U.S. 5th Fleet and the Israeli Navy kicked off a 10-day maritime exercise, Intrinsic Defender, March 27 that will take place in and off the coast of Israel.
Intrinsic Defender is a bilateral exercise between U.S. and Israeli naval forces. The Intrinsic Defender exercise focuses on maritime security operations, explosive ordnance disposal, health topics and unmanned systems integration.
More than 300 U.S. personnel are participating, including a U.S. Navy explosive ordnance disposal dive team, U.S. Coast Guard maritime engagement team, and global health engagement team. U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67), dry cargo ship USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8) and various unmanned vessels are also scheduled to participate in the exercise.
“USS Cole looks forward to partnering with the Israeli Navy during the exercise. Working with our partners allows us to strengthen our bonds and increase our interoperability. This exercise will allow us to fortify our continued partnership in the region.” said Cmdr. Jim Welsch, Cole’s commanding officer.
Cole has been operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet region since Jan. 4 in support of maritime security and stability.