Phoenix Express Strengthens Maritime
Express, a two-weeklong exercise designed to strengthen U.S. and
European maritime partnerships with North Africa, began in the
Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
boats assist the amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA
4) as it departs Naval Station Norfolk. Nassau is participating
in a multi-national combined exercise with North African
and European forces during exercise PHOENIX EXPRESS.
The exercise will provide U.S. and allied forces an opportunity
to participate in diverse maritime training scenarios
helping to increase maritime domain awareness and strengthen
emerging and enduring partnerships.
by Patrick W. Mullen III / U.S. Navy Photo
Eleven nations will conduct multilateral training to increase
regional maritime awareness and improve maritime security and
safety, U.S. Naval Forces Europe officials said.
A comprehensive agenda that includes maritime interdiction operations,
search-and-rescue training, division tactics and medical practices
will allow armed forces from Algeria, France, Greece, Italy,
Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and the United
States to enhance maritime and air capabilities, officials said.
The series of challenging training scenarios is focused on developing
the individual and collective maritime proficiencies of participating
nations, as well as promoting friendship, mutual understanding
"Strengthening regional maritime partnerships allows us
to address potential conflicts before they start, and awareness
is the first step," said Navy Rear Adm. Jeff Fowler, U.S.
6th Fleet deputy commander. "We are committed to enhancing
the awareness and maritime capability of our North African partners
to help create an environment that is inhospitable to maritime
criminals, extremists and terrorists."
USS Nassau and USS Kauffman, both home ported in Norfolk, Va.,
will participate with Marines based in Rota, Spain, and Patrol
Squadron 5 air assets based in Sigonella, Italy. The Military
Sealift Command fleet oiler USNS Patuxent also will provide valuable
training during this annual exercise.
"This is an outstanding opportunity for Nassau and crew
to build on unit-level training and increase our combat readiness
in a multinational environment," said Navy Capt. John Roberti,
Nassau commanding officer. "We are looking forward to operating
with our regional partners."
Phoenix Express 2007 will take place primarily in Rota and
the Gulf of Cadiz.
(Source: U.S. Navy)