US Transfers Three Patrol Ships to the Egyptian Navy
The United States has transferred three U.S. Navy patrol craft to the Egyptian Navy in an effort to help boost regional maritime security.
During a formal ceremony in Alexandria, Egypt on March 21, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) turned over USS Hurricane (PC 3), USS Sirocco (PC 6), and USS Thunderbolt (PC 12), three former Cyclone-class patrol coastal ships built by Bollinger Shipyards in the early 1990s.
“The Egypt-U.S. maritime partnership has been a fundamental pillar of our bilateral defense cooperation for decades,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of NAVCENT, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces. “This transfer is yet another major milestone in our strong relationship that will enhance regional maritime security for years to come.”
The transfer follows a month-long journey from Bahrain to Egypt, sailing around the Arabian Peninsula, January through February. During the 4,000-mile transit to Alexandria, U.S. and Egyptian crewmembers worked side-by-side safely navigating the three ships on a voyage that included port visits to Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates; Duqm, Oman; Djibouti; and Berenice, Egypt.
U.S. and Egyptian service members continued training after the ships arrived in Alexandria, February 12. Classroom lessons included discussions on engineering, search and rescue, damage control and weapons handling.
“This transfer process was an incredible opportunity for our crews. It enabled us to strengthen our bilateral ties while enhancing our interoperability with a highly capable regional maritime partner,” said Capt. Anthony Webber, commander of Task Force 55, which oversees operations for U.S. 5th Fleet’s surface forces.
The Egyptian Navy currently commands Combined Task Force 153, one of four multinational task forces organized under U.S.-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). The task force coordinates multinational maritime security efforts in the Red Sea, Bab al-Mandeb and Gulf of Aden.
NAVCENT and CMF are headquartered in Manama, Bahrain. They include maritime forces operating in the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean and three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, Suez Canal and Bab al-Mandeb.