US, Turkish Navies Wrap Up Egemen 2015

The amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), and the Turkish navy completed Egemen 2015, Oct. 28.

Egemen is a Turkish-led and hosted amphibious exercise designed to increase tactical proficiencies and interoperability among participants.

Capt. Augustus P. Bennett, commodore, Amphibious Squadron Four, said:

Egemen 2015 was a huge success, demonstrating our ability to project forces ashore, from both sea and air, to promote security and stability in the region. The exercise reinforced our commitment as allies.

The exercise launched near Foca Naval Base, Foca, Turkey, where staff members and military planners from Kearsarge, Amphibious Squadron 4, 26th MEU, and the Turkish Navy, as well as observers from the Republic of South Korea and the United Kingdom, participated in a pre-sail planning conference.

Turkish Navy Rear Adm. Aydin Sirin and his staff embarked aboard Kearsarge to exercise command and control through the four-day exercise.

Egemen 2015 provided Kearsarge and members from the 26th MEU four days of training to enhance mission-critical skillsets, including surface warfare tactics, amphibious landing operations, and non-combatant evacuation operations.

The exercise involved maritime, amphibious and air operations. U.S. and Turkish Marines executed visit, board, search and seizure drills aboard a Turkish vessel, and completed an assault that included the tactical employment of aircraft in support of maritime and amphibious operations.

Image: US Navy

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