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April 7, 2022 9:21 am

Israeli Navy, US Fifth Fleet Conclude 10-Day Joint Drill

avatar by i24 News

Leviathan and a second Israeli navy submarine are seen during a naval manoeuvre in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Haifa, northern Israel June 9, 2021. Picture taken June 9, 2021. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

i24 News – The Israeli Navy and US Fifth Fleet on Tuesday concluded a 10-day maritime exercise in the Mediterranean and Red Seas, their biggest joint drill to date, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.

The military exercise, dubbed “Intrinsic Defender,” involved more than 300 personnel from each country with a focus on maritime security operations, explosive ordnance disposal, health topics and the integration of unmanned systems.

According to the IDF, Israeli missile ships for the first time practiced refueling from an American replenishment tanker in the Red Sea.

The joint drill “provided an opportunity for mutual learning, sharing operational capabilities and strengthening the strategic partnership between the two militaries,” the IDF said, adding that the exercise “brought forth new capabilities to the Israel Navy that increase its operational capacities in both routine and emergency situations.”

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The US Fifth Fleet is responsible for naval forces over an area encompassing nearly 2.5 million square miles in the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean, as well as the Strait of Hormuz, Suez Canal and Bab al-Mandeb.

This past September, Israel officially moved from US European Command (EUCOM) to CENTCOM, which includes the Fifth Fleet, amid warming relations with its Arab neighbors following the historic 2020 Abraham Accords normalization agreement.

The strategic move to CENTCOM increases coordination with US forces in the Middle East region and presents a unified front in the face of Iranian threats to shared security.

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