U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-Class guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107) and Royal Danish navy Absalon-class command and support ship HMDS Absalon (L 16) conducted a passing exercise (PASSEX) in the Arctic waters off the coast of Greenland, Aug 16.

PASSEXs are unit exercises requiring cooperation, communication and interoperability between two or more navies, testing advanced ship maneuvering and tactics. It affords the opportunity to improve crews' knowledge and demonstrate shared tactics.

"This exercise was a unique opportunity for Gravely to conduct training with the Danish navy and to demonstrate interoperability in strategically important waters,” said Cmdr. Michael O'Reilly, commanding officer of Gravely. “As our navies share many common tactics, techniques and procedures, it was great to see how quickly we were able to establish communications and exercise our combined warfighting and seamanship skills.”

The PASSEX started with a rendezvous of the ships, followed by the landing of Absalon’s MH-60R helicopter on the flight deck of the Gravely. The ships conducted four, pre-planned close maneuvers allowing the ships to safely come within 250 yards. The operations allowed Gravely Sailors to draw from the wealth of experience and knowledge our ally has in northern latitude operations, and as highly skilled, technologically advanced, militarily interoperable neighbors.

“Events like today's passing exercise not only deepen the relationship between our two countries but also strengthen our maritime security capabilities in the North Atlantic,” said O’Reilly.

USS Gravely’s operations in the Arctic are a step toward further enhancing our Navy’s proficiencies operating in Arctic climates. GRAVELY is underway to conduct Arctic operations as part of an 8-month deployment.

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