The US Navy and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) are conducting a virtual military exercise amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Resolute Union (RU) 20 is an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and maritime security operations bilateral military exercise serving as the culmination of a series of exercises between the two armed forces.

The exercise aims to boost interoperability between the two forces through cooperative training and improve mutual capabilities.

Commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 56 Captain Stephen Jackson said: “RU20 provides our team a unique opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience with our LAF counterparts, while enhancing our mutual EOD and maritime security capabilities.

“Conducting the exercise virtually allows us to continue taking advantage of those opportunities with our LAF counterparts while mitigating exposure and the spread of Covid-19.”

The previous exercises were conducted in Lebanon.

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By GlobalData

The virtual exercise, which involves LAF personnel in Lebanon and US naval forces in Bahrain, was planned to provide a continuity to the programme while restricting Covid-19 contagion risks.

The scope of activities includes EOD, dive, and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations.

Combined Maritime Forces Commander of US Naval Forces Central Command in the US 5th Fleet Vice Admiral Jim Malloy said: “The use of virtual exchanges allows us to leverage established relationships and connectivity, and strengthen interoperability with our regional partners.

“RU20 is an example of innovative solutions allowing the US Navy to deepen our relationship with the superb Lebanese Armed Forces navy and marine corps, and continue building interoperability with this capable force, ensuring we fight through and overcome challenges together.”