Phoenix Express 2016 Concludes
Maritime forces from North Africa, Europe, and the United States concluded exercise Phoenix Express 2016 with closing ceremonies in Souda Bay, Greece May 27.
Phoenix Express, sponsored and facilitated by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), is designed to improve regional cooperation between partner nations, increase maritime domain awareness, information sharing practices, and operational capabilities to achieve safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea.
Capt. Bryan Durkee, Commodore, Task Force (CTF) 67 stated, “Phoenix Express is a great opportunity for us to work operationally and tactically in the maritime for the safety and security in the Mediterranean. At no time is it more important to be aware of what is going on in the maritime environment. The best part is to bring our North African and European partners together with U.S. allies to work on safety and security in the Mediterranean."
This year’s Exercise Control Group (ECG) and Combined Maritime Operations Center (CMOC) were hosted at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center (NMIOTC) located in Souda Bay, Greece but training took place throughout the Mediterranean Sea to include North African nations’ territorial waters.
The at-sea portion of the exercise tested North African, European, and U.S. forces’ abilities to combat sea-based illicit activity. Scenarios focused on irregular migration, illicit trafficking, and movement of materials for weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Participating forces conducted 27 boarding in five days at sea. Search and rescue, visit, board, search and seizure, and medical response drills were completed.