Navy SEALs in Cyprus pledge ‘unyielding response’ to any adversaries in Eastern Mediterranean

February 28, 2024
John Vandiver

Navy SEALs operating in the eastern Mediterranean said that drills carried out off the coast of Cyprus were a signal to adversaries that attacks in the eastern Mediterranean will be opposed with plenty of force. The comments, delivered Wednesday after several weeks of training, come amid ongoing tensions with Iran and its proxies in a region roiled by the war in Gaza. Capt. Bill Gallagher, Naval Special Warfare Group 2 commander, said his team’s collaboration with Cypriot forces “sends a clear message.” “Through joint endeavors, we fortify our capabilities and make clear that any aggression will be met with a swift, unyielding response,” Gallagher said in a statement. Since the start of Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza, Cyprus has turned into a hub for U.S. and other allied special operations teams. Commandos from Germany, the Netherlands and United Kingdom were some of the forces dispatched to the country, where they were put on standby in the aftermath of Hamas’ Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel.

The United States also moved numerous military assets to the region, ranging from Navy warships in the Mediterranean to Air Force cargo planes in Greece and special operators in Cyprus. The type of training being carried out by special operators can pose risks for the troops involved. In November, five U.S. Army Special Operations troops died in a helicopter crash off the coast of Cyprus, where they were taking part in a refueling training mission. The crew members were part of the Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, a unit responsible for getting special operations teams to hot spots. The SEALs and special warfare combatant-craft crewmen, operating from Limassol, Cyprus, wrapped up three weeks of training Wednesday. The sailors and their Cypriot counterparts took part in drills intended to hone skills needed in covert missions and search and seizure operations at sea, the Naval Special Warfare Group 2 statement said. “This relationship serves as a powerful deterrent, showcasing a united front against potential threats to regional and maritime security in the area,” the statement said.Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/branches/navy/2024-02-16/navy-seals-cyprus-training-mediterranean-13023054.htmlSource - Stars and Stripes

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