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PE12 Continues Multinational Training, Promotes Teamwork
Sailors assigned to the guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) participated in a multinational training exercise aboard the Hellenic navy training ship Aris at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operations Training Center (NMIOTC) in support of
SOUDA BAY, Crete - Staff Sergeant Catie Cejka, attached to the U.S. Army Reserve 396th Combat Support Hospital, assists Algerian Marines Master Sergeant Larbi Essaidi Kamel (center) and Master Sergeant Abdelkader Chetitah as they practice applying tourniquets during a Phoenix Express 2012 (PE12) medical class held at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center (NMIOTC), May 14. PE12, a multinational maritime exercise between Southern European, North African and U.S. Naval forces, is designed to improve cooperation among participating nations and help increase safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brian A. Goyak)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 3: SOUDA BAY, Crete - Staff Sergeant Catie Cejka, attached to the U.S. Army Reserve 396th Combat Support Hospital, assists Algerian Marines Master Sergeant Larbi Essaidi Kamel (center) and Master Sergeant Abdelkader Chetitah as they practice applying tourniquets during a Phoenix Express 2012 (PE12) medical class held at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center (NMIOTC), May 14. PE12, a multinational maritime exercise between Southern European, North African and U.S. Naval forces, is designed to improve cooperation among participating nations and help increase safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brian A. Goyak) Download full-resolution version
SOUDA BAY, Crete - A Hellenic Navy Special Forces instructor conducts small-arms training with U.S. Navy sailors aboard the Hellenic naval training ship Aris at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operations Center in Souda Bay, May 12. The sailors from the guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) are participating in this training as part of exercise Phoenix Express 2012 (PE12). PE12, a multinational exercise between European, North African and U.S. naval forces, is an at-sea maritime exercise designed to improve cooperation among participating nations to help increase maritime safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea.  (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Caitlin Conroy)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 2 of 3: SOUDA BAY, Crete - A Hellenic Navy Special Forces instructor conducts small-arms training with U.S. Navy sailors aboard the Hellenic naval training ship Aris at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operations Center in Souda Bay, May 12. The sailors from the guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) are participating in this training as part of exercise Phoenix Express 2012 (PE12). PE12, a multinational exercise between European, North African and U.S. naval forces, is an at-sea maritime exercise designed to improve cooperation among participating nations to help increase maritime safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Caitlin Conroy) Download full-resolution version
SOUDA BAY, Crete - Petty Officer 3rd Class Craig Sperry (left), a boarding team member assigned to the guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56), climbs aboard the training ship Aris under the supervision of the Hellenic Navy Special Forces during a training exercise at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center during Phoenix Express 2012 (PE12), May 12. PE12, a multinational maritime exercise between Southern European, North African and U.S. Naval forces, is designed to improve cooperation among participating nations and help increase safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brian A. Goyak)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 3 of 3: SOUDA BAY, Crete - Petty Officer 3rd Class Craig Sperry (left), a boarding team member assigned to the guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56), climbs aboard the training ship Aris under the supervision of the Hellenic Navy Special Forces during a training exercise at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center during Phoenix Express 2012 (PE12), May 12. PE12, a multinational maritime exercise between Southern European, North African and U.S. Naval forces, is designed to improve cooperation among participating nations and help increase safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brian A. Goyak) Download full-resolution version
SOUDA BAY, Crete - Staff Sergeant Catie Cejka, attached to the U.S. Army Reserve 396th Combat Support Hospital, assists Algerian Marines Master Sergeant Larbi Essaidi Kamel (center) and Master Sergeant Abdelkader Chetitah as they practice applying tourniquets during a Phoenix Express 2012 (PE12) medical class held at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center (NMIOTC), May 14. PE12, a multinational maritime exercise between Southern European, North African and U.S. Naval forces, is designed to improve cooperation among participating nations and help increase safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brian A. Goyak)
SOUDA BAY, Crete - A Hellenic Navy Special Forces instructor conducts small-arms training with U.S. Navy sailors aboard the Hellenic naval training ship Aris at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operations Center in Souda Bay, May 12. The sailors from the guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) are participating in this training as part of exercise Phoenix Express 2012 (PE12). PE12, a multinational exercise between European, North African and U.S. naval forces, is an at-sea maritime exercise designed to improve cooperation among participating nations to help increase maritime safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea.  (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Caitlin Conroy)
SOUDA BAY, Crete - Petty Officer 3rd Class Craig Sperry (left), a boarding team member assigned to the guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56), climbs aboard the training ship Aris under the supervision of the Hellenic Navy Special Forces during a training exercise at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center during Phoenix Express 2012 (PE12), May 12. PE12, a multinational maritime exercise between Southern European, North African and U.S. Naval forces, is designed to improve cooperation among participating nations and help increase safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brian A. Goyak)
Sailors assigned to the guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) participated in a multinational training exercise aboard the Hellenic navy training ship Aris at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operations Training Center (NMIOTC) in support of exercise Phoenix Express 2012 (PE12) in Souda Bay, Crete, May 12.

The training included boarding procedures, proper weapons handling, and engaging compliant and non-compliant ships. It also gave the multinational service members the opportunity to train with other countries and learn to work together.

"Our objective is to instill trust in participating nations," said a Hellenic Navy Special Forces instructor. "We are here to promote friendship and mutual understanding among participants, and to learn how to safely conduct boarding procedures."

Working together in an environment where security forces come from many different nations and backgrounds means the instructors had to make sure the participants were at the same capability level in order to properly function as a team during the training.

"This training is important because these are the basics," said Senior Chief Fire Controlman Allen Bylls, a Simpson boarding team member. "You want to do this in a controlled training environment so you can get the fundamentals down before you go out into a real world situation."

The combined training also helps service members identify and overcome potential obstacles that could get in the way of the team's performance.

"One of the biggest obstacles we encountered was the language barrier," said U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Brenton Paulk, a staff instructor from Rota, Spain. "It's something we are learning to overcome during our training and I think learning how to interact with other nations will be helpful during real-world maritime interdiction operation."

PE12, a multinational maritime exercise between Southern European, North African and U.S. Naval forces, is designed to improve cooperation among participating nations and help increase safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea.

Participants and observers in PE12 include Algeria, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Libya, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and United States.

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