NATO Naval Activity in Eastern Mediterranean: US-Turkish exercise, Nimitz Leaves Naples

Exercise Dogu Akdeniz 2013 Begins

USS STOUT, Aksaz Naval Base (NNS) — Dogu Akdeniz, an annual Turkish-led naval training exercise, began Nov. 4.

USS Stout (DDG 55) was invited to participate in this year’s exercise, hosted by Commander, Turkish Fleet, with forces from the Turkish coast guard, Turkish air force and ships from Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2).

Led by the Turkish navy Dogu Akdeniz is designed to focus on maritime interdiction operations, military interoperability efforts and regional security and stability.

"I am very excited that my crew has been given the opportunity to participate in Exercise Dogu Akdeniz with the Turkish navy and our NATO allies." said Cmdr. Robert W. Alpigini, commanding officer of Stout.

The exercise is scheduled to take place in the Eastern Mediterranean off the coast of Turkey and was developed to improve operability between the U.S. and Turkish navies, and enhanced anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare. The exercise demonstrates the U.S. Navy’s continued commitment to strengthen regional maritime partnerships through training and collaborative activities.

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Nimitz Departs Port Call in Naples, Italy

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) — The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and embarked Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 and Destroyer Squadron 23, departed from Naples, Italy, Nov. 4, after a five-day port call.

The port visit allowed Nimitz Strike Group crew members an opportunity rarely available to those deployed from the West Coast.

"A port call in Italy is pretty much unheard of for Pacific-deployed ships," said Chief Operations Specialist Travis Lovegrove, Nimitz’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) leading chief petty officer. "This was a huge boost for the crew’s morale, especially after so long at sea."

The ship’s MWR arranged tours of Pompeii, historic Rome and the Vatican, and Naples wherein Sailors and Marines were able to experience the local culture and history.

"The tours that MWR put together were amazing," said Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Jessica Waller, a junior Sailor aboard Nimitz. "It was a refreshing change in scenery. And, the fact that we came from the West Coast and got to visit Italy is pretty astonishing."

"It was almost like an early Christmas present," said Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Scott Reese. "Visiting a European port was definitely not something I expected. It was a great surprise."

Nimitz left its homeport of Everett, Wash., March 30 for a scheduled Western Pacific deployment and is currently supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.

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