USS GUNSTON HALL, Mediterranean Sea — The second phase of exercise Phoenix Express 2010 (PE10) began after the successful completion of the in port segment of the exercise in Souda Bay, Greece on May 24.
Participants from 17 countries are taking part in both phases of PE10, including Algeria, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Senegal, Spain, Turkey and the United States.
“The in port portion was the training phase, where we have a chance to hone our skills and began aligning ourselves as a team” said Navy Lt. William Phillips, the 6th Fleet assessment analyst for PE10. “The at sea portion is the execution part – where we get a chance to utilize our skills to use in controlled operational environment.”
Maritime Interdiction Operations will be a large focus of the exercise while underway. Forces from the different countries will also conduct drills for search and rescue, medical training, Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) and Automatic Identification System (AIS). Participants will also enhance their techniques, tactics and procedures during Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS) drills.
A combined effort from the coalition of maritime forces will enable members to work together on various exercises designed to enhance security in the region. These exercises allow foreign militaries the opportunity to become more acclimated in conducting boardings on their own more efficiently.
PE10 is a two-week exercise designed to strengthen maritime partnerships and enhance stability in the region through increased interoperability and cooperation among partners from Africa, Europe, and United States.