From Expeditionary Strike Group Public Affairs
Four U.S. Navy ships will participate in Phoenix Express 2008 (PE 08), a U.S.-hosted, multinational exercise designed to strengthen regional maritime partnerships and foster the ability to operate jointly, from April 8-22.
Two ships from the Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group, the USS Nassau (LHA 4) and the USS Nashville (LPD 13); along with the USS John L. Hall (FFG 32) and USNS Patuxent (T-AO 201) will represent the United States in this two-week exercise. Twelve other nations were also invited to participate or send representatives, to include , , , , , , , , , , and .
A comprehensive and robust training agenda will provide participants with numerous opportunities to operate together and develop productive relationships. Exercises like PE 08 enable participants to advance information sharing which is crucial to maintaining a region free from transnational threats, as well as enhance capability to conduct multinational peacekeeping missions.
PE 08 is comprised of two large phases, inport and at sea. The exercise will include communications, maritime interdiction operations (MIO), search-and-rescue operations (SAR), division tactics, medical training and ashore maritime coordination.
Inport events, hosted at Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Crete, will focus on medical training, MIO training and combined Maritime Forces will conduct workshops in helicopter operations and safety, damage control and firefighting, navigation, deck seamanship, SAR, small boat operations and a leadership round table.
Underway events will focus on maritime domain awareness (MDA) and the automatic identification system (AIS) including interaction between forces afloat and a maritime operations center ashore. Combined Maritime Forces will also conduct serials in force protection, MIO, SAR, RAS, towing and helicopter operations.
"PE 08 demonstrates and partner nations' commitment to regional stability and maritime security. This exercise will allow all participants to become more familiar and continue to build our partnerships," said Lineberry.
PE 08 is the third annual exercise in a long-term effort to improve regional cooperation and maritime security.