USS Pinckney (DDG 91) and KRI Slamet Riyadi (F 352) practice tactical maneuvers June 24. (U.S. Navy photo by Cryptologic Technician 3rd Class Raul Sanchez)

SOUTH CHINA SEA – The guided missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) and the Indonesian navy frigate KRI Slamet Riyadi (F 352) completed a two-day passing exercise (PASSEX), June 24.

The PASSEX, which occurred as both ships transited across the southernmost part of the South China Sea, covered several naval competencies including, flashing light, flaghoist and bridge-to-bridge communication drills, shipboard maneuvering, gunnery exercises, and a brief personnel exchange. During tactical maneuvering drills, crews practiced Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) safety protocols.

“Passing exercises like this one are modest in scale, but are a highly effective way to sharpen essential maritime skills and develop professional relationships with our partners in Southeast Asia,” said Capt. Fred Kacher, deputy commander of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 embarked on Pinckney.

Following a very successful diving exercise on the wreck of USS Houston (CA 30) from June 9-12, this PASSEX is the second of three separate focused training events taking place as part of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Indonesia. The third event, a cyber exercise, will take place in Jakarta.

In its 20th year, CARAT, which continues through late 2014, is a bilateral exercise series designed to address shared maritime security priorities and concerns, strengthen navy-to-navy relationships and enhance interoperability among participating forces. The Indonesian navy (TNI-AL) has been part of the exercise since it began in 1995, and this year's CARAT PASSEX is just one aspect of ongoing navy-to-navy cooperation.