American and Egyptian naval forces began Exercise Eagle Response 18 at the Red Sea Naval Base here, July 24.
Eagle Response 18 is an explosive ordnance disposal and diving exercise conducted by the U.S., Egypt and other participating nations to enhance interoperability and warfighting readiness, fortify military-to-military relationships and advance operational capabilities of all participating units.
Building Strong Relationships
“We are fortunate to have this opportunity to build strong relationships to strengthen our maritime security capabilities,” said Navy Lt. John James, the exercise’s commander. “Training opportunities like these give our sailors the unique chance to learn from different nations and show them what we can do.”
The U.S. sailors represent Task Force 52, the U.S. 5th Fleet’s mine warfare task force. The U.S. 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 Navy Chief Petty Officer Eli Hernandez, a hospital corpsman who heads the 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.
Eagle Response 18 is part of Eagle Salute 18, a surface exercise that provides opportunities for participating nations to collaborate across a wider range of maritime security operations.
U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, based in Manama, Bahrain, conducts more than 20 bilateral and multilateral exercises with partner nations throughout the region each year. Exercise Eagle Response is one of numerous exercises vital to the U.S. Navy’s theater security cooperation efforts in building and enhancing solid regional and international relationships.