US 7th Fleet and Philippine Navy Leaders Share Ideas during 'Staff Talks' 
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cody Babin, Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs  
MANILA, Republic of the Philippines - Senior leaders from the U.S. 7th Fleet and Philippines Navy met for a professional exchange of ideas in a variety of technical and tactical topics on board the 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) March 19.

The meetings, or "staff talks," included professional dialogue between the two allied staffs and are designed to share knowledge and develop methodologies for joint responses to any contingency within Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The exchange included discussion of maritime patrol and reconnaissance, maritime domain awareness, mine warfare, navigation, engineering and medical training.

Staff leaders also discussed upcoming exercises such as Pacific Partnership and CARAT.

"The mission of staff talks is to meet and engage with key allies within partner nations," said Lt. Leo Meneses, South East Asia desk officer for 7th Fleet. "The most important part of the staff talks is to meet our counterparts face to face," said Meneses. "Being able to put a face to an email rather than just seeing a few words on a computer helps foster the partnership between the U.S. and the Philippines."

The U.S. 7th Fleet intent for the staff talks is to increase Theater Security Cooperation through the facilitation of bilateral and multilateral military exchanges and dialogue. It provides a meeting place for partnered navies' subject matter experts to meet and discuss different aspects of their mission objectives and their responsibilities.

Blue Ridge and embarked staff are in Manila for a scheduled port visit during a spring patrol operating forward, building maritime partnerships and conducting security and stability operations.

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