USS Underwood Completes Passing Exercise with Colombian Navy
The Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Underwood (FFG 36) completed a passing exercise (PASSEX) with the Colombian navy, July 4.
The exercise was designed to conduct subject matter expert exchanges in maritime interdiction operations with the Colombian ship ARC Valle del Cauca (PO 44).
"I always get excited when working with other navies," said Master-at-Arms 1st Class (SW) William H. Tredick, the command master-at-arms aboard Underwood. "It is important for us to work with other navies to grow lasting partnerships with them."
The PASSEX included helicopter operations, a maritime interdiction operation (MIO) exercise, and a communications exercise.
"It was a short time period to get these events done, but we got the job done," said Quartermaster 1st Class (SW) David C. Ratcliffe. "That is why we constantly train and work on accomplishing our mission quickly and safely."
The exercise began with the launch of an SH-60B Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 48 from the flight deck of Underwood to assist in the execution of the MIO exercise. Underwood then conducted a communications exercise with Valle del Cauca in order to practice proper radio communication.
"This exercise gave us a chance to observe the Colombian navy...and see how they operate," said Tredick. "I think the exercise was a success and both navies got something out of it that can be used in the future."
Underwood is deployed to Central and South America and the Caribbean in support of Southern Seas 2012.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) supports USSOUTHCOM joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.
Source: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Frank J. Pikul, Southern Seas 2012 Public Affairs / NNS - USS Underwood, At Sea (U.S. Navy) - 06 July 2012
Photo: The U.S. Seaman Michael Spears, foreground, and Boatswain's Mate Seaman Elleston Taylor clear the flight deck as an SH-60B Seahawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 48 prepares to launch from the flight deck of the guided missile frigate USS Underwood in the Pacific Ocean, June 28, 2012. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stuart Phillips)