USS BOONE, At Sea (NNS) -- Guided-missile frigates USS Boone (FFG 28) and USS Thach (FFG 43) participated in a series of exercises with the Chilean navy submarine CNS Carrera (SS 22), and Chilean navy ships CNS Condell (FF 06) and CNS Blanco (FF 15), June 22.
During the three-day passing exercise (PASSEX), ships from both navies trained with each other in a series of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and surface warfare (SUW) exercises to promote communications, interoperability and partnership.
The exercises included unit-level training in submarine familiarization, passive and active tracking, coordinated tracking exercises and coordinated tactical exercises.
"Our intentions were to gain knowledge on operations during the ASW exercise and gain experience to improve our operations," said Chilean navy Lt. Rodrigo Daneck. "At the same time, we wish to improve our relations between the U.S. and Chile."
As the exercise progressed, the focus shifted from single unit operations to a coordinated effort between the ships involved. The progression of the exercise allowed partners to enhance communication training in a dynamic, real-time environment.
"The participants worked together as a surface action unit (SAU) to practice a variety of ASW tactics and techniques," said Lt. Jason Lautar, Boone's operations officer. "Each day built upon the experience of the day before."
U.S. and Chilean ships participated in a Sailor exchange. Each day during the exercise, eight different officers from participating ships spent time aboard a partner navy vessel. The exchange sailors stood watch on the bridge and in the combat information center (CIC), and toured the ship.
"My favorite part was working in the CIC and experiencing how a foreign navy works," said Chilean navy Lt. Christian Seron, Condell gunnery officer. "We were able to share the experience with sailors of another navy and realize we have a very similar way of life. It's important because we want to improve our organization and procedures when working with other countries."
The exercise was part of a six-week partnership with the Chilean navy culminating June 24 through July 8, in the Pacific phase of UNITAS. The ASW exercise and UNITAS are engagements within the Southern Seas 2011 deployment.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. FOURTH Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) supports U.S. Southern Command joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.
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