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NEWS | Jan. 18, 2021

USS Porter Completes Exercise Atlas Handshake with the Royal Moroccan Navy

By U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) participated in exercise Atlas Handshake with the Royal Moroccan Navy, Jan. 13-15, 2021.

The bilateral naval surface fire support training evolution between Porter and Moroccan multi-mission frigate Allal Ben Abdellah (FF 9813) took place off the coast of Morocco.

“Porter is excited to train alongside our Moroccan partners to enhance our tactical proficiency and collective capabilities,” said Cmdr. Thomas Ralston, commanding officer of Porter. “These exercises strengthen the ability of U.S. and Moroccan forces to execute cooperative naval engagements and demonstrate our commitment to regional stability and maritime security in this vital region of the world,” Ralston said.

Multinational training with allies and partners enhances the level of interoperability between
forces, allowing U.S. and Royal Moroccan Navy ships to maintain vigilance to the degree
necessary to promote a secure and peaceful region.

“The joint naval exercise Atlas Handshake 21-1 is part of the dynamics of military cooperation between the Kingdom of Morocco and the United States of America,” said Capt. Mohammed Belghazi, commander of the Royal Moroccan Navy frigate Allal Ben Abdellah.

“This exercise is essentially aimed to enable the development of interoperability, particularly through the organization of joint maneuvers, the sharing of knowledge and experience, thus promoting the preparedness of the two Navies to face the risks, threats and multiple constraints that affect the security and stability of our countries. In addition, this naval exercise aims to strengthen the ability of the two Navies to plan and conduct air maritimes operations and to consolidate tactical practice in both conventional (submarine, anti-ship and anti-aircraft) and emerging asymmetric threats,” Belghazi said.

Porter, forward deployed to Rota, Spain, is on its ninth patrol in the U.S. 6th fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.
U.S. Sixth 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 and security and stability in Europe and Africa.