The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, leading Carrier Strike Group TWO, conducted a combined exercise with the Hellenic Navy in the Mediterranean Sea.
The Hellenic Armed Forces participated in the exercise with the frigate HS Psara, two submarines, and several F-16 fighter jets. For the duration of the exercise, the HS Psara came under the tactical control of the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet.
Among other training blocks, the vessels conducted anti-submarine warfare drills, sea-and-air integration exercises, and air operations with the main aim of enhancing their interoperability and capabilities.
“The U.S.-Greece defense relationship is at an all-time high, and growing stronger every day,” Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. Ambassador to Greece, said in a press release.
“I am especially proud to see the IKE Strike Group in the Mediterranean — a strategically dynamic region where the United States is stepping up its engagement. The cooperative deployment between our Forces is another excellent opportunity to strengthen their interoperability and partnership, helping advance our shared regional defense and security goals. The United States is committed to elevating and demonstrating our vital security relationship with Greece which is codified in our updated Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement.”
The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group packs quite a punch. Besides the flagship USS Dwight Eisenhower, Carrier Strike Group TWO is composed of the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey, the guided-missile destroyers USS Mitscher, USS Laboon, USS Mahan, and USS Thomas Hudner, and several aircraft squadrons. All in all, Carrier Strike Groups are manned and operated by more than 5,000 sailors and marines.
The combined exercises were planned and coordinated by the Hellenic National Defence General Staff (HNDGS) and their U.S. counterparts.
“The USS Dwight Eisenhower Strike Group is honored to work with our Greek Allies and build upon a foundation of trust and mutual commitment that spans 70 years,” said Rear Admiral Scott Robertson, the Commander of Carrier Strike Group TWO. “We are stronger when we work alongside our allies and operations like this. Integrating our maritime forces help to ensure free and open conditions at sea.”
This exercise came in the wake of a special operations training event that took place in January. Then, US Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmembers (SWCC) and Greek Navy SEALs from Greece and Cyprus honed their Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) skills.
Based out of Naples, Italy, the US 6th Fleet is responsible for Europe and Africa.