The Royal Norwegian Navy frigate HNoMS Roald Amundsen and the German Sachsen-class frigate Hessen arrived at the Norfolk, Virginia naval base to participate in Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group’s (HST CSG) upcoming Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX). Both of these ships are new additions to the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HST CSG).

These two ships increase the group’s air defense and anti-submarine warfare capabilities, according to Roald Amundsen’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Eivind Kvalvaag, who said that the multi-purpose ship specializes in anti-submarine warfare, while the Hessen specializes in air defense.

German Navy Rear Adm. Thomas Ernst said, “The Hessen is Germany’s most modern air-defense frigate,” so, it does its part in protecting the carrier strike group against air threats and, with its sophisticated combat systems, can take a leading role in the defense of the group.

Partnerships like this are designed to strengthen cooperation and interoperability between the nations' armed forces. Integrating with foreign navies can prove challenging, but months of planning and coordination took place to ensure a seamless integration, with both warships prepared to demonstrate their capabilities.

"Any time we can operate with another one of our allies anywhere in the world, we gain from it and they gain from it," said Rear Adm. Gene Black, commander of the HST Carrier Strike Group. "I've always had great success working with coalition partners and this is just a similar task with a more complex mission set.”

After finishing COMPTUEX, Hessen will remain with the strike group throughout its deployment, previously deploying with the strike group back in 2010.