19 August, 2009 - Today we started the underway portion of Exercise Reliant Mermaid 2009. This annual trilateral exercise involves maritime forces from Israel, Turkey, and the United States. The goal is to improve maritime partnerships through increased interoperability and communication between Israel, Turkey and the United States.
The backdrop for the exercise is a simulated humanitarian search and rescue event. Sailors get underway and become familiar with the other navies' operating procedures and practices as they deal with situations that may arise in an actual search and rescue operation. When they meet in the future to conduct humanitarian search and rescue or other maritime contingency operations in this region, they will be better prepared to respond with speed and agility.
After leaving port early this morning, reveille was at 0400, we conducted basic ship maneuvering drills, set up a formation for a picture, conducted vertical replenishment exercises with helicopters from Israel and Turkey, practiced communicating over radio circuits, and conducted several search and rescue events. It was a very busy and productive day.
Below are pictures of the Turkish Frigate, TCG GEMLIK, and the Israeli Corvette, INS LAHAV.