ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107) participated in a bilateral passing exercise (PASSEX) with the Royal Moroccan Navy Ship Sultan Moulay Ismail (FFG 614), Nov 28.
The passing exercise was highlighted by a coordinated series of movements made in formation and a maritime interdiction operations exercise where the two ships exchanged their visit, board, search and seizure teams to provide an opportunity for training with the other crew.
Passing exercises build cooperation and communication between navies, and also prepare ships for operations in multi-national environments to ensure maritime security and theater cooperation.
"Participating in this PASSEX was a great chance to collaborate with a partner nation," said USS Gravely (DDG 107) commanding officer, Cmdr. Alysa Ambrose. When we take part in cooperative operations and exercises like this, it gives Sailors an opportunity to practice the duties they are trained to perform, which benefits everyone."
"It is interesting to meet our counterparts from across the globe, and discuss the differences in our cultures," said Gravely's electrical officer, Ens. Dan Evans. "Ultimately, the best part was seeing and understanding our similarities as fellow Sailors and war fighters."
Prior to the exercise, both nations participated in an officer exchange so each crew could acquire a better understanding of the capabilities and methods of the other navy.
Moroccan Navy personnel who embarked Gravely during the event practiced tactical movements, room clearing, and detaining operations. Gravely's Sailors had a similar training event on board the Moroccan frigate.
Gravely is deployed with the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group to support maritime security operations and theater cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. The deployment is part of a regular rotation of forces to support maritime security operations, provide crisis response capability, and increase theater security cooperation and forward naval presence.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint naval operations often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/naveur/.