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Phoenix Express 2017 kicks off with Opening Ceremony
Maritime forces from Europe, North Africa, and the United States began the 13th iteration of the multinational maritime exercise Phoenix Express 2017, May 10, with an opening ceremony at the Spanish Naval Base Arsenal de Cartagena.
Capt. Daniel Hopkins, exercise Phoenix Express 2017 officer in tactical command, delivers remarks during the opening ceremony for Phoenix Express 2017 at the Spanish Naval Base Arsenal de Cartagena May 10, 2017. Phoenix Express, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, is designed to improve regional cooperation, increase maritime domain awareness information sharing practices, and operational capabilities to enhance efforts to achieve safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea.
4 photos: Phoenix Express 2017 kicks off with Opening Ceremony
Photo 1 of 4: Capt. Daniel Hopkins, exercise Phoenix Express 2017 officer in tactical command, delivers remarks during the opening ceremony for Phoenix Express 2017 at the Spanish Naval Base Arsenal de Cartagena May 10, 2017. Phoenix Express, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, is designed to improve regional cooperation, increase maritime domain awareness information sharing practices, and operational capabilities to enhance efforts to achieve safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea. Download full-resolution version
170510-N-XT273-031 CARTAGENA, Spain (May 10, 2017) Exercise Phoenix Express 2017 leadership pose for a group photo after opening ceremonies at the Spanish Naval Base Arsenal de Cartagena May 10, 2017. Phoenix Express, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, is designed to improve regional cooperation, increase maritime domain awareness information sharing practices, and operational capabilities to enhance efforts to achieve safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea.
4 photos: Phoenix Express 2017 kicks off with Opening Ceremony
Photo 2 of 4: 170510-N-XT273-031 CARTAGENA, Spain (May 10, 2017) Exercise Phoenix Express 2017 leadership pose for a group photo after opening ceremonies at the Spanish Naval Base Arsenal de Cartagena May 10, 2017. Phoenix Express, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, is designed to improve regional cooperation, increase maritime domain awareness information sharing practices, and operational capabilities to enhance efforts to achieve safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea. Download full-resolution version
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Darren Williams, a U.S. Navy Reservist assigned to Navy Operational Support Center Denver, assists Mauritanian and Algerian sailors with a non-lethal weapons training demonstration during exercise Phoenix Express 2017, May 9. Phoenix Express, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, is designed to improve regional cooperation, increase maritime domain awareness information-sharing practices, and operational capabilities to enhance efforts to achieve safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea.
4 photos: Phoenix Express 2017 kicks off with Opening Ceremony
Photo 3 of 4: Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Darren Williams, a U.S. Navy Reservist assigned to Navy Operational Support Center Denver, assists Mauritanian and Algerian sailors with a non-lethal weapons training demonstration during exercise Phoenix Express 2017, May 9. Phoenix Express, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, is designed to improve regional cooperation, increase maritime domain awareness information-sharing practices, and operational capabilities to enhance efforts to achieve safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea. Download full-resolution version
Maritime forces from Europe, North Africa, and the United States began the 13th iteration of the multinational maritime exercise Phoenix Express 2017, May 10, with an opening ceremony at the Spanish Naval Base Arsenal de Cartagena.
4 photos: Phoenix Express 2017 kicks off with Opening Ceremony
Photo 4 of 4: Maritime forces from Europe, North Africa, and the United States began the 13th iteration of the multinational maritime exercise Phoenix Express 2017, May 10, with an opening ceremony at the Spanish Naval Base Arsenal de Cartagena. Download full-resolution version
Capt. Daniel Hopkins, exercise Phoenix Express 2017 officer in tactical command, delivers remarks during the opening ceremony for Phoenix Express 2017 at the Spanish Naval Base Arsenal de Cartagena May 10, 2017. Phoenix Express, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, is designed to improve regional cooperation, increase maritime domain awareness information sharing practices, and operational capabilities to enhance efforts to achieve safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea.
170510-N-XT273-031 CARTAGENA, Spain (May 10, 2017) Exercise Phoenix Express 2017 leadership pose for a group photo after opening ceremonies at the Spanish Naval Base Arsenal de Cartagena May 10, 2017. Phoenix Express, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, is designed to improve regional cooperation, increase maritime domain awareness information sharing practices, and operational capabilities to enhance efforts to achieve safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea.
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Darren Williams, a U.S. Navy Reservist assigned to Navy Operational Support Center Denver, assists Mauritanian and Algerian sailors with a non-lethal weapons training demonstration during exercise Phoenix Express 2017, May 9. Phoenix Express, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, is designed to improve regional cooperation, increase maritime domain awareness information-sharing practices, and operational capabilities to enhance efforts to achieve safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea.
Maritime forces from Europe, North Africa, and the United States began the 13th iteration of the multinational maritime exercise Phoenix Express 2017, May 10, with an opening ceremony at the Spanish Naval Base Arsenal de Cartagena.

Phoenix Express, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet (CNE-CNA/C6F), is designed to improve regional cooperation, increase maritime domain awareness, information-sharing  practices, and operational capabilities in order to enhance efforts to promote safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea.

“This exercise has been going on for over a decade and it gets better every year,” said Capt. Daniel Hopkins, Phoenix Express 2017 officer in tactical command. “It gets better because of the people that make sure the boarding’s go correctly, the people that make sure the exercise stays safe, and the people that assess the training that allows us to be more effective.”

This year's exercise control group will be hosted at the Arsenal Cartagena located in Cartagena, Spain, but training will take place throughout the Mediterranean Sea, to include territorial waters of North African nations.

The at-sea portion of the exercise will test North African, European, and U.S. maritime forces' abilities to respond to irregular migration and combat illicit trafficking and the movement of illegal goods and materials. Additionally, participating forces will work together to practice search and rescue procedures in response to vessels in distress.

“Ideally the participating nations leave Phoenix Express with a baseline skillset that they can continue to build on, train from, and evolve into a competent boarding team that can go out and feel comfortable and safe aboard any vessel in the  Mediterranean Sea,” said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Andrew Ray, visit, board, search and seizure facilitator. “It’s all about standardization with the partner nations.”

Nations scheduled to participate in Phoenix Express 2017 include Algeria, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, the Netherlands, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States.

Exercise Phoenix Express is one of three CNE-CNA/C6F-facilitated regional exercises part of a comprehensive strategy to provide collaborative opportunities amongst African forces and international partners that addresses maritime security  concerns.

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