release.
The Winston Churchill follows the USS Carson City’s visit Feb. 24-26, and U.S. Africa Command’s Deputy Commander for Civil-Military Engagement, Ambassador Andrew Young, and Director of Intelligence, Rear Adm. Heidi Berg, Jan. 25-27, further building on the partnership with the Sudanese Armed Forces.
“Together with Sudan’s civilian-led transitional government, we are striving to build a partnership between our two armed forces,” said Rear Adm. Michael Baze, director of maritime headquarters, Navy Africa, U.S. Sixth Fleet. “In just the past few months, we have already seen an increase in military-to-military engagements.”
This visit will provide an opportunity for the Sudanese and U.S. military leaders to engage in staff talks to explore further opportunities to work together and establish a basis for a relationship committed to security and stability in the region. The Sudanese officials will also tour Winston Churchill, followed by a reception was given by both the Sudanese and U.S. military.
Winston S. Churchill departed Norfolk, Virginia, Aug. 10 for a regularly-scheduled deployment to maintain maritime security and ensure navigation freedom in critical waterways. Feb. 21 marked Churchill passing 50,000 nautical miles traveled on their deployment.
On Feb. 11-12, the ship seized illicit shipments of weapons and weapons components from two stateless dhows during a maritime security operation in international waters off Somalia’s coast. The seizure of the ship’s illicit weapons was conducted while providing direct support to the Combined Maritime Security’s maritime security operations in the region. These routine patrols are performed by U.S. and coalition partners to ensure the free flow of commerce for legitimate traffic and to disrupt the transport of illicit cargo that often funds terrorism and unlawful activity.
Churchill is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, which is headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, and conducts joint and naval operations in support of coalition and regional partners and U.S. national security interests in the Middle East.
Warship Traffic in Port Sudan:
Warship traffic in Port Sudan is quite visible. Last week U.S. Navy’s USNS Carson City visited Port Sudan. On the last day of February, Russian frigate Admiral Grigorovich, which returns from the Pakistan-led multinational AMAN-2021 exercise, stopped at the port, where the Russian Navy plans to establish a naval base. After USS Winston S. Churchill arrives in Port Sudan, dense traffic led us to think of a new struggle in the region.
About Port Sudan:
Port Sudan is the capital of the Red Sea State and the Republic of Sudan’s main sea port. It is situated on latitude (19
39) north and longitude (73 13) east on the middle of the Red Sea coast and was established in 1910. It occupies a strategic location in the centre of the west coast of the Red Sea about 1200 km northeast Khartoum and about 260 km southwest Jeddah (in Saudi Arabia Kingdom). Port Sudan is mainly handling general cargo, livestock, cement, containers, oil products, grains, pesticides and cars.
The Sea Ports Corporation (SPC) is an independent state corporation of Sudan that governs, constructs, and maintains the ports, harbours and lighthouses of Sudan. The company was founded in 1974 by the government of Sudan to be the national port operator and port authority. The Ports of Sudan fall under the Ministry of Transport, Roads and Bridges.
Russia signed a 25-year agreement with Sudan on Tuesday to establish a naval base in Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast. According to the deal, Russia will be able to house up to four navy ships, including nuclear-powered ones. In exchange, Sudan will receive weapons and military equipment free of charge. The deal can also be extended in 10-year periods with the parties’ consent.