U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY, Nov. 13, 2020 —
The guided-missile destroyers USS Sterett (DDG 104), USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) and USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) are supporting Coalition Task Force (CTF) Sentinel, the British-led operational arm of the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC).
CTF Sentinel promotes maritime security, ensures freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce throughout key waterways in the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Southern Red Sea.
“We are grateful to the crews of Sterett, Ralph Johnson and John Paul Jones for their support of CTF Sentinel,” said Royal Navy Commodore Rob Bellfield, commander, CTF Sentinel. “Their work as sentinels plays an integral role in deterring aggressive behavior that destabilizes the region and threatens the rules-based international order at sea.”
The three destroyers are part of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9, deployed with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, and departed for a regularly scheduled deployment following the successful completion of a month-long composite training unit exercise in June 2020.
CSG 11 flagship aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and accompanying ships arrived in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, July 24. Since then, the three destroyers have joined the eight partner nations in providing over watch to commercial vessels throughout the region. IMSC member nations include Albania, Australia, Bahrain, Estonia, Saudi Arabia, Lithuania, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States.
Established in November 2019, the multinational effort aims to enhance maritime security throughout key waterways in the region, deter aggression and promote safe passage for professional mariners. Thousands of ships pass through the region annually, including commercial vessels. Any closures in the waterways would have international consequences; impacting economies across the globe. Since arriving in U.S. 5th Fleet, the three CSG 11 destroyers have completed 706 transits in support of IMSC.
“It is a privilege to work with our CTF Sentinel teammates to promote freedom of navigation in the Gulf Region,” said Capt. Elaine Collins, Commodore of DESRON 9. “I am proud of the crews of Sterett, Ralph Johnson and John Paul Jones as they help ensure the free flow of commerce and deter aggression in these critical waterways.”