MANAMA, Bahrain –
A U.S.-led multinational maritime coalition held a biannual stakeholders conference in Bahrain, Nov. 8, during the week of its third anniversary celebration.
Established in 2019, the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) was formed in response to increased threats to freedom of navigation for merchant mariners transiting international waters in the Middle East.
“Three years is a significant milestone and one that underscores our collective commitment to maritime security in the region,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces. IMSC is one of two major international partnerships based in the Middle East that Cooper leads.
The half-day conference included speakers and panelists who presented topics on maritime security, coalition and industry partnerships, and innovation. More than 70 military and industry representatives participated virtually from remote locations around the world and in person at U.S. 5th Fleet headquarters in Bahrain.
“It was exciting to engage with our international and commercial stakeholders to share ideas and information,” said United Kingdom Royal Navy Commodore Ben Aldous, commander of IMSC and Coalition Task Force Sentinel, IMSC’s operational arm.
In October, the Indian Ocean island nation of the Seychelles became IMSC’s tenth member after the coalition also welcomed Romania in March.
In addition to Seychelles and Romania, IMSC’s member-nations include Albania, Bahrain, Estonia, Lithuania, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.
“The coalition is stronger than ever, both in capability and determination,” said Cooper. “IMSC has deterred malign activity at sea and continues to provide reassurance to regional partners.”