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Tarawa Participates in PASSEX with Mexican Navy

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070330-19
Release Date: 3/30/2007 1:03:00 PM

From USS Tarawa Public Affairs

USS TARAWA, At Sea (NNS) -- The amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa (LHA 1), along with the Mexican Navy ship Usumacinta (A-412), conducted passing exercise (PASSEX) training off the coast of Mazatlan, Mexico, on March 26.

Officers, chiefs and crew members from both nations participated in an exchange program between ships to get a better understanding of how each Navy operates.

“This was the first time I had ever been aboard a ship as large as Tarawa, we were very impressed with the size and how clean it was,” said Lt. Jorge Castañon, operations officer, Usumacinta. “The crew must be very proud of her.”

Prior to their joint at sea exercises, the Tarawa trained the Usumacinta’s damage controlmen in U.S. Navy damage control techniques and equipment. In exchange, the Mexican sailors taught the Tarawa Sailors how to lose gracefully at soccer.

“The program not only gave us the opportunity to exchange ideas and make new friends, but it also benefits both our nations’ forces in possible future operations,” said Aviation Boatswain's Mate Handling 1st Class Eddy Enriquez.

Lt. John Connally, communications officer embarked aboard Tarawa, said cordial relations between the navys of the Americas is one of the key factors towards the stability in the region.

“The CNO (chief of naval operations) has stated clearly his intentions towards forming a worldwide force. Doing these PASSEX’s and communications exercises like this helps us understand each other’s capabilities,” said Connally. “Together we can become one total force.”

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