SOUTH CHINA SEA - U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) practiced the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) with Japanese ship JS Kunisaki (LST 4003), June 2.
CUES, a set of procedures endorsed by naval leaders at the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) this past April, is a guideline for unplanned maritime encounters while at sea, providing standards for communication, safety procedures and maneuvering instructions for naval ships and aircraft.
Blue Ridge and Kunisaki rendezvoused at approximately 10 p.m. and practiced signaling protocol, utilizing CUES as a means of maritime communication between one another.
"CUES was primarily developed to reduce regional tensions at sea, giving ships a vital means of communication, for reasons of both safety and security," said Blue Ridge Commanding Officer Capt. Richard McCormack. "This training opportunity with our Japanese allies allowed us to familiarize our watch teams with the recently implemented CUES procedures and provided everyone involved with a unique hands-on training evolution."
Blue Ridge and Kunisaki acted out communication scenarios, giving each other a chance to see how CUES would affect the condition of a real-time situation.