US destroyer USS Oscar Austin arrives in Norway with Italian midshipmen aboard

Midshipmen from the Italian Naval Academy, stand on the bridge wing of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) as the ship arrives in Bergen, Norway, for a regularly scheduled port visit Aug. 27. Photo: US Navy

US Navy destroyer USS Oscar Austin arrived in Bergen, Norway, with embarked Italian midshipmen aboard for a scheduled port visit and a refuel on August 27. 

Italian cadets are aboard the US destroyer under FOREXTRAMID 17, a Chief of Naval Operations-sponsored program and is designed to promote professional and cultural exchange between the U.S. and foreign navies through the exchange of midshipmen first classes and their foreign counterparts.

During the FOREXTRAMID program, midshipmen are assigned to a cruise for approximately three weeks where participants undergo extensive training and get to observe how allied and partner nation navies operate.

Embarked Italian midshipmen Luca Argentieri and Gabriele Ciccu had the unique opportunity to witness many shipboard evolutions including general quarters drills, bridge operations, sea and anchor details, and flight operations.

“It’s a very good opportunity to learn the difference between the Italian and American navies,” said Argentieri. “We’re also improving our work experience and hope to take the skills we learn back to the Italian Navy.”

The midshipmen exchange program gives sailors from both navies the chance to learn from each other and strengthens international allies and partnerships.

USS Oscar Austin is on a 6th Fleet area of operations patrol and has recently visited Naval Station Rota, Spain, for a mid-deployment availability period.

Following the port visit to Bergen, Oscar Austin will continue its patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.


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