MEDITERRANEAN SEA (NNS) — Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) completed its participation in the Turkish-led Exercise Mavi Balina 2016, Nov. 26, in the Mediterranean Sea.
Mavi Balina 2016 sought to improve the interoperability of participating nations by providing realistic training at sea, in order to improve interoperability and proficiency.
“I was extremely proud of the professionalism and performance of not only my Sailors, but all those who were involved in Mavi Balina. I have confidence that the friendships and tactical proficiency we built during the exercise exceeded the goals of Mavi Balina 2016 and built a strong foundation for combined interoperability in the future. The cross-deck process is so critically important to building friendships that last a career. Twelve years ago, I myself cross-decked to [Canadian frigate HMCS Charlottetown (FFH 339)] during a deployment in 5th Fleet, so walking aboard her while moored alongside was like visiting an old friend.” – Cmdr. Peter Halvorsen, commanding officer, USS Carney (DDG 64)
“It is important to come together and to work in concert with each other. When we work together, it makes us stronger as allies.” – Ensign Ahmet Serdar Yavuz, from Turkish frigate TCG Gelibolu (F 493)
“I’ll be taking back a lot to the Charlottetown. It’s a lot of good points. In the future, hopefully I’ll be able to become an ASW (anti-submarine warfare) officer aboard a Canadian frigate. It’s a great insight into how things are done, and I’ll have a better understanding when I get my training in the future.” – SLT Adam Reece from HMCS Charlottetown (FFH 339)
Participating nations included Pakistan, Romania, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. NATO Maritime Group 2, as well as observers from Algeria, Nigeria, and Georgia also participated.
During the first phase of the exercise conducted in Aksaz, Turkey, Nov. 19-22, participants met to conduct final planning and valuable interoperability training, as well as strengthen ties between each of the navies.
During the planning phase, Halvorsen hosted Rear Adm. Bulent Turan, commander, Turkish Submarine Group, aboard Carney for a tour. He visited with Rear Adm. Ali Cekic, commander, Naval Base Aksaz; and Rear Adm. Levant Kerim, commander, Southern Task Group. Additionally, members of Carney’s wardroom attended multiple planning events and a reception held at the Turkish naval base in Aksaz.
Participating units got underway Nov. 23 to begin the exercise. While the main focus was on anti-submarine warfare, Mavi Balina 2016 also included simulated small boat attacks, anti-air warfare exercises, surface maneuvering drills, communication drills, and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) events. In total, 12 surface vessels, five submarines, and multiple aircraft from seven nations participated in the at-sea phase.
Carney participated in cross-decking between ships during the at-sea phase, which is a sharing of officers to strengthen relationships, build long-term links between future leaders, and enhance interoperability. While participating in Mavi Balina 2016, Carney sent officers to Charlottetown and Gelibolu. In turn, Carney hosted officers from these ships.
Carney, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting a routine patrol in the U.S. 6th fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and 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.
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For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/naveur/.