US, Egyptian Navy kick off Eagle Response 18

A sailor deployed to US 5th Fleet's Task Group 52.3, left, and Egyptian Naval Force (ENF) sailors conduct a familiarization dive during Eagle Response 18. Photo: US Navy

US and Egyptian Navy personnel started exercise Eagle Response 18 at the Red Sea Naval Base in Egypt on July 24.

Eagle Response 18 is an explosive ordnance disposal and diving exercise the US Navy undertakes with the Egyptian Naval Force and other participating nations to enhance interoperability and warfighting readiness, fortify military-to-military relationships and advance operational capabilities of all participating units.

“We are fortunate to have this opportunity to build strong relationships to strengthen our maritime security capabilities,” said Lt. John James, the US Navy on-scene commander for the exercise. “Training opportunities like these give our Sailors the unique chance to learn from different nations and show them what we can do.”

The US sailors represent Task Force 52, US 5th Fleet’s mine warfare task force. The US delegation is part of Task Group 52.3, and includes deployed sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 6; Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2, Company 25; and the Naval Oceanography Mine Warfare Center.

The exercise began with a welcoming brief, classroom trainings and decompression chamber familiarization.

“It was great seeing a variety of nations compare their personal experiences with decompression training from a medical perspective,” said Chief Hospital Corpsman Eli Hernandez, who lead the hands-on decompression training. “Diving is one of the most hazardous evolutions a human can do, and it’s important we share our experiences and learn from each other to improve safety across the board.”

Scheduled events include underwater detonation drills, unmanned underwater vehicle operations and antiterrorism/force protection dives.

The exercise is part of Eagle Salute 18, a surface exercise, to provide opportunities for participating nations to collaborate on an even wider range of maritime security operations.

US Naval Forces Central Command conducts more than 20 bilateral and multilateral exercises with partner nations throughout the region each year.

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