Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ships Arrive for Exercise Phoenix Express 2010

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Edward Vasquez, Navy Public Affairs Support Element - East Det. Europe

SOUDA BAY, Greece (NNS) -- USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) arrived in Souda Bay, Greece, May 18 to participate in exercise Phoenix Express 2010 (PE-10).

Gunston Hall will be joined by the USS John L. Hall (FFG 32), military sealift command ships USNS LCPL Roy M. Wheat (T-AK3 016) and USNS Laramie (T-AO 203), as well as several ships from 20 nations.

Maritime and land forces are participating in a large international military partnering exercise in the Mediterranean Sea May 10 – June 2. PE-10 aims to improve maritime safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea through increased interoperability and cooperation among partners from Africa, Europe and the United States.

One of the goals of this exercise is enabling participants to advance information sharing, which is crucial to maintaining a region free from transnational threats and enhanced capability to conduct multinational peacekeeping missions.

The exercise will start with a pre-sail conference and initial in port training; all participating countries are expected to arrive by May 19. Involved ships and personnel will then depart later in the month in order to conduct the at sea portion of PE-10. PE-10 will official end with a post-exercise conference to be held in Taranto, Italy.

This comprehensive training agenda provides all participating maritime forces with numerous opportunities to demonstrate the ability to operate together and develop productive relationships through diverse and challenging operational scenarios.