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Divers from Tunisian, U.S. navies conduct first joint exercise in a decade

Divers from Tunisian, U.S. navies conduct first joint exercise in a decade
Divers from the U.S. and Tunisian navies on March 11 conducted their first bilateral dive engagement together in nearly a decade in Bizerte, Tunisia, the Pentagon officials said on Tuesday. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy

April 6 (UPI) -- Divers from the U.S. and Tunisian navies recently completed the first bilateral dive engagement between the two countries in nearly a decade, the U.S. Navy announced Tuesday.

The engagement featured supplied diving, underwater welding, recompression chamber operations, hydrographic survey techniques and maritime infrastructure assessments, according to the Navy.

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"These types of exercises are instrumental for improving maritime security along the North African coastline," LTJG William Pelger, UCT 1 officer in charge, said in a Navy press release.

"It was a pleasure to work side by side building important maritime partnerships while sharing best practices, tactics, and diving techniques and procedures," Pelger said.

The U.S. Navy Divers who participated in the dive were assigned to Construction Dive Detachment Charlie, a detachment of Underwater Construction Team.

They are specially trained to construct, inspect, repair and maintain ports, ocean facilities, underwater systems and general maritime infrastructure.

The Underwater Construction Team is a key component of port damage repair operations during disasters and emergencies, the Navy said.

The U.S. Navy had been slated to work with Tunisia, as well as other north African and European partners last year as part of Phoenix Express, an annual all-domain exercise, but it was canceled due to COVID-19.

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