NORFOLK (NNS) -- Sailors participated in simulated ship handling exercises at the Marine Safety International (MSI) Navy Bridge Resource Management (BRM) facility aboard Naval Station Norfolk, June 22, as part of FRUKUS 2011.
FRUKUS is an invitational exercise designed to enhance communication and interoperability between the navies of France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The exercise began June 20 in Norfolk and will conclude July 1.
The bridge simulator is one of the training evolutions scheduled for the in-port phase of the two-week exercise. French, Russian and British sailors simulated guiding a U.S. ship through various scenarios, including docking pier side, man overboard drills and underway replenishments.
"The sailors performed well, especially when considering they were training on a type of ship they had never been aboard before," said retired Capt. Fred Triggs, bridge trainer instructor.
Triggs said the bridge simulator is capable of recreating realistic operating conditions, such as in severe weather and heavy seas, for virtually any surface ship in the U.S. Fleet.
"This exercise is meant to show the visiting sailors how the U.S. Navy trains its Sailors," said Lt. j.g. Dan Walker, USS James E. Williams (DDG 95). "The interaction between the officers of the United States and the other countries involved is always a great training tool."
Each group of sailors trained nearly six hours, learning maneuvering drills and ship handling procedures. Participants said the exercise will give each of the navies a better understanding of how the others operate while they are working together at sea.
"This exercise is interesting because it's something different," said Midshipman Tristan Bell, HMS Dauntless (D 33). "It's nice because we now have an idea of how the U.S. ships work, so we will be more aware and have a better understanding during the afloat exercise."
"One good thing about the entire FRUKUS exercise is that we get to know the other navies both personally and professionally," said Sub-Lieutenant James Callender, stationed aboard Dauntless. "We also get a better understanding of each other, which helps diplomacy and working together in the future. With this training we can become a better team."
Other scheduled events this week include a fitness challenge and damage control training. The participating ships are scheduled to get underway next week to conduct the at-sea phase of FRUKUS 2011. While at sea, ships are scheduled to conduct training events centered on maritime domain awareness, anti-piracy and maritime interdiction operations.
Participating forces from the U.S. Navy include Commander Carrier Strike Group 10, Destroyer Squadron 26, and USS James E. Williams (DDG 95). International participants include FS Ventose (F 733) from France, RFS Admiral Chabanenko (DD 650) from Russia, and HMS Dauntless (D 33) from the United Kingdom.
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