Turkish maritime drill Dogu Akdeniz-17 coming to a close

Over twenty ships and a number of aircraft are winding up their participation in the Turkish-hosted multinational maritime exercise Dogu Akdeniz-17.

The exercise is hosted by Turkey in the Mediterranean every two years and the 2017 iteration is the 20th time it is taking place since it first started in 1987.

Ships from US, UK, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey gathered in Aksaz, Turkey, to start the maritime exercise which is designed to improve combined combat capabilities, increase operational capacity and strengthen relationships.

Led by HMS Ocean, flagship of the Standing NATO Martime Group 2, participating ships honed their interoperability in emergency and disaster response, search and rescue and evacuation procedures, in addition to tactical maneuvering and gunnery drills.

The US Navy announced that its Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) wrapped up its participation in the exercise on  November 14 while the exercise itself is set to conclude on Thursday.

!Dogu Akdeniz provided an excellent opportunity for participating nations to engage in realistic maritime training to build experience, teamwork and strengthen our interoperability as we work toward mutual goals,” said Cmdr. Matt Powel, commanding officer of the Donald Cook. “This exercise will continue to improve interoperability among the United States, our allies and partners, and increase our capacity to conduct the full spectrum of military operations.”