Fleet Survey Team (FST) is conducting a hydrographic survey in the harbor of Durres, Albania, its approaches and anchorages in a cooperative survey with the Albanian government.
FST deployed a seven-person survey team, comprised of both military and civilian surveyors, and a nine-meter survey vessel for the mission, which includes the collection of sounding data, tidal information and geodetics.
Durres, located on the Adriatic Sea, is one of Albania's major commercial ports and is home to the Albanian Hydrographic Service. Albanian hydrographers are working alongside the U.S. Navy hydrographers and participating in every aspect of the project.
"The team's mission is to support [Commander, Naval Forces Eurpoe and Africa, U.S. 6th Fleet] safety of navigation requirements," said Cmdr. Richard Kennedy, FST executive officer, who recently returned from spending a week in the field with the team.
Kennedy said the Albanian port was last surveyed in the early '90s by the Naval Oceanographic Office, before Fleet Survey Team was established. The newly collected data will be used by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the U.S. charting authority, to update nautical charts to support U.S. vessels on port visits to Durres. The Albanian Hydrographic Service will use the data to update the Albanian charts.
The primary mission of the survey team is data collection, however, equally important to both NAVEUR/6th Fleet and FST is supporting the theater security cooperation mission of building relationships in the region through cooperation and interaction with the host nation.
FST is scheduled to return to Albania in the future to conduct additional surveys.
FST is a rapid-response team with capabilities to conduct quick-turnaround hydrographic surveys anywhere in the world.