Turkey-hosted multinational Doğu Akdeniz-17 exercise kicks off
(Ahval Turkey) Doğu Akdeniz, a Turkish-led naval training exercise, began on Nov. 7.
U.S., Bulgarian, British and Romanian warships and aircraft were invited to participate in this year's exercise, hosted by the Turkish Fleet, with forces from the Turkish coast guard, Turkish air force and navy.
Also, observers from Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Algeria, Qatar, Pakistan, Romania and NATO participated in the exercise.
The exercise is to take place in the Eastern Mediterranean off the coast of Turkey Nov. 7-16. It is designed to improve combined combat capability, increase operational capacity, and strengthen relationships among navies from different countries.
U.S. Navy participated in the exercise with Arleigh Burke Class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook and a P-8A Poseidon, the most sophisticated maritime patrol aircraft in the world, despite a recent deterioration in U.S.-Turkish relations.
Cmdr. Matthew J. Powel, commanding officer of USS Donald Cook, said: “We look forward to our participation in exercise Doğu Akdeniz 2017 as well as our visit to Aksaz, Turkey. The exercise will provide an excellent opportunity to improve combined combat capability, increase operational capacity and strengthen relationships among NATO allies.”