Sailors from the United States and six other nations are conducting an exercise aimed at the trafficking of weapons of mass destruction and related materials.

The exercise, known as BASILIC 03, is going on in the Mediterranean Sea and is part of the Proliferation Security Initiative, an effort by 11 countries to prevent arms trafficking.

The U.S. guided-missile frigate USS Nicholas, out of Norfolk, Va., and a P-3 surveillance aircraft from Sigonella, Sicily, are participating.

“What we do is attempt to expose our sailors and those of the other countries to a variety of potential situations that they may encounter,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott Fleming, U.S. 6th Fleet spokesman.

Such scenarios may include random boarding of vessels or bomb evacuation drills.

The training, which ends Friday, is one of six Proliferation Security Initiative exercises planned for the remainder of this year and early next year.

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