Saudi Arabia and Egypt conducted a joint naval maneuver codenamed Morgan 15) in the Red Sea waters of Saudi Arabia, military spokesperson Mohamed Samir stated on Facebook Monday.“The exercise is part of joint training of the Armed Forces with friendly countries to enhance prospects of cooperation and exchange of training experience between the forces of the two countries, which share a strong bond of partnership and strategic cooperation in many fields to lay foundations of security and stability in the Middle East,” Samir said.
The maneuver will continue for several days with destroyers, missile boats, logistics, anti-submarine aircrafts, and naval Special Forces. The exercises include planning joint maritime hostilities day and night, training on interception at sea, combating submarines, supply and refueling and combating smuggling and piracy.
“Morgan 15 comes within the framework of Saudi-Egyptian cooperation to develop capability to participate in the planning and management of joint operations in order to maintain security and safety navigation in the Red Sea against any threat as an international corridor important for the global economy,” said the Egyptian Army in a statement,
The exercise coincides with the recent warning by Egypt to the Houthis in Yemen on approaching the Bab al-Mandab, as security, Egyptian officials announced Egyptian-Saudi coordination for joint military response to deal with any possibilities in Yemen.
The Associated Press (AP) said officials from Egypt prepared a rapid reaction force that can intervene in the event Houthis threaten strategic shipping lanes in the Red Sea, following their control of the strategic southern port of Hodeidah Yemen.
Meanwhile, four Saudi soldiers died when their military helicopter crashed during a training exercise in the north of the country, according to the Saudi Ministry of Defense.
The official news agency, SPA, quoting an official source at the Saudi Ministry of Defense, said that one of the helicopters of the ground forces crashed during a night training exercise to the west of King Khalid Military City, resulting in the death of four people.
The source added that the competent authorities are investigating to ascertain the cause of the accident.
Source: Aljoumhouria; AP; SPA
picture: Royal Saudi Naval Force