The USS Monterey joined forces with the Israeli Sa’ar 4.5 ships in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea on Monday. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy
March 16 (UPI) -- The guided missile cruiser USS Monterey conducted joint maritime security patrol with the Israeli Sa'ar 4.5 ships in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea this week.
"Regional security and stability are directly linked to enhanced cooperation, understanding and collaboration with our partners," U.S. Navy Capt. Joe Baggett, USS Monterey commanding officer, said in a Navy press release.
"Through operations and training such as this, U.S. and IDF enhance existing cooperative relationships and take great strides in safeguarding the region's vital link to the global economy," Baggett said.
According to the Navy, the patrols "enhanced interoperability between the maritime nations through communication and command and control scenarios between the two nations."
Commanding officers were also able to hold a cross deck meeting while observing COVID-19 safety protocols.
Monterey, which is homeported in Norfolk, Va., departed for deployment on Feb. 18 with the rest of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group.
Earlier this month, the Navy announced that the strike group was conducting flight operations near the Canary Islands off the West African Coast.
Last week the Marine Corps led Israeli Defense Forces on a tour of simulation centers at North Carolina's Camp Lejeune.
According to the Marines, Camp Lejeune has several simulation centers to use prior to conducting live-fire training and scenario-based training.
The tour included the Infantry Immersion Trainer, Simulator Integration Center and Range Control Operations Complex, Gun Fighter Gym, a Marathon target system field test and a meeting with Advanced Infantry Training Battalion-East leadership.