NEWS | May 22, 2021

U.S. and Tunisia Conduct Bilateral Interagency Legal Workshop During Exercise Phoenix Express 2021

By U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa, U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs

Service members from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines and U.S. Coast Guard along with interagency partners attended a bilateral maritime law workshop presented by the Tunisian Navy and Tunisian government in Tunis, Tunisia, May 19, 2021.

The workshop was hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and coincided with exercise Phoenix Express 2021. UNODC is an international organization that contributes to global peace and security, human rights and development by making the world safer from drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism

The session focused on in-depth discussions of the legal aspects of the maritime security challenge and was presented by Senior Captain Jamel Ben Omrane of the Tunisian Navy.

“I am honored to facilitate this event on behalf of the Tunisian Government,” stated Ben Omrane, “It was constructive to work with our international interagency partners to solve intricate maritime legal problems, in sharing our ideas and best practices many outstanding ideas were presented.”

Maritime security stakeholders from various countries, backgrounds, and specialties participated in the discussions, to include junior and senior officers from navies and coast guards throughout North Africa and the Mediterranean as well as law enforcement agencies such as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Participants were presented with a series of maritime law scenarios to practice for real-world situations and discussed common issues along with best practices.


“This was a unique opportunity to collaborate with our Tunisian partners,” said Lt. Cmdr. Alex Wann, Assistant Force Judge Advocate, U.S. Naval Forces Africa. “Discussions like these enable us to integrate efforts with our international partners and civilian agencies.”

Exercise Phoenix Express 2021, conducted by U.S. Naval Forces Africa, is a maritime exercise designed to improve cooperation among participating nations in order to increase maritime safety and security in the Mediterranean.

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.