SAN ANTONIO, At Sea (NNS) -- The amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) departed Bahrain in support of the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise 2013 (IMCMEX13), May 14.
Cmdr. Neil Koprowski, commanding officer, San Antonio, welcomed aboard officers from seven nations including the United Kingdom, Australia and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) partners.
"It's a pleasure to welcome on board USS San Antonio so many fellow [international] naval officers for the first time," said Koprowski. "Our job during IMCMEX13 is to establish and test our ability to operate in partnership, to combat threats to maritime trade."
San Antonio is the flagship of the Combined Task Force (CTF) 523 for IMCMEX13. The command team aboard San Antonio will plan and execute numerous defense exercises using joint and coalition surface and air forces.
The ship's participation introduces Maritime Infrastructure Protection (MIP) serials to this year's exercise, which focuses on protecting maritime points of origin and arrival, such as ports or offshore terminals. This portion of the exercise will include shore and harbor security operations; visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) teams; and the use of specialized aircraft.
San Antonio is part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU), is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR).
For further information, contact the public affairs officer at Expeditionary Strike Group FIVE, 011-973-1785-6955 or email@example.com .
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.