NEWS | July 15, 2019

Phoenix Express Senior Leadership Dialogue Begins

By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

Military leaders from across Europe, Africa, and the United States gathered in Tunis to hold a Senior Leadership Dialogue with participants from Phoenix Express, July 15, 2019.

The 15th iteration of the multinational exercise concluded April 6 and focused on improving regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness, information-sharing practices, and operational capabilities in order to enhance efforts to promote safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea and territorial waters of participating North African nations.

“Every day, we place ourselves in the middle of the Mediterranean and look around 360 degrees,” said Rear Adm. Nancy S. Lacore, director of Maritime Partnership Program, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and vice commander, U.S. 6th Fleet. “We see both challenges and opportunities in every direction.”

The senior leadership dialogue portion of the exercise will discuss topics ranging from global security trends, the future of Mediterranean security, challenges of information sharing, and lessons learned from operations during the exercise.

“We continually strive to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness, information sharing, and interoperability in order to increase our collective warfighting readiness,” said Lacore.

Regional exercises like Phoenix Express, which included participation from 14 countries this year, allow the U.S. and partner navies to hone the skillsets and relationships required for combined operations.

Phoenix Express is one of three annual U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa facilitated regional exercises and is part of a comprehensive strategy by U.S. 6th Fleet and U.S. Africa Command to provide collaborative opportunities among African forces and international partners to address maritime security concerns.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests, security, and stability in Europe and Africa.