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US sea base ship trains with UAE special ops squadron

UAE UH-60M helicopters
UAE UH-60M helicopters take off during flight operations aboard the expeditionary sea base USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3). Photo: US Navy

US Navy’s expeditionary landing base ship USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3) recently carried out combined naval and air integration operations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Joint Aviation Command (JAC) in the central Arabian Gulf.

Pilots from the UAE’s Group 18 special operations squadron flew their CH-47F and UH-60M helicopters for two days of training between May 11 and 12.

UAE pilots completed deck landing qualifications (DLQ) aboard the Puller, conducting day and night landings and refueling operations.

According to the US Navy, this series of training evolutions is designed to enhance the readiness of UAE pilots and familiarizes the crew of the Puller with UAE rotary-wing platform.

“DLQs expand interoperability between US Navy and UAE military, making both forces more proficient and able to respond to regional challenges,” said Capt. Michael Mosbruger, commanding officer of the USS Lewis B. Puller.

UAE pilots have extensive flight experience and have previously performed landings and routine flight operations on the Puller and other US naval assets deployed to the US 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO).