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DESRON 40, Peruvian Navy Submarine Force Kick Off Silent Forces Exercise 2008

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080615-03
Release Date: 6/15/2008 9:36:00 AM

By Lt. Jacob Steele, Commander, Destroyer Squadron 40 Public Affairs

CALLAO, Peru (NNS) -- U.S. Navy forces teamed up with their Peruvian Navy counterparts June 12, to begin the bilateral anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise, Silent Forces Exercise (SIFOREX) 2008.

The exercise, led by Destroyer Squadron 40 (DESRON 40) and hosted by the Peruvian submarine force in Callao, will involve the guided-missile destroyers USS Forrest Sherman (DDG-98), USS Farragut (DDG 99), the guided-missile Frigate USS Kauffman (FFG-59), two SH-60B helicopters, and four Peruvian Type 209 diesel submarines, training together over a six-day period.

SIFOREX, which focuses exclusively on anti-submarine warfare (ASW), is the longest such exercise in which the U.S. units will participate this year.

During the exercise, Peruvian naval surface units, including the frigates BAP Villavicencio (FM-52), BAP Montero (FM-53), and the amphibious landing ship tank BAP Pisco (DT-142) will team up with the U.S. ships to practice ASW against four Peruvian diesel submarines—BAP Antofagasta, (SS 31) BAP Arica (SS 32), BAP Pisagua (SS 33), and BAP Chipana (SS 34).

Lt. Cmdr. Darrel Capo, DESRON 40's lead planner for SIFOREX, eplained that as the week progresses and the training events become more complex, the ships will have to improve interoperability in order to find the "enemy" submarines.

"Basically, we set up a series of exercises that increases in complexity throughout the week and culminates into a final free play scenario," he said. "Our task force of surface ships and assigned helicopters will participate in intermediate and advanced anti-submarine warfare exercises to locate and find multiple submarines throughout the week."

The intensity of the exercise will demand precision and concentration from the surface, helicopter, and submarine crews over long periods of time.

Ensign Dean Ahn, Farragut's ASW officer, noted that his team is looking forward to the challenge.

"We don't get a chance to conduct many live ASW operations. Partnership of America 2008 has provided several opportunities with SIFOREX being the last major ASW exercise for this deployment. It's been great, my team is working very hard. My Sailors have been phenomenal."

SIFOREX features enough training time and unit-tailored exercises to give each country's forces an opportunity to learn from their counterparts.

Capt. Jose Del Alamo, Peruvian Submarine Force commander, said that the exercise will challenge both teams.

"I think we've got a good exercise here, a very robust exercise. Each year we get better and better, which allows us to make the exercise tougher. The captains will be hard pressed on all the ships," said Del Alamo.

Capt. Rudy Laco, commodore, DESRON 40, explained that this exercise culminates a series the multinational ASW training exercises.

"Being able to bring these navies together to conduct this type of exercise is exactly the kind of success POA '08 and the ships that participate in it are striving to achieve," he said. "We work year round to create the kinds of partnerships that enable us to work together at sea in training exercises such as this and in real-world operations at anytime."

DESRON 40, based in Mayport, Fla., is currently deployed in support of U.S. Southern Command's Partnership of the Americas (POA) 2008.

Farragut, Forrest Sherman with an embarked SH-60B helicopter from HSL 44 Detachment 10, and Kauffman with an embarked SH-60B from HSL 42 Detachment 7, are assigned to DESRON 40 to support POA 2008 operations which is being held from April-October throughout South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. POA 2008 emphasizes interoperability and cooperation between U.S. and partner nation's maritime forces through a variety of exercises and events.

For more news from Commander, Destroyer Squadron 40, visit www.navy.mil/local/desron40.



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