The ship will increase Sri Lanka’s ability to patrol its Exclusive Economic Zone, providing additional security for ships from all nations that transit the busy sea lanes of the Indian Ocean.For over a month, 110 Sri Lankan sailors have been training with the Sherman’s crew on operating the vessel. The handover builds on Sri Lanka’s first-ever participation in the US Pacific Fleet exercise “Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2018” in July, 2018.
“The sail-away date for the cutter will be in February 2019. Overhaul and maintenance, as well as the training of the crew, will continue until then. The new ship will join the SLNS Samudura, also a former US Coast guard vessel that was gifted to Sri Lanka in 2004. The US remains committed to our enduring friendship with Sri Lanka and we will continue to work together to advance prosperity and security for people in both our countries, the region, and beyond,” the US Embassy said in a statement.