US, UAE kick off amphibious drill Iron Magic

A landing craft, air cushion (LCAC), launches from the well dock of the USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) in support of Iron Magic 18. Photo: US Navy

US Marines and amphibious forces were joined by armed forces of the United Arab Emirates on October 15 to start a two-week amphibious exercise called Iron Magic.

Iron Magic enables regional partners to coordinate amphibious landing, infantry training, military operations in urban terrain (MOUT), mechanized assault and maneuver, life fire, helicopter assault and internal security training events off the coast of the UAE.

Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51 and the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (TF 51/5) will be operating from the dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor during the exercise.

“USS Pearl Harbor and embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit sailors and marines will conduct critical amphibious training with the UAE armed forces to enhance capabilities in critical mission sets inherent to the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps team operating within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility,” said Brig. Gen. Frank Donovan, TF 51/5 commander. “Recurring training opportunities with our UAE partners supports the professional development of our forces and military-to-military relationship development and is in keeping with our shared dedicated efforts to ensure regional stability, security and prosperity.”

“We look forward to training alongside the UAE Armed Forces on specific skillsets inherent to both of our units,” said Lt. Col. James Stover, the Combat Logistics Battalion 15 commanding officer and landing force commander of troops aboard USS Pearl Harbor. “This is an excellent opportunity to strengthen tactical proficiencies ranging from amphibious ship to shore operations, logistical sustainment from a sea base and ashore, and infantry tactics; everything we will be doing increases knowledge and cooperation between our two militaries to be better prepared to address security concerns together.”

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