Forces assigned to the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Israel and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) began conducting a multilateral maritime security operations exercise in the Red Sea, Nov. 10.
The five-day exercise includes at-sea training aboard amphibious transport dock ship USS
Portland (LPD 27) focused on visit, board, search and seizure tactics. The training will enhance interoperability between participating forces' maritime interdiction teams.
"It is exciting to see U.S. forces training with regional partners to enhance our collective maritime security capabilities," said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of NAVCENT, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces. "Maritime collaboration helps safeguard freedom of navigation and the free flow of trade, which are essential to regional security and stability."
The U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses nearly 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean and three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab-al-Mandeb.