SOUTH CHINA SEA – The Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Chief (MCM 14) conducted a maritime cooperative activity with Philippine Navy (PN) vessel BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF 16) March 21.
This event helped strengthen both navies’ abilities to communicate, maneuver and operate together.
“Engagements between the U.S. Navy and the Armed Forces of the Philippines build on the longstanding and significant bond between our two nations,” said Lt. Cmdr. Fred Crayton, commanding officer of Chief. “This shows our earnest commitment to the U.S. – Philippines Alliance and also promotes peace and stability throughout the Indo-Pacific region.”
The exercise entailed Chief and Alcaraz sailing in formation, conducting ship maneuvering drills and practicing different forms of communication including flashing light and tactical radio signals.
“We had a highly successful and coordinated exercise with our Philippine counterparts,” said Lt. Damon Sitgraves, Chief’s operation officer.
Chief Sailors had the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to communicate with Alcaraz using flashing-light Morse code during the exercise.
“It feels nice to take what I learned and put it to use,” said Quartermaster Seaman Joshua Davis. “I feel like I’ve gained a lot of experience by being out to sea.”
Chief, part of Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7, is operating in the Indo-Pacific region to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as a ready-response platform for contingency operations.