MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) – The Kuwait Naval Force (KNF), Kuwait Coast Guard and U.S. Navy and Coast Guard forces assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) participated in a bilateral, joint maritime security patrol exercise in the North Arabian Gulf, Nov. 5.
The exercise was held to practice joint patrols between the two nations’ navies and coast guards, enhancing interoperability and supporting longstanding regional cooperation.
“The Kuwait Coast Guard welcomes every opportunity to work and exercise with the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard to raise the level of naval efficiency and the spirit of mutual cooperation, increasing maritime security in the North Arabian Gulf,” said Captain Mubarak Al Sabah, Flotilla Commander, Kuwait Coast Guard and Combined Maritime Forces Assistant for Regional Integration.
Exercise topics included communications interoperability and tactical maneuvering.
“It was a great experience for the crew to demonstrate teamwork with both the U.S. Coast Guard and a regional partner,” said Cmdr. Robert Biggs, commanding officer of guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114).
Participating forces included the KNF missile boat Al-Saadi (P 3723), Kuwait Coast Guard fast patrol boat Marzoug (P 314), Ralph Johnson and U.S. Coast Guard patrol boats USCGC Monomoy (WPB 1326) and USCGC Aquidneck (WPB 1309).
“Exercises like this with our Kuwaiti partners further enhance existing mutual capabilities, and increase the effectiveness of future combined operations,” said Capt. Christopher Gilbertson, commander of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 50 and Task Force (TF) 55, who led participating U.S. forces. “We will continue to operate alongside the KNF and Kuwait Coast Guard to maintain a ready and responsive force together.”
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.