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November 11, 2015

US Navy’s DESRON 26 completes exercise with Chinese Navy

The US Navy’s Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26 has successfully completed group sail and passing exercise (PASSEX) with the China's People's Liberation Army-Navy (PLA-N) off the coast of Florida.

By Samseer M

The US Navy’s Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26 has successfully completed group sail and passing exercise (PASSEX) with the China People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLA-N) off the coast of Florida.

The exercise involved three PLA-N vessels, namely the Jiangkai II-class frigate Yiyang (FFG 548), the Luyang II-class destroyer Jinan (DDG 152) and the Fuchi-class oiler Qindaohu (AOR 8860), marking the first PLA-N ship visit to Florida.

The US naval units thaat participated in the training event included Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Stout (DDG 55) and USS Mason (DDG 87), as well as the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61).

"I hope that we continue these opportunities to work together as professional mariners, respecting each other in mil-to-mil exchanges at sea."

Stout assistant operations officer Lieutenant junior grade Lisa Lacross said: "The purpose of this exercise was to foster international maritime cooperation between our navies.

"The PASSEX was executed well by all parties involved, and allowed us to demonstrate a variety of seamanship skills."

The exercise saw officers from both nations participating in an exchange programme between ships in order to help build trust and promote shared understanding.

According to the US Navy, the latest PASSEX helped the two naval forces to develop understanding and also strengthen readiness for future operations.

DESRON 26 Commodore Captain Brian Fort said: "What a unique opportunity to conduct a PASSEX with the Chinese Navy as part of our own routine training off the coast of Florida.

"I also hope it’s not a last, and that we continue these opportunities to work together as professional mariners, respecting each other in mil-to-mil exchanges at sea."

DESRON 26 is on a routine group sail along the east coast of the United States, preparing for an upcoming deployment in 2016.

Recently, the PLA-N conducted naval exercise with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in Zhanjiang, China

Performed during a post visit of HMA Ships Stuart and Arunta, the combined exercise included joint search and rescue training, tactical evolutions, communications drills, and a live fire activity.

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