Thirteen nations launched the annual U.S.-led Phoenix Express land and sea exercise Tuesday in the Mediterranean.

Nations participating in the two-week exercise are Algeria, France, Greece, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States, according to a Navy news release.

The U.S. amphibious assault ship USS Nassau serves as the exercise flagship, and is joined by three other U.S. vessels: the amphibious transport dock USS Nashville, frigate USS John L. Hall and replenishment oiler USNS Patuxent.

Land exercises, such as medical training, helicopter operations and safety, and firefighting take place at Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Crete. Other exercises include communications and search-and-rescue missions — all aimed at improving workings between the participating nations’ militaries.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now