Exercise Phoenix Express 2022, the 17th iteration of the North African maritime exercise, is taking until June 3, 2022, in Tunis, Tunisia, and throughout the Mediterranean Sea.
We’re tracking in these minutes two participants: the USNavy destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG-96) and the Mauritanian Navy landing ship “نملان“, Nimlane, (L981) while the Belgium Navy frigate “Leopold I” (F930) is arriving in the area.
The exercise focuses on regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness, information-sharing practices, and operational capabilities, enhancing efforts to promote safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea and territorial waters of participating North African nations. Thirteen nations will participate in the exercise.
“Tunisia regularly demonstrates their commitment and willingness to partner with the U.S. in our shared vision of peace and maritime stability in North Africa and the surrounding Mediterranean waters,” said Adm. Robert Burke, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and Allied Joint Forces Command Naples. “In the past six months, aircraft from the Harry S. Truman carrier strike group flew with Tunisian aircraft to conduct strike training on their ranges, and U.S. Navy ships sailed together in bilateral exercises with the Tunisian Navy. Exercise Phoenix Express is yet another opportunity to continue building our partnership and readiness with Tunisia by training together.”
The exercise will be hosted at the La Goulette Naval Base in Tunis, and will include a preparatory in-port phase as well as five days of maritime security training in the Mediterranean Sea. The at-sea portion of the exercise will test North African, European, and U.S. maritime forces’ abilities to respond to irregular migration and to combat illicit trafficking and the movement of illegal goods and materials.
“Phoenix Express is a testament to the importance of our joint defense cooperation with Tunisia and regional maritime partners to ensure the safety and security of the Mediterranean and sustain global commerce. We are proud of our continued collaboration with Tunisia, a major non-NATO ally, to strengthen interoperability as we work together to confront mutual regional security concerns,” said U.S. Embassy Tunisia Chargée d’Affaires a.i., Natasha Franceschi.
Participating nations in Phoenix Express 2022 include Algeria, Belgium, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Phoenix Express is one of three regional maritime exercises executed by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa as part of a comprehensive strategy to provide collaborative opportunities amongst African forces and international partners in order to address maritime security concerns.