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Egyptian Navy Receives Three Cyclone-Class Coastal Patrol Craft From US

US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) has delivered three Cyclone-class coastal patrol vessels to the Egyptian Navy.

A transfer ceremony was held in Alexandria at the conclusion of training and professional exchanges to bolster interoperability between the US and Egyptian navies.

‘A Fundamental Pillar’

The ships turned over include the USS Hurricane (PC 3), USS Sirocco (PC 6), and USS Thunderbolt (PC 12).

160119-N-BJ294-004 ARABIAN GULF (Jan. 19, 2016) A rigid hull inflatable boat approaches the patrol craft USS Sirocco (PC 6) assigned to Commander, Task Force (CTF) 55 during a bilateral exercise with the Iraqi Navy. CTF 55 controls surface forces such as U.S. Navy patrol craft and U.S. Coast Guard patrol boats throughout the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy Combat Camera photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Wyatt Huggett/Released)
USS Sirocco (PC 6). Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Wyatt Hugget/US Navy

The vessels traveled from Bahrain, passing the Arabian Peninsula over a month-long journey. 

US and Egyptian sailors navigated coastal patrols along the 4,000-mile (6,400 kilometers) transit to Alexandria during delivery.

The voyage included port visits to Jebel Ali in UAE, Duqm in Oman, Djibouti, and Berenice in Egypt.

“The Egypt-US maritime partnership has been a fundamental pillar of our bilateral defense cooperation for decades,” NAVCENT, US Navy 5th Fleet, and Combined Maritime Forces Commander Adm. Brad Cooper stated.

“This transfer is yet another major milestone in our strong relationship that will enhance regional maritime security for years to come.”

Improved Bilateral Cooperation

Upon the arrival of the patrol vessels, the US and Egyptian navies continued training in search and rescue, damage control, engineering, and weapons handling.

The coastal patrol ship USS Thunderbolt (PC 12) transits from Khalifa Bin Salman Port to Mina Salman Pier. The arrival of Thunderbolt, USS Tempest (PC 2) and USS Squall (PC 7) brings the total number to eight coastal patrol ships to support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Stephen Murphy/Released)
USS Thunderbolt (PC12). Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Stephen Murphy/US Navy

“This transfer process was an incredible opportunity for our crews,” US Navy 5th Fleet Task Force 55 Commander Capt. Anthony Webber said.

“It enabled us to strengthen our bilateral ties while enhancing our interoperability with a highly capable regional maritime partner.”

Middle East Maritime Security

The Egyptian Navy currently commands Combined Task Force 153, one of four multinational maritime security groups led by the Combined Maritime Forces.

The task force operates to maintain regional security in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Bab al-Mandeb.

NAVCENT and Combined Maritime Forces are based in Manama, Bahrain. They are teamed with maritime forces in the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and critical choke points in the Bab al-Mandeb, Strait of Hormuz, and Suez Canal.

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