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Joint Exercise, Rescue Mission Display The Need – And Ability to Work With Allies
By Harold Hutchison

A recent rescue near Greece displayed the ability – and need – for exercises like one involving the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) and the Albanian Navy.

On 29 April, two merchant vessels collided off the coast of Greece. U.S. Navy assets, including a P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft and the guided-missile frigate USS Robert G. Bradley, rendered assistance until Greek forces could arrive. The American frigate and P-3 were soon relieved by a Greek C-130 and helicopter.

USS Monterey took part in a joint exercise with the Albanian Coast Guard. The exercise, which lasted four hours, involved simulated distress calls and suspicious activity.

"All maritime countries must be able to secure their coastlines and respond to vessels in distress within their territorial waters," said Captain Thomas Kiss, the cruiser’s commanding officer. "Sometimes that process involves working with other countries, and anytime we get to practice, it is valuable for both participating nations."