Phoenix Express 2021, the 16th iteration of the North African maritime exercise, will begin Sunday in Tunis, Tunisia, and throughout the Mediterranean Sea, the U.S. Sixth Fleet announced in a statement.
The exercise, involving 13 nations and running until May 28, aims to increase regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness, information-sharing practices, and operational capabilities in the Mediterranean Sea and territorial waters of participating North African nations.
This year’s exercise control group will be hosted at the La Goulette naval base in Tunis. It will test North African, European, and U.S. maritime forces’ abilities to respond to irregular migration and to combat illicit trafficking and the movement of illegal goods and materials.
The 13 nations scheduled to participate in Phoenix Express 2021 include Tunisia, Algeria, Belgium, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Spain, and the United States.
Phoenix Express is one of three regional maritime exercises executed by U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVAF) as part of a comprehensive strategy to provide collaborative opportunities among African forces and international partners that addresses maritime security concerns.