COLOMBO, Sri Lanka —
– Rear Adm. Jimmy Pitts, Commander, Submarine Group 7, represented the U.S. Navy at the ninth annual International Maritime Conference “Galle Dialogue” 2018 in Sri Lanka Oct. 22-23.
Hosted by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), the two-day conference is one of the region’s premier venues to discuss maritime security issues amongst senior military and defense officials. More than 140 delegates representing 52 countries and 22 international organizations and defense industries attended this year’s conference, giving leaders an unprecedented opportunity to collaborate on maritime issues and challenges.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena was the Chief Guest at the event. Vice Adm. Sirimevan Ranasinghe, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) delivered the inaugural remarks.
“Sri Lanka is geographically located close to a very important international maritime route and is working towards becoming a naval hub in the Indian Ocean,” said Ranasinghe. “I strongly believe the deliberations at this conference will be immensely useful for Sri Lanka to progress towards achieving the desired objectives.”
“Representing the U.S. Navy, and sharing our maritime perspective at the Galle Dialogue was a humbling experience for me,” said Pitts. “It is encouraging that the issues that concern the United States, such as human trafficking, illegal fishing, piracy and the unimpeded use of our sea lanes are also of concern to our Indo Pacific allies and partners.”
Pitts, who also participated in a multilateral panel discussion on maritime security issues, said the conference highlighted the importance the U.S. Navy plays in the region.
“Our Navy (including our submarine force) is pivotal in maintaining maritime security and stability in the region,” said Pitts. “This conference was very productive, and I look forward to enhanced cooperation with like-minded nations across the region as we search for solutions to our biggest challenges.”
Submarine Group 7 is comprised of submarines deployed to the Western Pacific, four fast-attack submarines homeported in Guam, and two submarine tenders, USS Frank Cable (AS 40) and USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) also homeported in Guam. It conducts undersea warfare and anti-submarine warfare operations in the 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility, covering nearly half of the Earth's oceans.