Atlantic Ocean . March 2008 . Navy File Phote
More than 15,000 service members from four countries are participating in Joint Task Force Exercise "Operation Brimstone." The exercise off the eastern US coast began on 21 July and will continue for ten days.
US and coalition naval assets taking part in the exercise include the US aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (pictured above), the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima with associated units including the British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, and the French submarine FS Amethyste. The French Rafale fighter aircraft also joined US Carrier Air Wing aircraft during the exercise.
Units of US Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, who are trained to operate in the littorals and riverine environment, shallow coastal waters and rivers, are taking part in the exercise. This environment approximates the coastal waters of the Persian Gulf and the small islands around its chokepoint, the Strait of Hormuz.
Military analysts believe that Operation Brimstone is aimed at giving military teeth to the two-week ultimatum the six world powers gave Iran in Geneva Saturday to accept the suspension of uranium enrichment or face harsh sanctions and isolation.