Wednesday, October 24, 2007

USS Miami Completes Undersea Exercise with UK Submarine

By Lt. Cmdr. Greg A. Kuntz, Task Force 54 Public Affairs

NORTH ARABIAN SEA (NNS) -- USS Miami (SSN 755) and HMS Talent (S92) participated in a submarine exercise in the North Arabian Sea Oct. 6-11.

Exercise Sandstone, a bilateral exercise focused on boosting operator confidence with sonar systems, tested the capabilities and tactics of U.S. and U.K. submarines. The navies trained together in a series of exercises designed to provide both units with experience in detecting, tracking and engaging hostile submarines while conducting Maritime Security Operations (MSO).

Miami’s Engineer Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Todd Santala, said the exercise was mutually beneficial.

“This exercise was very even—we got as much free play as they did,” Santala said. “While we were running the points for them to test their sonar system, we were able to maneuver and develop our own solutions in the process. This exercise really provided the maximum benefit to both navies.”

The six-day event presented both crews the opportunity to test the operational performance of sonar systems in a warm-water environment. During the exercise, the submarines practiced numerous tactics, taking turns as both hunter and target submarine. In the simulated combat environment, each crew worked to hone the skills necessary to track and evade enemies.

“We don’t often get an opportunity to do these things,” Santala said. “It was very helpful in that respect.”

MSO help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment and complement the counterterrorism and security efforts in regional nations’ littoral waters. Coalition forces also conduct MSO under international maritime conventions to ensure security and safety in international waters so that commercial shipping and fishing can occur safely in the region.