Israel, US and Greece launch joint naval exercise

(JTA) — Israeli, Greek and American vessels began a two-week Mediterranean naval exercise codenamed “Noble Dina,” the Israeli army said. 

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“Noble Dina, one of the navy’s scheduled annual exercises, is part of the security cooperation between the Israeli navy and foreign naval forces,” said a statement on the website of the IDF Spokesperson unit. 

The joint maneuvre, which began on March 7, will continue until March 21, and will involve helicopters, ships and search and rescue boats from the three nations. Among the Israeli navy’s vessels are the gunships Eilat, Keshet, and Romach, the statement said.

“The participating forces will exercise their cooperation on search and rescue, quick reaction to naval emergencies, medical evacuation, navigation and weapons systems,” according to the statement.

For several years, Israel and the U.S. carried out naval maneuvres with Turkey, but in September 2011 Ankara expelled Israel’s ambassador and suspended military cooperation with the Jewish state. Once-warm ties had reached a low point after Israeli commandos raided a Gaza-bound Turkish ship in the Mediterranean in May 2010, killing nine Turks on board after the boarding troops were attacked.

Israel’s relations with Greece have been warming in the meantime, with Israel joining it in naval and air exercises.

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