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Phoenix Express, a two-week exercise to strengthen U.S. and European maritime partnerships with North Africa, began Tuesday.

Eleven nations will train in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean in an agenda that includes maritime interdiction, search and rescue, division tactics and medical practices. Participating are armed forces from Algeria, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States, the Navy said in a news release.

USS Nassau and USS Kauffman, both home ported in Norfolk, Va., will participate with Marines based in Rota, Spain, and Patrol Squadron Five air assets based in Sigonella, Italy.

The Military Sealift Command fleet oiler USNS Patuxent also will participate.


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