The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG-61) joined forces with the Israeli Sa’ar 4.5 ships in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea to conduct joint maritime security patrols on March 15, 2021, the U.S. Navy 6th Fleet announced with a press release.
The joint patrols enhanced interoperability between the maritime nations through communication and command and control scenarios between the two countries.
“This is such a great opportunity because we always learn from each other, and the crew and I are excited to be here!” said U.S. Navy Capt. Joe Baggett, USS Monterey commanding officer. “We share a common purpose – increase the security and stability in the region to achieve prosperity through enduring partnerships.”
The ship’s proximity in the Mediterranean enabled a cross-deck meeting of commanding officers while keeping within the guidelines for mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
“The Israeli Navy, alongside our American counterparts, undertook a successful patrol to ensure the safety and security of Israel’s maritime borders. The Israeli Navy will continue to operate across all theaters to secure the safety of our citizens and the integrity of our sovereignty,” said Commander Baruch Haviv from the Israel Defense Force (IDF) Navy.
The U.S. and Israeli navies collaborate on several military exercises throughout the Mediterranean to include Noble Dina, Noble Melinda, and Juniper Cobra exercise serials.
“Regional security and stability are directly linked to enhanced cooperation, understanding, and collaboration with our partners,” said Baggett. “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.”
Monterey is part of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group and homeported in Norfolk, Va. The ship departed on February 18 with the rest of the strike group following successful completion of their Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX).