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AKSAZ, Turkey - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) arrived in Aksaz, Türkiye for a scheduled port visit, September 9, 2022.
Forrest Sherman has been conducting operations throughout the Mediterranean Sea, operating continuously with the Barbaros-class frigate TCG Kemalreis (F-247) of the Turkish Navy. The two ships also conducted a replenishment-at-sea with the Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler USNS Kanawha (T-AO-196) to provide fuel and stores to the warships on September 7.
The port visit to Aksaz will include the planning conference for Exercise Dynamic Mariner-Mavi Balina 2022 (DYMR/MB22). The exercise is the Maritime Force Integration Live Exercise (LIVEX) which forms part of the certification process for the NATO Response Force 2023 (NRF23). The exercise will take place in Turkish territorial waters and international waters in the Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea from September 11-22, 2022.
“Our real world operations and exercises as Allies lead to robust interoperability and interchangeability and therefore enhances our integrated naval warfighting capability as an Alliance,” said Rear Adm. Scott Sciretta, Commander, Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2). “Demonstrating our capabilities during exercises such as Dynamic Mariner ensures NATO remains fully prepared to undertake any mission required to provide the collective defense for which the Alliance is solely designed.”
The aim of Dynamic Mariner is to focus on the maritime expeditionary nature of the NATO Response Force deployment in a littoral environment, as well as to evaluate and improve interoperability and integrate tactical maritime operations at the Task Force level. The exercise incudes 50 surface units, 5 submarines, 5 air assets, 1,500 marines, and personnel from 12 NATO nations – Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain, Türkiye, and the United States.
“Dynamic Mariner is another opportunity to work with our NATO Allies and Partners towards a common goal. Focusing on maritime expeditionary operations, enhancing joint collaboration, and improving interoperability increases the strength of the Alliance,” said Cmdr. Lawrence Heyworth IV, commanding officer of Forrest Sherman.
In addition to the final preparations for the exercises, Sailors will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of tours including a boat trip to islands around Marmaris or enjoy the unique experience of a Turkish bath.
USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) is the flagship for Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2), a multinational integrated task group that projects a constant and visible reminder of the Alliance’s solidarity and cohesion afloat and provides the Alliance with a continuous maritime capability to perform a wide range of tasks, including exercises and real-world operations in periods of crisis and conflict.