Israel, U.S. and Greece launch joint naval exercise


(JTA) — Israeli, Greek and American vessels began a two-week Mediterranean naval exercise, the Israeli army said. 

An Israel Defense Forces statement said the operation, named "Noble Dina," was a scheduled annual exercise for its Navy and is part of the security cooperation between the Israeli Navy and foreign naval forces.

The joint maneuver, from March 7 to 21, will involve helicopters, ships, and search-and-rescue boats from the three nations.

“The participating forces will exercise their cooperation on search and rescue, quick reaction to naval emergencies, medical evacuation, navigation and weapons systems,” according to the statement.

For several years, Israel and the U.S. carried out naval maneuvers with Turkey, but in September 2011 Ankara expelled Israel’s ambassador and suspended military cooperation with the Jewish state. Once-warm Israel-Turkey ties reached a low point in May 2010 after Israeli commandos raided a Turkish ship in the Mediterranean trying to evade Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, killing nine Turks on board after the boarding troops were attacked.

Israel’s relations with Greece in the meantime have been warming, with the two countries joining for naval and air exercises.

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