By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Joshua DuFrane
USS George Washington Public Affairs
PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), Carrier Strike Group (CSG) Nine, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) Two and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) Two Three conducted a bilateral exercise with the Peruvian Navy and Air Force Sept. 30 through Oct. 3 as part of Southern Seas 2015.
The bilateral exercise helps regional forces work together to address shared maritime security priorities during a series of cooperative training events and subject matter exchanges.
"The opportunity for our two navies to train together is important," said Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, CSG-9. "During this exercise, our strike group trained with Peruvian Navy and Air Force partners across the full spectrum of maritime operations to include anti-submarine warfare, air defense and maritime interdiction. Through this type of focused training, we develop the capability to respond to all types of threats."
Their integration aims to improve joint interoperability, carrier strike group operations and to practice war fighting against various threats.
"In a bilateral exercise you have the opportunity to plan, conduct and debrief," said Franchetti. "We can tailor the exercise to achieve objectives for both nations. We work together to ensure we are trained to handle all types of situations."
During Southern Seas 2015, U.S. forces will also conduct two multilateral exercises with participants from Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.
"Anytime you have a language barrier or an opportunity to work with a foreign country it benefits our training," said Capt. Fernando Garcia, CSG-9 operations officer. "It gives us a better cultural understanding of their country. It also benefits their training because they see our tactics, procedures and techniques which help them to gain experience."
This is the first time in several years an aircraft carrier with an embarked air wing and destroyer squadron is transiting around South America.
Washington, embarked CSG-9, CVW-2 and DESRON-23 are deployed as part of Southern Seas 2015 which seeks to enhance interoperability, increase regional stability and build and maintain relationships with countries throughout the region through joint, multinational and interagency exchanges and cooperation.