SOUTHERN ARABIAN GULF -- The United Arab Emirates Joint Aviation Command conducted combined naval and air training operations with forces assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. Air Forces Central Command in the southern Arabian Gulf, June 21-25.
The Air Operations in Maritime Surface Warfare 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 served as an afloat staging platform for the UAE and U.S. aircraft.
UAE pilots also successfully completed deck landing qualifications aboard the Puller, conducting day and night landings and refueling 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 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 Brig. Gen. Matthew Trollinger, Commander of Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade.
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.