MANAMA, Bahrain –
Maritime forces from Saudi Arabia and the United States participated in a monthly international coalition exercise in the Arabian Gulf, Sept. 20.
During a one-day training period organized by the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC), Royal Saudi Navy ship HMS As-Siddiq (PGG 511) and U.S. Coast Guard fast response cutter USCGC Charles Moulthrope (WPC 1141) participated in latest iteration of exercise Sentinel Shield
“This was a good training opportunity for our crew while working with our Saudi partners in the Arabian Gulf,” said Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Hills, commanding officer of Charles Moulthrope. “They were very professional and extremely easy to work with.”
The ships conducted vessel defense and small boat training during the event, which is part of a monthly exercise series that enhances maritime communication and coordination among IMSC’s nine member-nations.
IMSC was formed in July 2019 in response to increased threats to freedom of navigation for merchant mariners transiting international waters in the Middle East. Coalition Task Force Sentinel, the operational arm of IMSC, was established four months later to deter state-sponsored malign activity and reassure the merchant shipping industry in the Bab al-Mandeb and Strait of Hormuz.
“Sentinel Shield exercises are indispensable for ensuring we are tactically and operationally proficient, which, in turn, provides reassurance to our merchant and industry partners,” said Royal Navy Commodore Ben Aldous, commander of IMSC and Coalition Task Force Sentinel.
The multinational coalition is headquartered in Bahrain with U.S. 5th Fleet and includes Albania, Bahrain, Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.