Royal Marine commandos and Royal Navy sailors attached to the Duke-class frigate HMS Montrose (F 236) conduct a visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) drill aboard the Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-A 200) on Feb. 18, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tristin Barth)

U.S., British Navies Conduct Maritime Security Drills

U.S. Navy fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200) and Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose (F236) conducted maritime security and logistics training in the South China Sea, Feb. 18.

The drills involved Royal Marine commandos, Royal Navy sailors and Guadalupe crew members. During a visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) scenario, Montrose’s boarding team embarked and secured Guadalupe, which simulated a vessel engaged in high seas trafficking. The ships also practiced replenishment at sea using NATO procedures, which ensured that the two ships, despite never having working together before, could safely and efficiently transfer fuel while underway.

“This was a valuable exercise for us, keeping our integrated Royal Navy and Royal Marines boarding team sharp and ready to deliver any mission assigned to them,” said Cmdr. Conor O’Neill, commanding officer of HMS Montrose. “That we were able to achieve this training, and the replenishment drills afterwards, is testament to the close working relationship between the Royal and United States Navies, both in the Pacific and globally.”

“It helps expand our capabilities and I believe it helps them, as well,” said Eric Naranjo, civilian mariner chief mate aboard Guadalupe. “It’s important because if you don’t practice these scenarios, you won’t have the skills necessary to succeed when the time comes.”

This is the third cooperative deployment between the U.S Navy and the Royal Navy in as many months. USS McCampbell (DDG 85) and HMS Argyll (F231) operated together in the South China Sea in January, and a trilateral anti-submarine warfare exercise was held between the U.S. Navy, Royal Navy, and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Dec. 21-22.

Guadalupe, the 14th Henry J. Kaiser-class replenishment oiler, is conducting routine operations, providing logistical support to U.S. Navy and allied forces operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

Read more at U.S. 7th Fleet

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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