US-Egyptian Red Sea drill Eagle Salute concludes

The US Navy and the Egyptian Naval Force (ENF) wrapped up seven days of maneuvers as part of exercise Eagle Salute 18 in the Red Sea, August 3.

US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), right, the Egyptian Naval Force (ENF) guided-missile frigate Sharm El-Sheikh (FFG 901), center, and an ENF supply ship perform division tactics as part of exercise Eagle Salute 18. Photo: US Navy

Eagle Salute is a multilateral in-port and surface exercise to enhance interoperability and war-fighting readiness and advance operational capabilities of all participating units.

The exercise commenced, July 28, at Red Sea Naval Base in Safaga, Egypt. The guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) represented US 5th Fleet Task Force 55.

“Eagle Salute 18 was a great exercise,” said Capt. Adan Cruz, commodore of US 5th Fleet Task Force 55, who embarked with Jason Dunham for the surface events. “I was very impressed by the performance of all the ships involved.”

Cruz said the goal for the exercise was for the different naval-force personnel to gather together, share expertise and collaborate within multiple operational-based scenarios.

At sea, units worked through various events, including surface gunnery, air defense, protection of high valued units, and tactics against asymmetric threats.

“Sailors on Jason Dunham performed magnificently throughout the week,” said Cruz. “The ship was responsible for organization and the successful execution of several key events, and Dunham’s crew was critical to this exercise’s success.”

Cruz said multilateral exercises, such as Eagle Salute, are important because they facilitate and promote teamwork between navies, strengthening their ability to maintain maritime security.

“US and Egyptian forces have common maritime security goals, and so we should continue to exercise routinely to make sure we maintain our interoperability,” said Cruz.