SOUDA BAY, Crete - Teams from four ships came together to participate in a damage control training workshop as a part of exercise Phoenix Express 2011 (PE-11) at Marathi Pier in Souda Bay, June 2.
USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG 49), one of the U.S. participants, hosted a team of multinational Sailors in a hands-on demonstration and practical application of U.S. damage control techniques and equipment.
“This training is important because we have the opportunity to see the different types of equipment used in other navies,” said Royal Morocco navy Lt. j.g. Vasiliki Katsantoni, engineering assistant Royal Morocco navy ship Hassan II. “We all have similar equipment but it is nice to see what other navies use.”
The goals of this workshop were to increase participating countries' knowledge and experience in damage control, and to help all of the participants gain an understanding of the principles used by partner navies and their firefighting techniques.
“We are just showing our partners at Phoenix Express what kinds of equipment we are using as well as a practical demonstration of hose handling and pipe patching,” said U.S. Navy Chief Damage Controlman Christopher Boyad, damage control chief aboard FFG 49. “Pretty much we all use the same concepts, the same basic ensembles and the same firefighting equipment.”
Workshops during Phoenix Express such as this one are enabling the combined maritime forces to advance information sharing, which is crucial to maintaining a region free from transnational threats, and enhances the ability to combat common safety and security concerns in the maritime environment, as well as illegal immigration, criminal activity, narcotics trafficking and weapons trafficking.
“I think this exercise is very important because sailors need to be conscious of damage control,” said Spanish navy Lt. Alfonso Garcia de Paredes, damage control officer for the Spanish ship ESPS Vencedora. “Seeing what other navies do and how they use their equipment is very good.”
U.S. units participating in Phoenix Express include Bradley, USS Stephen W. Groves (FFG 29) and Military Sealift Command’s maritime prepositioning ship USNS LCPL Roy M. Wheat (T-AK 3016) and fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198). Additional U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa staff personnel also are participating alongside other international naval forces in this exercise.