The commander of the US Naval Forces Central Command, Lt. Gen. Charles Cooper, visited the Egyptian Berenice Military Base alongside Washington’s Ambassador to Egypt Jonathan Cohen.
The site is the largest air and naval base in both the Middle East and the Red Sea region, located east of Aswan near the country’s southern border.
The US delegation inspected Berenice’s facilities for use by both the Egyptian Navy and units belonging to allied nations, and praised its geographic location, close to sea transportation lines, said Egyptian military spokesman Col. Gharib Abdel Hafez Gharib.
Lt. Gen. Ahmed Khaled, commander of the Egyptian Navy, received Lt. Gen. Cooper and Ambassador Cohen at the base “within the well-established strategic relations between Egypt and the US,” the spokesman added.
The meeting coincided with the visit of US warship USS Monterey to the base — a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, and one of the oldest and largest US navy units. The visit was the first major naval activity at the base since its inception.