RED SEA NAVAL BASE, Egypt –
Naval forces from the U.S., Egypt and several other countries completed the multilateral exercise Eagle Response 18, Aug. 2, following nearly two weeks of in-depth training.
Eagle Response 18 is an explosive ordnance disposal and diving exercise conducted to enhance interoperability and war-fighting readiness, fortify military-to-military relationships and advance operational capabilities of all participating units.
“The Egyptians have always had a very robust mine countermeasures community, both ships and divers, and they are great at what they do,” said Capt. Michael Egan, commodore of U.S. 5th Fleet Task Force 52. “Practicing expeditionary mine countermeasures, particularly utilizing our unmanned underwater vehicles, during this exercise has been a highlight since this new technology is highly maneuverable and easily adaptable to many different platforms.”
Eagle Response 18 highlighted various aspects of maritime security operations through a series of events including joint anti-terrorism/force protection dives, remotely operated vehicle demonstrations, surface demolition evolutions and underwater detonations. Ultimately, maintaining these critical relationships enhances the stability and security of the region’s maritime environment.
There were robust classroom training evolutions as well, focused on teaching participants the basics ahead of the hands-on training. Topics included diving medicine, how to build a demolition charge and the operating specifications of unmanned underwater vehicles in mine environments.
“The classroom training has been my favorite because both sides came together, and all of the questions make us collectively think from an outside perspective. From the classroom, we were able to apply the practical training in the water,” said Navy Diver 1st Class Rick Pinkleton. “That’s what these exercises are all about: working with and learning from each other.”
The exercise concluded with a friendly soccer match, allowing participants to continue the exercise’s theme of teamwork.
The U.S. Sailors represented Task Force 52, U.S. 5th Fleet’s mine warfare task force. The U.S. delegation was part of Task Group 52.3, and includes deployed Sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 6; Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2, Company 25; and the Naval Oceanography Mine Warfare Center.
The exercise was part of Eagle Salute 18, a surface exercise, to provide opportunities for participating nations to collaborate on an even wider range of maritime security operations.
U.S. Naval Forces Central Command conducts more than 20 bilateral and multilateral exercises with partner nations throughout the region each year. Exercise Eagle Response is one of numerous exercises vital to the U.S. Navy's theater security cooperation efforts in building and enhancing solid regional and international relationships.