USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- Aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69) conducted integrated mission training with French navy anti-aircraft destroyer Cassard (D 614) and British navy air defense destroyer HMS Daring (D 32) in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, April 21.
The naval forces conducted training to strengthen the crews' tactical proficiency and ability to integrate effectively during maritime security operations and theater security cooperation engagements.
"This is essentially a passing exercise (PASSEX) and an opportunity to work with the French and British navies," said Cmdr. Richard Brawley, operations officer for Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12. "Cassard has conducted a lot of the air defense duties for us."
Daring participated in the PASSEX for five days with tactical control of Daring transferring to Enterprise for two days. By transferring tactical control, the Enterprise's staff determined the British navy ship's movements and operations. During the remainder of the training, Daring acted as an independent operator.
"We integrated Daring into gunnery, anti-submarine warfare, and air defense exercises," said Brawley.
During the integrated mission training, Enterprise and Vicksburg exchanged liaison naval officers (LNOs) with Cassard to support communication between the leadership of all the ships. Each LNO is a subject matter expert for their ship.
"My first job aboard Enterprise is to ensure that you understand all the things that we are supposed to do on our ship," said Lt. j.g. Hassan El-Eter, French LNO aboard Enterprise. "The Americans were there to help us with anything we needed, and it was a good team effort."
Sailors assigned to the visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team aboard Vicksburg trained with Sailors of the boarding team from Cassard, allowing members of the teams to exchange ideas about the most efficient and effective ways to conduct boarding exercises.
"Vicksburg and Cassard VBSS teams practiced boarding each other's ships," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Corey Woll, a Vicksburg VBSS team member. "Most coalition units are part of counter-piracy operations, and understanding how other nations board vessels has been very helpful."
The commanding officers of both Cassard and Daring visited Enterprise during the exercise; touring the ship to gain firsthand experience aboard the United States' first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and learn about its tactical capabilities.
Rear Adm. Walter E. Carter, Jr., commander of CSG 12, and his staff also had the opportunity to tour Cassard and Daring.
"We learned a lot about the way our allied partners operate their ships and their capabilities," said Brawley.
Enterprise is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operation efforts and support missions as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
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