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Representatives From 11 Countries Arrive For EPC 09

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS090922-17
Release Date: 9/22/2009 1:09:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Gary M. Keen, Commander, US Naval Forces Europe-Commander, US Naval Forces Africa/Commander, US 6th Fleet Public Affairs

SOUDA BAY, Greece (NNS) -- The Eurasia Partnership Capstone 2009 (EPC 09) kicked off at Naval Support Activity Souda Bay Sept. 19, with the arrival of 70 military personnel from 11 countries.

Over the next eight days Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Ukraine and the United States will work together in non-formal environments such as seminars and workshops aimed at increasing maritime safety and security in the Eurasian littorals.

This is the third EPC event sponsored by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe–Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, formerly known as Black Sea Partnership Cruise (BSPC).

"With ECP 09 we are broadening our efforts to increase the cooperation, capability and capacities in the Eurasian littoral regions," said Cmdr. Lawrence Ollice, lead planning officer for EPC 09. "We have two new countries participating this year, Kazakhstan and Norway. Norway, with Latvia and Lithuania, are taking on instructor roles making this the most robust conference to date."

The majority of workshops and seminars will be held at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operations Training Center (NMIOTC), located at Marathi Pier.

"We were forced to find a new location for the EPC 09 since the Mount Whitney [USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20)] was not available," said Ollice. "Last year we had Greek instructors from the NMIOTC participate in BSPC, and they indicated that NMIOTC would be interested in hosting next year's event. NMIOTC was very excited about the idea, and many of the topics they teach are in line with regional interests."

Workshops and seminars will include non-commissioned officer development, maritime operational language, oil spill and environmental preparedness scenarios, and maritime interdiction operations to include ship boarding.

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