The “Intrinsic Defender” joint naval exercise which lasted 10 days and was held simultaneously in the Mediterranean and the Red Seas, concluded today.

Participating in “Intrinsic Defender”, the largest exercise between the Israeli Navy and the U.S. Fifth Fleet in recent years, were 300 regular servicemembers and commanders from the Israeli Navy as well as two missile ships from Flotilla 3, two teams from the Underwater Mission Unit, a team from the Snapir Unit (VBSS) and a medical team. The Israeli Navy personnel trained alongside their counterparts from the U.S. Fifth Fleet.

​​The exercise began with a joint briefing on the Red Sea region. The briefing was led by the Commander in Chief of the Israeli Navy, VADM David Saar Salama and the Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces, Vice Admiral ( * * * ) Brad Cooper.

During the exercise, Israeli missile ship flotilla crews trained in naval combat, naval firing and vessel protection in the Eilat Bay and the Red Sea. For the first time, Israeli Navy missile ships practiced refueling from an American replenishment tanker in the Red Sea, which increases the Israeli Navy’s operational range and abilities.

Teams from the Israeli Navy’s Underwater Mission Unit practiced the demolition and neutralization of naval mines and joint diving operations with their U.S. counterparts in the Eilat Bay. In addition, the teams trained in a unique facility at the Haifa Naval Base, focusing on locating and neutralizing explosives using unmanned vessels.

The 914th Squadron’s Snapir Unit (VBSS) practiced taking over vessels and preventing hostile terrorist activity alongside their counterparts from the U.S. Coast Guard.

The joint forces also simulated different search and rescue scenarios and providing medical aid at sea. As part of the exercise, the forces conducted joint learning sessions and practiced setting up a medical operating room onboard a Sa’ar 6 Corvette missile ship.

The “Intrinsic Defender” exercise is another example of the close cooperation between the Israeli Navy and the U.S. Fifth Fleet. This exercise provided an opportunity for mutual learning, sharing operational capabilities and strengthening the strategic partnership between the two militaries. The exercise brought forth new capabilities to the Israeli Navy which increase its operational capacities in both routine and emergency situations.

Commander in Chief of the Israeli Navy, VADM David Saar Salama said: “The ‘Intrinsic Defender’ exercise expands the range and operational capacities of the Israeli Navy. Cooperation with the U.S. Fifth Fleet helps us to improve and refine ourselves. Operational concepts were successfully reflected through practical application. This exercise is an important and significant step for our strategic stability in the maritime arena.”