The US Navy and the Lebanese military are working together to strengthen construction and humanitarian capacities.
The USNS Choctaw County landed in Beirut, Lebanon, on Tuesday to take part in a first-of-its-kind mission to boost military cooperation between the two countries, according to the US Navy.
Central Partnership Station, the US Navy, and the Lebanese armed forces will exchange subject matter expertise on mine countermeasures, disaster response, public health, and construction capabilities as part of the operation.
According to the US Navy, explosive ordnance disposal technicians, Navy divers, a medical and health engagement team, and a construction battalion will collaborate with their Lebanese counterparts.
Engineers from the Lebanese Armed Forces are helping the construction battalion create a maritime security support facility.
According to 5th Fleet spokesperson Cmdr. Tim Hawkins, the exercise will aid the Lebanese armed forces in mine countermeasures, naval construction, disaster-related public health initiatives, and the delivery of items such as infant formula to partner nations.
Similar drills have been conducted by the Navy in the US Southern Command, US Africa Command, and US Indo-Pacific Command.
“We’re doing it in the Middle East because we see an opportunity to improve partner capacity as well as undertake some much-needed humanitarian work,” Hawkins explained.
The Essex Amphibious Ready Group of the United States Navy and the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit also arrived in the Arabian Sea last week to begin training activities.
The two units deployed to the United States Fifth Fleet area of operations to conduct training with regional and coalition partners.
The drills will be held alongside regional and coalition partners in the US 5th Fleet area of operations, which covers 2.5 million square miles of ocean and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, and sections of the Indian Ocean, according to a press release.
The Essex Amphibious Ready Group of the United States Navy and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit transited the Strait of Hormuz on Friday, a strategically important waterway that connects the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman.
Amphibious transport dock USS Portland, dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor, guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy, expeditionary sea base ship USS Lewis B. Puller, and dry cargo and ammunition ship USS Wally Schirra were among the ships that joined the forces.
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