USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea - Guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) conducted three weeks of integration training with French destroyer FS Chevalier Paul (D621) Jan. 28-Feb. 19.
In order to increase French and U.S. navies interoperability, Mobile Bay and Chevalier Paul performed various shipboard exercises and air defense drills with aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).
"We're showing them how to integrate into our air defense system," said Lt. j.g. Adam McCann, Mobile Bay's combat information center officer. "We did routine daily things, to complex air exercises like a fleet defense exercise against oncoming aerial targets."
The two ships also conducted a "cross-deck" where Sailors performed various drills, including visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) drills, and a rescue and assistance drill. Sailors aboard each ship observed daily operations on board the other vessel.
"It's an opportunity to give our teams more exposure to different styles of the same kind of job," said Chief Gunner's Mate Morgan Beavers, the boarding officer of Mobile Bay's VBSS team.
While the VBSS drills helped prepare Sailors for handling situations involving piracy and drug trafficking, the rescue and assistance drill enabled firefighters from both ships to see the other navy's approach to firefighting.
"It was really cool to see their damage control systems compared to ours," said Damage Controlman 2nd Class Dalena Powell. "They took their training very seriously."
The exercises concluded with a pass-in-review as Chevalier Paul departed John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group.
Mobile Bay is deployed as part of John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group to the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility promoting maritime security operations, theater security corporation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom.