IDF and NAVCENT conduct amphibious drill in Eilat

The IDF began a joint bilateral amphibious exercise with the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Fifth Fleet (NAVCENT) from the Red Sea city of Eilat, the second time in less than a month.

NAVCENT’s 51/5 Marine Expeditionary Brigade is leading the U.S. participation in the drill that will also feature approximately 500 troops from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, including a detachment of logistics battalion, a rifle company from infantry, a reconnaissance company with light armor and high mobility. Platoon of the Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

The IDF troops will include forces from the Maglan commando unit and the Lotar counter-terrorism unit, as well as the Infantry Corps and Squad Commanders School of Professions.

“The troops will participate in a two-week multi-branch exercise, in which they will train with counterterrorism forces, commando forces and exposed strike forces, simulating warfare techniques in open areas and urban settings,” the IDF said.

The two-week drill will include urban terrain scenarios, infantry live fire, HIMARS live fire, rapid maneuver training and more. You will also see the forces holding discussions on various topics, such as engineering, explosive ordnance disposal, and medical.

“This exercise is part of the next chapter in the long-standing relationship of the United States Navy and Marine Corps with Israel, which is so vital to stability and security in the region,” said General of Brigade. Farrell Sullivan, commanding general of the task force was quoted as saying.

Last month, the Israeli Navy participated in a combined maritime security patrol with NAVCENT’s Fifth Fleet in the Red Sea for the first time.

Three Israeli ships, the INS Eilat, and two patrol boats were sailing alongside the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey and a US Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft flying overhead.

An Emirati official watches members of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet as they prepare to escort journalists to the tanker at a US NAVCENT facility near the port of Fujairah, UAE. United, June 19, 2019. The Fifth Fleet protects oil shipping routes in the region (credit: REUTERS / CHRISTOPHER PIKE)

The forces also exercised in search and rescue scenarios, air defense, high-value unit defense, small boat operations, as well as tactical defensive maneuvers.

The IDF’s chief of naval operations, Brigadier General. Daniel Hagari said at the time that strategic cooperation between the forces is vital for regional security and that of the state of Israel.

Following the drill, Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, NAVCENT’s Fifth Fleet Commander, visited Israel, met with senior officers, and discussed mutual maritime threats.

During the visit, Cooper held a series of meetings and briefings with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, the IDF chief of staff, Lieutenant General. Aviv Kohavi, Commander of the Israeli Navy, Vice Admiral David Saar Salama, Chief of the IDF International Cooperation Division, Brigadier General. Effie Defrin and others.

The US Fifth Fleet’s area of ‚Äč‚Äčoperations spans approximately 2.5 million square miles and includes the Arabian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, the Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean, and three critical choke points in the Strait of Hormuz. , the Suez Canal and the Strait. of Bab-el-Mandeb.

With the addition of Israel, the region now comprises 21 countries.

The visit comes as a result of the transfer of responsibility from Israel from the United States European Command (EUCOM) to the United States Central Command (CENTCOM).

The move is believed to not only simplify cooperation with US troops in the region, but may also create the potential for a regional coalition with Arab countries that have normalized ties with Israel against shared threats posed by Iran.

The Fifth Fleet has at times clashed with Iranian vessels in the Persian Gulf, and with tensions still high, Israel’s addition can be seen as a message to Tehran.

On Tuesday night, Defense Minister Benny Gantz spoke with his US counterpart, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, about the continued cooperation between the two allies “in the face of Iranian regional entrenchment and their nuclear aspirations,” he wrote in your Twitter page.

“We agreed to meet soon to deepen our discussion on strategic issues and military cooperation,” he added.

Earlier this week, the US Air Force flew a B-1B strategic bomber over key areas in the Middle East accompanied by allied air forces such as Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

The heavy bomber of the United States Air Force, commonly called “bone”, was heading towards the Persian Gulf.

“The joint flight illustrates the IDF’s continued strategic cooperation with the United States in the area,” the IDF said.

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