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Military

Spanish, Brazilian Ships Visit Norfolk

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120420-08
4/20/2012

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Jamieson, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va (NNS) -- Spanish frigate SPS Blaz de Leso (F 103) arrived in Norfolk April 16, and Brazilian frigate BNS Independzência (F 44) arrived April 19 to participate in a composite unit training exercise (COMTUEX) with the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8.

Guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) sponsored both ships during their weeklong stay in Norfolk before the exercise.

Their visits included ship tours, basketball and soccer games, a reception aboard Jason Dunham and multilateral training.

COMPTUEX takes place off the East Coast of the U.S. providing realistic training environments for participating naval forces and closely replicating operational challenges routinely encountered during deployments.

"We are excited to have our Spanish and Brazilian friends in Norfolk and on board Jason Dunham," said Cmdr. David A. Bretz, commanding officer of USS Jason Dunham, "We are serving on one of the finest warships in the fleet and our crew loves having a chance to show that off."

During their visit, the ships' crews will participate in the navigation, seamanship and ship handling training (NSST) together at Naval Station Norfolk's ship handling complex. The crews will use ship simulators to complete the bridge resource management (BRM) course.

"We are excited to have the opportunity to learn with each other and enhance our operational relationships," said Bretz. "The crew is ready and willing to get out, get underway and start carrying out the missions we were commissioned for, and I think having this time to engage with our partners will only enhance our already high-level of mission readiness."

The crews also took the opportunity to celebrate naval history. Blas de Lezo sailors paid tribute April 17 to three Spanish Sailors who died during the Spanish-American War of 1898 and were buried in the Captain Theodore H. Conaway Memorial Naval Cemetery adjacent to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.

The time in port will give crews the opportunity to develop and foster professional and interpersonal relationships, allowing for seamless multinational operational cooperation in the weeks to come.

USS Jason Dunham is homeported in Norfolk, Va. and is preparing for her maiden deployment in support of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8.



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