Mediterranean Sea - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55) completed the multinational search and rescue exercise Argonaut May 31.
Stout worked in conjunction with naval forces from host nation the Republic of Cyprus, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the State of Israel and the United Kingdom to test each country's search and rescue capabilities.
"Working together with the host nation's medical team offers us a chance to learn from one another and share different methods and perspectives with how we treat patients in these types of scenarios. At the end of the day our ultimate goal is the well-being and health of those that we treat, and that is something we share with all medical personnel no matter where they come from." - Hospital Corpsmen 1st Class Elizabeth Jackson, USS Stout independent duty corpsman
"The team on Stout has been very hospitable and everyone has shown maximum effort and focus for all of the scenarios. Although we are from different parts of the world we were able to work together well and accomplish our goals with the Argonaut exercise." - Staff Nurse Sakis Theodosiou, Republic of Cyprus medical team
"The coordination between all countries involved [was impressive]; regardless of language barriers and standards of communication we were able to come together and execute a successful and mutually beneficial exercise. We have learned a great deal from this exercise and look forward to the rest of deployment." - Ensign McGeady Bushnell, USS Stout SAR officer
The exercises began with boat and helicopter exercises as Stout's deck department and medical team recovered and treated simulated casualties alongside staff nurses from the Cyprian Department of Defense.
The exercises concluded with a nighttime medical evacuation simulated exercise in which a Cyprian search and rescue helicopter dropped off and picked up a casualty on Stout's flight deck.
Both the day and nighttime evolutions were a success and offered invaluable training opportunities to prepare the crew for high-risk, high-stress scenarios they may potentially face during deployment.
Stout is currently deployed conducting naval operations in the 6th Fleet area of operations with the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (Ike CSG) in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.
U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, headquartered in Naples, Italy, oversees joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests, security and stability in Europe and Africa.