Bahamas officials help celebrate America’s birthday aboard U.S. ship


The United States Embassy in Nassau celebrated America’s Independence Day aboard the USS Lassen on July 1, 2022, while the warship was visiting the Bahamas.

The festivities also honored the special relationship between the U.S. and the Caribbean nation.

U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Usha E. Pitts and Adm. Daryl L. Caudle, commander U.S. Fleet Forces Command, hosted the event aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer that docked at Prince George Wharf in Nassau Harbor. Along with Lassen commander Christopher P. Turmel, they welcomed about 150 guests to the celebration of America’s 246th birthday, which was July 4.

The Bahamian guests included Deputy Prime Minister I. Chester Cooper, who also is the minister of tourism, investments and aviation; Chief Justice Sir Brian Moree; Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe and other dignitaries.

(Pictured: U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Usha E. Pitts shares a toast with Bahamian Deputy Prime Minister I. Chester Cooper aboard the USS Lassen.)

“Together with our Bahamian friends and partners, the embassy and U.S. Fleet Forces Command celebrated the long, storied history of the United States under the theme, ‘From Sea to Shining Sea,’” said a July 6 news release from the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas.

After a flag ceremony conducted by the U.S. Marine Corps detachment at the embassy, the officials talked about the friendship between the U.S. and the Bahamas.

“Our common belief in the rule of law and democratic values are at the core of our relationship, which makes the Bahamas one of our closest partners in the Caribbean,” Caudle said, according to the embassy news release. The U.S. is committed to a mutually beneficial relationship with Nassau at the “highest levels,” Caudle told the guests.

In closing remarks, Pitts lauded the Bahamas’ embrace of democracy, calling it a system that allows “citizens to speak openly about their values, decide what they stand for, and determine for themselves who they are,” the news release said.

The news release also pointed out how the two countries’ shared values support their ongoing cooperation on trade, migration, security, climate and human rights.

Caudle, in his first visit to the Bahamas, toured the Atlantic Underwater Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) on Andros Island and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) Headquarters at Coral Harbour. During meetings with Monroe, the national security chief, and Commodore Raymond King, commander of the RBDF, Caudle discussed how the two nations can continue to work together on security issues such as maritime domain awareness, according to the news release.

Before the event aboard the Lassen, more than 20 Sailors — alongside 10 Soldiers and pilots from the Rhode Island National Guard (RING) — spent the day volunteering at All Saints Camp on New Providence. All Saints Camp provides services and shelter for persons with HIV/AIDS and other disabilities and illnesses. The service members made repairs and upgrades to facilities. The RING Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Christopher P. Callahan, volunteered alongside the Sailors and Soldiers before attending the Lassen celebration. The Department of Defense’s State Partnership Program links the RING with the RBDF in a mutually beneficial relationship to enhance, influence and promote access in the region.