TEAMWORK SOUTH is a bi-annual naval exercise hosted by the Chilean Navy to further bolster a robust relationship and mutual understanding in the region. Teamwork South is the largest naval exercise conducted by Chile and focuses on advanced naval training operations including ship handling, submarine warfare, live fire gunnery and missile drills as well as multi-level, scenario driven war gamming. During Teamwork South 2001, the decommissioned amphibious ship La Moure County was used as an unmanned target vessel for a live-fire sink exercise.
U.S. Navy ships USS Ticonderoga (CG 47) and USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) fired anti-ship missiles during the exercise along with two Chilean Guided Missile Destroyers. In addition to a missile exercise, the ships also made several surface gunnery runs on the target ship. Two Chilean submarines finished off the badly damaged ship with six Mark-8 torpedoes before sinking to ocean floor.
The ex-USS La Moure County was prepared for the exercise in accordance with agreements between the Chilean Navy and Naval Sea Systems Command ensuring all precautions were made to not harm the environment. The sunken ship is now a habitat for hundreds species of sea life.
The U.S. Navy will continue to participate in TEAMWORK SOUTH because it offers a unique opportunity to maintain a consistent training environment in the region as well as a continued multi-national commitment to hemispheric defense and coalition.
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