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      EUCOM Navy and Israeli Navy Conclude Joint Exercise

      A combined Israel Navy and United States EUCOM Naval exercise ended on Thursday after a week and a half.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 8/16/2013, 6:31 AM

      Joint EUCOM-Israeli naval exercise
      Joint EUCOM-Israeli naval exercise
      IDF Spokesperson's Unit

      ''Reliant Mermaid 103," a combined Israel Navy and United States EUCOM Naval exercise, ended on Thursday after a week and a half of combined training in the Mediterranean Sea that simulated a variety of search and rescue scenarios.

      "Reliant Mermaid 103" was not related to any real world events, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement.

      The exercise included a guided-missile destroyer from the U.S. 6th Fleet, as well as missile boats from the Israel Navy. It was a part of the Israel Navy's annual training schedule, noted the IDF.

      Several combined naval exercises took place in recent months, including exercises with the Italian and Greek naval forces.

      “The IDF sees this exercise as a valuable opportunity to learn from our U.S. Navy counterparts and as part of the ongoing efforts to increase cooperation with the United States military,” said the IDF Spokesperson’s statement.

      This week, the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey visited Israel. He met with IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon.

      Netanyahu told Dempsey during their meeting that Israel faces many threats but the one threat that “dwarfs” all the others is the Iranian nuclear threat.

      “We can work and will work together to make sure that doesn’t happen, and in addition to that we have other security challenges and the challenge of establishing peace in the region,” he said.

      Joint EUCOM-Israeli naval exercise. Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit