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Va-based ship trained with UK, French, Russians

Friday - 7/5/2013, 12:50pm  ET

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- A Virginia-based Navy ship has completed a multinational exercise off the coast of France with the French, British and Russian navies.

The guided-missile frigate USS Nicholas represented the U.S. in the annual exercise known as FRUKUS. The exercise was created in 2003 to aid talks between the four participant nations. Each country rotates as the host nation for the exercise, providing professional and cultural opportunities for the visiting nations. This year Brest, France served as the host port. The Nicholas' home port of Norfolk served as host in 2011.

Among other things, the exercise focused on improving maritime security through open dialogue and increased training. It ended Wednesday.

Cmdr. Cory Blaser, USS Nicholas's commanding officer, says the partnerships created in the exercise are critical to promoting peace in the region.

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