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U.S.-UAE bilateral amphibious engagement kicks off

By Lt.Cmdr. Sandra Arnold Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade

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U.S. FIFTH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS (Oct. 19, 2017) – Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51, 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (TF 51/5), announced the commencement of Iron Magic, a two-week, bilateral amphibious engagement involving USS Pearl Harbor, the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and United Arab Emirates’ Armed Forces Oct. 15-Nov. 2, 2017.
171018-N-OW019-097 U.S 5TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS (Oct. 16, 2017) A landing craft, air cushion (LCAC), operated by Sailors of Assault Craft Unit 5, exits the well deck of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) as it prepares to go ashore in support of Iron Magic 18. Iron Magic 18 is a combined-arms live-fire engagement meant to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, and promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Logan C. Kellums/Released)
171018-N-OW019-097 U.S 5TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS (Oct. 16, 2017) A landing craft, air cushion (LCAC), operated by Sailors of Assault Craft Unit 5, exits the well deck of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) as it prepares to go ashore in support of Iron Magic 18. Iron Magic 18 is a combined-arms live-fire engagement meant to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, and promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Logan C. Kellums/Released)
171018-N-OW019-097 U.S 5TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS (Oct. 16, 2017) A landing craft, air cushion (LCAC), operated by Sailors of Assault Craft Unit 5, exits the well deck of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) as it prepares to go ashore in support of Iron Magic 18. Iron Magic 18 is a combined-arms live-fire engagement meant to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, and promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Logan C. Kellums/Released) USS Pearl Harbor flight deck personnel launch and recover Army helicopters
171018-N-OW019-097 U.S 5TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS (Oct. 16, 2017) A landing craft, air cushion (LCAC), operated by Sailors of Assault Craft Unit 5, exits the well deck of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) as it prepares to go ashore in support of Iron Magic 18. Iron Magic 18 is a combined-arms live-fire engagement meant to expand levels of cooperation, enhance mutual maritime capabilities, and promote long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and regional partners. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Logan C. Kellums/Released)


Iron Magic enables regional partners to coordinate amphibious landing, infantry training, Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT), mechanized assault and maneuver, life fire, helicopter assault and internal security training events off the coast of the UAE.

“USS Pearl Harbor and embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit Sailors and Marines will conduct critical amphibious training with the UAE' Armed Forces to enhance capabilities in critical mission sets inherent to the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps team operating within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility,” said Brig. Gen. Frank Donovan, TF 51/5 commander. “Recurring training opportunities with our UAE partners supports the professional development of our forces and military-to-military relationship development and is in keeping with our shared dedicated efforts to ensure regional stability, security and prosperity.”

The United States and the UAE have worked together for more than four decades on a full range of matters including defense, non-proliferation, trade, law enforcement, energy policy and cultural exchange based on shared interests and a commitment to countering transnational threats and violent extremist organizations. According to Donovan, this event underscores America’s commitment to working with coalition and regional partners to help set the conditions for security and stability in the region.

"We look forward to training alongside the UAE Armed Forces on specific skillsets inherent to both of our units," said Lt. Col. James Stover, the Combat Logistics Battalion 15 commanding officer and landing force commander of troops aboard USS Pearl Harbor. "This is an excellent opportunity to strengthen tactical proficiencies ranging from amphibious ship to shore operations, logistical sustainment from a sea base and ashore, and infantry tactics; everything we will be doing increases knowledge and cooperation between our two militaries to be better prepared to address security concerns together."

Part of a routine theater security cooperation engagement plan, Iron Magic works to increase defense proficiency in critical mission areas, enhance host nation/U.S. military-to-military relationships and promote interoperability while reassuring regional nations of our commitment to security and long-term regional stability.

"The Navy and Marine Corps team aboard USS Pearl Harbor is thrilled to have this opportunity to train with our UAE counterparts," said Cmdr. Benjamin Miller, USS Pearl Harbor's executive officer. "By executing bilateral engagements like Iron Magic we strengthen our military-to-military relationships with our partners, making all of us together a more flexible and capable force in the region."