U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS

The U.S. Navy, Iraqi Navy, Kuwait Naval Force and Kuwait Coast Guard completed a Kuwait, Iraq and U.S. trilateral exercise (TRILAT) in the Northern Arabian Gulf, June 29.

This TRILAT was the fourth of its kind since March 2017 with the mission of strengthening regional partnerships, developing proficiency, improving long-term regional cooperation, safety and security, and enhancing interoperability in the mutual defense of the maritime domain.

Participants included U.S. Coastal patrol ship USS Monsoon (PC 4), U.S. Coast Guard Island-class patrol boat USCGC Monomoy (WPB 1326), Iraqi navy patrol boat P 311 and Kuwait navy patrol boat KNS Al Asaadi P 3723.

The exercise focused on search-and-rescue, maritime infrastructure protection, visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) and high value unit protection operations.

"It was an honor and privilege to work with the USS Monsoon and Monomoy's VBSS teams during the Trilateral Exercise with our regional allies,” said Army Staff Sgt. Brian Rawlins. “Typically we conduct land based operations as U.S. Army Civil Affairs Soldiers, so taking part in this exercise was a unique and rewarding experience."

This routine theater security cooperation engagement serves as an excellent opportunity to strengthen tactical proficiency in critical mission area and support long-term regional stability. Our combined forces in the region will continue to be ready to meet any future challenge together.

The exercise was led by Task Force (TF) 55 and is part of a scheduled theater security cooperation engagement plan and an opportunity for the three partner nations to identify and address regional threats in support of stability and freedom of navigation in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.

U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse comprises 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal, and the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.

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