For the first time since 1999, a US Navy warship, the destroyer USS Ross, which is attached to the 6th Fleet of the U.S. Navy, is docked at the pier of the Ashdod Port. During the visit, the sailors of the USS Ross will tour various sites around Israel and participate in a community relations project with the city. This Thursday, the U.S. Embassy in Israel will hold a special event marking the 243rd birthday of the U.S. Navy. Ashdod Port Chairwoman Orna Hossman-Bechor noted that the return of U.S. Navy ships to dock at the Ashdod Port reflects the depth of the relations between Israel and the U.S.. "This is an important and historic moment for the port of Ashdod, which happily hosts our American partners while looking to strengthen our ties with the U.S. Navy. Israel and the U.S. have common interests in the region, so it is natural that we will host more and more U.S. ships in Ashdod in the near future. The port of Ashdod, because of its geographic location, is not only the economic gateway to Israel, but also a strategic and geopolitical gateway in the eastern basin of the Mediterranean."