LIMASSOL, Cyprus (NNS) -- The Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Yuma (T-EPF 8) and a P-8A Poseidon, attached to Patrol Squadron VP-9, began participation in exercise Argonaut in Limassol, Cyprus with the Cyprus Air Force and British Royal Navy, May 27.
The Republic of Cyprus Joint Rescue Coordination Center-led exercise is designed to develop the individual and collective maritime proficiencies of participating nations in search and rescue and non-combatant evacuation operations, as well as promote mutual understanding, cooperation, and interoperability.
The exercise is a demonstration of the U.S. Navy’s continued commitment to strengthening strategic partnerships in the European region.
“Participating in exercise Argonaut gives us two excellent opportunities: To test our maritime interoperability at sea with our partners and to enjoy the beautiful city of Limassol on liberty, while engaging with the local community during a small but meaningful service project,” Gregory Jonic, Yuma military detachment officer in charge, said. “Fourteen of our Sailors spent their Memorial Day cleaning and painting a local children’s playground park. We also welcomed Cypriot and British military and civilian personnel and local media to the ship for tours and a reception.”
Yuma departed Limassol to conduct search and rescue exercises and flight operations with helicopters from the Cyprus Air Force and the British Royal Navy.
Argonaut is a regularly-scheduled exercise and is not associated with, nor is a reaction to, any real-world events.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security, and stability in Europe and Africa.