– Naval officers from eight partner countries were received aboard USS McClusky (FFG 41) May 19, during the 3rd annual International Frigate Working Group (IFWG).
McClusky officers and crew greeted nearly two dozen officers from Australia, Bahrain, Egypt, Pakistan, Poland, Taiwan, and Turkey. The reception offered the chance for U.S. Navy Sailors to promote relations among allied countries and share knowledge about Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates.
“The IFWG has been a groundbreaking initiative in international relations,” said Capt. Gregg Baumann, the International Fleet Support Program Manager at Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). “We have nine navies that share a common platform. The IFWG ties together these allied nations to be interoperable.”
The IFWG established a forum for communication among the partner countries to address service life extension, maintainability, and modernization of Perry-class frigates. Pakistani Navy Capt. Imran Ahmed, Mission Head of Ship Transfers, oversaw the transfer of former USS McInerney from Mayport, Fla., to Karachi, Pakistan, this year.
“It is a very good forum where you can come and share each other’s experiences, learn from each other’s experiences, learn from the modifications that every country has completed to overcome the obsolescence issues, and other problems,” said Imran.
One of the major accomplishments this year was the approval for third-party transfers between partner nations. Baumann said that this will allow selected parts to be transferred from one country to another without requiring specific State Department approval.
“The crew of McClusky is honored it had the opportunity to represent our surface force and participate in the IFGW,” said Cmdr. Darren Glaser, Commanding Officer USS McClusky. “It is a part of the FFG mission to reach out and work closely with our maritime partners wherever we are.”
The U.S. Navy operates 28 of the original 55 Perry-class frigates that were built in the United States and allied nations currently operate 36 Perry-class frigates. USS Jarrett and USS Doyle are scheduled for decommissioning in fiscal year 2011 and are candidates for Foreign Military Sale (FMS). An additional 23 Perry-class frigates are also FMS transfer candidates.