Israel, US and Turkey begin naval exercises



1. Wide shot ships involved in search and rescue exercise
2. Mid shot officer on board Israeli missile ship
3. Various helicopter landing on Israeli ship
4. Mid shot naval officers
5. Helicopter crew securing aircraft
6. Wide shot ship
7. Helicopter lowering divers into water
8. Mid shot crew on board Israeli missile ship
9. SOUNDBITE: (English) Yoni Ben Yehuda, Commander of the Israeli missile ship:
“The purpose of the exercise is to exercise, between the three Navies, their capability in certain rescue at sea (situations), (these will be conducted) in a swift and efficient manner by learning how to work together, how to control, together, all the naval helicopters and aircraft and to be able to assist people in distress at sea.”
10. Mid shot Yehuda
11. Various helicopter in sea rescue simulation

STORYLINE:

Israeli, Turkish and U.S. naval vessels conducted a joint exercise off the Israeli coast on Wednesday, their fifth annual manoeuvres.

As in previous years, neighbouring countries such as Jordan and Egypt declined invitations to join.

The exercises, called “Reliant Mermaid,” focused on simulating rescue operations at sea.

Search craft were dispatched to locate two ‘stranded boats’ and planes dropped life rafts as helicopters plucked dummies out of the water and whisked them to Haifa’s Ramban hospital.

Israel and Turkey have been forging a military-related alliance in recent years.

Israel has been upgrading Turkish aircraft in multi-million-dollar contracts. The United States is Israel’s closest ally.

Officers from the three nations said that the exercise was not aimed against any other country; rather, it was designed to increase cooperation among the participants.

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