A senior US naval officer has appreciated the commitment of Qatar in supporting the naval exercises in the region and disclosed that the next Qatar-US joint navy exercises will take place in November this year.
“As the commander of the combined maritime forces of the region, I can tell you that on any given day, Qatar contributes to our entire forces to be able to exercise and we greatly appreciate Qatar for its ongoing support,” said Vice Admiral Scott Stearney, commander, US Naval Forces Central Command and the US 5th Fleet during a teleconference on Sunday.
The US Navy is participating in several exercises in the region with global and regional partners this month and these exercises are multifaceted to ensure maritime security and stability. However, none of the Gulf countries are participating in these exercises, he explained.
Interacting with Gulf Times during the teleconference, Vice Admiral Stearney revealed that the next joint exercise between Qatar and the US navy will take place in November.
“The next joint exercise, ‘Eastern Sailor’ with Qatar and the US Naval forces will take place in November. We have joint exercise with Qatar and the US Navy throughout the year and it is focused on ensuring maritime security operations within the Arabian Gulf,” explained the official.
“Exercise Eastern Sailor is designed as a bilateral exercise between the US and the Qatari naval forces. We do this every year. It is very similar to the exercise we do with our other partners. It is part of our continuing exercise programme to help build partnership capacity across all our partners,” continued the Vice Admiral.
He also maintained that the US Navy and coalition assets are participating in numerous exercises as part of the greater US 5th Fleet Theatre Counter Mine and Maritime Security Exercise.
According to the official, the multi-faceted exercise is being conducted to ensure maritime stability and security in the US Central Command area of responsibility, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.
“Co-operative security ensures cooperative prosperity, and these collective exercises conducted with our partners and allies allow us to practise the full spectrum of naval operations,” described Vice Admiral Stearney. “This demonstration of naval manoeuvre, posture and partnership reassures the international community that we will ensure maritime stability and security in the central region, anywhere, anytime.”
The US 5th Fleet assets are currently leading the Theatre Amphibious Combat Rehearsal 18 and Mine Countermeasures Exercise 18-3 and participating in Bright Star 18. Later this month, coastal patrol ships attached to US 5th Fleet’s Task Force 55 will conduct a MK-60 Griffin surface-to-surface missile and naval gun exercises against high speed manoeuvring targets.
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