Kuwait and U.S. Naval Forces Complete Exercise Eager Defender 21

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jordan Crouch, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs | June 25, 2021

NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY BAHRAIN (June 14, 2021) – The Kuwait Naval Force, Kuwait Coast Guard and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) participated in bilateral maritime exercise Eager Defender 21 in Kuwait and the North Arabian Gulf, June 4-14.

Eager Defender 21 is the capstone in a series of bilateral exercises between Kuwait and U.S. naval forces, focused on enhancing mutual capabilities and interoperability in maritime security operations.

“Eager Defender was an excellent opportunity to enhance tactical proficiency between U.S. and Kuwaiti shipboard and shore-based personnel,” said Capt. Christopher Gilbertson, commander of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 50 and Task Force (TF) 55, who led the planning and execution of the exercise. “The strong relationship we have built with our Kuwaiti partners continues to grow as we practice these critical maritime security skillsets as a joint, combined force.”

Exercise events included visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS), high value unit (HVU) defense, search and rescue, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), shipboard gunnery operations.

Participating U.S. naval forces included guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), patrol coastal ship USS Thunderbolt (PC 12), patrol boat USCGC Monomoy (WPB 1326), a U.S. Coast Guard maritime engagement team and an expeditionary mine countermeasures company.

The 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 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 expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three chokepoints, critical to the free flow of global commerce.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet, visit www.cusnc.navy.mil/