US, Lebanon Armed Forces Complete Resolute Response 18

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bryan Neal Blair, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs | July 08, 2018

JOUNIEH, Lebanon -- U.S. and Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) participated in exercise Resolute Response (RR) 18 at Jounieh Naval Base, Lebanon, June 25-July 6.

RR18 is an annual bilateral engagement between the U.S. Navy and LAF with the focus of sharing and knowledge, insight and strategy in the fields of explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), dive operations, civil military operations and visit, board, search and seizure.

The exercise served to enhance military relations and strengthen the partnership between the U.S. and Lebanese Republic. This cooperation demonstrates both nations’ commitment to the freedom of navigation in the region, promoting long-term security and stability.

“This exercise is the fruit of coordination between the LAF and American Forces,” said LAF Capt. Haissam Dannaoui, deputy chief of the navy for planning. “We are thankful for the opportunity to work together and look forward to future opportunities.”

The main goal of exercises like RR18 is to share experiences and build relationships with our partners with a priority on military readiness and tactics.

"It was great to work with the Lebanese EOD and divers,” said Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 2nd Class Matt Strong. “Sharing information allows us to better understand how our partners operate, and vice versa.”

RR18 is just one of more than 60 exercises that the U.S. Navy conducts with more than 30 nations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility each year. These exercises are vital to the free flow of commerce in the region.

“RR18 was a huge success,” said Lt. Cmdr. William Cooper, deputy commander, Task Group (CTG) 56.1. “The Lebanese are outstanding hosts and they are extremely capable, and operating with them has been mutually beneficial, strengthening an already close relationship.”

U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.

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