US Navy delivers three patrol ships to Egyptian Navy
U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) transferred three patrol craft to the Egyptian Navy during a formal ceremony in Alexandria, Egypt, on 21 March.
The transfer ceremony represents the culmination of weeks of preparation, training and professional exchanges between Egyptian and U.S. Navy sailors.
The U.S. Navy turned over former patrol coastal ships USS Hurricane (PC 3), USS Sirocco (PC 6), and USS Thunderbolt (PC 12) after sailing from Bahrain to Egypt during a month-long journey around the Arabian Peninsula, January through February.
“The Egypt-U.S. maritime partnership has been a fundamental pillar of our bilateral defense cooperation for decades,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of NAVCENT, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces.
“This transfer is yet another major milestone in our strong relationship that will enhance regional maritime security for years to come.”
During the 4,000-mile transit to Alexandria, U.S. and Egyptian crewmembers worked side-by-side safely navigating the three ships on a voyage that included port visits to Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates; Duqm, Oman; Djibouti; and Berenice, Egypt.
The Egyptian Navy currently commands Combined Task Force 153, one of four multinational task forces organized under U.S.-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). The task force coordinates multinational maritime security efforts in the Red Sea, Bab al-Mandeb and Gulf of Aden.
NAVCENT and CMF are headquartered in Manama, Bahrain. They include maritime forces operating in the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean and three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, Suez Canal and Bab al-Mandeb.