By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrea Rumple
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) participated in a flag hoist drill during At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield 2021, May 25, 2021.
Roosevelt conducted the drills with ships from Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
“Though At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield 21 features live-fire exercises as the main event, the force has been able to incorporate additional interoperability-enhancing drills such as flag hoist,” said Cmdr. Ryan Kendall, Roosevelt’s commanding officer. “Roosevelt looks forward to every opportunity to strengthen our partnerships and foster seamanship excellence among the NATO Alliance.”
Flag hoist drills allow ships to demonstrate their ability to work together as one unit, and to improve allied interoperability.
During the drill, each ship communicated randomized messages through the international signaling of the flags.
“Flags are a universal Navy language,” said Quartermaster 2nd Class Daniel Draughon, a Sailor assigned to Roosevelt. “It’s exciting to be able to communicate through flags with allied nations, and be able to understand their messages.”
Draughon said he enjoys being able to work with other nations. The flag hoist drill was a chance for him to be able to do just that.
Roosevelt is one of four U.S. Navy destroyers based in Rota, Spain, and assigned to Commander, Task Force 65 in support of NATO’s Integrated Air Missile Defense architecture. These FDNF-E ships have the flexibility to operate throughout the waters of Europe and Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle, demonstrating their mastery of the maritime domain.
U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.