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Tunisia, AFRICOM, 11 Countries Take Part in Joint Military Drill

Tunisia, AFRICOM, 11 Countries Take Part in Joint Military Drill

Sunday, 16 May, 2021 - 09:15
A migrant looks at a rescue boat in the central Mediterranean Sea. (Reuters)

Tunisia’s Defense Ministry announced Saturday it will take part in a military drill, which will bring together the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) and 11 other countries.

The exercise is set to kick off on May 16 and end on May 28. It will be held at the La Goulette naval base in Tunis and the Mediterranean Sea.

“Phoenix Express 2021” aims to increase regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness, information-sharing practices and operational capabilities.

The drill further targets enhancing efforts to promote safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea and territorial waters of participating North African nations.

According to a press statement published by the Tunisian state news agency (TAP), it will be conducted in partnership with AFRICOM, four military ships belonging to the navy, five foreign ships and 130 officers from 12 participating countries.

The nations scheduled to participate include Tunisia, Algeria, Belgium, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Spain and the United States.

The drill will test the abilities of North African, European and American maritime forces in responding to illegal migration and combating illicit trafficking and smuggling of prohibited goods and materials.

Phoenix Express is more than a multinational maritime exercise, it is a strategic opportunity for all participating nations to build a fruitful partnership and benefit from each other’s expertise.

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