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Eurasia Partnership Exercise Improves Maritime Skills

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Multinational service members participated in boarding training aboard the Hellenic navy training ship Aris at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center during Eurasia Partnership Capstone 2012 (EPC 12), Dec. 12.

This training is just one of many events that EPC has as part of its comprehensive and robust program which provides participants with numerous opportunities to work together and enhance productive relationships.

"It's essential that boarding teams work together when conducting maritime law enforcement operations," said U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Adam Chamie, event facilitator. "The training is incredibly complex, it's a process that is dangerous and takes a lot of practice."

Since the partner nations have multiple ways of performing the same task, the training helps enhance a common language between the teams.

"The events are very well planned out to help facilitate interaction between the nations," said Lt. Cmdr. Jose Gomez, event organizer. "There are enough hands-on evolutions to help the nations interact together and also to learn a few things. A lot of these nations already have their tactics, techniques, and procedures that they do for their countries, but now we're applying NATO techniques to that so they can work in a joint environment."

Many of the military trainees with varied experience appreciated the knowledge and comprehension of the instructors and look forward to the opportunity of joint operations and training with partner nations in the future.

"The boarding training was useful because we learned a lot," said Bulgarian navy Seamen Stanislav Valchev. "I want to come here every year if it's possible."

Annually hosted by the U.S. Navy, EPC aims to increase maritime safety and security through open and transparent sharing of information in an informal environment such as workshops and seminars. Nations participating in EPC will include Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia, Greece, Ukraine and the United States.

Article by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher B. Stoltz, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs