NAVCENT Team Prepares for IMX 19

By U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs | November 20, 2018

MANAMA, Bahrain -- Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) hosted the International Maritime Exercise (IMX) 19 initial planning conference onboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain Nov. 12-15.

The International Maritime Exercise (IMX) 19 is the world’s most inclusive maritime exercise, designed to strengthen relationships, foster interoperability among supporting forces, and enhance theater-wide maritime security operations, mine countermeasures (MCM), and maritime infrastructure capabilities under multinational command and control. By working together as a coalition, all nations build familiarity with global partners and the shipping industry, with the goal of deterring threats to the freedom of navigation.

To date, more than 40 nations have pledged support and participation for IMX 19, which is scheduled October 27 to November 12, 2019.

“IMX is the premiere maritime exercise in this region,” said NAVCENT Commander Vice Adm. Scott Stearney. “By mustering as many nations as possible to train and operate together as one unified force, we demonstrate our collective global resolve and dedication to the free flow of commerce in the CENTCOM [U.S. Central Command] area of responsibility.”

IMX traces its roots to the International MCM Exercise, the first of which was conducted in 2012. Though the format of the exercise has changed throughout its timeline, 2019 promises to be the largest version to date. Dozens of nations and maritime organizations have been invited to participate in IMX 19, along with several civilian and maritime industry organizations.

“This initial planning conference was extremely beneficial in our continued efforts to refine exercise objectives, force allocation, exercise design and our unified strategic communication goals,” said Capt. Michael O’Driscoll. Our goal is to achieve maximum participation while building and strengthening partnerships in the region and globally.”

The U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses nearly 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The region is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab-al-Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.