US, Chinese Navies Engage in CUES

Littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) practiced the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) with the People’s Liberation Army-Navy’s Jiangkai II frigate Hengshui (FFG 572), Feb. 23, enhancing the professional maritime relationship between 7th Fleet and the PLA(N).

Fort Worth and Hengshui were conducting routine training and operations in international waters of the South China Sea when the ships realized a training opportunity was present.

CUES, a set of procedures endorsed by naval leaders at the Western Pacific Naval Symposium in April 2014, is a guideline for unplanned maritime encounters while at sea, providing standards for communication, safety procedures and maneuvering instructions for naval ships and aircraft.

Cmdr. Matt Kawas, Fort Worth Crew 103 commanding officer, said.

As the first underway for Crew 103 aboard Fort Worth in 7th Fleet, this was a real-time situation where we relied upon our months of training in San Diego to execute.

Fort Worth and Hengshui rendezvoused and used CUES as a signaling protocol to indicate ship maneuvering.

Fort Worth departed Singapore Feb. 19 and during the first five days of the current underway period, the crew conducted at-sea workups to maintain the proficiency achieved as part of their deployment certification in San Diego. Fort Worth is now headed north for Foal Eagle in March. Held annually with the Republic of Korea navy, Foal Eagle is also the first exercise in Northeast Asia that incorporates LCS participation.

Image: US Navy

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