Gallery: ​French, US Navy in maritime security operation drill

Two U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers recently took part in a bilateral Maritime Security Operation (MSO) exercise with a French Navy destroyer.

USS Mason (DDG 87) and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) together with the French Marine Nationale’s Horizon-class air defence destroyer FS Forbin (D 620) deployed their visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) teams to simulate compliant and non-compliant anti-piracy and anti-smuggling MSOs.

MSOs are conducted under international maritime conventions to promote a secure and stable regional economy. At the same time, it also complements counterterrorism and anti-piracy efforts of regional nations.

The United States has supported counterterrorism activities of regional navies and coast guards through exercises, training and coordinated operations with Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). CMF is a multinational naval partnership which exists to promote security, stability and prosperity by focusing on defeating terrorism, preventing piracy, encouraging regional cooperation, and promoting a safe maritime environment.

“With piracy and smuggling on the rise, VBSS teams are more important than ever,” said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Robert Nette, Mason’s VBSS training petty officer. “Mason’s [VBSS] team is ready to confront any challenge and address every situation to perform efficiently and above par.”

Mason has worked with four of the 31 member nations in CMF since beginning their scheduled deployment — Italy, Greece, Turkey, and France.

“It’s always a privilege to work with allies as proficient as [France],” said Nette, “Working in tandem with the French, who are very close allies, allowed us to expand our tactics and horizon. It makes transitions smoother and increases our combat readiness.”

Along with Mason, Ike CSG includes CSG 10 staff, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26 staff, aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, guided-missile cruisers San Jacinto and USS Monterey (CG 61), and DESRON 26 ships guided-missile destroyers USS Stout (DDG 55), Roosevelt and USS Nitze (DDG 94).

Photos: US Navy