US, Saudi Arabia conduct joint air, naval exercises in Arabian Gulf

08:40 PM | 22 Dec, 2020
US, Saudi Arabia conduct joint air, naval exercises in Arabian Gulf

RIYADH – The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF), Royal Saudi Naval Force (RSNF), U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), and US Air Forces Central (AFCENT) conducted joint air operations in support of maritime surface warfare (AOMSW) exercise in the Arabian Gulf over the weekend.

America’s guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) also participated in the exercise.

Winston S. Churchill operated with U.S. Navy patrol coastal ships USS Squall (PC 7), USS Firebolt (PC 10), Coast Guard patrol boats USCGC Monomoy (WPB 1326), USCGC Maui (WPB 1304), USCGC Wrangell (WPB 1332), Royal Saudi Naval Force corvette HMS Badr (612), Royal Saudi Air Force F-15SA fighter jets, U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets, a U.S. Navy MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter, a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft and U.S. Air Force E-3 Sentry aircraft.

As an anti-submarine tactical air controller aboard a guided-missile destroyer, it is rare to control this many aircraft,” said Operations Specialist 1st Class Tyree Morgan, assigned to Winston S. Churchill. “Exercises like these enhance my skills for future maritime operations.”

The U.S. Navy routinely integrates surface and aviation units to train and enhance coalition forces. Previous exercises incorporated the U.S. Air Force AC-130 gunships, U.S. Army attack helicopters and aircraft from the United Arab Emirates Joint Aviation Command.

Earlier this month, a joint military exercise coded 'Hawk's Claws 2/ 2020' between the Saudi Royal Land Forces and the US forces was held at the Northwestern zone.

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