BAR, Montenegro (NNS) -- Guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) departed Bar, Montenegro, June 15, after completing a successful five-day port visit signifying the end of the Partnership of Adriatic Mariners (PAM).
The exercise is a joint cooperation between the United States and various countries in the Adriatic Sea, designed to provide familiarization between the countries participating and to practice techniques that will stabilize the maritime domain.
"We embarked sailors from Albania, Croatia and Montenegro to focus on familiarizing each other with the tenants of visit, board, search and seizure operations," said Cmdr. Brian Sorenson, USS Mitscher commanding officer. "The brotherhood of Sailors remains strong, and the sailors of all four countries prospered as we shared our experiences and our nations' tactics, techniques and procedures to strengthen our collective interoperability and individual core proficiencies."
While in port, Mitscher hosted a reception for Sailors and local dignitaries including Filip Vujanovic, President of Montenegro; Boro Vucinic, Montenegrin minister of defense; Vice Adm. Dragan Samardzic, chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Montenegro; and Sue K. Brown, U.S. Ambassador to Montenegro.
"The reception allowed the United States Ambassador to Montenegro, to have a backdrop to move forward U.S. diplomatic relations in the region by bringing together all the key governmental figures from Montenegro," Sorenson said. "I thought the reception was fantastic. The Sailors aboard Mitscher did a great job preparing the ship to look its best. The culinary specialists, the attendants, chiefs, officers and everybody who participated in the reception really threw a first-class event."
"Mitscher is fortunate to have been able to support this vital mission to further relations between our countries, our Sailors and improve the security of our seas," Sorenson said.
Sailors also spent time away from the ship during the port call by spending time at the beach, exploring on foot, and taking part in a guided white-water river rafting tour sponsored by Mitscher's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) program.
"It was like something out of a movie. The waterfall came down in to a large pool," said Quartermaster 2nd Class (SW) Steven Parrish. "You could stand in the waterfall, sit in the water and swim. It was magical."
The tour concluded with a dinner for the Sailors before returning to the ship.
"The dinner was amazing," Parrish said. "I had the lamb and it was falling off the bone. The whole experience was just great."
Mitscher is deployed as part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (GHWBCSG), comprised of Carrier Strike Group 2, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22 staff, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), guided-missile cruisers USS Gettysburg (CG 64), and USS Anzio (CG 68) and the guided-missile destroyers Mitscher and USS Truxtun (DDG 103).
For more news from USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn77/.