USS BULKELEY conducts at sea exercises with the Italian Navy

TARANTO, Italy (Feb. 1, 2010) – Guided missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) successfully completed a series of exercises with Italian warships. Bulkeley operated with ITS Mimbelli, ITS Euro, ITS Aviere, and ITS Espero in the Gulf of Taranto on Feb 1st and is part of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, forward deployed in support of Maritime Security Operations and Theater Security Cooperation in the 6th Fleet area of operation. Theater security cooperation and coordinated maritime security operations require strong ties with allied nations for support in foreign waters and are primary focuses of the deployment.
These exercises provided the ship with a chance to work with the exceptional professionals of the Italian Navy during realistic training events. In addition, they are a means to continue to build strong ties with our NATO allies.
The day started with a coordinated underway from pier or anchorage and a small boat attack scenario. The ships traveling in formation had an outstanding opportunity to exercise individual responses to an asymmetric threat. This was followed by close tactical maneuvers, a live-fire gunnery exercise against a towed target, and Combined Anti-Submarine Exercise (CASEX) against an Italian diesel powered submarine.
‘The GUNEX was a valuable training exercise for many reasons but it mainly gave our Gunner’s Mates a chance to work under realistic conditions if we would ever have to accomplish something like that in the future,” said Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Paul French. “We handled the exercise very well today, and in turn, practiced our accuracy by achieving realistic goals for shooting our 5 inch gun,” said French.
During the CASEX exercise, the Italian diesel submarine LOGOBARDO provided a rare opportunity for the ship’s ASW team to hone their ASW skills against a live opponent. The ship and embarked helicopter from HSL 48 out of Mayport Fl paired up with the Italian warships in coordinated tracking and engagements. “Overall, the CASEX ran smoothly. The Italian submarine gave us the opportunity to adapt our operations to the submarine’s characteristics,” said OS2 Nicholas Abshear.
“The training provided was very successful. Overall, it was a good experience to be working with our allies and training each other in a sense, so that if we were required to work together in a real-world environment, then it would not be such a culture shock later on down the road” said Abshear.
Enterprise Carrier Strike Group consists of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65), the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), the guided-missile destroyers USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Bulkeley, and USS Mason (DDG 87), USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8), Carrier Air Wing 1 and Destroyer Squadron 2.

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