ARABIAN GULF, Aug. 5, 2020 —
U.S. Navy warships assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), escorted two U.S. Army Frank S. Besson class logistics support vessels (LSV), assigned to U.S. Army Central Command (ARCENT), as they transited out of the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO), July-August.
The two LSVs, Major General Charles P. Gross (LSV 5) and Specialist 4 James A. Loux (LSV 6), had been forward deployed to the region for 20 years in support of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) tasking, and were departing Kuwait as a result of an Army-wide restructuring and asset allocation.
Over the past two decades, U.S. naval ships regularly escorted the Army vessels as they transited the Arabian Gulf, delivering supplies to U.S. Army units in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates from their forward deployed homeport in Kuwait.
"The importance of U.S. and partner forces operating together in the region while supporting our shared maritime security goals continues to be vital,” said Brig. Gen. Dianne Del Rosso, Deputy Commanding General, 1st Theater Sustainment Command. "The Logistics Support Vessels have been critical to training exercises and operations in the CENTCOM area of operations (AOR) for both the joint force and our strategic partners in the region."
Escort ships during the outbound transit included at various stages, USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), USS James E. Williams (DDG 95), USS Stout (DDG 55), patrol coastal ships assigned to CTF 55 and Mark VI patrol boats assigned to CTF 56.
NAVCENT forces regularly participate in joint operations with assets from ARCENT and other component commanders. Recent examples have included U.S. Navy warships conducting live fire exercises with U.S. Army AH-64E Apache attack helicopters assigned to ARCENT, and U.S. Air Force AC-130W Stinger II gunships assigned to Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT).
“The joint operations we conduct with other component commands in the CENTCOM AOR is crucial in supporting U.S. and partner nation interests in the region,” said Vice Adm. James Malloy, Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT). “I’m proud of the work we’ve been able to do with our ARCENT counterparts, and I look forward to what our joint team will continue to accomplish in the future.”
The 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 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.