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September 2, 2021 9:32 am

Israeli Navy, US Navy’s Fifth Fleet Hold ‘Historic’ Exercise in Red Sea

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An Israeli navy boat is seen in the Mediterranean Sea as seen from Rosh Hanikra, close to the Lebanese border, northern Israel May 4, 2021. REUTERS/Ammar Awad – The Israeli Navy and the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet held a joint exercise for the first time on Tuesday in the Red Sea, in an event the IDF spokesperson described as “historic.”

“During the exercise, the two navies practiced a variety of scenarios including defense and rescue operations,” the IDF said.

“The exercise saw the two navies working side by side, learning together and strengthening the connection and familiarity of the two nations’ fleets. The exercise marks the beginning of joint efforts between the Israeli Navy and the US Fifth Fleet, as part of the transitioning of IDF matters to the US Central Command (CENTCOM). This is the first exercise of many planned to take place in the future,” the Israeli military added.

The IDF released photos of American naval officers visiting an Israeli naval vessel in the Red Sea.

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The exercise comes as regional tensions with Iran are high, and following a series of Iranian attacks on vessels of multiple countries.

“Conducting joint exercises with our allies and partners around the world demonstrates the shared goal of protecting and monitoring international waters vital to international trade,” the IDF said. “The cooperation between the two nations’ fleets works to this goal and further strengthens regional maritime security and stability. This partnership creates an opportunity for operational and professional development, and enables Israeli Naval superiority in the Middle East maritime arena.”

Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, head of Israel’s naval operations, added, “This exercise marks the beginning of a cooperation that will expand and increase the scope of defense and security in the maritime arena to prevent terrorist activities.”

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