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US Service Members, Lebanese Armed Forces Participate in Exercise Resolute Response 16

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS160815-10
Release Date: 8/15/2016 9:52:00 AM

By Chief (select) Mass Communication Specialist Kori Melvin, Fleet Combat Camera Pacific

JOUNIEH, Lebanon (NNS) -- U.S. service members are participating in Exercise Resolute Response (RR) 16 with Lebanese armed forces (LAF) at Jounieh Naval Base, Lebanon, Aug. 8-17.

The U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army and LAF are sharing strategic insights throughout RR 16 involving explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), diving and visit, board, search and seizure procedures.

RR 16 allows the U.S. to build diplomatic relations with partner nations for both sides to better appreciate one another's efforts in having a common goal to counter adversaries, said Lt. Andrew Heckel, adaptive force commander for Exercise RR 16, assigned to Commander, Task Group 56.1.

"My unit is here to support the Lebanese armed forces with maintaining stability within the region through sharing our knowledge and experiences," said Heckel. "My hope is that our efforts here will continue to demonstrate the United States' commitment to the Lebanese and will further aid them in countering the militant threat within Lebanon."

The exercise also helps improve U.S. military readiness with partner nations in the 5th Fleet area of operation, said Lt. Stephen Honan, EOD mobility platoon commander for RR 16, assigned to Commander, Task Group 56.1.

"We are only halfway through the exercise and we have already learned a lot from each other," Honon said.

The U.S. military participates in more than 60 exercises with partner nations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility each year. RR 16 is just one of many exercises that demonstrates U.S. commitment to strengthening maritime capabilities, supporting freedom of navigation throughout the region and promoting long-term regional security and stability.

This annual bilateral exercise is part of a routine theater security cooperation engagement plan with the primary focus of reassuring regional nations of the U.S. commitment to security and stability.

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