Reliant Mermaid, a trilateral humanitarian search and rescue (SAR) exercise involving naval ships and aircraft from Israel, Turkey and the United States, took place January 7, 1998 in international waters off the coast of Israel in the Mediterranean Sea. The objective of the exercise was to practice coordinated emergency SAR procedures. By familiarizing themselves with each other's capabilities and working together, elements of the three naval forces which regularly operated in the Mediterranean will be able to respond more effectively in the event of an actual emergency rescue operation. The at-sea portion of the exercise involved five surface ships, along with several helicopters and search aircraft.
USS John Rodgers (DD 983) with Commander, Destroyer Squadron (COMDESRON) 14 embarked, participated in Exercise Reliant Mermaid near Haifa, Israel. Elements of the Turkish and Israeli navies also participated in the humanitarian search and rescue (SAR) exercise in the international waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The scenario of the exercise simulated three sinking civilian sailboats. The exercise distress signal resulted in the dispatch of all five vessels to search for and rescue civilian sailors in distress. Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Light 46 detachment 6 aircraft from John Rodgers located their vessel and the two simulated sailors and directed the ship to the area. Turkish warships TCG Yavuz and TCG Zafer, and Israel warships INS La Hav and INS Nitzahon also participated in the first exercise of this type by the three nations.
Reliant Mermaid took place in late December 2002 through January 2003. It involved one US frigate, the USS Kaufman.
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