The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) participated in a bilateral underway engagement, passing exercise (PASSEX), with Albanian and Montenegrin maritime forces in the Adriatic Sea, March 16, 2015.
The exercise aimed to improve maritime capabilities and reassure NATO allies and regional partners of the United States’ commitment to the alliance and to maritime security and stability in the Adriatic Sea.
Cmdr. Darren Dugan, USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) commanding officer, said:
This is the first time Jason Dunham has had the opportunity to work with Albanian and Montenegrin at sea, and we are excited for another opportunity to improve relations and interoperability between our navies.
These exercises consist of a series of at-sea scenarios designed to enhance maritime capabilities among participating nations. They typically include tactical maneuvering exercises, passenger transfers, bridge-to-bridge communication drills and simulated threat defenses with aircraft.
Initially, Jason Dunham launched one rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) and its embarked SH-60 Seahawk helicopter while ashore Montenegrin maritime forces tracked their movement toward the coastline.
During a second exercise, the RHIB crew posed as criminals attempting to enter Albanian territorial waters for the purpose of illicit operations. Albanian maritime security forces tracked and intercepted the RHIB, simulating an arrest at sea.
The exercise provided all three participating nations with experience working as a team to track and stop criminal activity in the region’s maritime domain.
Image: US Navy