US, Israeli Navy kick off exercise Intrinsic Defender

US Navy’s 5th Fleet and the Israeli Navy kicked off a 10-day maritime exercise on 27 March that will take place in and off the coast of Israel.

US Navy

Intrinsic Defender is a bilateral exercise between the US and Israeli naval forces. The exercise focuses on maritime security operations, explosive ordnance disposal, health topics and unmanned systems integration.

More than 300 US personnel are participating, including a US Navy’s explosive ordnance disposal dive team, US Coast Guard maritime engagement team, and global health engagement team.

US Navy’s guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67), dry cargo ship USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8) and various unmanned vessels are also scheduled to participate in the exercise.

“USS Cole looks forward to partnering with the Israeli Navy during the exercise,” said Cmdr. Jim Welsch, Cole’s commanding officer.

“Working with our partners allows us to strengthen our bonds and increase our interoperability. This exercise will allow us to fortify our continued partnership in the region.”

USS Cole has been operating in the US 5th Fleet region since 4 January in support of maritime security and stability.

To remind, last month, the US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) hosted defense leaders from Bahrain and Israel for discussions on regional maritime security cooperation.

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Photo: US Navy