The expeditionary landing base ship USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), conducted combined naval and air integration operations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Joint Aviation Command (JAC) in the central Arabian Gulf, May 11-12.
UAE JAC pilots successfully completed deck landing qualifications (DLQ) aboard the Puller, conducting day and night landings and refueling operations with their CH-47F and UH-60M helicopters.
This series of training evolutions continues to enhance the readiness of UAE pilots and familiarizes the crew of the Puller with UAE rotary-wing platform, by increasing partnership capability and interoperability in the maritime domain.
“DLQs expand interoperability between U.S. Navy and UAE military, making both forces more proficient and able to respond to regional challenges,” said Capt. Michael Mosbruger, commanding officer of the USS Lewis B. Puller.
UAE pilots have extensive flight experience and have previously performed landings and routine flight operations on the Puller and other U.S. naval assets deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO).
U.S. 5th Fleet AOO encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait at the southern tip of Yemen.