MANAMA, Bahrain, –
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) hosted the International Maritime Exercise (IMX) 19 Final Planning Conference onboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain July, 15-18.
IMX 19 is a multinational exercise in which participating countries and maritime industry organizations will take part in mine countermeasures, maritime security operations, and maritime infrastructure protection events. These events will be conducted in the Arabian Gulf, Sea of Oman, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea.
“We believe that there is great importance to this region, in terms of the world’s economy and the way that this region supports that economy for each of our countries. And so we all have interests here in this region,” said NAVCENT Commander Vice Adm. Jim Malloy. “It brings us back, time and time again, to work with partners in this region.”
IMX 19 will be conducted in four phases, including staff build-up and training, seminars and table-top discussions, the at-sea Fleet Training Exercise (FTX), and redeployment of forces.
Fifty-seven nations and several civilian and maritime industry organizations are currently committed to participate in IMX 19, which will take place from Oct. 21-Nov. 12.
“We all recognize that as navies, the maritime has extreme value in promoting stabilization, security and promoting the flow of commerce back and forth,” said Malloy. “So navies have a special role here in international waters, working with regional partners to be able to promote that prosperity across the world, prosperity that emanates from here.”
Since the original IMX, conducted in 2012, the format and number of participants have grown steadily, with the purpose and goals expanding along the way.
NAVCENT consists of the U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), serving together to maintain the stability and security of the region’s maritime environment.
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 and parts of the Indian Ocean. The region is comprised of 20 countries and 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.