The USS Iwo Jima docked at Limassol port on Monday morning for refueling and crew R&R, reports said.
Sailing from Haifa in Israel, the Iwo Jima, which has a crew of 2,500 U.S. naval personnel, has been in the eastern Mediterranean for two weeks to take part in the Juniper Cobra (JC18) military drill with Israel.
According to an announcement by the Amphibious Preparedness Team (ARG), posted on the U.S.-Navy website, JC18 allows the U.S. and Israel to increase interoperability between their various military forces.
Reports earlier in March that the ARG has been deployed in the eastern Mediterranean to protect ExxonMobil drilling activities off Cyprus have been denied by the U.S.
“Reports that the US 6th Fleet is in the eastern Mediterranean to protect ExxonMobil are totally baseless,” Johnny Michael, a spokesman for the United States European Command, said when asked about the situation.
Michael underlined that the ARG “conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa”.