Morocco-US joint naval drill to enhance interoperability & regional maritime security
According to US naval forces Europe-Africa, the Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) participated in the tracking training exercise with the Moroccan Navy’s Floreal-class Frigate Mohammed V.
The Moroccan warship worked with the regional Maritime Operations Center to track Hershel “Woody” Williams and simulate an interception off the Moroccan coast.
The exercise also included simulated man overboard scenarios and communication links between the two vessels and an MH-60S helicopter, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28. US Sailors with HSC-28 and US Marines with II Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF), embarked aboard Hershel “Woody” Williams, executed flight operations in support of the exercise, providing communications, visual imagery, and search & rescue operations support.
No boardings or personnel transfers were conducted during the training evolution as a precaution against COVID-19.
This exercise follows the participation of F-16s jets of Moroccan royal Air Force in a training evolution alongside US Air Force B-52H Stratofortresses and the Arleigh-Burke guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) in the southern Mediterranean Sea.
Morocco, which is a major non-NATO ally, has hosted multiple major US military exercises, including African Lion, the largest joint military exercise in Africa. Morocco will serve as host for African Lion in FY2021. Other US military exercises Morocco participates in include Flintlock, Phoenix Express, and Obangame Express.
The North African Kingdom is global player in counterterrorism and works closely with the US and with its European partners to safeguard regional stability and international security.