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USS Donald Cook Participates in SAREX

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS140717-16
Release Date: 7/17/2014 2:34:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Corey Hensley, US Naval Forces Europe-Africa/US 6th Fleet Public Affairs

MEDITERRANEAN SEA (NNS) -- Guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) participated in a bilateral search and rescue exercise (SAREX) off the coast of Cyprus with search and rescue units and personnel from the Republic of Cyprus, July 16.

The SAREX provided an opportunity to promote maritime capabilities and interoperability in a number of maritime mission areas, including man-overboard and medical evacuation emergency drills, daylight search and rescue operations and deck-landings of the search and rescue helicopters aboard the Donald Cook's flight deck.

It also focused on personnel and rescue units capabilities and readiness, responding to potential SAR missions or other humanitarian operations within the Republic of Cyprus region and throughout the Eastern Mediterranean.

USS Donald Cook Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Scott A. Jones, commented that '[it] was great to be able to share and hone our tactics, techniques and procedures for search and rescue at sea with our Republic of Cyprus partners. Exercises such as this allow us to demonstrate our shared commitment to maritime security and safety.'

The exercise began with the Cyprus Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC Larnaca) responding to a distress call from a simulated sinking fishing boat. AW-139 rescue helicopters assigned to Cyprus' 460 SAR Squadron, the Cyprus Police Aviation Unit and a fast patrol boat assigned to Cyprus' nation guard and navy command were dispatched in response.

JRCC Larnaca also sent an emergency transmission requesting further assistance to any ships operating in the area. Donald Cook was the first on scene to respond and provide assistance as Cyprus units conducted rescue operations.

Donald Cook, the first of four Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to be forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is serving on a scheduled patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations as part of the president's European Phased Adaptive Approach to ballistic missile defense in Europe.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

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