France, Belgium, Japan, and the U.S. are participating in Group Arabian Sea Warfare Exercise (GASWEX 21), a multilateral maritime exercise in the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman, the U.S. Navy announced.
GASWEX 21 provides a unique opportunity for participating forces to enhance mutual interoperability and capabilities in maritime security, anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare, and anti-submarine warfare operations.
Participants of GASWEX 21 include ships and aircraft from the French Charles De Gaulle carrier strike group, auxiliary ship FS Var (A 608), frigates FS Provence (D 652) and FS Chevalier Paul (D 621), Belgian frigate BNS Leopold I (F 930), and Japanese destroyer JS Ariake (DD 109).
U.S. forces include the Makin Island amphibious ready group (ARG) with embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73), and various aircraft including F-35, P-8, MH-60, Air Force F-16s, E-3, and tankers.
By cooperatively training together, exercises like this allow participating naval forces to effectively develop the necessary skills to address threats to regional security, freedom of navigation, and the free flow of commerce. This is one of many exercises in which the U.S. military participates with partner nations in the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility each year intended to enhance partnerships and interoperability.
Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group left Toulon in the middle of February for Clemenceau 2021 mission.