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UAE and US Naval Forces Conduct Combined Joint Operations in Arabian Gulf

The United Arab Emirates Joint Aviation Command (JAC) conducted combined naval and air training operations with forces assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and U.S. Air Forces Central Command (AFCENT) in the southern Arabian Gulf, June 21-25, 2020.
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UAE and US Naval Forces Conduct Combined Joint Operations in Arabian Gulf 925 001 A AH-64D Apache helicopter attached to the United Arab Emirates Joint Aviation Command. (Picture source: U.S. Navy photo by Chief Logistics Specialist Thomas Joyce)

The Air Operations in Maritime Surface Warfare (AOMSW) training, consisted of a combination of aviation and surface assets tracking and engaging simulated fast attack craft. The expeditionary sea base USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3) served as an afloat staging platform for the UAE and U.S. aircraft.

UAE pilots also successfully completed deck landing qualifications (DLQs) aboard the Puller, conducting day and night landings and refuelling operations with CH-47F, Bell 407, AH-64D, and UH-60M helicopters.

Participating U.S. forces included the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft assigned to NAVCENT and the AFCENT Air Warfare Center (AWC) located at Al Dhafra Air Base, UAE.

Integration operations between UAE and U.S. maritime forces are regularly held to maintain interoperability, ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce throughout the heavily trafficked waterways.

“These training opportunities reinforce partnership commitments in the region, enhance interoperability, and demonstrate UAE and U.S. resolve to respond to threats in the region,” said Brigadier Gen. Matthew Trollinger, Commander of Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB).

Puller supports Task Force 51/5th MEB’s broad range of missions in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations which include crisis response, airborne mine countermeasures, counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, and humanitarian assistance/disaster.