Forces from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Israel and the United States Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) began a multilateral maritime security operations exercise in the Red Sea yesterday, NAVCENT said today.
This is the first publicly announced naval exercise between the United States, Israel and the two Gulf countries who both normalised diplomatic relations with Israel last year under a deal known as the Abraham Accords.
The five-day exercise includes at-sea training aboard amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland (LPD 27) focused on visit, board, search and seizure tactics, a statement said.” The training will enhance interoperability between participating forces’ maritime interdiction teams,” it added.”It is exciting to see U.S. forces training with regional partners to enhance our collective maritime security capabilities,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of NAVCENT, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces. “Maritime collaboration helps safeguard freedom of navigation and the free flow of trade, which are essential to regional security and stability.”
Following the signing of the normalisation deal in September 2020, Israeli media said it paved the way for enhancing military cooperation between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi in the Red Sea. While, Israeli arms companies worked on increasing their defence exports to Gulf states.