ISTANBUL, Turkey – Four Bulgarian sailors embarked aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea, Oct. 15, in order to gain a better understanding of how the U.S. Navy conducts operations underway.
“By having the Bulgarians aboard the ship they can get a first-hand perspective of the professional relationships between the junior officers and chief petty officers and the crew,” said Lt. Kent Bubel, 6th Fleet Maritime Partnership Program coordinator aboard Philippine Sea. “Here, they can witness a successful operational environment where the senior enlisted [sailors] and junior officers have a tremendous amount of responsibility and work closely together to accomplish the mission.”
The two Bulgarian naval officers and two Bulgarian chief petty officers visit to the ship is part of the U.S. 6th Fleet Maritime Partnership Program, which is designed to develop and sustain relationships with maritime forces of the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) area of responsibility theater security cooperation strategy.
During their visit, the Bulgarian officers and chiefs will interact with their American counterparts, and receive valuable training that can only be received within an operational environment. By observing training evolutions, routine maintenance, and basic shipboard operations, the Bulgarians will observe how the U.S. Navy operates underway.
“We hope to get a better understanding of how the professional relationships on the ship work between the junior and senior personnel,” said Bulgarian navy Lt. Dimitar Haidutov. “By observing the basic shipboard operations, we can take back the knowledge we gain and share it with our sailors in the Bulgarian navy.”
The goal of the program is to provide the Bulgarian officers and chiefs a window into the workings of the leadership aboard a U.S. Navy vessel, and allow them to take that knowledge and a new sense of camaraderie back to the ships in their fleet.
“We are always happy to host foreign military and country dignitaries aboard the Philippine Sea” said Capt. Herbert Hadley, commanding officer of Philippine Sea. “We look forward to building these relationships and welcoming the foreign riders into the family.”
Philippine Sea is on a regularly scheduled deployment in the Black Sea and serves to promote peace and security in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.