CONSTANTA, Romania - Diving teams from Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Ukraine and the U.S. met in Constanta, Romania, for Eurasia Partnership (EP) Dive 2012, May 28 - June 8.
The exercise, co-hosted by the Romanian and U.S. Navies, helped to evaluate progress made by NATO allies and partners toward diving interoperability, standardization of procedures, and equipment familiarity.
Lt. Joshua Aisen, director, U.S. Naval Forces Europe Eurasia Partnership Program, noted that the international meet with six countries was an excellent opportunity to extend the international goodwill between each other.
“This year's event has been very successful,” said Lt. Aisen. “These divers are true professionals and it’s great working alongside them. It's not only gratifying to see them overcome barriers of language, history, and differences in military doctrine to work together; it's also a great opportunity to forge personal friendships.”
The divers’ agenda included surface supplied diving in the Black Sea and in a compression chamber simulator; review of recompression chamber treatment tables and of saturation diving capabilities; scuba diving; hull searching and mine explosive ordnance disposal response. Additionally, the six diving teams conducted dive safety, medicine, and capability discussions for each country's dive unit.
“This was a great opportunity for us to work alongside other NATO countries and use equipment that our country does not have access to. The deep sea diving is something we do not get to experience very often and the training that went with this engagement was very beneficial,” said Lt. Cmdr. Oleksiy Nesterov, a Ukrainian navy diver. “We were able to learn about the U.S. diving manual, follow NATO standards, and learn different diving techniques. We got to work with many different countries and the mission was a great success.”
The participants left EP Dive 2012 confident in the approach to collective security. Engagements like EP Dive aim to equip the participating nations to work together as partners.
“This has been a good experience. The relationships and friendships we establish makes us stronger as a region," said Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Todorov, commanding officer of the Bulgarian salvage and rescue detachment. “In an environment like this, you meet with other divers from the region, and you start to notice that we are just like each other and we can rely on each other during peace time or tragedy."
The engagement activity aimed to build the capacity of each nations diving team and foster professional relationships among all participating nations.
The exercise took place at the Romanian Dive Center, aboard the Romanian diving support ship Saturn and aboard the rescue and salvage ship USNS Grasp (T-ARS 51).
EP Dive 2012, a multinational training event co-hosted by the Romanian and U.S. Navies, includes participants from Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Ukraine and U.S.