Aug. 17 (UPI) -- The United States and the United Arab Emirates concluded a joint live fire exercise in the Arabian Gulf last week, the Navy Central Command said on Monday.
The four-day exercise involved the UAE's Joint Aviation Command and the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. Air Forces Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Central Command in air operations supporting maritime surface warfare, the Navy said.
U.S. and Emirati pilots also participated in live fire exercises, which officials said offers an opportunity to practice strike capabilities against simulated surface targets.
The exercise used the expeditionary sea base vessel USNS Lewis B.Puller as a floating staging platform for aircraft of both countries. The ship was also used by UAE pilots to complete deck landing qualifications prior to the exercise.
AC-130W gunships of the U. S. Air Force, and rotary and fixed-wing aircraft of the UAE, were involved, as well as U.S. Navy Cyclone-class and MK VI patrol boats.
"Interoperability is a key to success in any domain," U.S. Air Force Capt. Ashton Sawyer, chief of the Air Forces Central Command, said in a statement. "Constant training ensures our combined forces are ready to defend against any enemy."
The event follows a joint integration exercise in the Arabian Gulf, involving the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, in the spring of 2020.