Qatar, US Navy conclude exercise Eastern Sailor

Ensign Ian O'Bryan, assigned to guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73), left, and Qatari Emiri Naval Forces 2nd Lt. Hassan Khalid Al-Heidous, observe a small boat attack drill from the fantail during exercise Eastern Sailor (ES) 19. Photo: US Navy

Qatari Emiri Naval Forces recently completed Eastern Sailor 19, an exercise conducted annually with the US Navy and US Coast Guard.

Eastern Sailor 19 is an annual, bilateral surface exercise between the US Navy and the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces serving to expand levels of cooperation between the two services.

The exercise was led by Task Force (TF) 55 and is part of a routine theater security cooperation engagement plan and serves as an opportunity to strengthen tactical proficiency in critical mission areas and support long term regional stability.

Guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73), Cyclone-class coastal patrol ship USS Sirocco (PC 6), US Coast Guard Island-class patrol cutter USCGC Monomoy (WPB 1326), Qatari Emiri Naval Forces missile boats Q04, Q07, a gun boat and two fast boats worked together during the exercise.

Cmdr. Bob Bowen, Decatur’s commanding officer said he was proud to be part of the exercise, and appreciated the opportunity to work with the Qatari Emiri Naval Forces.

“Eastern Sailor 19 provided a valuable training opportunity that allowed both U.S and Qatari forces to operate and learn from each other while building relationships,” said Bowen.

The exercise included small-boat attack; visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS); division tactics and maritime infrastructure protection.

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