17:16 GMT27 January 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States and Saudi Arabia are holding week-long joint military exercises at islands in the northern Persian Gulf, the Navy said on Tuesday.

    "The US and Saudi forces are conducting routine and joint sustainment training on and around Karan and Kurayn islands, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 24-30 May 2020", the Navy said in a statement.

    US forces in the still ongoing exercise are comprised of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (BATARG) and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and they are performing mission-essential training and planning with their Saudi partners, the US Navy said.

    "The ability to plan and operate with other forces supports our ability to rapidly deploy aviation, maritime, and ground combat elements – all from over the horizon – at a moment’s notice in order to support maritime security, freedom of navigation, and the free flow of commerce”, 26th MEU commander Colonel Trevor Hall said in the report.

    In coordination with their Saudi partners, US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) Task Force (TF) 52 and TF 56, the BATARG and 26th MEU are also conducting well deck operations, underwater beach surveys, maritime patrolling, boat lane security operations in the area, the report said.

    military exercises, Saudi Arabia, United States
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