The Egyptian Navy has received three coastal patrol ships from US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) at an official transfer ceremony held in Alexandria, Egypt.

The three former patrol craft transferred by the US Navy are USS Hurricane (PC 3), USS Sirocco (PC 6) and USS Thunderbolt (PC 12).

During a month-long journey in January and February, these coastal patrol vessels sailed from Bahrain to Egypt around the Arabian Peninsula.

The ceremony marks the culmination of weeks of preparation, training and professional exchanges between the navies of the two countries.

US Fifth Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces (NAVCENT) commander, Vice-Admiral Brad Cooper, said: “The Egypt – US maritime partnership has been a fundamental pillar of our bilateral defence cooperation for decades.

“This transfer is yet another major milestone in our strong relationship that will enhance regional maritime security for years to come.”

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The 4,000 mile journey to Alexandria saw crew members from the two countries working alongside each other to ensure the safe navigation of the three vessels.

During their voyage, the vessels visited the ports of Jebel Ali in the UAE; Duqm, Oman; Djibouti and Berenice, Egypt.

US and Egyptian service members continued training after the arrival of the vessels in Alexandria, and classroom lessons featured discussions on engineering, search and rescue, damage control and weapons handling.

Anthony Webber, commander and captain of Task Force 55, which oversees operations for the US Fifth Fleet’s surface forces, said: “This transfer process was an incredible opportunity for our crews. It enabled us to strengthen our bilateral ties while enhancing our interoperability with a highly capable regional maritime partner.”

The Egyptian Navy currently commands Combined Task Force (CTF) 153, one of four multinational task forces organised under the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) led by the US.

CTF 153 coordinates multinational maritime security efforts in the Bab al-Mandeb, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea.  

NAVCENT and CMF are based in Manama, Bahrain.