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0 ARABIAN GULF (Sept. 11, 2018) Engineman 1st Class Marcus Boley mans a .50-caliber machine gun aboard a MK VI patrol boat assigned to Task Force 56 during Mine Countermeasures Exercise (MCMEX) 18-3. MCMEX is the premier quarterly mine countermeasures exercise in the Middle East, and is conducted with the United Kingdoms Royal Navy to increase interoperability and demonstrate the shared commitment to ensuring unfettered maritime operations. U.S. 5th Fleet and coalition assets are participating in numerous simultaneous exercises as part of the greater Theater Counter Mine and Maritime Security Exercise to ensure maritime stability and security in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Samantha P. Montenegro/ Released)

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