Dec. 12, 2012Bookmark and Share

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Release #205-12

Industry And U.S. Navy Practice Convoy During Exercise

By U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs

BAHRAIN – Energy industry tankers and U.S. Navy and United Kingdom navy ships coordinated maneuvers during a practice convoy for exercise Lucky Mariner 13, held Dec. 7-11, both at sea and at shore-based communication centers.

Lucky Mariner is an annual exercise, led by Naval Coordination and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS), that teams regional naval forces with industry representatives to integrate civilian-military responses to violent extremist threats to theater shipping.

"The hazards that we face as far as the sea lines of communication span anything from mine threats to state actors to terrorist threats, and can really come from anywhere," said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Piano, Task Force 53 force protection officer. "The Lucky Mariner exercise is meant to identify threats, practice defense techniques, validate procedures and apply them if and when we would ever need them."

To help coordinate these efforts, United Kingdom Maritime Trade Office, Maritime Administration (MARAD), U.S. Maritime Liaison Office (MARLO), Naval Coordination and Guidance for Shipping office and industry representatives set up an exercise crisis response center at Naval Support Activity Bahrain. The center, equipped with wifi and a multitude of computers and charts, served as a communications node for aircraft, ships, and civilian companies to pass information to civilian and military leaders so that they could react to situations as they developed.

The exercise uses a Violent Extremist Organization (VEO) scenario to prepare for the possibility that a VEO may attack theater shipping to affect regional economic stability interrupt freedom of navigation. Recent history has demonstrated that VEOs use asymmetric means like improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and as we saw in the attacks against the USS Cole in 2000, the M/V Limburg in 2002 and the M/V M. Star in 2010, they have used seaborne IEDs, in port and afloat.

DESRON 50 Commodore Stephen Evans spoke about the tremendous effort leading to the successful completion of the exercise.

"Lucky Mariner was a very successful exercise from all standpoints," said DESRON Commodore Stephen Evans. "Thanks to the teamwork and integration of the military and industry players involved, we were able to meet all objectives and successfully conduct an operation that hasn't been done since Operation Earnest Will in the 1980s."

In a typical week more than 500 ships will sail through the Strait of Hormuz. 300 of these ships are energy carriers, the rest carry other maritime commerce critical to the vitality of nations here in the Gulf and elsewhere in the region.

Photos:

121211-N-PV215-084 U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (Dec. 11, 2012) - Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 50 Commodore Capt. Stephens meets with the captains of merchant ships participating in exercise Lucky Mariner 13. Lucky Mariner is an annual U.S. Navy, coalition, and commercial shipping Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) exercise in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility designed to integrate the civil-military response to a global shipping threat. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Bryan Blair/Released)

121211-N-PV215-084 U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (Dec. 11, 2012) - Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 50 Commodore Capt. Stephens meets with the captains of merchant ships participating in exercise Lucky Mariner 13. Lucky Mariner is an annual U.S. Navy, coalition, and commercial shipping Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) exercise in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility designed to integrate the civil-military response to a global shipping threat. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Bryan Blair/Released)

121211-N-YF306-639 U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (Dec. 11, 2012) USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) escorts commercial shipping during exercise Lucky Mariner 13. Lucky Mariner is an annual U.S. Navy, coalition, and commercial shipping Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) exercise in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility designed to integrate the civil-military response to a global shipping threat.(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aaron Chase/Released)

121211-N-YF306-639 U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (Dec. 11, 2012) USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) escorts commercial shipping during exercise Lucky Mariner 13. Lucky Mariner is an annual U.S. Navy, coalition, and commercial shipping Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) exercise in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility designed to integrate the civil-military response to a global shipping threat.(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aaron Chase/Released)

121211-N-YF306-755 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (Dec. 11, 2012) USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) and a coalition naval vessel escort commercial shipping during exercise Lucky Mariner 13. Lucky Mariner is an annual U.S. Navy, coalition, and commercial shipping Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) exercise in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility designed to integrate the civil-military response to a global shipping threat.(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aaron Chase/Released)

121211-N-YF306-755 U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (Dec. 11, 2012) USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) and a coalition naval vessel escort commercial shipping during exercise Lucky Mariner 13. Lucky Mariner is an annual U.S. Navy, coalition, and commercial shipping Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) exercise in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility designed to integrate the civil-military response to a global shipping threat.(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aaron Chase/Released)

 

For further questions, please contact Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command
Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs Office at 011-973-1785-4027.
For Naval Support Activity Bahrain at 11-973-1785-4000.
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