Joint military exercise to take place off Delaware, Maryland coast

Crew members from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Rollin Fritch and partners from the Department of Defense look on from the cutter’s small boat as Petty Officer 1st Class Brian Johnson, an aviation survival technician from Air Station Elizabeth City, descends into the water to retrieve two Air Force pilots during a joint-service search and rescue exercise, October 22, 2020, near Virginia Beach, Virginia. The exercise was a joint operation among the Coast Guard, Air Force and Navy to ensure successful coordination in the event of a large-scale search and rescue operation. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Capt. Timothy Eason)

Crew members from the Coast Guard Cutter Rollin Fritch and partners from the Department of Defense look on from the cutter’s small boat as Petty Officer 1st Class Brian Johnson descends into the water to retrieve two Air Force pilots during a joint-service search and rescue exercise, October 22, 2020, near Virginia Beach, Virginia. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Capt. Timothy Eason)

BALTIMORE — The U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, and the Marines will be conducting a routine search and rescue exercise off the coasts of Delaware and Maryland Tuesday.

The exercise will simulate an aircraft incident, the need to search for and rescue crew, and respond to debris in the water. This is an annual exercise. In the case of inclement weather, the activity will shift to Thursday.

Mariners are advised to avoid or use extreme caution while transiting in the exercise area. The exercise center point will be 38-14.961N 074-52.299W, approximately 23 miles east of Ocean City, Maryland. Additional active exercise location information for mariners will be available in the latest Broadcast Notice to Mariners on VHF-FM Channel 16.

Additionally, mariners are asked not to disturb any debris or participants involved physically. The exercise will include the recovery of in-water objects, low-flying aircraft, helicopter hoists, use of flares, and mass search and rescue operations.

The purpose of the exercise is two-fold first, to further interoperability and the ability to communicate quickly, coordinate resources, and collaborate to respond to emergencies.

Secondly, to test and provide realistic feedback on existing policies, plans, procedures, and agreements with the Coast Guard and partner Department of Defense units within the U.S. Coast Guard Fifth District’s area of responsibility.

Mariners who need to contact members of the exercise as it takes place may reach safety vessel personnel on VHF-FM Channel 16.

The 2021 exercise took place off Cape Lookout, N.C. coast, testing the satellite notification system, stressing internal and external communications plans, and safely recovering two simulated downed aviators using Coast Guard and Navy aircraft.

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