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Greece, USA Participate in Joint Naval Exercises in Arabian Gulf

Joint Greece USA Naval Exercises
U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat USCGC Maui and Greek guided-missile frigate HS Hydra participate in a joint exercise in the Arabian Gulf on Feb. 25. Credit: U.S. Coast Guard

Greece and USA Coast Guard and naval forces conducted joint exercises in the Arabian Gulf on Friday.

The U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat USCGC Maui and Greek guided-missile frigate HS Hydra participated in a passing exercise today in the Gulf, one of the busiest waterways in the world.

The Maui is part of U.S. Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA), which is comprised of six 110-foot cutters, the Maritime Engagement Team, and shore side support personnel.

Coast Guard’s largest unit outside the US

It is the Coast Guard’s largest unit outside of the U.S., playing a key role in supporting Navy security cooperation, maritime security, and maritime infrastructure protection operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet’s area of operations.

The exercise included advanced maneuvers and communication drills flexing the crews’ abilities to operate together in a dynamic environment, and test and refine combined command and control processes.

Greece, USA “committed to advancing maritime security”

“The United States and Greece are committed to advancing maritime security in the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond,” said U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey R. Pyatt.

“Today’s bilateral exercise is another example of our countries’ deepening military-to-military collaboration, which is at an all-time high and growing stronger each day. Together, we are furthering shared defense and security goals enshrined in our countries’ Strategic Dialogue and our updated Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement.”

Greece is a vital NATO ally, showing a commitment to regional peace and stability. Greece, the host of U.S. Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, allows for U.S., Allied, and partner nation forces to operate and transit in and across critical sea lanes.

“Great opportunity to work alongside Greece”

“This exercise was a great opportunity to work alongside our Greek partners to increase tactical proficiency and capabilities,” said Lt. Ben Williams, commanding officer of the Maui. “As a crew we are always confident in our operational capabilities and working with the crew of Hydra validated our combined readiness.”

Exercises like this serve as a demonstration of the U.S. Navy’s continued commitment to strengthening coalition partnerships in the region.

The Adak and the Maui are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO) in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.

The HS Hydra recently represented Greece at the “NAVEX 21” event, held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The U.S. 5th Fleet AOO encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.

The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.

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