This year’s Exercise Control Group (ECG) and Combined Maritime Operations Center (CMOC) were hosted at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center (NMIOTC) located in Souda Bay, Greece but training took place throughout the Mediterranean Sea to include North African nations’ territorial waters.
The at-sea portion of the exercise tested North African, European, and U.S. forces’ abilities to combat sea-based illicit activity. Scenarios focused on irregular migration, illicit trafficking, and movement of materials for weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Participating forces conducted 27 boarding in five days at sea. Search and rescue, visit, board, search and seizure, and medical response drills were completed.
Information sharing between CMOC, ECG, and Surface Action Group (SAG) was practiced.
Scenario focused on the globally-recognized Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) allowed endorsing nations of Tunisia and Morocco to develop capabilities to detect and disrupt the delivery of materials used to build and develop weapons of mass destruction.
Participating nations in Phoenix Express 2016 included Algeria, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States, as well as representatives from the NATO Shipping Center, the EU Border Management Agency “FRONTEX,” and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Exercise Phoenix Express is one of three CNE-CNA/C6F-facilitated regional exercises part of a comprehensive strategy under Africa Partnership Station to provide collaborative opportunities amongst African forces and international partners that addresses maritime security concerns.
The U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.