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NEWS | May 23, 2021

U.S. Navy Personnel Observe Memorial Day in Tunisia During Exercise Phoenix Express

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

U.S. Navy personnel participating in exercise Phoenix Express 2021 (PE21) conducted a cultural exchange and wreath laying ceremony to commemorate Memorial Day at the North Africa American Cemetery in Carthage, Tunisia, May 27, 2021.

Navy personnel visited the Bardo Museum as part of a cultural exchange program hosted by the Tunisian Navy as a way for U.S. participants to learn about Tunisian culture and heritage. After the visit to the museum, they visited the North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial in Carthage, Tunisia.

Dedicated in 1960, the 27-acre cemetery is the resting place for 2,841 U.S. military personnel and is the only American grave site on the continent. The cemetery includes a Wall of the Missing, upon which are inscribed the names of 3,724 individuals who are missing in action. Most of those buried at the North Africa American Cemetery or memorialized on the Wall of the Missing lost their lives while conducting military activities spanning from North Africa to the Persian Gulf during World War II.

“It’s very important to commemorate the sacrifice of those who have given their lives for the freedoms we enjoy as Americans,” said Rear Adm. Jeffrey S. Spivey, vice commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet, “assembling today in this time honored place is a great honor for me personally and a great honor for those who enjoy the freedoms of America.”

Exercise Phoenix Express, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVAF), is designed to improve regional cooperation, increase maritime domain awareness, information-sharing practices, and operational capabilities in order to enhance efforts to promote safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea.

The eleven nations participating in PE21 are Algeria, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, and the United States.

Exercise Phoenix Express is one of three regional maritime exercises executed by NAVAF as part of a comprehensive strategy to provide collaborative opportunities amongst African forces and international partners that addresses maritime security concerns.

U.S. Naval Forces Europe-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.