TOULON, France (NNS) -- High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV) 2 departed Toulon naval base after a three-day port visit to strengthen relations with the French navy, April 20.
Vice Adm. Yann Tainguy, French navy commander-in-chief, Mediterranean, and other high-ranking French naval officials toured the ship and met with the crew. After the tour, the guests were invited to a luncheon hosted by the ship.
"This is Swift's first visit to France in a long time," said Lt. Cmdr. Charles Eaton, officer-in-charge aboard the Swift. "The tour [gave] the French command staff a chance to visit and see the ship, and learn more about what the Swift can do and how it is currently employed."
During the tour, the crew explained the unique capabilities of their ship.
"The Swift is the fastest support ship working with the Navy," said Eaton. "With an average of 11 months per year deployed overseas, she is among the hardest working ships at sea. Moreover, she is simply a beautiful vessel so we enjoy the opportunity to show off the ship a little bit when we are in port."
Swift also participated in several training events, including a passing exercise (PASSEX) and a photo opportunity with the French littoral combat ship, L'Adroit.
"We appreciated the opportunity to spend some time in a beautiful port while also having the chance to work with our allies at sea," said Eaton. "The PASSEX and photo exercise that we completed with the L'Adroit was a big change for us and we enjoyed it immensely."
Sailors also had time during the port visit to see shops, restaurants and enjoy a period of liberty in Toulon during their stay. The port city is recognized as the headquarters for the French Mediterranean Fleet and is home to the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91).
"It was exciting to be able to experience the architecture and culture of Toulon," said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Alejandro Abreu. "I'm seeing a lot of things that my friends back home don't get to see and it adds to the excitement of this deployment for me."
The port visit in Toulon followed a 10-day port visit in Augusta Bay, Italy, where the ship refueled and made necessary repairs.
Swift, a U.S. Military Sealift Command-chartered high-speed vessel, is currently deployed to the U.S. Navy's 6th Fleet area of responsibility in support of theater security cooperation efforts.
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