The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) participated in a passing exercise (PASSEX) with Guatemalan Navy Quetzal Landing Craft Utility (LCU) BL-1601, July 28.
PASSEXs are unit exercises requiring cooperation, communication, and interoperability between two or more navies, testing advanced ship maneuvering and tactics. It affords the opportunity to improve crews’ knowledge and demonstrate shared tactics.
“The PASSEX provides an opportunity to strengthen military-to-military relations as well as demonstrate the commitment we all share in promoting maritime security in this region,” said U.S. Navy Commander DeVere Crooks, USS Halsey commanding officer.
The PASSEX gave each ship the opportunity to guide the other in a series of coordinated division tactical maneuvers using a flag hoist.
“The exercise was tremendously successful and mutually beneficial,” said Cmdr. Crooks. “We proved that we can operate together at sea. It was a great learning experience and an honor to have an opportunity to work with the Guatemalan Navy.”
The USS Halsey conducted a brief stop to refuel in Puerto Quetzal, marking the first time in over two years that a U.S. Navy warship has visited Guatemala.
USS Halsey is deployed to U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility to support Joint Interagency Task Force South’s mission, which includes counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Fourth Fleet supports U.S. Southern Command’s joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American region.