US, Pakistan Navy Conduct Personnel Exchange


Story Number: NNS111114-05Release Date: 11/14/2011 2:58:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Deven B. King, USS Mitscher Public Affairs

USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH, At Sea (NNS) -- U.S. Navy Sailors assigned to guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57), and Pakistani navy sailors conducted a personnel exchange Nov. 3.

Thirteen Sailors from Mitscher visited and toured Pakistani navy destroyer PNS Shahjahan (D 186), during an exchange of Sailors for the day.

"They were very happy to have us aboard and show off their ship," said Quartermaster 2nd Class Steven Parrish, one of the Sailors who toured Shahjahan.

While Mitscher Sailors visited Shahjahan, nine Pakistani sailors embarked Mitscher to participate in a visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) exercise.

"They came on board and we got right into the scenario," said Lt. j.g. John Kimmel, Mitscher's training and boarding officer. "They showed us what they could do and they proved to be very capable of the mission."

During the exchange, Mitscher's VBSS team observed as the Pakistani VBSS team demonstrated their techniques and had an opportunity to ask questions about their training.

"This type of engagement gives us a chance to see how our training is applied internationally," Kimmel said. "There are slight differences, but for the most part it's validating and reassuring to see that most navies operate the same way."

As Mitscher continues on its deployment, the importance of relationships between the U.S. and its coalition forces remain a vital part of mission success.

"We're all on the same team out here," Kimmel said. "Building international partnerships is a critical part of the U.S. 5th Fleet mission."

Mitscher is deployed as part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (GHWBCSG) to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. The strike group consists of Carrier Strike Group 2 staff, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, Destroyer Squadron 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 destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103).


For more news from USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn77/.

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