A photo collage of guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze, expeditionary sea base USS Lewis B. Puller, and dry cargo ship USNS Matthew Perry

Israeli, American Navies Launch Military Exercise In Red Sea

Tuesday, 08/02/2022

The Israeli and the US navies have started a four-day joint military war game in the Red Sea as Jerusalem’s worries are growing about Iran’s presence in the region.

“The exercise is a bilateral training event between US 5th Fleet and Israeli naval forces that focuses on mission planning, maritime interdiction and other drills at sea,” the US fleet said on Monday, about a month after Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned that Tehran’s maritime activity in the area was the “most significant” in a decade.

The USS Nitze – a small destroyer with a crew of about 400 with cruise missiles for long-range land attacks and torpedoes -- the USS Lewis B Puller military cargo ship, and the USNS Matthew Perry logistical support ship are involved in the exercise. 

The Israeli warships involved in the drill, the Saar 5 Class Corvette INS Eilat and the Sa’ar 4.5 Class Missile Ship INS Keshet, would “participate in a variety of missions alongside [US 5th Fleet] ships and a refueling tanker,” read a statement by the Israel Defense Forces.

Israel has held several naval exercises with the 5th Fleet since last November in the Red Sea, some alongside the UAE and Bahrain. 

The US 5th Fleet -- headquartered in Manama, Bahrain -- includes maritime forces operating in the Persian 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.

In July, Iran-backed Houthis of Yemen said Sana’a will not allow the Red Sea to become an “Israeli lake.”

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