USS Ross completes war-at-sea drill with Albanian Navy

US Navy destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) completed a war-at-sea exercise (WASEX) with Albanian Naval Brigade patrol vessel ALS Iliria (P 131) in the Adriatic Sea on February 7.

The two vessels completed the drill before the US destroyer pulled into the Albanian city of Vlore for a regularly-scheduled port call.

The exercise included scenarios focusing on anti-small craft and maneuvering tactics.

“This was incredibly valuable training for all of our bridge watch standers,” said Cmdr. Bryan S. Gallo, commanding officer of Ross. “You can only train so much on your own, and having another vessel participate in exercises such as this gives our Sailors a concrete idea of what to expect in a real-world scenario.”

The exercise featured two surface exercises designed to help each country in detecting and avoiding other ships while underway.

During one surface exercise, Ross was tasked with getting from one designated location to another without being spotted by its Albanian counterpart. For the second exercise, each vessel conducted mock attacks on the other, with the primary focus being the execution of defensive ship-handling techniques by bridge watch-standers.

“Iliria played their part perfectly,” said Lt. Robert Harris, Ross’ plans and tactics officer. “Today we were able to further hone our ability to simultaneously maneuver and defend the ship from an attacker. That’s not something that’s easy to do, nor is it something a ship gets to practice very often.”

Ross’ Sailors will have a chance to visit and speak with some of their Albanian counterparts in the coming days as it pulls in to Vlore, Albania, for a scheduled port visit.

Ross, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is currently conducting a routine patrol to support US national security interests in the US 6th Fleet area of operations.