Libya is going to take part in “Exercise Phoenix Express 2021”, the 16th iteration of the North African maritime exercise that begins May 17, 2021, in Tunis, Tunisia, and throughout the Mediterranean Sea, US Africa Command (AFRICOM) has announced.
US AFRICOM said 13 nations will operate together through May 28 to increase regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness, information-sharing practices, and operational capabilities, enhancing efforts to promote safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea and territorial waters of participating North African nations.
The 13 nations scheduled to participate in Phoenix Express 2021 include Tunisia, Algeria, Belgium, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Spain, and the United States.
Joint military exercises such as Phoenix Express reaffirm and deepen our exceptional bilateral cooperation with Tunisia and ensure that we meet our shared goals of a safe and secure maritime environment through regional collaboration and interoperability,” said Donald Blome, U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia.
“The exercise control group will be hosted at the La Goulette naval base in Tunis, Tunisia. The at-sea portion of the exercise will test North African, European, and U.S. maritime forces’ abilities to respond to irregular migration and to combat illicit trafficking and the movement of illegal goods and materials.” AFRICOM said.
It added that “Exercise Phoenix Express” is one of three regional maritime exercises executed by U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVAF) as part of a comprehensive strategy to provide collaborative opportunities amongst African forces and international partners that addresses maritime security concerns.