NEWS | June 14, 2021

Eurasia Partnership Shiphandling Event Fosters Cooperative Relationships, Sharpens Skills

By Naval Forces Europe, U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs

U.S. Naval Forces Europe’s Maritime Partnership Program co-hosted the third annual Eurasia Partnership Shiphandling Event with the Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy in Varna, Bulgaria June 7-11, 2021.

The collaborative military-to-military maritime-focused training shared best practices in the conduct of surface warfare operations and fostered professional relationships amongst NATO Ally and partner nations.

Participating members from Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, and the United States, engaged with their peers to share shiphandling techniques and bridge watch-standing procedures and develop key skillsets in a variety of operational circumstances throughout the weeklong engagement.

This year's iteration featured a return to live in-person training, after a virtual event last year due to COVID-19. To ensure the safety and health of the participants and host nation citizens, all personnel were in compliance with host nation quarantine and infection control regulations.

U.S. Navy instructors from the Surface Warfare Schools Command in Norfolk, Virginia and San Diego, Calif., supported by U.S. Navy reservists from Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois, conducted lectures on a variety of surface warfare topics, and assisted participants in applying tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) in simulator scenarios. 

The training audience benefited from the knowledge and experience shared by instructors and the time spent in the state-of-the-art bridge simulators practicing both routine and unconventional tactical evolutions for surface ships.  Evolutions included anchoring, getting underway from, and mooring to a pierside berth, maneuvering under low visibility conditions, transiting a traffic separation scheme, conducting an underway replenishment at sea, and conducting man overboard drills.

NATO Allied and partner nations stand together to ensure a safe, stable Black Sea region, building partner capacity to improve effectiveness and interoperability.

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.