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NEWS | May 22, 2017

US Naval Forces Central Command, Coalition Partners Complete International Maritime Exercise

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Victoria Kinney U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs Office

The International Maritime Exercise (IMX) 2017, led by U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, was held May 2-18, on Naval Support Activity Bahrain.

170517-N-OH194-0058 MANAMA, Bahrain (May 17, 2017) Capt. Christopher Wells, commanding officer of Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15), discusses Ponce™s capabilities with participants of the International Maritime Exercise (IMX) 2017. IMX is a command post exercise and includes more than 20 partner nations to promote interoperability, increase readiness in all facets of defensive maritime warfare and demonstrate resolve in maintaining regional security and stability and protecting the free flow of commerce. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Grant P. Ammon)
170517-N-OH194-0058 MANAMA, Bahrain (May 17, 2017) Capt. Christopher Wells, commanding officer of Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15), discusses Ponce™s capabilities with participants of the International Maritime Exercise (IMX) 2017. IMX is a command post exercise and includes more than 20 partner nations to promote interoperability, increase readiness in all facets of defensive maritime warfare and demonstrate resolve in maintaining regional security and stability and protecting the free flow of commerce. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Grant P. Ammon)
170517-N-OH194-0058 MANAMA, Bahrain (May 17, 2017) Capt. Christopher Wells, commanding officer of Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15), discusses Ponce™s capabilities with participants of the International Maritime Exercise (IMX) 2017. IMX is a command post exercise and includes more than 20 partner nations to promote interoperability, increase readiness in all facets of defensive maritime warfare and demonstrate resolve in maintaining regional security and stability and protecting the free flow of commerce. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Grant P. Ammon)
US Naval Forces Central Command, Coalition Partners Complete International Maritime Exercise
170517-N-OH194-0058 MANAMA, Bahrain (May 17, 2017) Capt. Christopher Wells, commanding officer of Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15), discusses Ponce™s capabilities with participants of the International Maritime Exercise (IMX) 2017. IMX is a command post exercise and includes more than 20 partner nations to promote interoperability, increase readiness in all facets of defensive maritime warfare and demonstrate resolve in maintaining regional security and stability and protecting the free flow of commerce. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Grant P. Ammon)
Photo By: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Grant P. Ammon
VIRIN: 170517-N-OH194-058
IMX 2017, a command post exercise, included personnel from the U.S. and more than 20 partner nations, as well as representatives from the civilian shipping industry group Oil Companies International Marine Forum. This group of key players came together to promote interoperability, increase readiness in all facets of defensive maritime warfare, and demonstrate resolve in maintaining regional security and stability and protecting the free flow of commerce.

"This year's IMX presented an invaluable opportunity to build upon the successes of [the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise] and act as a stepping stone looking forward to IMX 2019," said Commodore William Warrender, deputy commander of combined maritime forces in U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, and international maritime exercise force commander. "This year was the largest exercise we've seen to date, and the 2019 iteration of the exercise is going to be an even greater opportunity to demonstrate coalition cohesiveness. It is only with continued support of our partners and allies that we can endure with our mission, delivering stability and reducing illicit activity within the region."

IMX 2017 consisted of four days of academic training from various presenters, which included the U.S. Naval War College. The topics of the presentations ranged from naval planning to mission analysis, as well as discussing the coordination of forces to increase international cooperation.

"Having a significant number of international partners working alongside the civilian shipping industry builds a critical understanding to enhance security and cooperation in the region," said Royal Canadian Navy Lt. Cmdr. Ralph Underhill, lead planner for IMX. "By training on as realistic of threat-scenarios that we could possibly make, we tried to ensure IMX trained against situations that are entirely possible in this region."

Following the presentations, participants took part in field exercises simulating realistic scenarios that have occurred in or threaten the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. Situations included a simulated missile attack, mine threats, a mine strike on a naval vessel, and a fast attack craft threat.

The region encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water and includes the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean. Twenty countries comprise this expanse, which includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen. The Strait of Hormuz sees nearly 20 percent of the world's oil supply transits, and exercises like IMX are designed to share knowledge and enhance proficiencies in a joint environment.

The next exercise is scheduled to occur in 2019, and will be built upon the successes of IMX 2017 with cooperative maritime engagements including mine countermeasures, maritime security operations and maritime infrastructure protection.

 

 

For further questions, please contact U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs Office at 011-973-1785-4562 or navcentpao@me.navy.mil