USS Nassau medical team conducts exchange training with allies

ROTA, Spain — Military medical professionals from Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia visited USS Nassau (LHA 4) here April 11 for a series of professional exchanges and demonstrations as part of the ongoing exercise Phoenix Express.

Phoenix Express is one of a series of North African exercises held annually that directly supports Naval Forces Europe-Sixth Fleet (CNE-C6F) strategic priority of improving maritime security.

"Until this exercise, I didn't know about some of the capabilities of the Algerian Navy," said Nassau Senior Medical Officer Capt. David Lasseter. "We've learned quite a bit in the first couple of hours of this exercise about the ability of the other countries involved in Phoenix Express."

Nassau medical staff and Fleet Surgical Team Two (FST-2) exchanged medical knowledge, capabilities, and procedures with the teams from Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. During the training evolution the teams reviewed MEDEVAC procedures, airway management and evaluation of trauma victims.

"We had people go above and beyond with this training," said Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Edward Daniel, FST-2 leading petty officer. "Their level of knowledge was above expectations."

The joint training aboard Nassau also included lab training, demonstrating blood transfusions, general lab chemistry and the proper use of medical equipment.

"It was easy to work side by side with the diverse countries," said Daniel. "I learned that we're not that different, we do the same things just in a different way. Even though we couldn't speak the same language, we could understand them because medicine is universal."

Phoenix Express, a two-week long exercise designed to strengthen regional maritime partnerships, is focused on the development of increased maritime domain awareness, better information sharing practices and the ability to operate jointly. The exercise includes participants from Algeria, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States.

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