US, 6 other countries hold naval exercises in Keys

Public tours planned Tuesday

Published On: Sep 17 2012 07:05:15 AM EDT
KEY WEST, Fla. -

Key West is hosting naval exercises for more than a dozen ships from seven countries.

Ships from Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States are participating in the exercises that start Monday in the Florida Keys.

The multinational maritime exercise dates back to 1959. This year, the ships will conduct operations in Key West and the western Caribbean through Sept. 28.

Officials at U.S. Southern Command say the exercise is designed to test how the participating naval forces perform in a variety of scenarios at sea.

Warships from the U.S. and other participating countries will be open Tuesday for public tours.