Second, third Swift-class patrol boats arrive in Iraq
BAGHDAD - The second and third, American-built Swift-class patrol boats were delivered to the Iraqi Navy Jan. 26. The integration of these ships into the Iraqi Navy is part of an Iraqi-led maritime security modernization program.
A total of 12 Swift-class Patrol Boats are being built in Morgan City, La., and are scheduled to arrive in Iraq by 2012.
“The arrival of the new Swift patrol boats embodies the continued expansion of the Iraqi Navy in an effort to patrol their territorial waters and protect important pieces of national infrastructure,” said Coalition Naval Advisory Training Team Director U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Kelvin N. Dixon.
The 35-meter patrol boats are equipped for a variety of missions including maritime surveillance and reconnaissance as well as vessel boarding, search and seizure.
Furthermore the security of Iraq’s sea-based oil infrastructure ultimately depends upon a competent, multi-mission, maritime defensive presence, according to United States Forces-Iraq officials.
Together, the Iraqi Navy and the U.S. Navy implemented a 90-day training program for the Iraqi Navy crews, incorporating lessons in the classroom, scenario-based training and at-sea experience aboard the Swift-class Patrol Boats in Morgan City, La.
Three boat crews have already successfully completed the training program and continue to sharpen their skills at their home port. The Iraqi Navy is also building a new naval simulator training facility at Umm Qasr to increase its training capacity.
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