US Navy participates in bilateral exercise with Iraq

22 February 2016 (Last Updated February 22nd, 2016 18:30)

The US Navy's Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) and Island-class Coast Guard cutter USCGC Monomoy have participated in a bilateral exercise in the Arabian Gulf with an Iraqi Navy Swift Boat (P-310).

USS Russell

The US Navy's Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) and Island-class Coast Guard cutter USCGC Monomoy have participated in a bilateral exercise in the Arabian Gulf with an Iraqi Navy Swift Boat (P-310).

The two-day exercise was aimed at promoting combined-joint interoperability between the US and Iraqi maritime forces.

It involved tactical live-fire exercises, from basic to more advanced operations.

"MIPEX provides an opportunity to practise our force protection tactics with joint and international partners."

The coalition forces performed weapons synchronisation, maritime infrastructure protection exercises (MIPEX), and combined-joint gun exercises.

US Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia current operations officer lieutenant Andrew Corwell said: "MIPEX provides an opportunity to practise our force protection tactics with joint and international partners.

"The US Coast Guard understands coastal operations, and this helps our ability to interact with various navies and coast guards in this area that are uses to these coastal environments."

The US forces in the 5th Fleet area of operations have been conducting various Iraqi bilateral exercises over the past 18 months.

Each exercise introduces a variety of elements from surface and air warfare, to visit, board, search, seizure (VBSS) and interdiction operations.

Russell armoury lead petty officer, gunner's mate 1st class Christopher Lamotte said: "Having similar weapons systems, we can share the knowledge with our allies so that we both can use our weapons effectively and safely.

"With technology always changing, we can rely on our partners. If they have a new system, we can share the knowledge, and this is what makes us into a stronger navy."


Image: USS Russell (DDG 59). Photo: courtesy of US Navy by Jimmie J Crockett.