The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) and Tunisian Navy Offshore Patrol Vessels TNS Jugurtha (P610) and TNS Carthage (P503), conducted multiple tactical operations to enhance maritime security and increase interoperability between the two navies, Nov. 5-6, 2021, the U.S. Navy announced.
“Working side by side with our Tunisian partners was the perfect end to our multi-national interoperability deployment,” said Cmdr. James Diefenderfer, commanding officer of The Sullivans. “Learning from our Tunisian shipmates improves the overall coordination between our countries and our way of conducting operations at sea. I am grateful for this opportunity to work so close as with our African partners.”
The two navies executed a visiting board search and seizure (VBSS) exercise, search and rescue (SAR) integrated training, simulated air defense exercises, tactical maneuvering exercises, and a live-fire exercise.
During the boarding exercise, a United States Naval Academy (USNA) 2020 graduate was a part of the VBSS team from the TNS Jugurtha (P610). He was a foreign exchange student, from Tunisia, in 8th Company at USNA. While onboard, he had the opportunity to reunite with two of his classmates who are stationed aboard The Sullivans, Ensign Gabriella Baltimore, and Ensign Megan Gravette.
“It was such a surprise to see a classmate from the USNA during a multi-national exercise with the Tunisians,” said Ensign Gabriella Baltimore. “I did not expect to see a familiar face during deployment, let alone from another country’s Navy. This reunion goes to show the connections we made at USNA are lifelong and across many borders.”
Conducting high-level training with our Tunisian partners proves our commitment to developing both nations’ ability to conduct maritime security operations in the Mediterranean, further enhancing cooperation between U.S. and Tunisian forces in support of shared security goals.
Check out Naval Library App to find out more about the specifications of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.