The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Billings (LCS 15) and the Dominican Republic Navy conducted a pass-through exercise (PASSEX) July 10, following a three-day stopover in Santo Domingo, in Dominican Republic.
During the exercise, Billings worked with the Armada de RepÃºblica Dominicana Swiftships Canopus 110 ‘class patrol boat (GC-107) and the whaling class boat Justice Boston Nunki (LI-163). The forces practiced a series of tactical movements, training and guidance aboard the ships, as well as tested command and control capabilities.
The training enhanced interoperability and demonstrated the strategic partnership with the Dominican Republic which facilitates the conduct of naval operations against emerging threats in the region.
At the port, Billings hosted an onboard reception, welcoming the President of the Dominican Republic His Excellency Luis Rodolfo Abinader, Vice President of the Dominican Republic Raquel PeÃ±a, Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the United States United in Santo Domingo, Mr. Robert W. Thomas, and Commander, US Naval Forces Southern Command / US 4th Fleet, Rear Adm. Don Gabrielson.
âWe do important work in a complicated world,â Gabrielson said. âEvery day it would seem that the situation defies logic – and we awaken to another challenge. And yet, we persevere. Together. Close friends, linked to the sea.
Gabrielson met with senior officials from the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo and leaders from the Armada de RepÃºblica Dominicana, including Navy Chief Vice Admiral RamÃ³n Gustavo Betances HernÃ¡ndez to discuss marine development and professional, educational exchange opportunities and ways in which the two navies can integrate in the future for maritime operations.
The visit to Billings Harbor marked the first time Sailors have been granted freedom in the U.S. 4th Fleet area of ââoperations since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The crew were able to experience the culture of the Dominican Republic, while complying with regulations established by the country to ensure the continued health and safety of the crew.
âWe are happy to have been able to safely execute freedom in this wonderful country; our crew are grateful that the people of the dominican republic have welcomed us and we look forward to returning, âsaid Billings Command Senior Chief Aaron Wimberly. âThe events in the Dominican Republic were the first benchmark we looked at when planning the deployment. He said we are in theater and ready to operate.
Billings’ visit to the Dominican Republic supports the 4th Fleet mission to employ maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, improve interoperability and build lasting partnerships that foster regional security and stability. In the past four months, the U.S. and Dominican navies have conducted five bilateral maritime exercises, enhancing tactical readiness.
Billings is deployed to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of ââoperations to support the mission of Joint Interagency Task Force South, which includes countering drug trafficking in the Caribbean and the Eastern Pacific.
US Naval Forces Southern Command / US 4th Fleet supports US Southern Command’s joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, improve interoperability and build partnerships sustainable development to improve regional security and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South America.
|Date posted:||07.11.2021 17:38|
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