ABOARD USS CHANCELLORSVILLE (NNS) -- Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 7 ships USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) and USS Decatur (DDG 73) participated in a bilateral exercise with a Royal Thai Navy ship off the coast of Phuket, Thailand Nov. 1.
Officers from the guided-missile cruiser Chancellorsville and the guided-missile destroyer Decatur carried out seamanship maneuvers with HTMS Chaopraya, the participating ship from Thailand's navy.
"We had a golden opportunity to interact with Sailors from another country," said Ensign Alister Bryson, Chancellorsville's anti-submarine warfare officer who visited HTMS Chaopraya.
The exercise allowed U.S. Sailors to interact with their Thai counterparts during seamanship maneuvers called "leapfrog" maneuvers. The three participating maritime vessels formed into a column, after which all three ships took turns steaming past each other as the ships being passed rendered honors.
During the 2008 Western Pacific and Indian Ocean deployment, CSG 7 ships have worked with various international partners in an effort to promote global maritime security. Building confidence and trust among nations by working together is a key component of the U.S. Navy's Maritime Strategy.
"This was my fifth time traveling to Thailand and my first exercise with the Thai Navy," said Capt. John P. Nolan, Chancellorsville commanding officer. "It's a good Navy day when we can collectively operate with another navy."
Exercises with foreign navies also give Sailors an opportunity to learn about cultures they may have never experienced.
"Being able to interact with foreign Sailors and realizing the similarities and differences between us has possibly been one of the best parts of this deployment," added Nolan.
The officer exchange concluded after both ships anchored off the coast of Phuket, Thailand.
CSG 7 is on a routine deployment in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. Its ships include the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76); the guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62); and the other ships of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, the guided-missile destroyers USS Decatur (DDG 73), USS Gridley (DDG 101), and USS Howard (DDG 83), and the guided-missile frigate USS Thach (FFG 43).
Operating in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean, the U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, covering 52 million square miles, with approximately 60-70 ships, 200-300 aircraft and 40,000 Sailors and Marines at any given time.
For more news from the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.