Partnership of the Americas (POA) Task Group 40.0 conducted Passing Exercises 21 with the Spanish Frigate Santa Maria (F 81) while underway during POA 2007.
The PASSEX contributed to improved working relationships between the two navies and served as a foundation for increasing responsiveness and promoting regional security initiatives.
Operations Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Miluska Salazar, watchstander, had a brief conversation with a Spanish sailor from the Santa Maria while the ships were close together.
“It was very exciting because he was waving at his friends and telling me about life on his ship while we conducted the PASSEX,” said Salazar. “I was lucky to be communicating with him face to face while our respective ships talked over the radio.”
During the actual exercises, the ships demonstrated seamanship evolutions, conducted coordinated tactical maneuvering and communications exercises in preparation for any possible real-life maritime scenarios.
“The PASSEX was a great opportunity to prepare for the upcoming UNITAS Atlantic exercise in May -- hosted by Argentina -- in which the Santa Maria and all the task group ships will participate,” said Capt. Randy Snyder, commander, Destroyer Squadron 40 and task group commander.
Chief Quartermaster (SW) James Weisberg, officer of the deck during many of the evolutions, was impressed with how smooth the operation went.
“Everything from internal and external communications, the distance and speed of the ships and flight operations went exceptionally well,” said Weisberg. “It is always a pleasure to work with foreign navies -- everyone involved comes together to achieve a common goal and when you have bright and talented individuals working on both sides, the end result is always a success.”
POA Task Group 40.0 is made up of USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), guided missile destroyer
USS Mitscher (DDG 57), guided missile frigate
USS Samuel B. Roberts
(FFG 58), and Chilean frigate CS Almirante Lattore (FFG 14).
POA 2007 is a deployment focused on enhancing cooperative partnerships with regional maritime services throughout Latin America, South America and the Caribbean through a variety of exercises and events at sea and on shore.
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Damien Horvath, Destroyer Squadron 40 Public Affairs