US and Israeli naval vessels sail together in Gulf of Aqaba
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US and Israeli naval vessels sail together in Gulf of Aqaba

01 Sep 2021 (Last Updated September 1st, 2021 12:43)

Four Israeli and US ships conducted the combined milestone maritime patrol.

US and Israeli naval vessels sail together in Gulf of Aqaba
The maritime patrol has been conducted in the Red Sea. Credit: US Navy.

The US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) has carried out a combined maritime security patrol with the Israeli Navy in the Red Sea.

The milestone maritime patrol, which was conducted on 30-31 August, saw four Israeli and US Navy ships sailing together in the Gulf of Aqaba.

US 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces NAVCENT commander vice-admiral Brad Cooper said: “Our navies are ushering in a new era of expanded cooperation and capacity building.

“We are partnering in new ways, which is essential for preserving security in today’s dynamic maritime environment.”

In the exercise, guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) sailed together with an Israeli Navy corvette and two patrol boats, with the US Navy’s P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft flying overhead.

The four ships conducted air defence, high-value unit defence and other small boat operations. The vessels also conducted tactical manoeuvre training.

NAVCENT Task Force 55 commodore captain Robert Francis said: “Combined patrols like these help maintain regional maritime security and stability.

“The collaboration has been tremendous. We share a common understanding with our international counterparts that there is strength in unity.”

In January 2021, the US shifted Israel’s area of responsibility (AOR) from US European Command (USEUCOM) to US Central Command (USCENTCOM).

This change comes into effect from 1 September.

According to the US Navy, the change in AOR provides new opportunities for cooperation between regional navies across the Middle East.