Rabat – The Royal Moroccan Navy and the U.S. Navy have embarked on the latest edition of their joint naval exercise “Atlas Handshake,” aiming to deepen maritime cooperation between the two nations.
The exercise, which takes place in the vast waters of the Atlantic, aims to enhance interoperability and strengthen the strategic partnership between Morocco and the U.S.
The USS Paul Ignatius, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, sailed into the port of Agadir.
The vessel, commissioned just a few years ago, has rapidly become a centrepiece of the U.S. naval fleet deployed in Europe. Following its anchoring at the U.S. military base in Rota, Spain in June 2022, the USS Paul Ignatius has now joined the Moroccan waters to participate in the joint maritime exercises.
The Moroccan frigate Sultan Moulay Ismail, operational since 2013, is also standing ready to collaborate with its American counterpart.
Both vessels will engage in a series of meticulously planned drills, including anti-submarine warfare exercises, air defense simulations, and communication protocols. The activities are designed not only to showcase the capabilities of each navy but also to foster an exchange of best practices and bolster mutual understanding.
The “Atlas Handshake” naval exercise has a history dating back to 2021 when it was first established as a bilateral training program.
The previous edition of the exercise featured the USS Porter and the Moroccan frigate Allal Ben Abdellah, both veterans of their respective fleets. The ongoing collaboration is part of both nations’ stated commitments to maritime security, freedom of navigation, and regional stability.
In a statement released by the U.S. Embassy in Rabat, the joint exercise was hailed as a testament to the close relationship between the two countries.
The embassy noted that the exercise not only advances the professional capabilities of each navy but also serves as a platform to cultivate personal relationships and cultural exchanges among service members.
As the geopolitical landscape continues to evolve, maritime security remains a pivotal aspect of global stability.The joint naval exercise is expected to last for several days, during which participating units will conduct a range of tactical and strategic maneuvers.
Source : MoroccoWorldNews