Turkey hosts Anatolian Sun exercise

MEDITERRANEAN SEA – The crew of a SH-60B Seahawk helicopter from the guided missile frigate USS Nicholas (FFG 47)(background), inspects a cargo ship during Anatolian Sun 2006. The excercise, a Turkish-hosted proliferation security initiative, took place here May 24-26, 2006. The training focused on the interdiction of weapons of mass destruction proliferation-related shipments at sea, in the air, and on land. (DoD photo)

ANATALYA, Turkey — U.S. forces are participating in the Turkish-hosted Anatolian Sun exercise here May 24-26, 2006. Anatolian Sun is a proliferation security intitiative exercise.

The exercise focuses on the interdiction of weapons of mass destruction being spread by sea, air and land. Although cooperating countries are capable and ready to execute operations against such trafficking today, the training exercises are designed to improve national capabilities and interoperability with one another.

U.S. assets participating in the training consist of the frigate USS Nicholas, an explosive ordinance disposal team from the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, and a P-3 maritime patrol aircraft.

While the exercise has previously been held over 20 times in the Mediterranean region, it is the first time Turkey has hosted the training. More than 50 countries have active or observatory roles during the event including several Eurasian countries.

Due to the Mediterranean being a key region of illegal trafficking concern, exercises like Anatolian Sun are an important step for initiative development. All Anatolian Sun supporters, including the U.S., have committed, through the training, to forbid trafficking of weapons of mass destruction, delivery systems and related materials around the world.

The exercises also send a message to illegal traffickers about the committed global network of nations taking steps to stop proliferation.

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