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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 555-00
September 12, 2000

U.S. FORCES TRAVEL TO CROATIA FOR AMPHIBIOUS EXERCISE

Croatian military forces and U.S. Sixth Fleet sailors and Marines of the USS Austin and elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit will conduct a bilateral landing and maneuver ashore exercise Sept. 25-29, 2000, in Croatia.

Approximately 400 sailors and 200 Marines from the U.S. will join with Croatian counterparts to take part in the exercise, called Croatian Phiblex 2000, which is designed to promote regional stability, improve common understanding of doctrine and training, and practice interoperability between U.S. and Croatian amphibious and maritime forces.

The exercise will be conducted in the vicinity of Split, Croatia, and the islands off the coast of the country. The field training exercise will include an amphibious landing with maneuver ashore, as well as live fire training. In addition to the sailors and equipment of the USS Austin, U.S. Marine participation will include a rifle company, four CH-46 and two UH-1 helicopters from the 26th MEU.

Croatia's participation in the exercise is a visible example of Croatia investing its military efforts toward regional cooperation and stability. Croatia is a Partnership for Peace member, and actively seeking membership in NATO.

For more information, contact the U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs Office at 011-39-0771-709-830, ext. 6050 or 6051, or visit their web site at http://www.c6f.navy.mil. [link no longer available]