AEGEAN SEA (NNS) -- U.S. amphibious forces arrived in Turkish waters to participate in the Turkish-led and hosted amphibious exercise Egemen 2015, Oct. 24.
The exercise is designed to enhance operational and tactical-level expeditionary warfare skills, while increasing interoperability and strengthening partnerships between United States and Turkish forces.
"We are excited to commence exercise Egemen 2015 here in Turkey. The Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group with Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, have looked forward to this Turkish-led exercise, which will allow the U.S. and Turkey both to build joint expeditionary capability and be ready to respond to meet security challenges." - Capt. Augustus P. Bennett, commodore, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 4
"Turkey is an important ally of the United States. Partners in the NATO alliance for over 60 years, Egemen is a bi-lateral exercise that improves the alliance at the tactical level. The Sailors and Marines of the Turkish and U.S. expeditionary naval task forces will conduct maneuvers at-sea en route to an objective area, culminating a combined forces assault to secure landing force objectives ashore. High-end tactical level training of this type reassures forces of both nations that when called upon, NATO can respond. We are excited to participate in Egemen, and look forward to the personal relationships we develop that will last for years to come." - Capt. David Bossert, commanding officer, USS Kearsarge LHD 3
A combined Turkish-U.S. staff, led by Turkey, will plan and execute amphibious operations as part of the exercise.
The exercise will include tactical level training ashore and a combined amphibious landing, flexing all elements of amphibious warfare.
U.S. forces include the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit visit http://www.navy.mil/local/naveur/.