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Black Sea PASSEX

A passing exercise, or PASSEX, consists of a short duration exercise of opportunity between two or more ships.

The quarterly Black Sea PASSEX consists of a maritime exercise with navies of US, Romania and Bulgaria. Activities include port calls, seamanship and manoeuvring, and SAR practice.

The Guided Missile Destroyer USS Scott (DDG-995) conducted a Passing Exercise (PASSEX) with the Bulgarian Frigate Smeli following its four-day port visit to Varna, Bulgaria in October 1995. The tactical maneuvering and simulated underway replenishment (UNREP) exercise was the latest in a series of exercises conducted between units of U.S. Sixth Fleet and vessels of the former Warsaw pact nation.

Following plans developed by the Bulgarian Navy and agreed upon during Scott's visit to Varna, Smeli left port en route to a pre-determined location in the Black Sea followed closely by Scott. At the rendezvous point the ships conducted several tactical maneuvers and flashing light drills. Once these events were completed, Smeli smoothly came along Scott's starboard side and until both ships matched speed and course. After receiving the signal that Smeli was prepared to receive the line, a Scott's gunner's mate fired a rifle that sent the shot line across the waves to Smeli's deck crew. Scott's deck crew then began paying out the phone and distance line from the forecastle station and prepared to pass a small package to Smeli.

Both crews performed flawlessly. The UNREP portion of the exercise came to a close as Smeli was given the signal to break away. Upon releasing the line, Smeli drew back from Scott and paused for a moment to render honors. During the exercise, each ship also exchanged two officers to better observe how operations progressed. At the conclusion of the training, these officers returned to their own ships via Scott's small boat.

The training for the day ended with Scott steaming toward Constanta, Romania, her next port call during her cruise of the Black Sea, and Smeli returning to her home port of Varna. USS Scott was the Flagship for Commander, Destroyer Squadron 14, Officer in Tactical Command for this Black Sea Operation.

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